Frugal Village Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
4,028 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thought I'd post this here since it seems more of a crock pot use question.

I've made meatloaf (3 pounders) in my lg 6qt crock pot and get a wonderful moist end product. I've shaped them into a loaf or just pressed the mix to make a thick layer on the bottom that touches the sides of the crock. The parts in contact with the crock are usually a crisp and the top has a softer texture since it gets the effects of the steam.

Our biggest problem is IT DOESN'T LAST LONG! I can usually cut and freeze meal size portions but the majority of it doesn't make it to the freezer because we then eat off it the entire week.

This time, I'm thinking of making "mini" loaves by putting the mix into individual cans and then adding water to the crock to give them a water bath. This way I can just empty the can and vacuum seal it when its cool. One can would serve the 2 of us and would be the perfect size for slicing for sandwiches.

Has anyone done this before or have any ideas/thoughts on how this will turn out?

My meatloaf is usually a mix of: turkey, beef, bison or venison, pork sausage (since the meat tends to be very lean), and veggies (onions, celery, carrots, sometimes red lentils), I use oatmeal and egg as a binder and I want to add some cooked green lentils this time. Should I mash the green lentils some before adding them to help them bind into the mix?

Thanks for your thoughts,
Ceashels
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
904 Posts
are you sure you want green lentils in it? I am not the eye appeal will be what you want it too.

I think if you use cans, you are going to loose the crust that you like so much. I would suggest freezing the mix in samller portions and then using a smaller (1.5 quart) crock pot to cook the smaller loafs. That way you keep the crust and all.

I haven't tried the crock pot, but I really like meat loaf cooked in a cast iron pan. The crust is just awesome like that.

I think I will give your crock pot idea a go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
My family goes crazy for my meatloaf. It's from a recipe in a Betty Crocker cookbook from 1957. It uses egg and torn up pieces of bread for binder. The outside is crisp and the inside is light and fluffy. I always make 2 and none of it makes it to the freezer. My family is happy to have it for leftovers for lunch and dinner for as long as it lasts. It keeps from cooking dinner for a couple of days (lol).

My brother uses muffin tins for mini meatloaves. They can be frozen as individual servings.

I am going to try your crockpot idea though, it would save alot of my time and the electiricity.

PS Pizza meatloaf is a great way to "mix it up". We put italian seasoning in the meatloaf mixture then top it with cheese and pepperoni and pizza (or spaghetti) sauce. Yum!!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Josephhgoins

·
Moderator
Joined
·
4,028 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I do have some brown lentils too which may blend better color-wise with the meatloaf. My little crockpot (2 qt) gets very hot and I'm afraid a meatloaf will finish like a brick. I could freeze the mix precooked but my goal was to have a quick meal handy that just needs heating up on when I'm not up to cooking.

And I have made muffin tin sized before but I tend to over cook them. I could could precook them in cans in the oven and see how they turn out.

Perhaps I'll make one batch of mix and try it both ways. Some in the oven in cans and the other in cans in the crockpot. I wonder if I can the meatloaf in the cans without a water bath so the only moisture would be what came from the meatloaf??

Thanks for the thoughts!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,424 Posts
I am interested to see how this turns out!! We love meatloaf, but have the same problem that you are having.....we eat it all!! Please let me know, I might give this a try myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,394 Posts
I think the cans in the water bath would be worth a try. If you don't want to loose the crunchy stuff though maybe you could just shape mini-loves and set them in there so that when they're done you could baggie/wrap and freeze them as soon as they're finished just leave out what you plan to use for dinner that night (and maybe one for sandwhiches later in the week). I find that if I put away stuff first that I want to save before we eat then I'm more likely to do it then after we eat and are cleaning the kitchen and relaxed. At that point just sticking it in the fridge is more likely to happen as who wants to pull out more mess at that point.

Another thing I do when I want to save portions of something made in a large batch is to maybe just try to pull off one meals worth to store and eat off the rest of it as leftovers for the week. Then I make it again, before I allow myself to pull that particular meal out of the freezer, and store another portion. I've also been known to cook the same thing two days in a row so that one is for eating off of and the second day will definately be put up because you still have leftovers.

On another note....I've never tried meatloaf in my crockpot. I'm going to have to give that a go. I generally use eggs and stale bread or bread crumbs in mine but have used oatmeal as well. Meatloaf here is one of those "looks right/ feels right" things that morphs a little depending on my mood, time, and available ingredients.

Let us know how it turns out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mauimagic

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
That waterbath idea sounds great. I wonder if it would be worth a try to do one can in a water bath and see how it turns out. If that works, then you could do more.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
4,028 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
So I made my meatloaf mix with lean beef, turkey and sausage, added 3 grated carrots, half and onion, 2 cups of oatmeal, 2 eggs, and a couple of seasoning packets. I filled 5 pint Ball jars (no lids) and placed them in a water bath in my crock pot and set it on high.

Approximately 8 hrs later (it took that long since the crock was filled with water that it had to heat first) the results were tasty, moist and delicious. I drained any fat out of the jars and we sliced one for sandwiches after shoveling for the umpteenth time. It was very good and I would be inclined to do it again. I put lids on the other 5 jars and popped them in the fridge. We'll probably have on tomorrow and I'll freeze 2-3 for future use.

So we didn't get the crispy goodness that roasting or putting directly into the crock gives but it was very easy to clean up after since the jars went from crock to counter to fridge.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
19,119 Posts
Going to try the crock pot meatloaf - we all love it - wepecially cold meatloaf sandwiches!! Let us know how your experimenting works out!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,338 Posts
I don't know if I'd want to do my meatloaf in the crockpot as opposed to the oven... since I love the oven 'crustiness' so much.

If you want to make a huge batch so that you can have some for the freezer for future meals, I suggest that the day you make the meatloaf, portion and freeze those future meals. Without it in the frig. for the leftover scavengers to nibble on, it won't get eaten. I frankly am like one of the other posters on this thread... leftover meatloaf in the frig. means that I don't have to worry about lunches for the week or do I have to cook for a night or two... LOL.

I would like to know who many lentils you add to you meatloaf... and are they cooked or uncooked when you add them? I actually have some leftover lentils and rice that I could very easily add to a meatloaf this week.
 

·
Moderator aka AmyBob
Joined
·
12,038 Posts
Ceashels, we love meatloaf around here, and making it in the crock would be SO much easier!

How long to you let it cook, and do you set it for low or high?

As for your question, I have no idea. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
689 Posts
Ceashels "we didn't get the crispy goodness" - you could try putting it in a metal pan and hitting it with a propane torch??? or maybe putting it in the oven when baking something else, 'cause if it ain't crunchy, it ain't meatloaf. Loafs gotta have a crust.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top