How Long Does Meatloaf Last In The Fridge? Here’s The Answer!

Made with ground meat and tons of other flavourful ingredients, meatloaf is undoubtedly a hard-to-resist dish that hardly needs anything complimentary. You can eat it as a stand-alone snack or relish it at dinner. Meatloaf is everyone’s time-honored favorite dish.  

The best thing about the meatloaf is that you can store a portion of it for later consumption as well. A cooked meatloaf stays fresh for 3-4 days in the fridge and 2-3 months when frozen. Similarly, you can refrigerate uncooked meatloaf for 1-2 days and freeze it for 2-3 months for later use. 

Here are the step-by-step guides to store cooked and uncooked meatloaf for future use. Additionally, I’ll help you identify if your meatloaf has gone bad or not. So, let’s start. 

How Long Does Meatloaf Last In The Fridge?

The answer to how long does meatloaf last in the fridge depends on whether it’s cooked or uncooked. While a cooked meatloaf can stay fresh for three to four days in the fridge, the shellfish of a meatloaf goes down to a day or two if it’s uncooked. 

If you’ve purchased the fresh meatloaf from the market today only and just realized the guests for whom you bought the dish will be arriving only next week or later, I recommend freezing the meatloaf instead of refrigerating it. 

When you freeze a cooked meatloaf, it can last for two to three months. If you’re freezing uncooked meatloaf, again, it’ll be perfect for consumption even after two to three months. 

However, you’d immediately consume the meatloaf once you’ve defrosted it in cold water or the microwave. This is valid for both ready-made and homemade meatloaf. 

What Is The Optimum Temperature To Store Meatloaf?

When it comes to proper storage of meatloaf (both cooked and uncooked) to keep it fresh for the aforementioned period, the temperature at which it’s stored plays a crucial role. 

The optimum temperature to store meatloaf is 40°F or below. This is because bacterial growth takes place quickly between 40°F to 140°F. Hence, a lower temperature is recommended for storing a meatloaf (or any similar dish.)

Tip: Use an airtight zipper bag to pack the meatloaf. 

How To Freeze Cooked Meatloaf?

Once you know the optimum temperature to store a meatloaf, let’s learn how to freeze a cooked meatloaf. 

Tip: Let the cooked meatloaf cool down to room temperature before proceeding further. 

Once the meatloaf has cooled down significantly, here are the next steps. 

  • Cut down the meatloaf into smaller chunks (or slices)
  • Instead of packing the pieces together, wrap individual pieces using your regular aluminum foil or plastic wrap
  • Pack these individual units in your main freezer bag
  • To ensure the least air inside the bag, squeeze the bag as much as possible
  • Mark the expiry date on the bag and slide it into the freezer

What if the meatloaf is uncooked? The given steps will help. 

How To Freeze Uncooked Meatloaf?

If you’re wondering how to freeze uncooked meatloaf, here are the quick steps. 

  • Take any cooking vessel
  • Gather all the ingredients and uncooked meatloaf in it
  • Mix the contents and shape them as per your preference
  • Now, cover the entire meatloaf with aluminum foil and pack it in your main freezer bag
  • To ensure the least air inside the bag, squeeze the bag as much as possible
  • Mark the expiry date on the bag and slide it into the freezer

How To Defrost Meatloaf?

Now that you’ve understood how to freeze a meatloaf, defrosting it properly is likewise necessary. Here are the top three methods to defrost your meatloaf and ensure adequate juices inside it after reheating it. 

  1. Microwave

To start with, you must have a microwave at home, right? So, let’s use it to defrost the meatloaf. 

  • Take the required number of meatloaf slices out from the freezer bag
  • Place them in a microwave-safe container and cover with a lid
  • Heat the slices for a minute or two on one side. Flip the slices and heat again for the same time
  1. Steamer

If you want a waterfall of juices inside the meatloaf after defrosting, try steaming over anything else!

  • Turn on the gas stove at low flame and put a deep pan over it
  • Fill the pan with water and bring it to boil
  • Once the water is sufficiently hot, slide the slices in
  • Wait for a few minutes or until the meatloaf slices are completely reheated
  1. Non-stick skillet

Do you know reheating a frozen meatloaf on a non-stick skillet is also a wise way to retain the moisture inside? Here’s how it works.

  • Place the non-stick skillet over the stove. Make sure the flame is not too low or high
  • Sprinkle some vegetable oil on the skillet for better results
  • Evenly spread the meatloaf slices on the skillet
  • Cook the slices for three to four minutes on one side. Then, flip them, and cook for another three to four minutes

If you find the meatloaf slices are drying up in the process, you can add meat stock or broth to maintain the moisture levels. 

Note: Refrain from using your regular skillet and go for a non-stick one. That will prevent your meatloaf slices from sticking and taking a burnt taste from the skillet. 

  1. Oven

Last but not least, an oven is one of the common kitchen accessories present in every kitchen. Although it’s more time-consuming than the microwave, it works well to defrost the meatloaf. Let’s learn how to use a regular oven to defrost a meatloaf. 

  • Preheat the oven to 250°F
  • Take an oven-safe plate with slightly raised edges. Add a cup or two of water or meat broth to the plate
  • Place the meatloaf slices on the plate and cover with aluminum foil
  • Heat the food for 15-20 minutes 

How To Check If Meatloaf Has Turned Bad?

Suspecting meatloaf is no longer consumable? Here are some signs to confirm this. 

  • Smell: This is probably the best way to tell whether the meatloaf is gone or not. It’s highly accurate as well. If the odor resembles that of rotten eggs, ammonia, acid, or sulfur, you better discard the meatloaf! 
  • Texture: If the texture of the meatloaf has changed to that of slime or feels mushy on the touch, get yourself a fresh meatloaf. 
  • Looks: Did you see small black spots and mold on the meatloaf’s surface? If yes, throw it away!
  • Color: Rotten meat also changes color. If your meatloaf has turned to something green or a greenish-brown, it’s high time you dump it. 

Note: Consuming a rotten meatloaf can result in diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, infection, and more.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the optimum temperature to store meatloaf?

The optimum temperature to store meatloaf is 40°F or below. This is because the bacteria growth is faster between 40°F to 140°F. 

How long does meatloaf last at room temperature?

If a meatloaf has been left at room temperature, it’ll last for about 2-hours. If the temperature of the surroundings is 90°F or above, this period reduces to an hour. 

How long does cooked meatloaf last in the freezer?

A properly stored cooked meatloaf lasts for 3-4 months in the freezer. To do so, tightly pack the meatloaf in a plastic bag. 

How to properly store meatloaf?

Here are some ways to properly store your meatloaf. First, keep the meatloaf on the shelf of the freezer or fridge. Second, once thawed, never refrigerate the meatloaf. Third, maintain the inside temperature at 40°F or lower to curb bacterial growth. 


So, here you go. Storing meatloaf is an easy task provided you’re doing it right. If properly stored, you can enjoy your fresh meatloaf even after three to four days. If kept casually, you won’t find it in a consumable state after 24 hours. 

After freezing it, it’s equally important to defrost the meatloaf. For this, I recommend a microwave, oven, steamer, or even a regular skillet. 

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About Joy

Hi, I'm Martin and my friends call me Joy. From an early age, I was interested in food, vegetables, and fruits. I even have a nutritionist certificate. While searching for some information, I didn't find the answer, so I start a page

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