New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Friday, June 13, 2008

CrockPot Meatloaf Recipe





Day 165!
only 201 left to go....
ack!


In honor of Retro Week, I finally made meatloaf last night in the crockpot. If you google meatloaf in crockpot or crockpot meatloaf you will get a bazillion different ways to make meatloaf in the crock. I got overwhelmed reading them, and decided to make it the way that I always make meatloaf: throw in what I feel like at the time and hope for the best.

The very first time I made meatloaf kind of traumatized me, so I don't make it very often.

We were living in a 2-bedroom apartment with shag-green carpet, and the kitchen was teeny-tiny. My eldest was a newborn, maybe only 6 to 8 weeks of age, and the kid DID. NOT. SLEEP. like at all.

I hadn't gone back to any sort of work yet, and had regained some energy, so I decided to pop her into the sling and walk to the store, hoping she'd fall asleep on the way. She did. I called Adam and told him I'd make whatever he wanted for dinner. He picked meatloaf. Okay, then, meatloaf it was. I gathered the ingredients I thought I would need, and remembered to sway and jostle properly, so the baby wouldn't awaken. I somehow managed to get home the mile walk from the store, with a bag in each hand without waking the baby.

I was ecstatic.

I unloaded everything--except the baby. There was no way that I was going to disturb her sleep for anything.

I remember flipping on the stereo, and opening the front door and the windows to get a bit of air into the stuffy apartment while I got to work on the meatloaf. I had no idea what I was doing, but started cramming different shredded vegetables, breadcrumbs and pasta sauce into a bread pan.

I cracked an egg, and heard a bellow from the open front door, "UPS!"

I screamed, and dropped the egg.

Into the sling, and onto my newborn's head.

She was covered in raw egg.

And she woke up.
And we both cried.

I didn't make another meatloaf for four years.


BUT! I made one yesterday. For you people. ;-)


The Ingredients.

This is what I did. You can use your favorite secret family recipe. -- Just keep the proportions pretty much the same -- use 1 to 2 pounds of ground meat.

1 pound lean ground turkey
-1/2pound lean ground beef
1 chopped red bell pepper (take out the seeds!)
--1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
1 (14.4-ounce) can of tomatoes with Italian seasoning (the whole can, juice too!)
1 tablespoon A-1 sauce
1 tablespoon dried, minced onion flakes OR 1 packet onion soup mix (this is usually not gluten free, be careful and read ingredients well!)
1 large egg
1/4 cup (or so) of ketchup

The Directions.

--in a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the ketchup and mix. I always use my hands, because that's what my mom does. Remember where you put your rings!

--squirt the ketchup all over the top.

You can put the entire meat mixture directly into your crockpot, or you can put it into a heat-resistant dish inserted into your crock. It is your choice. I used my 6qt Smart Pot, and put a loaf pan into it. What I like about using the loaf pan is that the fat kind of bubbles up and out over the top of the pan and then collects in the crock.

I wish I had one of those insert things that goes in the loaf pan for meatloaf with the little holes so the fat can drain. But I don't.

If your crock is only 4 qts, just plop the meat into the crock. You can suck away some of the fat that collects on the top with paper towels a few hours into cooking time if it grosses you out.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6-8. The meat is done when it is brown and fully cooked when you cut into it.

Let the meat sit for about 30 minutes before you slice and serve.

The Verdict.

I didn't let my meat sit long enough and it fell apart. It was kind of like meatloaf hash. It tasted wonderful, but I was bummed that it didn't slice the way that I knew it could if I hadn't rushed the process.



My parents came for dinner and liked it, and took home some leftovers. They fed the kids while Adam and I went for a run, and the kids ate it for them. I think grandma and grandpa should come over for dinner more often---the kids eat MUCH better for them.


original photo from 2008: slow cooker meatloaf
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41 comments:

philippine lotto said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kay said...

i despise meatloaf so i got a little grossed out when i checked out your blog today. but my family LOVES it. so i may block out the pix and try this one for them.

oh and i posted an interesting crockpot recipe on my blog yesterday. check it out.

Mommy, the Human Napkin said...

We love meatloaf, but our oven is out of commission right now, so I'm glad I've found your site! I will have to give this one a try!

Oh, and I ran across your post about cooking a can of Eagle Brand milk in the crockpot and I tried it last night. It worked perfectly and it was all I could do to not eat the entire can this morning! I have to save it for ice cream topping later. My sister is coming to spend the day since she's moving across the country in a few days, so this will be a nice send-off for her and her boys!

Crockpot Lady said...

bwhahahaa, mommy, the human napkin! I LOVE your name! I'm that along with the human tissue!
-steph

donna said...

My DH is a meatloaf freak-I have a loaf pan with the inserts-I hope it will fit inside my crockpot. Thanks for all the time and energy and resources you put into your website.

Carrie said...

Steph -
Totally not meatloaf related. Do you have any "Pizza Fusion" restaurants near you? No, I am not a crockpot stalker, I just wanted to share some news about them. One just opened near us and we are going there tonight. Me being the obsessive planner that I am, took a look at the menu online, and wait for it...The have GLUTEN FREE PIZZA. This may be totally old news to you, and I am sure you have a recipe or two up your sleeve for gluten free pizza crust, but I wanted to share anyhow. Check out thier website for the nitty gritty.
Happy Crockpotting
btw...We tried the Lemon Chicken last night, and I could not stop eating it. It was amazing.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I was just about to see if you had done meatloaf yet because I'm making it today. Here is my favorite recipe:
http://icecreamdiary.blogspot.com/2007/06/meatloaf.html

Katrina said...

mmmm.... meatloaf! I love it! =)

I have a question... how did you get your blog to have 3 columns? I can't figure it out....
Thanks!

JohnR said...

Sounds like good retro stuff, will have to try it soon.
Pavlov maybe should have studied grandparents and their effect on kids' eating habits!

Now a serious question: the definition of 'plop'. I suspect it means gentler than fling/toss/hurl, but not as wimpy as 'place'. This is important.

KatolinFamily said...

I've just recently stumbled on your blog and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing these recipes. We made the Mongolian beef the other night and it was delicious!

mollymoo951 said...

I can totally relate to the newborn that DID.NOT.SLEEP. Your story is hilarious. I would have sat down & bawled too.

I'm going to try meatloaf in the crockpot!

Heather said...

I have done meatloaf in my crockpot before. I have a WestBend Versatility that came with a rack for inside. Place the loaf on the rack and the grease drips away. Also great when roasting chicken, PORK, or other meats.

Thanks for sharing that story. I would have cried too!

Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet said...

Good grief. I blame UPS. I willingly blame them for all things, they are a total pain in the behind for all city dwellers with their odd hours and demanding time frames. sigh. but egg right on the head? its too much really. It is a wonderful story to tell whenever you have meatloaf.

My darling husband (he of the crock pot addiction) has made meatloaf in the crock pot at least twice. One thing I love about it is that the crock is such a moist cooking method you can easily sub in turkey for a healthier take on meatloaf without sacrificing too much texture.

Crockpot Lady said...

Donna, I hope it fits in too, I just got the BEST email suggestion from Karen, who suggests fitting in an aluminum pan with holes poked in for drainage. Brilliant!

carrie, I'm going to google it right now! How exciting and neat!
and my pizza crusts suck. I liked the boxed mixes, though... ;-)

lizzie, I'm going to check it out! Great minds!

katrina, I followed the template listed fro blog formats here. I am an HTML dunder head, but somehow figured it out. Make sure you back everything up!

xxo
steph

Crockpot Lady said...

and that would be FOR blog templates. grr.

John R, you guessed correctly. It's a technical term. ;-)

katolinfamily, thank you!

mollymoo, lol. my kids were not good sleepers. I read book after book, but they didn't. So they didn't know what they were supposed to do.

heather, than pan sounds neat! I know, most people use pork. sigh.

erin, I love it that your hubby is a crockpotter! I actually like UPS because it means we're getting something, but the doorbell ringing multiple times and the booming voice ALWAYS startles me.

xxo
steph

snapeaholic said...

I make meatloaf in my crock all the time. If you wad up aluminum foil into balls, put that in the bottom of the crock, and rest your meatloaf on that, it keeps the meat out of the drippings. I'm looking to order hte meat rack for the crock pretty soon, though, so I don't feel bad for wasting so much aluminum foil!

Your poor baby! I definitely blame UPS.

Hippie Housewife said...

Hehehe...your story almost made me wake up my own little one with my laughter.

I like meatloaf, but for some reason I'm always feel too lazy to make it. I would never have thought to make it in my crockpot.

Anonymous said...

I like the convenience of my crock and I find I am using it more and more. Today I wanted to use up some hamburger and veggies from the garden so I created my own recipe. Then I thought to goggle it to see what the pros do. My question is how to cook my wonderful conglomeration in the crock pot so it looks like meatloaf. What is a meat rack and where can I get one? What types of containers can go into a crock pot? I've never heard of that. NSC

elena jane said...

am going to try this today, finally!! i'm intriqued by the meat rack and the possibility of using wadded up foil to keep the fat off the bottom (tho with turkey, not much fat??)....love your blog!!

kelly said...

it must've been a mans idea...the first meat loaf. "hey hun....could you make bread.? Except with meat?"

Anyways, i wanted to tell you about my meatloaf topping, it's zesty and sweet and oh so yummy. I also use ketchup, but i add some (prepared)mustard and a little bit of brown sugar....(although now that i think of it i'm sure the sugar is a completely unnecessary evil). It's easy peasy and my family loves it.

And by the way, i've cried over smaller things that egg on baby...and if the UPS man isn't delivering chocolate or wine he better come at a damned convenient time!

rg4nyc said...

Put CARROTS at the bottom of your crockpot to keep the meatloaf lifted from the juices. You can eat OR discard the carrots - - no foil anything needed. You can also use potato, too, sliced however you wish to 'raise' the meat off the bottom of the crockpot. RG

Anonymous said...

I just made this. I was very happy to see that the meatloaf was not dry. I had a small oval rack that fit it there so I put my meatloaf insert (with holes)on that. The juices burned pretty good on the bottom and I think next time I will use a crockpot bag to help keep my crock clean. I did let it sit on off for 30 minutes and it cut perfectly. Very happy with the results!

Anonymous said...

My tweaks to the recipe

--1 lb lean ground turkey
--1/2 lb lean ground beef
--1 chopped red or green bell pepper
--1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
--1 14.5 oz can of tomatoes with Italian seasoning (Drain the juice out the can, do not add it to the mix)
--3 T A-1 sauce
--packet of onion soup mix
--1 egg
--1/4 cup (or so) of ketchup

Suck away the juices that cook out of the mix with paper towels either at the end of the cooking time or after a few hours into cooking.

After I made these tweaks the meatloaf held together very well and the extra A1 sauce gives it a tiny little kick. I love this receipt and gained a few pounds eating this.

Jen said...

Steph - I was just about to tell my friend that I would have to leave shopping early to go home and make meatloaf, because I promised my husband meatloaf. But then I thought "Wait! I bet Steph has made meatloaf in the crockpot!" and you did! So thanks to helping me spend even more money and saving dinner!!

Jen D said...

I am cracking up at your story. When I made meatloaf for the first time I was newly married and actually tried to make it in the crockpot. Which probably would have been fine, but I also always tried to make everything "low-fat" so I left out the egg. Yeah, you need the egg in meatloaf. Needless to say I have never made a meatloaf again. We actually ran out of ketchup that night for my husband to even try a few bites (which he did!) and went out for subs. If I get brave enough again (that was 9 years ago) I will use your recipe. Thanks so much for doing this last year, I am really enjoying it. I emailed you a few weeks ago but I know you probably get tons!! So thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I plan to try the meatloaf this weekend! Last week I made your feta steak and it was fab. I have a large crock and had extra room so I added two of your garlic baked potatos (in foil) on top of the steak..and it all came out great.
Love your blog....I am trying to crockpot 2-3 time a week.

reikifeet said...

well i don't know what happened, but my rice is still crunchy :( maybe i should have used the instant kind? or bread crumbs instead.. anyway, i put potatoes in the bottom of my 7-quart, and the meatloaf in a shallow corningware right on top of them. It worked great! i plugged it in on the front porch, along with a smaller crock of banana bread, to avoid heating the kitchen. Couldn't have been easier! (except for the wierd rice thing, but gracious DH claimed to not mind at all!) Ground beef is really cheap at marsh this week, so i may make & freeze a meatloaf every day (for trucker husband to take on the road)!! LOL

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and your recipes! Thanks so much!

I am a meatloaf lover and for me the secret of it is premium ground beef. I won't use anything but really good ground meat, and the flavor is excellent, as well as absent of tiny bits of cartilage and who knows what else! I started doing a "good" meatloaf when my kids were little (and at the stage where if they found ONE thing in it that was gristly or unacceptable they would not eat it again for five years). It is worth the upcharge, in my opinion. I only tried it in the crockpot a week or two ago, and liked it even better than cooked in the oven. In fact, I am becoming addicted to the crockpot and your recipes and blog have just made it worse! I even plug the pot into a counter we have on the lanai in the really hot weather so I don't heat up the kitchen and waste our AC. What a wonderful device! Thanks again.

Joanne from Florida

Anonymous said...

Line the bottom of your crock w/potatoes and set the meatloaf on top. Comes out great!

Anonymous said...

We were discussing crock-pot meatloaf at lunch the other day. A woman I know makes her usually recipe and lines the bottom of the stoneware with two slices of bread. I do believe she might place two more slices of bread on top as well to absorb the drippings. I haven't tried meatloaf of my own in the crock-pot, but will be soon. I can't wait to try.

mandymaz said...

i made this last night, YUMMO!
i'm in australia so i used BBQ sauce instead of the A1. when it was done i couldn't work out why it fell apart, then i realized i forgot the egg.

graceling said...

So, I have never made meat loaf before, despite my husband's love of all things meaty. I just didn't like it that much growing up, and never felt like it was worth the grossness of touching the raw meat (this is also why I don't make home made meatballs.)

Anyway, since I am 8 months pregnant, I had a crazy craving for meat loaf, and mixed this up last night (used all ground turkey because that is what I had.) Delish. Even the kids loved it!

Mixed up a few more to freeze for after the baby comes (because I don't want to crack an egg on the baby's head.)

Thanks for the great recipe!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I was making a meatloaf in the crockpot today and it seemed to be burning. My recipe told me it needed to be 8-10 on low but it was burning. I saw yours saying 6 and took it out. You saved dinner. Thank you!

Racheli said...

Made this over the lazy holiday weekend and it was a hit. I put baby carrots and sliced red potatoes in the bottom of the crock to keep the loaf out of the grease. The brown rice was a tasty addition!

jobe said...

My rice didn't cook. So my meatloaf was kind of crunchy. Other than that, it was delish!

Should I have used the parboiled rice?

Tammy said...

Thank you SO much for showing me how to make meatloaf in my crockpot!!!! I thought I'd have to wait for cooler weather - the thought of using my oven right now is too much - but I'm still full of it's delicious yumminess!!!

Leanne said...

Loved the story! I made a meatloaf in the crockpot for the first time yesterday...using my usual recipe. It turned out perfect! Thank You for the idea! I never wouldve thought to do this. With my family of 9, I do a lot of cooking ahead so this is a great way to stock pile a few meatloaves in the freezer very economically.

HotFlash said...

Ms Stephanie ~ YU work so hard?

Crockpot meatloaf:

2 lb medium ground beef
2 eggs
2/3 C oatmeal
some chopped onion (recipe calls for pkg onion soup mix. As if!)

Mix together. I do it in my crockpot, with my hands. Spread in bottom of crockpot, top with mixed-up ketchup, dry mustard and brown sugar, if you like (we like -- say, a cup of ketchup, 1 T dry mustard, 1/2 C brown sugar, adjust to your family's taste). Crock for 8-12 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. It is amazing!

Darwinia said...

I'm making my normal recipe meatloaf for the first time in a Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker as I write this :) It's been cooking for about 2 hours and looks and smells wonderful. I have a bunch of those roasting inserts but none that fit in this slow cooker...soooo I made one :) I took lengths of aluminum foil and made little logs to rIse up the meatloaf,,, then I spread a sheet of it across all of them and poked holes to let the drippings go thru...just to make sure I gave it a little spray of non stick cooking spray before I loaded in the loaf. This is a wonderful discovery to make in the slow cooker! I love cold meatloaf sandwiches any time of year... nice not to have to use the oven. I'm thinking of buying a roaster oven as well... it's like having a giant slow cooker :) The Nesco looks like the winner in my choice of roaster ovens...good company, been around since the 1930's :)

Liana said...

I am a recent finder of your blog. I am greatly interested in making this meatloaf. My question to you is concerning the time in the crockpot. You've got 6-8 hours on low. By the time I leave my house in the morning for work, I'm gone for 12 hours. Looooooonnnnng commute plus a 9 hr workday. This would seem to be a very long time in the crockpot and might get overdone. What are your thoughts?

Stephanie ODea said...

I'm happy you found me, Lianna! Yes, it would dry out. The best thing to do is to invest in a new pot that is programmable so it flips to a warm setting to keep your food hot and safe until you get home from work. I hate telling you to buy something new just so you can try out a certain recipe though -- if a new pot isn't in your horizon, many of my readers batch cook on the weekend then reheat during the week.

If you *do* want a new pot, the ones I recommend are outlined here: http://stephanieodea.com/store/

I hope this helps a bit!

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