A silicone loaf pan pops baked food out mess-free, requiring only a quick rinse and dry. For this reason, silicone bakeware is a natural choice for a messy and easily baked-on dish like meatloaf. Since meatloaf normally bakes in a broiling pan or on a baking rack on a traditional loaf pan to drain, draining the grease from a meatloaf baked in a silicone loaf pan presents the greatest challenge, while its easy cleanup presents the greatest benefit to this method.
Preparing the Meatloaf
Use ground beef with the lowest fat content you can find. Reducing the fat content in the meatloaf eliminates some of the grease drainage that will sit in the silicone pan while cooking.
Add some additional liquid such as ketchup or tomato paste to keep the lower-fat meatloaf moist. Adding additional liquid keeps the meatloaf juicy without producing grease in the pan.
Increase the binding material such as bread crumbs, cereal or oats by 1/4 cup and add one additional egg to help the meatloaf keep its shape in the flexible silicone loaf pan.
Baking the Meatloaf
Pre-heat the oven as directed. Shape the meat mixture into a loaf and place in the ungreased silicone loaf pan.
Place the silicone pan containing the meatloaf on a cookie sheet before baking in the oven. Because the silicone loaf pan is flexible, removing it from the oven without a sturdy base underneath it can cause grease to spill, which might burn or cause a fire in the oven.
Remove the pans from the oven halfway through the cooking time. Slide the turkey baster between the meatloaf and the wall of the silicone loaf pan and squeeze the bulb to extrude some of the juices. Dispose of the juice and grease then repeat until all or most of the grease is gone.
Return the drained meatloaf to the oven and continue baking until the internal temperature reaches at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain more of the grease or juice from the silicone loaf pan using the turkey baster if necessary.
Turn out the meatloaf onto a serving platter. Allow the meatloaf to rest up to ten minutes before serving. Resting time allows the meatloaf to reabsorb any remaining juices from the pan. Slice and serve.
- The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook; Jack Bishop
- Foodsafety.gov: Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures
- Clean the silicone loaf pan after use in the dishwasher. If a cloudy film remains after washing, simply rinse with water and dry before next use.
- Use a silicone spatula or other soft utensil to remove the meatloaf from the loaf pan. Never use a knife or blade with silicone bakeware because it may slice through the pan and ruin it.
- Use care removing hot grease and juices from the silicone pan to avoid burns. Do not pour grease down the drain. Collect it in a container and dispose of it in the trash or according to local laws.
Andrea Lott Haney writes articles and training materials for food industry publications. Having studied foodservice sanitation, nutrition and menu planning at Purdue University, Lott Haney has more than 10 years of experience as a catering and event planner for luxury hotels and currently tours the Midwest as a corporate customer service trainer and consultant.