Why You Should Be Cooking Meatloaf In A Specialized Pan

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Meatloaf is a comforting dish that speaks to the carnivore's inner nostalgia. But if you're a fan of this homey dinner staple, you know that there are myriad ways you can make a mistake when making meatloaf. One overlooked issue? Not selecting the proper pan for the job. Contrary to popular opinion, not just any old rectangular pan will work here. Instead, invest in a proper meatloaf pan. 

What exactly is a meatloaf pan? A meatloaf pan looks much like a nonstick loaf pan but usually comes complete with a liner. This liner is the game-changing element of the pan as it has holes that help drain the surplus of fat from the cooking meatloaf. The result is a meatloaf that isn't saturated with grease or waterlogged from soggy veggies. 

If you're wondering how this pan compares to others, let's first look at a standard metal loaf pan. While you're getting the classic shape and look of a meatloaf, the fatty juices have no outlet and are allowed to soak into the meat. You'll have the exact same problem with a glass loaf pan. An added note of stress? Your grease may overflow and puddle to the bottom of your oven, causing a smoky, burnt mess. 

A specialized pan has holes and is typically nonstick

In addition to the liner, most meatloaf pans also have nonstick qualities — be it Teflon coating or perforations on the bottom — allowing you to slide your meatloaf easily from pan to plate for even slicing. If you've ever struggled with a greasy, stubbornly stuck meatloaf, you'll find this kind of pan solves all of your problems.

If you're ready to invest in a proper meatloaf pan, you have a number of options to choose from. Wilton has a highly-rated meatloaf pan that checks all the appropriate boxes, including a liner with holes and perforations. Chicago Metallic offers a unique twist on the meatloaf liner, as it has handles and no sides, working like a rigid parchment strip for lifting out your finished meatloaf (via Amazon).

If you're willing to splurge a bit, Williams Sonoma has a meatloaf pan offered in its cult-favorite Goldtouch Pro bakeware line. Either way, you'll find that any meatloaf pan is a worthy addition to your cookware.