The Ideal Salt Ratio To Fix Bland Meatloaf Mistakes

Nothing is more quintessentially scrumptious or nostalgic than homemade meatloaf. While the dish can have a reputation for being bland, dry, and just overall unpleasant, a well-seasoned, juicy, glazed slice of meatloaf can be the succulent highlight of a weeknight dinner. However, a key part of a avoiding a below-average meatloaf is to ensure that it's well-seasoned with salt. The seasoning rule to fix a bland meatloaf is a teaspoon of salt per pound of meat.

Whether you use ground beef, pork, turkey, grocery store meatloaf mix, or some combination, the ideal salt ratio for meatloaf remains the same. If you're using table salt, which is denser than kosher salt and therefore saltier, then adjust your ratio to ½ teaspoon per pound of meat. 

Additionally, the timing of when you add salt matters. Don't salt your ground meat and let it sit around. To ensure a more tender and velvety loaf, add the salt immediately before mixing. And be sure to not overwork your meat, mixing it just enough to well-distribute the salt and all the other seasonings.

Season with a teaspoon of salt per pound of meat

Of course, this salt ratio is just a baseline rule. Different grinds and combinations of meat have different amounts of fat, moisture, and overall texture when salted and cooked. If you're nervous about oversalting your meatloaf, follow the seasoning ratio and then adjust. It's better to undersalt than oversalt because you can always add more, but it's harder to take salt away. 

Before you commit to baking a loaf, check the seasoning in your meatloaf mix. The easiest way to do this is to make a tester patty and taste before you begin cooking. There are two methods to go about this: The first is taking a small bit of your meatloaf mix and cooking the tester patty in a pan. The second is microwaving your tester on a microwave-safe plate for about 15-20 seconds on high power. 

The more ingredients you add to your meatloaf — like sautéed vegetables, soaked breadcrumbs, and sauces — the more likely you'll have to adjust the seasoning. Add more salt for under-seasoned testers or a neutral ingredient like soaked breadcrumbs in milk or more vegetables to offset an over-salted mixture. By following these seasoning tips, say goodbye to your unappetizing meat-brick and hello to a deliciously savory and tender meatloaf time and time again.