The Optimal Ways To Store Meatloaf In The Fridge And Freezer

Optimal food storage is one of the greatest ways to increase the shelf-life of food. This is especially true for dishes with multiple ingredients like meatloaf. A combination of meat, spices, and herbs, classic meatloaf is one of those timeless meals you'll be lucky to have leftovers of. And, when it comes to storage, whether it's raw or cooked, there are ways to keep meatloaf in the fridge or freezer that will ensure it stays good.

Temperature is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to storing meatloaf. Your refrigerator should not be over 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and your freezer should not be over 0 degrees Fahrenheit. While fridges can vary depending on where you're storing the meat, freezers tend to keep a pretty consistent temperature. By maintaining a steady temperature, you reduce the potential for bacterial growth in the meat. If you're storing cooked meatloaf, that means allowing it to cool completely before putting it in the fridge or freezer. If the meatloaf is still hot when it goes in the fridge, moisture pockets will form and encourage mold growth. 

Equally as important as temperature is sealing your meatloaf against exterior elements. Only properly wrapped meat, cooked or raw, should ever go into the fridge or freezer. Understanding that, as well as where in the fridge your meat should go, is key to optimal storage. 

The best spots to store your meatloaf

Temperature is important to the overall freshness of the meat; the colder the meat is in the fridge, the longer it will last. The warmer the shelf, the less likely it is to increase the shelf life of the meat. The circulating air in the fridge naturally rises in temperature as it moves to the upper shelves. So keep your meatloaf on the bottom if you want to get the most out of it. This is the ideal location because it is the coldest part of the fridge and will keep any potentially harmful bacteria from spreading to other foods.

As far as keeping times, the general rule of thumb is that you should not keep raw meatloaf in the fridge for more than a day, especially if it contains eggs and cheese. Cooked meatloaf can keep for up to two days, but any storage period longer than that requires freezing. Meatloaf frozen raw or cooked will keep for up to 6 months if properly sealed.