Use Grated Onions In Meatloaf So They Melt Into The Beef

There are countless ways to gussy up a classic meatloaf, such as incorporating boiled eggs, adding fresh herbs, or stuffing meatloaf with mozzarella. However, there's an even easier trick to lend dry meatloaf a touch more flavor and moisture that doesn't require any extra ingredients than those commonly found in recipes: Use grated onions to create a tender loaf that's juicy, rich, and fragrant.

If your meatloaf always ends up dry, you may be overmixing the ground beef or using too many breadcrumbs, which can soak up the natural, fatty juices within the loaf as it bakes. Adding an extra egg can replenish that lost moisture, but it can also create a rubbery texture. However, maximizing the juiciness of your meatloaf with shredded onion is a breezy move that doesn't have a single unfavorable result. It's as easy as shredding the onion with a regular box grater and mixing it into your seasoned ground beef before shaping and baking it.

Grated onions cook through quickly

Grated onion impacts the flavor and texture of your meatloaf in several significant ways. First, shredding your onions instead of dicing them by hand guarantees uniformity. This means the onions can be evenly distributed throughout the meatloaf to ensure every bite is equally flavorful.

Finer strands of onion also cook through more quickly than chunkier chopped ones. Though bigger pieces of onion lend some textural interest to a meatloaf, they often need to be sauteed before they can be added to the beef to guarantee they are softened and sweet. On the other hand, grated onions (plus the oniony juice released during the grating process) can be added directly into the meatloaf mixture as-is, saving you heaps of time. Grated onions will melt into the meat as they soften in the oven — becoming almost invisible — lending your finished product a juicy, flecked texture and fragrant aroma.

Finally, onions contain proteolytic enzymes that digest protein. These enzymes break down the texture of the meat, making it softer. Since grated onions can be evenly incorporated and melded seamlessly into the beef, the digestive process can occur more effectively. When you slice into your baked meatloaf, you should find that the onions have induced a light and luscious texture.