You Should Be Grilling Leftover Meatloaf. Here's Why

Meatloaf traces its American roots to colonial times, and since then, dozens of meatloaf recipes have been published. In fact, the 1958 book "365 Ways to Cook Hamburger" contained 70 variations on the dish (via Bon Appétit). Whether you're cooking up "mom's meatloaf" at home (via Food Network) or ordering the comfort food at a restaurant, then you're getting protein, starch, and vegetables all in one single slice of Americana. 

While the ingredients vary for this traditional supper-time dish (actually, breakfast dish back in the 1800s, according to Bon Appétit), the preparation is usually about the same. Most recipes call for cooking it at 350 degrees for an hour or so — however long it takes to ensure the meat is done (via Kitchn). One distinct advantage to making meatloaf is the guaranteed leftovers (unless you have a very big or very hungry family). You'll even find recipes by the dozen for ways to use leftover meatloaf (via The Spruce Eats). In practice, instead of making tacos, quiche, or leftover meatloaf chili, a lot of people do their leftover meatloaf the easy way by throwing a few of those day-old slices in the microwave and calling it lunch. But there is a better way to prepare your leftover meatloaf. 

Grilling leftover meatloaf gives it a delicious crust

Leftover meatloaf is more than good. In the opinion of one chef, at least, it's actually better. Jason Smith, who owned and operated 18 Seaboard in North Carolina, said meatloaf "tastes better the next day." It slices more easily, too (via Bangor Daily News). As How Stuff Works explains, the juices from the meat in meatloaf collect flavors from the other ingredients as they gel overnight. Reheating the next day also releases more of the aromatics in certain ingredients, including onions and garlic. 

For best results, the Bangor Daily News says you should grill or sauté those leftover meatloaf slices, to create a nice crust. Home and Plate has a delicious recipe for grilled meatloaf melt sandwiches. They suggest you use a panini press or George Foreman grill, to avoid the problem of having such a substantial grilled sandwich fall apart on the flip. We only have one improvement to the Home and Plate method: Grill that slab of meatloaf before adding it to the sandwich.