This Bread Hack Will Make Your Meatloaf So Much Better

Like mac and cheese, tomato soup, or banana bread, meatloaf is a dish many of us grew up on, and we have a very specific idea of how it should taste, and how it should be prepared. Some of us were served meatloaf with ketchup on top, oats mixed in (yes, that's a thing), or bacon wrapped around each slice (per The Spruce Eats). And, it was always delicious. The beauty of this comfort food is that no matter what ingredients you use, or what technique you apply to prepare it, it's pretty tough to screw it up. 

But, there are some easy ways to make it better, too. Serious Eats recommends incorporating unusual ingredients like buttermilk and gelatin to create a moist and "velvety" texture. And Fine Cooking says to cook your loaf on a baking sheet, and not in a loaf pan, to produce a crunchy outer layer. There's one tip, however, that works double duty as a way to reduce grease, and at the same time results in a delicious side dish. And, it only involves a few slices of bread.

Line the bottom of your pan with slices of bread for a great result

Bread is often called for in meatloaf recipes to "bind the meat together" (via The Kitchn). But, according to Food52, placing a few slices in your loaf pan, under the meat mixture and before you cook it can have benefits, too. "[An] extra great trick I learned from Sara Moulton: Cook the loaf on top of white bread slices. It absorbs the extra fat," suggests one reader in the comments section of the article. "I, too, put two pieces of white bread on the bottom of the loaf pan to absorb all the fat that pours out of the meatloaf," states another. Does it work? Sure, but even better is the crunchy and greasy-in-a-good-way toast that comes as a result of it! 

If you're not in love with the bread technique to absorb some of the fat, Cuisine At Home offers up another alternative method: Punch holes in the bottom of a disposable loaf pan and place it on a cooling rack that sits on top of a baking sheet. Put your meatloaf mixture in and then bake it. This will allow the grease to run out of the aluminum pan and onto the sheet. But still, the fatty toast seems like a delicious reason to stick with the original idea.