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Meatloaf safety question...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I was getting everything made late last night to do a meatloaf this afternoon but may change schedule to tomorrow instead.

I already mixed in the raw egg, breadcrumbs, thawed sirloin, fresh ground pork, fresh "meatloaf" mix (beef/pork/veal), some homemade canned salsa, and fried finely chopped onions/peppers/mushrooms. I shaped it and added about 5 slices of bacon down the top, and it's currently in a foil baking tin, in the fridge. Estimate is between 3.5 & 4.5 lbs.

I highlighted the sirloin because there was a sale on it as a "peeled knuckle" sirloin (never heard of that) that was cheaper to buy myself & grind it; I did, and I did grind it, used some for burgers & tacos, then after a couple days froze the rest. That was a couple weeks ago and then removed from freezer & let it thaw in the fridge yesterday. All the other meats I just bought Tuesday, if it matters, and were stored in the fridge, top shelf/rear, just below the freezer (coldest part of my fridge section.)

Is there any reason, with any of these ingredients, that I couldn't keep it in the fridge for another day or so? The raw egg? the previously frozen beef? Thanks.
post #2 of 21
You should be fine assuming reasonable sanitary precautions were taken in the prep. Colder is better, of course. You may suffer some lack of "juciness" due to the frozen meat's moisture loss, but it should be minor.

Good to wonder tho. VERY good.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks. The sirloin was lean enough to probably make 92/8 so I added the ground pork. There is about 2lbs of the frozen sirloin, 1.25lbs of the beef/pork/veal blend, and almost a lb of fresh ground pork (0.93lb.)

YES, I washed my hands probably after each ingredient/step, and used a new disposable tin tray. Everything was refrigerated until time to use it, and then put back in between steps & when finished.

I was also worried about maybe the egg once it's out of its shell and mixed in with raw meat.

I assume since this also has pork that I should keep it out of the danger zone as much as possible too. Should I bring the MES up to 250, then add the meatloaf & wood? I'm so psyched on my first smoked 'loaf I don't know if I can wait til tomorrow!
post #4 of 21
Probably be better after a day or so, giving those flavors a chance to meld.
post #5 of 21
You should be just fine to leave it in the coldest part of the frig if you can.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Never thought about that...plus it's kinda late now to start a meatloaf!
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks, plus the football game tomorrow is at 4pm instead of 1pm so I should be alright if I get out there by 11am.

Is there a preferred temp for meatloaf and do I get the smoker up to that temp first before putting it in? I thought I recently read a brisket post that said they had the smoker around 170.PDT_Armataz_01_08.gif I was thinking 250 may be ok, don't think meatloaf needs a "lo & slow" like unground meats. Mine only goes to 275. Is there any difference in temp besides total time needed?
post #8 of 21
250 would work well. Cook to an internal temp of 160 to 170. Bet its gonna be good!
post #9 of 21
Glad you are concerned about food safety. You are perfectly fine in doing what you did. You could even keep the meatloaf as you made it in the fridge for a week and it would be okay if you cooked it then. Just keep it below 45F and you are food safe (I prefer 40F, but that's just me. I keep my fridge at a LOW setting all the time).

I would definitely recommend you cook your loaf at 250 or higher. At 170 it will dry to dust and fall apart before it is cooked edible enough. 275F is what you should go with.....you'll have a dang good loaf with that.

Don't forget the pics, either. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #10 of 21
Meatloaf, the ultimate Comfort Food...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

Should be fine...
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I got it set pretty cold, not sure of the temp but bottles of water stacked way high back there often get some ice forming in the bottle if they are in there more than a day. More than 2-3 days and the highest ones get frozen solid.

I was just uploading my tomato pics & editing them, I will recharge the battery and try to either take some 'loaf pics or partially disassemble it for pics.

I won't be able to do a step-by-step to the shaping point though. I have to find more of my salsa, it is actually called Annie's Salsa and is a cult classic & semi-famous; it's a canning recipe, I made over 50 jars in 2007 and a few dozen last year; it's the best recipe I've found for canning & can be found at these links:


(one of the original 2005 GardenWeb posts about it, still a current thread!)

I will go take some raw 'loaf pics...
post #12 of 21
If your bottles of water are freezing in your fridge, no matter where, then that area is below 32F. You are plenty cold enough in your fridge and have no worries in keeping your meatloaf in there a week.

My lemon-lime unsweetened kool-aid freezes in the back too!
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Lucky I checked it because it was as high up in the fridge as can go and it had frost forming on the top! You can see the ice on the left of the bacon, which was the end touching the back of the fridge.

I didn't bother disassembling it, I had to make a Mike's Harder Lemonade run before the bev center closed, they were the cheapest place for the 8% version.

I did take a macro closeup of the side to see all the goodies in it though...(fried mushrooms, Candy & Walla Walla onions, brown bell peppers, homemade heirloom garlic powder, jalapeno, Italian bread crumbs, Annie's Salsa, etc.)

I forgot to mention it also has a jalapeno finely chopped in it, and under the 5 slices of bacon is a thin coating of Honey BBQ sauce.

I should have weighed it, my digital scale is in the truck from the tomato contest a few weeks ago, but the scale only goes up to 4.4 lbs. It's about 6" wide x 3-1/2" high by however long those deep pans are lengthwise.

I will try to take pics tomorrow too.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 


(Maybe a Mod can change the thread title to include Q-View. Thanks.)

OK, here are my Q-pics of my first meatloaf:

Coming up on 155 internal temp, MES at 252 degrees; I drained off some of the fat too.

Internal temp 160 degrees:

Internal temp of 165 degrees. It seemed a little too soft at 160, but 165 looked great:

Final temp, pulled at 165 degrees; heirloom tomatoes in background:

Sliced a few pcs. Looks like I even got a smoke ring:

Plated up with a baked potato and homegrown corn cut off the cob; gravy leftover from Chinese egg foo young:

Everything turned out GREAT! Hope you enjoy the Q!!
post #15 of 21
Looks like it turned out pretty good, love the homegrown corn as a side.
Interesting idea using leftover egg foo young gravy, wonder how it tasted.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
When it's the only gravy you have, it tastes great!

Actually, the gravy was a little bland, hard to tell if beef or pork or ? (cat?)
post #17 of 21
Looks great. Good Job.
post #18 of 21
Congratulations on your meatloaf's success! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

What kind of heirloom tomatoes were those? They look real nice....
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Most are lesser known but great varieties, some available through membership-only organizations like Seed Savers Exchange.

The upper left pink was Slankard's, the lower left was a red version of Gregori's Altai from Chuck Wyatt before he died; the golden tomatoes are Mary Reynolds, and the pink in the upper right corner is Richardson.

Descriptions of these plus all the other tomatoes & peppers I grew this year can be found here:


The list was color coded in Excel 2007 but didn't transfer to html correctly--some of the bi-colors & tri-color are only showing 1 color. THE COLUMN JUST BEFORE THE VARIETY NAME COLUMN should be the color of the fruit when ripe.

The 2nd Column, P = Paste/Sauce/Cooking type, OX = Oxhearts (great all around tomatoes for fresh or cooking, and very few seeds), CH = Cherry, PL = Potato Leaf plant (thicker leaves that seem to do better against foliage diseases.)

I grow about 500 different tomatoes, mostly heirlooms, some crosses of heirlooms discovered or bred by me, usually 50-75 varieties per year, and about 100 peppers, mostly heirloom or open pollinated, about 20 varieties per year.

I also posted many tomato pics in the Tomatoes section late summer this year, be sure to see some others there.

I have a webpage of many others with clickable links to my own pictures for many of them, as well as peppers, but I haven't had a chance to update it in a few years, and still some others on the page I didn't even a chance get to grow yet!
post #20 of 21
Hey thank you for sharing that link, excellent information! I appreciate your detail and efforts cataloguing everything. Your tomatoes look pretty and I really liked the Reynolds one from Natural Bridge. Been there a lot, beautiful area. The other one, Georgi from the Russian Chinese border sounds very tasty.
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