The Juiciest Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe

Air fryer meatloaf might seem like a recipe that you might as well just make the in the oven, but it’s waaay better than the old-fashioned way!

First of all, the main benefit of air fryer meatloaf is that you do not use a loaf pan. 

This means that you get all sides of the meatloaf to have that savory, crispy texture, that only happens on the top of a traditional, oven-baked meatloaf.

meatloaf

In addition to the crispy edges, an air fryer helps to keep the inside juicy and moist, while eliminating some of the extra grease that the loaf would bake in.

Our air fryer meatloaf recipe also cooks in about half of the time it would take to bake in the oven, making this cozy comfort food meal even faster for busy weeknights.

meatloaf

Can you cook ground beef in an air fryer?

You betcha! We’ve found a lot of success cooking ground beef in an air fryer.

When we first made our air fryer meatballs recipe, we discovered that this appliance helps to create a nice texture on the outside, while keeping the inside ground beef juicy, moist and tender.

The key to cooking ground beef in an air fryer is to make a patty, whether it’s a meatball, a hamburger patty, or in this case, a meatloaf.

Secondly, use a high quality ground beef. We’ve been fans of Omaha Steaks for years for their high quality meats and their Premium Ground Beef is made from their steak trimmings.

This grain-fed beef is an 80/20 lean-to-fat ratio, making the air fryer meatloaf extra juicy and tender.

And finally, make sure you use a meat thermometer to reach an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F.

meatloaf

How to cook meatloaf in air fryer

There are a few secrets to making meatloaf in the air fryer.

The first is to make smaller loaves. We recommend using a small loaf pan and firmly pack half of the meatloaf mixture into the pan. 

This will help to easily mold the shape of your meatloaf, ensure it’s tightly formed so it doesn’t crumble apart, and will make sure it is uniformly shaped so it cooks more evenly.

Next, we recommend cooking to internal temperature, not time. Air fryer models are all different and can cook food differently. Your meatloaf in the air fryer needs to reach 160 degrees F in the center.

We use the June Smartoven as our air fryer, which has an internal temperature probe. 

The smart oven will let us know exactly when the internal temperature reaches our desired level.

We highly recommend the June Oven, but if you don’t have an air fryer that is a smart oven, we recommend using an oven safe thermometer to monitor the internal meat temperature.

We use this wireless thermometer when we are creating recipes for the smoker all the time.

Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe:

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Makes 2 medium sized meatloafs

Meatloaf

Meatloaf Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Omaha Steaks premium ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground paprika
  • ½ tsp crushed dried red pepper 
meatloaf glaze

Meatloaf Glaze Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 ½ Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp mustard 
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika 

Air Fryer Meatloaf Directions:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine all meatloaf ingredients using your hands, being careful to not overmix.
  3. Line a small loaf pan with plastic wrap and fill with half the meatloaf mixture to form the loaf.
  4. Spray your air fryer tray with olive oil.
  5. Flip the meatloaf pan upside down, remove the plastic wrap, and place the patty on an air fryer tray or place directly in the air fryer basket.
  6. This recipe makes two small loaves. If you have a small air fryer, you might have to make these in two batches. Most large air fryers should fit both loaves.
  7. Cook the meatloaf in the air fryer for 20 minutes, then open the air fryer and use a bbq brush or a spatula to spread the glaze on the top of each loaf. If you don’t use all the glaze it’s okay, it will vary based on the dimensions of your loaves. 
  8. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Cooking time varies by air fryer, for us it took an additional 10-15 minutes after adding the glaze.

Note: If at any time your meatloaf starts to look too dark on the outside, but not at the correct internal temperature, top the loaves with tin foil.

Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe

The Juiciest Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe

Yield: 2 Medium Sized Meatloafs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This air fryer meatloaf recipe creates a perfectly crisp exterior and juicy, tender inside!

Ingredients

  • Meatloaf Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs Omaha Steaks premium ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground paprika
  • ½ tsp crushed dried red pepper
  • Meatloaf Glaze Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 ½ Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp mustard
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine all meatloaf ingredients using your hands, being careful to not overmix.
  3. Line a small loaf pan with plastic wrap and fill with half the meatloaf mixture to form the loaf.
  4. Spray your air fryer tray with olive oil.
  5. Flip the meatloaf pan upside down, remove the plastic wrap, and place the patty on an air fryer tray or place directly in the air fryer basket.
  6. This recipe makes two small loaves. If you have a small air fryer, you might have to make these in two batches. Most large air fryers should fit both loaves.
  7. Cook the meatloaf in the air fryer for 20 minutes, then open the air fryer and use a bbq brush or a spatula to spread the glaze on the top of each loaf. If you don’t use all the glaze it’s okay, it will vary based on the dimensions of your loaves. 
  8. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Cooking time varies by air fryer, for us it took an additional 10-15 minutes after adding the glaze.

Notes

Note: If at any time your meatloaf starts to look too dark on the outside, but not at the correct internal temperature, top the loaves with tin foil.

meatloaf

Other amazing air fryer recipes:

meat loaf

This post is sponsored by Omaha Steaks, thanks for supporting the brands that we love.

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