Pros: Grease drips away from meatloaf, dishwasher safe, non-stick
Cons: Use only with plastic utensils, meatloaf sides don't get crusty
My family loves meatloaf - especially meatloaf sandwiches from the leftovers. But I decided that letting the meatloaf cook surrounded by all the grease it releases might not be the best idea from a health standpoint. I knew I'd seen special meatloaf pans designed to let the grease drip down and away from the meat as it cooks, and made it priority to hunt one down. I found this Chicago Metallic 2-Piece Lowfat Meatloaf Pan at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and it was exactly what I was looking for. And I felt the price was quite reasonable at $12.99, for such a quality product.
~ Product Description
The picture at the top of this listing really gives you a great idea of how this 2-piece meatloaf pan is designed. The bottom part is a basic 9 1/4" x 5 1/4" loaf pan. The second piece is a shallower insert that fits inside, but it has holes all around the bottom edge so grease can drip down into the bottom pan. The insert pan also has some ribbing on the bottom to sort of hold the meatloaf up off the bottom to further ensure it isn't sitting in grease. The two pieces fit together perfectly. There are slightly extended rounded ends on both pieces that act as handles. They're small though - pretty much as you'd find on most loaf pans.
The finish is dark and non-stick on both pieces. Additionally, you can put this in the dishwasher - always a plus in my book! To clean, let the pan cool first, then wipe off excess food from pan. Wash by hand or in the dishwasher. Be sure to rinse and dry thoroughly. Do not scour with metal pads, steel wool, or abrasive cleaners.
A few other things to note about the Chicago Metallic 2-Piece Lowfat Meatloaf Pan:
- Use ONLY wood, nylon, rubber or plastic tools or utensils with this set
- Set oven temperature 25 degrees lower than specified in most recipes
- Do not expose pan to temperatures over 550 degrees
Chicago Metallic offers a 10 year limited warranty as well.
~ My Experience
I mixed up my usual meatloaf, with about a pound and a half worth of ground chuck. There's just the two of us, so I don't make a huge meatloaf. I pressed the mixture into the insert, and popped it into the oven.
I checked it about half-way through cooking time, and was delighted to see my meatloaf not swimming in grease for a change. It was cooking away inside the pan, with no grease visible.
At the end of the cooking time I took it out of the oven and let it set for a few minutes. I just used a plastic spatula to cut the meatloaf into serving pieces right in the pan. Yay! No grease!
Now of course I had totally forgotten the instructions suggested setting the oven 25 degrees lower than usual. But fortunately the meatloaf came out perfectly. (I think my oven is a little on the low side anyway.) I do think the sides of the meatloaf in particular were a little softer, not so browned, compared to baking it just placed on a baking sheet or pan. But the meatloaf was delicious, and certainly not as greasy.
There was no sticking, and cleanup was a breeze. The grease in the bottom pan poured out easily, and I just threw both pieces in the dishwasher.
Things to keep in mind:
You could probably make a 2-lb. meatloaf in this, but no more than that. As I mentioned, about 1 1/2 lbs. works best.
If you like a really crusty-on-the-outside meatloaf, you won't get it with this pan. The sides tend to stay soft, but not what I would call mushy. You really will get a less greasy meatloaf though.
~ Final Thoughts
I'm extremely happy with my Chicago Metallic 2-Piece Lowfat Meatloaf Pan. I love that my meatloaf isn't swimming in grease as it cooks. The non-stick surface is wonderful, releases easy, and makes cleanup a snap. Be careful not to scratch the surface though. If you're willing to give up a crusty outside for less grease, you'll love this meatloaf pan.