Recipes vary, but a meatloaf is generally baked for between 1 to 1 1/2 hours in a 350 to 400 degree oven. The type of meat and fillers used affect the cooking time.
A meatloaf is simply a dish made of ground beef with other ingredients added shaped into a form and then baked. Ground beef is the standard meat used in the United States, but pork and/or veal are also common additions. The meat is typically mixed with bread crumbs, oatmeal or some other added ingredient. It is sometimes topped with some type of sauce or bacon. Although leaner meat means that the meatloaf shrinks less as it bakes, a higher fat content tends to make a finished meatloaf more moist.
A 2 1/2 pound meatloaf with a high fat content has a different cooking time than one that is lean. The ratio of the amount of ingredients that are added to the meat also affects cooking time. The less meat, the shorter the cooking time. When figuring the cooking time, it is also important to include standing time. Standing time is when a dish is allowed to sit after being removed from an oven or cooking service. This seals juices and ensures that the meat stays moist.