Sunday, March 18, 2012

Crockpot Turkey Meatloaf and Lessons Learned

Pin It This isn't the first time that we've admitted to you that, sometimes, recipes don't turn out exactly the way we'd hoped.  And, undoubtedly, it won't be the last.  After all, we feel pretty strongly that blogging isn't only about sharing the wins and making yourself look like an all-star culinary genius. Sometimes, it's more about sharing the journey. And about all the things we've learned along the way.

So, today, let's talk meatloaf.

This was our first attempt at crockpot meatloaf. And it's not likely to be our last.  But, if we attempt this recipe again, there will definitely be some tweaking.

First, some great things about this recipe.  We managed to create a deliciously tender loaf using only ground turkey -- not a small feat, if you've ever made turkey meatloaf before. The trick, add a grated apple to the filling.

We also learned a great new aluminum foil trick to make it easier to remove a crockpot meatloaf from your slow cooker.  A few strips of strategically placed foil make all the difference -- and you won't have to fiddle around trying to get a spatula down into and underneath your meatloaf ever again.
Another great thing about this meatloaf was the flavor.  Herbs de Provence adds a great counterpoint to the subtle sweetness that the apple adds, and the flavors held up really well to the long slow cooking in the crockpot.

But, there are a few things we'd change.

First, we'd fiddle around with the amount of vegetables we put into the loaf.  While it felt virtuous to get a boatload of extra nutrients into a meatloaf, the additional vegetable "filler" made the meatloaf a bit TOO moist.  Although we're fans of a deliciously tender loaf, we'd prefer one that held up a bit better to slicing.  Before we pull out all the vegetables, though, I think we'll try adding an egg or two to the mix.

We also found that, although quite a number of meatloaf recipes call for you to "flatten" your meatloaf and shape it to the shape of your slow cooker (which, as you can see, we did), in our opinion it resulted in too squatty of a loaf.  So, we won't be doing that next time.
All things considered, this wasn't the worst weeknight meal we've ever had. Especially when served up with a hearty scoop of creamy mashed potatoes and our favorite stovetop braised brussels sprouts with blue cheese.  But, as usual, our cooking is in a constant state of evolution. And so is our meatloaf.

Got any great crockpot meatloaf secrets to share?

Crockpot Turkey Meatloaf

 ©BURP! W here Food Happens

4 comments:

  1. I've never even thought of doing meatloaf in the crock pot. Does it make it moister than the oven?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kat - It does seem to retain more moisture in the crockpot. Also nice because you can fix it and forget it all day while you're at work :)

      Delete
  2. Cooking really is a constant state of evolution. Well said! Thanks for the tips about crock pot meatloaf. Can't wait to try this one

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love grinding apples into turkey meatloaf - and chopped veggies as well. I make my loaf firmer by using almond flour. Incredible flavor and a light fluffy texture that is still moist. I don't own a Crock Pot, so I can't try making meatloaf in it, but I'm sure it makes a much softer loaf than an oven would. I know I prefer it that way!

    ReplyDelete

We're thrilled that you came to visit us here at BURP! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. We're not always able to respond to every comment, but we'll make every effort to answer questions in a timely fashion. We especially enjoy reading about what's going on in your own creative kitchens. So, don't be shy!

And thanks for stopping by!