What is the Best Binder for Meatloaf?
Without a binder, meatloaf is just a huge chunk of ground meat that’s no different from a hamburger. Adding a binder helps retain moisture and is one of the biggest reasons meatloaf is as tender as it is. But what is the best binder for meatloaf?
The best binder for meatloaf is something you probably already have in your kitchen, bread! It’s the most popular option, and people always have some lying around. Bread can be fresh, stale, or dry when used as a binder, as long as you tear it into small pieces or run it through a food processor to get smaller pieces. Add ½ cup to 1 cup of bread per pound of meat to get the desired texture. The more bread you have, the softer and more tender the meatloaf will be. You may also need to adjust the liquid you add to your meatloaf because dry bread requires more liquid ingredients than fresh bread. Aim for the consistency of a paste with no extra liquid after you mix it in with your bread.
If you don’t have any bread, you can substitute it for breadcrumbs, crackers, cereal grains, oatmeal, instant rice, instant barley, or even potato flakes! However, bread is still the best choice of all the potential options.