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Plastic Wrap on Oven Baked Meatloaf


aljoseph
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Recently I had a mouth wateringly delicious meatloaf prepared by a friend who is a restaurant chef. I begged the recipe from him and was astounded to read that he tightly wraps the meatloaf in a commercial grade plastic wrap that you get at a Sam's Club or Costco and bakes it in the oven at 350 F or so. I assumed he was either kidding or that if I were to do that the plastic would melt. He says not. Ever hear of this technique?

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Yep.  Long before I learned to cook on a kamado, I used to wrap back ribs tightly in heavy gauge commercial plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and bake them in a 275 oven.  When done, I'd unwrap them, sauce them, and throw them on a hot grill to caramelize the sauce a bit.

 

Come to think of it, they were pretty darn good--incredibly moist, and juicy. 

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I've heard of it but not at temps above 300F. I'd probably skip this as I don't feel comfortable cooking food wrapped in plastic in the oven. Just another handy restaurant shortcut I guess. It's neat that some of this stuff is finally making its way to the home kitchen; sous vide and pressure cooking/frying have long been practiced in restaurant kitchens to expedite the meal prep and delivery.

My first job was in a fancy Inn style restaurant that was well know for its prime rib and table side flaming chateaubriand. I was just 15 and didn't know a lot about cooking so it amazed me that such a place would precook several whole rib roasts, wrap them, put them in the cooler, slice to order, and then reheat in a microwave and let it take an au jous bath before plating. Twice baked potatoes were made days in advance, stored in a cooler, and put under a broiler as ordered to give them the golden brown exterior. I guess similar practices are why so many BBQ joints serve stuff that is crap to me, too many shortcuts.

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I don't think the plastic film idea would alter the cooking time any. It is used to contain moisture. I didn't do that in the restaurant but always added water to the pan. I will try it at home just to learn something new.

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