I’ll admit it – it took me years to like meatloaf. I always thought meatloaf was a bit bland and flavorless. And the worst part was that it was always either dry or mushy.
However, once I learned how good meatloaf can taste, I became a true fan and make it all of the time. I love to freeze it in individual slices and then reheat it in my oven or air fryer for a quick lunch or pair it with a simple salad for an easy dinner.
But lately, I’ve been cooking my Paleo Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf Recipe once a week because I cannot get enough of it! I like to drizzle a bit of my dairy-free Paleo ranch dressing on top.
But if you are not a fan of spicy food, you can simply use less buffalo sauce. Or you can simply use my Paleo BBQ sauce instead of hot sauce. I guarantee it will be just as delicious!
Air Fryer Cooking Tips
Honestly, I had quite a few recipe disasters when I first started using my air fryer. The food would come out either overcooked or undercooked. And sometimes, it would be both!
However, after some trial and error, I figured out a few cooking tips so that recipes came out of the air fryer perfect every time.
And I’m going to share these easy tips with you so you don’t have to go through the recipe failures like I did.
Always preheat your air fryer before you put your ingredients into it. This is the biggest tip I can give you to make sure your food comes out perfect – preheat your air fryer.
Luckily, it takes just a few minutes to preheat an air fryer. So, if you forget, simply turn it on and wait 2 to 3 minutes before putting your food in it.
For this recipe, I just turn on the air fryer and then prepare the ingredients since it doesn’t take a long time. However, if you are cooking something that takes longer to prepare, just turn on the air fryer a few minutes before you are finished prepping the ingredients.
Give your food some space in the air fryer. Air fryers cook by circulating extremely hot air around food. If there isn’t room for air to circulate, then your food will likely be unevenly cooked.
Even when you are cooking food in loaf pans, like this recipe, you still need to have space between them to allow the air to circulate and for the meatloaves to cook evenly.
And if your air fryer isn’t large enough to cook two loaf pans at the same time, just cook each one separately. By the time your family is ready for seconds, the other meatloaf will likely be ready.
Check your food at least half way through the cooking time. This is to make sure your food isn’t browning too quickly before the rest of it has finished cooking. For recipes like this one, simply tent a piece of aluminum foil on top of the meatloaf if the top is browning faster than the rest of the meatloaf is cooking.
And if you are making fries, chicken tenders or other large foods, turn them over halfway through the cooking time to make sure all sides brown evenly and breaded food is crunchy on all sides.
But if you are cooking smaller foods, like cauliflower “rice” or these crispy Brussels sprouts, simply stir the food or shake the air fryer basket several times during the cooking time.
Clean your air fryer after each use. I know that sounds like a silly tip, but it’s really important to clean the air fryer after each time you use it.
Small particles of food, especially if you are cooking breaded food, can get stuck in the air fryer and cause it to smoke when you use it. Or a bit of grease can splatter on the heat coils, which can cause it to smoke.
Each air fryer is different so you’ll need to consult your owner’s manual for the best way to clean your air fryer after using it.
And if your air fryer does start to smoke, unplug it immediately and keep a close eye on it until it stops smoking.
Use your air fryer to reheat leftovers. No need to use an oven or a microwave to reheat food when your air fryer can do it perfectly. And it takes less time than an oven and your leftovers won’t end up soggy like in a microwave.
Simply preheat your air fryer to 400 F (200 C). Once it has preheated, reduce the temperature to 350 F (175 C) and add your leftovers to the air fryer basket or tray.
Then, let it reheat the leftovers for 3 to 4 minutes and check to see if the food is ready. If it’s not, check every minute until the leftovers are reheated to your liking.
And be sure to check out all of my Paleo Side Dish Recipes for the perfect sides to accompany my buffalo meatloaf recipe.
Preheat the air fryer to 350 F (175 C). Depending on the size of the air fryer, line a 2 lb (1 kg) loaf pan or two 1 lb (450 g) loaf pans with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine all of the meatloaf ingredients until well incorporated. Place the mixture into the prepared loaf pan or loaf pans.
Place the loaf pan or pans in the air fryer. (If needed, cook the 1 lb [450 g] meatloaves separately.)
Cook the meatloaf for 30 minutes, checking halfway during the cook time to make sure the top isn’t browning too quickly, until cooked through. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 165 F (73 C). (If the meatloaf starts to brown too quickly, loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue cooking.)
Carefully remove the meatloaf from the air fryer and let rest for 10 minutes. Brush the top of the meatloaf with additional buffalo sauce and garnish with the optional chopped fresh parsley and chopped green onions before serving.
All nutritional data are estimated and based on per serving amounts.