Like chili, every household has it's own meatloaf recipe. Except mine. My dad was not terribly fond of meatloaf, so I can't remember having it once in my childhood. In fact the first time I remember eating it was in a college dorm cafeteria. The first time I made it was in the first year of my marriage. I overcooked it, however, and the ketchup on the top was scorched black. When I tried to apologize for it to my new husband he told me, "That's okay, I like it this way." I proceeded to burn it for a couple more years until our newlywed phase had ended and he finally told me was just being polite before and that it would be okay with him if I did not burn the meatloaf.
One way to keep from burning it is do it in the slow cooker. It doesn't get quite as crispy on the outside, but it holds together well and cooks through without burning.
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. quick cooking oats
1/2 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1/4 c + 1 Tbsp. ketchup
1. Combine ingredients, reserving 1 Tbsp. ketchup, in a large bowl. Mix together with hands.
2. Place into a loaf pan. Top with remaining 1 Tbsp. ketchup
3. Bake at 400 for 35-35 minutes.
For the slow cooker:
2. Shape into a loaf. Place into crock pot. Top with remaining ketchup.
3. Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours or low 8-10 hours.
*When making it in the slow cooker, especially for Sunday dinner, I like to wash and pierce potatoes, wrap them in foil, and place them around and on top of the meatloaf. Your meat and potatoes will be done at the same time with minimal preparation.
source: James B.