Meatloaf is a classic, but that doesn't mean it's easy to perfect. There are several factors that can cause meatloaf to lose its form and crumble. Adding eggs and bread crumbs are key factors in keeping a meatloaf together; even vegetables can assist in binding the ingredients together. Making sure the meatloaf isn't too dry or over-saturated with liquid is also important.
Using ground chuck beef when making meatloaf is optimal because the fat of the meat helps keep the meatloaf moist, thereby keeping the meatloaf together. Leaner ground beef, sirloin or ground turkey has less fat and can be harder, but not impossible by any means, to use.
Add three to four fresh eggs per pound of meat and about one-fourth of a cup of cracker or bread crumbs per pound of meat to the meatloaf.
Add vegetables and herbs for seasoning, such as half a cup of chopped red bell pepper, spinach or parsley to your meatloaf which will also help it retain its moisture. Combine these with your other meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Press the meatloaf together firmly on a pan that has been sprayed with cooking oil before baking. Pressing the meat gets rid of any air pockets and will help keep your meatloaf together.
Food Network.com recommends adding ground pork to your meatloaf mix to help it bind or making a meatloaf out of ground turkey to reduce calorie and fat intake.
Soak the breadcrumbs in water, if you are still having trouble binding your meatloaf. Adding a cup of flour is also an option.
High-calorie toppings including bacon, canned cream of mushroom soup and ketchup add fat and sodium to your meatloaf recipe, according to Food Network.com.