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I have a recipe for meatloaf in which the method boils down to:

  • In a large bowl, add everything except the beaten egg, and mix well
  • Add the beaten egg, and mix well
  • Cook

Now, I understand why you might want to mix all dry ingredients before adding anything wet, for example when making a cake; but here the everything except the beaten egg is most definitely not dry once all mixed together.

What's the benefit of mixing the egg last, separately?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

There isn't really a technical reason for this in most cases. It is for the convenience of the cook, to get things mixed thoroughly with a minimum of mess and hassle.

However, with meat loaf, once you add the egg, it gets even more sticky and messy.

When I make meatloaf or meatballs, I actually do it in three stages:

  1. Mix all the onions, herbs, spices salt and so on into the breadcrumbs so that they are uniformly distributed (everything except the meat and eggs).
  2. Mix that with the ground (minced for you UK types) meat, loosely breaking it up and tossing with my fingers
  3. Add the eggs and mix again briefly just to incorporate.

The only purpose of this is to easily get thorough mixing, with minimum messiness, and minimum additional working of the meat.

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