How to get meatballs to keep their shape

stir_fryiDecember 21, 2011

Making appetizer meatballs. Plan to bake them on a rack. How can keep them round?

I read shape them, then refrigerate -- not sure how that would help though.

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lindac

Add a little more bread crumbs...and use leaner beef. What happens is the fat cooks out and either causes the meatballs to get flat or is absorbed by the filler and the meatballs keep their shape.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 10:12AM
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hawk307

stir_fryi :

It's according to your mix. May be too wet !
I don't know your recipe?

Mine get packed in a Cookie Dipper then rolled.

Baked about 350 until the centers are still a bit pink.

If they are good, it doesn't matter what shape they are,
even square,they will be consumed.
LOU

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 10:37AM
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annie1992

Mine are really wet, I use the Rocco DiSpirito's Mama's Meatball recipe with a LOT of eggs, but I use very lean homegrown beef and they never seem to flatten out. I don't bother to bake them on a rack because there's little or no fat in the beef, I just bake them on a half sheet pan with sides.

So, I agree with the lean beef part, and I remember my grandmother packing the meat mixture into a jelly roll pan and baking the whole slab, then cutting it into squares because she hated rolling all those meatballs, LOL, and they all got eaten anyway, so I think if they are a bit flat it won't matter as long as they are good.

Annie

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 11:07AM
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hawk307

Annie :
I use the Lean Ground and Sirloin.
Sometimes I add Ground Pork.

Baked in a SS Pan. The fat is baked out of the meatballs, into the pan.
Never had a problem with the fat, or the taste.
So maybe it is something else.

Stir_fryi:
Could you put in your recipe.

Lou

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 12:29PM
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jasdip

My exSIL used to boil her meatballs. When they floated to the top they were done. Always round, and the fat was cooked out of them.

Then simmered in desired sauce.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 1:02PM
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triciae

Jasdip, that's interesting. Sounds like an easy way to cook meatballs also - virtually mess free. What's not to like about that? lol Sound easier for me to swallow also...seems they would stay softer. I'll give it a go next time we make meatballs.

/tricia

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 1:23PM
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hawk307

Jasdip & Tricia :

Years back, we always put the Meatballs and Sausage,
into the Spaghetti Sauce uncooked.

It was simmered for about two hours

The fat was skimmed off the top of the Sauce.

I think they came out best that way, then any other way they were cooked.

The Meatballs were always Firm but Soft

Why do we go into other ways, when we have something good ?????
LOU

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 1:50PM
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jasdip

Hawk, that's funny. I do have a meatball recipe that states simmering them uncooked, in the sauce.

I think either that way, or boiled first would be the best way for Triciae. No hard crusties on the bottom, etc from over-browning.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 2:30PM
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soonergrandmom

My daughter presses them into a pan then flips them out onto a cutting board and slices them so they are all the same size. I watched her doing it and then asked if she was going to roll them, now that they were all the same size. She said, "No, I'll leave them square so they don't roll off of the plate." LOL

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 2:32PM
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triciae

To the tune of "On Top Of Old Smokey"...

All together now!

On top of spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
When somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table,
And on to the floor,
And then my poor meatball,
Rolled out of the door.

It rolled in the garden,
And under a bush,
And then my poor meatball,
Was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty
As tasty could be,
And then the next summer,
It grew into a tree.

The tree was all covered,
All covered with moss,
And on it grew meatballs,
And to - ma - to sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball,
Whenever you sneeze.

/tricia

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 2:47PM
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jasdip

Groannnn Tricia!! LOL

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 2:49PM
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hawk307

Tricia:

Are you taking them Goofy Pills. LOL!

Haven't heard that for some years

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 3:22PM
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ruthanna_gw

I usually put them right into the simmering sauce without browning first. That's the way I learned to make them from the Italian family who used to live next door to us.

The meatballs stay rounded as long as you have enough sauce to keep them covered and I like the softer texture.

Tricia, you can see from the photo that they'd be easier for you to handle.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 4:35PM
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magothyrivergirl

I think handling them too much also makes them fall apart.
I also agree with refrigerating them after forming the meatballs.
I have been using Bison (very lean) and also Ground turkey breast with virtually no fat.I cannot add eggs, but sometimes a splash of eggbeaters. Handle as little as possible, refrigerate and bake or drop directly into the sauce. I have to be very careful not to overcook the turkey.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 7:49PM
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hawk307

Mago:
I mix my Meatballs in the KA Mixer, using the paddle.
No problem with them falling apart.

The Paddle removes all the Gristle.

LOU

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 9:49PM
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caboodle

I also cook my meatballs directly in the sauce; I do the same for Italian Wedding Soup. Otherwise, when I'm going to glaze them or use as an appetizer, I bake them in the oven on a foiled sheet pan. Virtually now mess that way either. Pull up the foil and trash it.

I think I'll try boiling them in water soon, too. I think that would work well in certain dishes. For some dishes, I like a little crust on them and for others I like them a little softer.

Judi

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 12:19PM
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hawk307

I would have second thoughts on boiling them in water.

I use a lot of spices in the Wedding Meatballs.
Think maybe, some of the flavor would be boiled out.

You would boil meat to make Soup, because the meat adds makes the flavor.

Why boil the meatballs and throw the flavor down the drain ?????
***************************

Next time I make meatballs, regular and small,
I'll do half in Water and half in the Sauce.

I will have others do the test and

let you know the the results.

LOU

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 2:36PM
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chase_gw

After using a recipe posted by Sharon cb that called for simmering meatballs in beef or chicken broth , that's the only way I cook meatballs.

Simmering briefly in the broth, basically just until they float, results in a soft textured meatball that holds it shape beautifully with no loss on flavour.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 6:24PM
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hawk307

Chase :
Do you save the Broth to make Soup ???

When I make Chicken Wedding Soup, using Fresh Meatballs, I put them into the Simmering Soup.

Thanks but I'll use Lou's Recipe !

Sharon : No offense !!!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 10:12PM
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