The steps to perfect meatballs give you something worthy to serve just about anyone. Making meatballs might seem hard and a bit overwhelming, but the truth is that a bit of practice is all it takes to perfect them. Everyone loves meatballs, so it pays to know how to prepare them. Serve meatballs with spaghetti, turn them into sandwich fillers or just eat them on toothpicks as an appetizer. You just can’t go wrong. Before you get started, glance through these steps to perfect meatballs and you won’t be disappointed with the end result.
1. Moisten Them
There’s nothing worse than a dried out meatball, right? The trick to juicy meatballs is to make sure you include some type of ingredient that keeps them moist while they cook. Many recipes call for onions, but my family doesn’t like them so I’ve done some experimenting and have found several tasty alternatives. Celery and mushrooms are our favorites. Adding an egg to bind the ingredients also helps. This is probably the most important of the steps to perfect meatballs.
2. Try Other Meats
Most meatballs recipes call for ground beef, but that doesn’t mean that’s your only option. When I make meatballs to go with spaghetti, I use a half and half mixture of ground beef and ground pork. This results in a flavor that resembles the professional chefs’ versions in restaurants. Plus, I think the ground pork stays juicier than the beef. Ground chicken meatballs are epic for Oriental inspired meals and taste wonderful doused in buffalo wing sauce and served in sandwiches.
3. Bind Them
If you don’t use some type of binding ingredient when you make meatballs, they’ll probably fall apart while they cook. The most common binding agent is breadcrumbs and eggs. However, they aren’t your only options. I always use an egg, but I make my meatballs gluten-free so my son can eat them. Cornmeal and ground up oats are great alternatives to bread crumbs.
4. Don’t over Handle Them
You definitely want to mix your meatballs so all of the ingredients are well combined, but you don’t want to overdo it. The more you handle the meatballs, the harder it is to get them to stay together. I always use my hands to mix the ingredients, but I stop before the meats gets slimy and runny.
5. Season Just Right
Because meatballs cook for longer than the average meat, the flavors tend to really concentrate. That means that you don’t want to go overboard on the seasonings because they will intensify with cooking. You can always add more seasonings to the meatballs on top before you serve them, so go easy during mixing. Garlic, salt, pepper, basil, Italian seasoning and oregano are good options.
6. Make Uniform Sizes
When you roll your meatballs, it’s important to be sure they are all just about the same size. Otherwise, some will be cooked through while others might still be raw on the inside. You don’t have to get out your ruler or food scale, but eyeball your finished product to be sure they are all pretty much the same size before you start cooking them.
7. Cook in the Sauce
There is a lot of debate about whether meatballs should be cooked in the sauce or not. Personally, I think they come out a lot better when they simmer in the sauce. They take on the flavors while also staying moist and juicy. Some chefs like to sear their meatballs before adding them to the sauce and this works pretty well too.
Don’t you just love meatballs? They are definitely a crowd pleaser! Do you have any other tips for getting perfect meatballs each and every time?