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Nov 15, 2008 09:56 AM

Meatballs - how/when to freeze ?

I have a variety of ground meats on hand, and thought meatballs would be a great way to use it all up. I have

0.5# ground beef
0.75# ground pork
1# ground veal

I am kind of new at making meatballs, and think that this would be a great mixture to use. My question is about how I can make and freeze the meatballs, since I live alone and would like to keep some on hand. Should I cook then freeze, or freeze them raw ?

I was thinking about using Giada's recipe for Bucatini All'Amatriciana with Spicy Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs, but am unsure how the mozzarella would emerge from the freezing process.

Any and all suggestions welcome ... !

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  1. I make them, let them cool, then arrange them on a baking sheet (uncovered) and put them in the freezer. Once frozen, I put them in a big ziploc bag. By freezing them individually first you won't end up with all of the meatballs stuck together once frozen. I pop them, frozen, into simmering sauce, or sometimes let them thaw overnight in the fridge, depending on what I am using them for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mels

      I do exactly the same thing as mels.

    2. My method is very similar to mels'. I form the meatballs using very cold mix and dipping my hands in cold water, then put them on a cookie sheet in the freezer to harden up (so that they don't sag while browning). After a couple of hours, I take them out and brown them thoroughly, then it's back on the cookie sheet and into the freezer. The next day, they go into the big ziploc bag. They're still not cooked all the way through, but half an hour simmering in sauce takes care of that.

      As far as the mozzarella goes, my general rule is that it's okay to freeze cheeses that are going to be melted in the final application. And presumably the insides of your meatballs are going to be hot enough to melt cheese.

      1. i make them and just pop the leftovers in a tupperware with sauce and freeze. when thawing - i put in the microwave for a few minutes and then invert the container into a suacepan and add more sauce (keep flame low-med). i stir a couple of times as the mixture reheats, but am very careful not to break up the meatballs and they usually stay whole.

        1. Start with the recipe from Rao's in Harlem

          Let them cool and then freeze when cooled, if there are any left.