Making Meatballs to Freeze
If making meatballs to freeze should you cook them prior to freezing? How is the best way to package them to freeze them so they stay fresh?
I cook mine first, either pan fry or bake, depending on quantity, wrap in foil, then pack into freezer safe bags and freeze.
From the raw state, freeze individually on sheet pans first, then pack in appropriate containers or freezer bags. Vacuum packing is the best way to freeze meatballs, then in sauce or gravy, but beyond that, well-wrapped, they'll be fine.
I would but you don't have to. If you can make burger patties and freeze them, why not meat balls right??
I've frozen cooked meatballs in sauce with good results. It's always nice to pull out already made meatballs and relax as they are warmed up and make the house smell great.
I make a ton of meatballs and freeze them. First I make a pot of tomato sauce and while that's on the stove I make the meatballs, put them in sheet pans and cook them in the oven. When the meatballs are cooked I put them in the sauce. I then use quart deli containers and pack the meatballs and sauce in the containers and freeze them.
I've tried freezing just the cooked meatballs without sauce but unless you're going to use them fairly quickly they don't as good IMO.
jfood usually makes 4-6 pounds at a time (he loves the Raos recipe with water). He now likes to bake them on a the racks he uses when mrs jfood cools cookies. The fat drain out the bottom and the meatballs are a great moist texture. Then he freezes them on a cookie sheet overnight. The next day he puts them as a duet in his bag sucker bags and into the freezer.
Since he cans the sauce (not freeze) he grabs a few meatballs, snaps open a jar of homemade sauce and smiles.