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Oct 16, 2012 12:57 PM

Round Meatballs

For the life of me I can't figure out how to keep meatballs round. I create round meatballs, but as soon as I put them in the hot oil in the pan, they start to flatten out against the pan and I wind up with 5- or 6-sided critters that may taste great, but are certainly not really balls.

Anyone know how to keep meatballs actually spherical?

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  1. Mine kinda do the same thing. They taste GREAT, but not round. Have a feeling the mix is probably a little "loose"... thus the flattening?? Have NO intention on worrying about them not being round!?!

    1. You could boil or deep fry them for a few moments to firm up the exterior.

      or bake them so that only one side flattens a little

      Or make smaller balls so that the flat side is less apparent.

      1. r u adding any binders to the meat?

        4 Replies
        1. re: jpr54_1

          Yes. Eggs and bread that has been soaked and then squeezed dry. My concern was the bread. Maybe I'm adding too much moisture.

          1. re: chicgail

            I would skip the soaking and squeezing for the bread -- that is adding moisture that you don't need. I mix ground meat with egg, seasonings and fresh breadcrumbs(made from the odds and ends of loaves that I collect in my freezer). Hot pan, cold oil, add the meatballs & handle very gently. They come out nice & round.

            1. re: almond tree

              It's called a panade, almond tree, and is actually quite critical and essential to good meatball making so , no, i would NOT skip the milk and bread mixture.

              I would suggest adding more binder in the form of bread crumbs, oatmeal, etc. and bake them if roundness is essential.

              Pretty for the sake of pretty is trumped by flavor and the yummy factor in my world.

              Good luck.

              1. re: jjjrfoodie

                If I make good meatballs without soaking & squeezing the bread, obviously this step cannot be called essential.
                With my method, the moisture in the fresh breadcrumbs, egg and the meat itself is sufficient to make moist, delicious -- and round! -- meatballs.

        2. We always firm them up in the freezer for a while or freeze them hard if you want . It has the side benefit of keeping them from picking up too much flour.
          Works well.

          2 Replies
          1. re: chefj

            Freezing them is a great idea.
            What flour would they pick up? I don't flour them before I brown then.

            1. re: chicgail

              I do. So having them firm allows me to get the excess flour off easily

          2. I recently made the best meatballs ever, following a recipe from a thread here on CH. Beef + pork, bread soaked in milk, egg, fresh parsley, Romano cheese...formed into balls and baked on a rack over a half sheet pan, then put into a pot of marinara sauce.

            They were tender, savory, and ROUND! We liked them better than the browned-in-the-skillet variety.