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Help... Matzoh ball disaster

I can't do it. Doesn't matter what recipe, what brand of matzoh meal, water or seltzer, cooking in water or soup. Too heavy, undercooked in the middle, rock hard, too eggy, I've made it all. Today's recipe had to be the worst- some completely fell apart and the rest disintegrated into the pot.

Please... Recipes, tips, techniques? Husband told me today that his mom's matzoh balls from a mix were better than my attempts.

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  1. I use the mix following the directions and they come out great -

    3 Replies
    1. re: weinstein5

      Trying to avoid the mix. It tastes kind of chemical to me.

      1. re: cheesecake17

        which mix have you tried? i make mine from scratch, but they're gluten-free. however, my mom *swears* by Croyden House, and every one of our friends & family members who has eaten her matzo balls over the years has loved them. you can probably find it at your local Shop Rite if they have a decent kosher selection.


        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I was shocked when I asked my mom for her recipe which was handed down form her mother and was shocked when I head it was from a mix! I do like croyden house -

    2. My Jewish mother-in-law taught her Baptist daughter-in-law (me) to use the recipe on the back of the Manischewitz matzo meal box (not the matzo ball mix). Her only change was to add an extra egg white that had been whipped. Don't over stir the mixture and make sure you chill it for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer. I think the extra egg white made them lighter and by chilling, the matzo balls didn't fall apart or disintegrate.

      1. I too use the recipe on back of the. Manischewitz matzo meal box. Have never had a problem. Just make sure to let them rest in the refrigator before forming the balls. The reason that they are hard and not done in the middle is because they are not cooked long enough. Mine take about an hour.

        1. Whatever recipe you use, chill the mixture before forming the balls. Then, chill the matzo balls before dropping them in boiling water. Keep us posted on the results :)

          4 Replies
          1. re: Kate is always hungry

            How did anyone make matzo balls before the invention of the ice box?

            Asking because I agree with Kate, chilling is essential. But I'm pretty sure Tevye didn't deliver ice to Golda's kitchen.

            1. re: AdinaA

              Goose schmaltz held them together.

            2. re: Kate is always hungry

              I usually chill the mixture before forming the balls, but ill try a second chill.

              1. re: cheesecake17

                Have never used a second chill...one will do it.

            3. I shamelessly cheat and use about 1/2 tsp of baking powder to the dry ingredients for every two eggs I use in the recipe. Always works well for me. It may not be Kosher, though...

              6 Replies
              1. re: Tripeler

                It's kosher, and I've tried it. The matzoh balls come out so light that they fall apart.

                1. re: Tripeler

                  I always use baking powder in my matzah balls and they always turn out perfectly.
                  My father taught me a trick for matzah balls that turn out like bowling balls. Just fry some onions and garlic and then sautee this with the sliced matzah balls. It makes a wonderful side dish. But try the baking powder. You'll never have sinkers again.

                  1. re: sharonlebewohl

                    I've held my tongue for so long on this thread, but I just have to ask . . . isn't there anyone else out there like me who likes the hard matzoh balls?! Fluffy and light . . . blech!

                    1. re: queenscook

                      My husband. I make such great matzoh balls, and each time he says, can't you make hard ones this time? I do if no one is coming over - I just pack them tighter when I'm making the balls.

                      1. re: queenscook

                        I hate sinkers, but my eldest daughter loves them,
                        Today with the snow approaching I made a large pot of chicken soup. I was going to make luckshen to go in it, but my wife asked me to make matzo balls for the kids and herself.
                        We didn't have any plain matzo meal in the house (having used it all while feeding a houseful of guests all last week during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy) but I did have an emergency stash of two boxes of Striet's Matzo Ball mix.
                        I made three envelopes per the standard box recipe, one envelope mixed into 2 large eggs that have been mixed with 1/4 cup oil and allow to sit 15 minutes. NO REFRIGERATION NEEDED> The other envelope I made for my daughter who likes sinkers. I separated the eggs and used only the yolks. This gives the fat and weight but no fluffiness.
                        Everybody, including the dogs is happy with the results. I put the pot of soup out in the snow to cool so I could skim it and serve this afternoon, no overnight refrigeration needed, either.

                        1. re: queenscook

                          heh0 my moms are hard, not sinkers, but not fluffy, so theyre what i like bc theyre what im used to, but i see the appeal of the softer ones, they're just not "home" to me

                    2. USE. THE. MIX. But add an extra tablespoon of oil and extra tablespoon of water. Drop into boiling soup, cover and simmer at low heat for at least 1 hour. If you absolutely hate the mix, use this recipe:
                      1/2 c. matzah meal
                      2 eggs
                      4 Tbsp. oil
                      4 Tbsp. water
                      1/2 tsp. salt

                      Mix eggs, oil water & salt. Add the matzah meal, mix by fork to make a soft dough. Leave in fridge 20 min. Make balls the size of walnuts and drop into boiling soup.

                      1. Whether you use the mix or the recipe on the back of the matzoh meal box, be sure to press the balls very lightly when you form them. If you press too hard, they will come out rock hard. Use a very light touch.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: AmyH

                          Absolutely correct! The more you roll them the harder they become.

                          1. re: AmyH

                            I use a melon scoop to form them and it works very well. Also, make sure the water is simmering and not boiling when you drop them in.

                            1. re: mamaleh

                              I was just going to say the opposite. I always make sure the water is boiling. That's why you never cook kneidlach in soup. The soup should never get hot enough. After i put the balls into the water i cover the pot and dont peek!

                              1. re: SoCal Mother

                                You want a low boil, not a hard boil. If it's boiling too hard it will break up the knaidlach. And you're absolutely right, don't lift that cover until the time is up! If you're worried about the water (or broth) boiling to much or too little, you can listen and gauge it from the sound.

                                1. re: AmyH

                                  Sorry, I shoukd have clarified. You can bring the water to a roaring boil, then turn down the heat so the water is simmering. Immediately add the matzah balls, cover, and cook for 35 minutes. If the raw matzah balls are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, they will cook all the way through without falling apart.

                                1. re: mamaleh

                                  Make sure to chill the dough. The longer the better. And I have found that using the
                                  melon scoop makes perfect matzo balls. I never roll them in my hand and they are
                                  always the right size and never fail. I'm from the old school and always use chicken fat
                                  when I make the mixture. Good luck

                              2. Does the brand of matzoh meal make a difference?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                  Hi Cheesecake,
                                  People make successful matzo balls with all types of matzo meal, without mixes or seltzer. I usually use Joan Nathan's recipe, which is very similar to the one ViciousBabushka gave. I usually prepare the mixture a day ahead so I can refrigerate it, covered, overnight. Then drop the matzo balls, made with a gentle touch, into simmering salted water and let them cook, covered, for at least 50 minutes.
                                  For more ideas, see

                                  Or else,

                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                    I have not had good luck with shmura matza meal or whole wheat. Otherwise i use what i have. I always use olive oil because that's what we use on passover.

                                    1. re: SoCal Mother

                                      I use shmura matzah and have used my standard recipe and they come out fine. Haven't tried whole wheat but sounds like a good idea. Chilling and not handling the mixture too much seems to be the crucial part for me. If I handle too much--they are hard.

                                  2. Bon Appetit in April 2009 had a recipe for "mini matzoh balls" that I found quite workable, having never made or eaten one in my life, but since I was in charge of the catering for a Jewish deli, I had to learn quickly!

                                    1. what oil or fat are you using? Canola is te kiss of death... that makes sinkers. Olive oil makes them too light and they fall apart. Corn oil works but nothing can touch chicken fat for making matzoh balls with a silky consistency.

                                      I chill the mix, form the balls and drop into a rolloing boil, very big pot of salted water (so the temp does not drop when the cool matzoh balls hit it) 30 min later, perfection... always. brand of matzoh meal has never mattered but freshness does.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: dyrewolf

                                        My experience is different. I make one pot of chicken fat matzo balls for the crowd, and another pot of olive oil matzo balls for the vegetarians. Truth to tell, they are practically indistinguishable.

                                        1. re: dyrewolf

                                          I melt pareve margarine and use that. It works quite well, tho it is not as healthy as canola or olive oils

                                        2. Add me to the list of fans of the Croyden House mix.
                                          My mother always made her own, until she tried this mix, and she never looked back.
                                          I've been using it for years, and everyone loves it. I follow the directions, and
                                          simmer it in soup, rather than water.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Bzdhkap

                                            I've never seen it. I'll look next time I go shopping

                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                              check out the link i posted above - it has a photo of the box so you'll know what to look for.

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                I didn't see it yesterday, but I'm going to try shoprite next week.

                                          2. Hate to admit, but Manischevitz Matzoh Ball Mix. They always come out the same- firm, not fluffy. PesAch is shmurah matzoh meal, seltzer and oil and they are the rock hard ones !

                                            1. I like the Strets a lot. Just not worth fussing trying to make them from scratch. And I come from a home where my mother even made her own paper-thin stretched dough for strudel.

                                              1. Hi...I've been making matzoh balls for years and they have never failed.
                                                Key hints:
                                                refrigerate the mixture for 24 hours prior to cooking
                                                add just 1 TBS fat (I use olive oil)
                                                seltzer, not water
                                                bring pot filled with 3/4 water and 1/4 stock to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer
                                                run a large plate or cutting board under water
                                                take a teaspoon or tablespoon, wet it, and scoop globs of the batter onto the plate
                                                try not to handle the batter
                                                when the water/stock is simmering plop the pre-formed matzoh balls into the water as quickly as possible
                                                cover the pot the moment all the matzoh balls are in
                                                simmer from 1-3 hours

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: connecticut_lady

                                                  Wow, I'd say everything absolutely the opposite:

                                                  1/2 cup matzah meal
                                                  2 tbsp soup
                                                  2 eggs
                                                  2 tbsp schmaltz (this helps the batters consistency)
                                                  salt to taste (and depending on your origin, a tiny dash of nutmeg)

                                                  Refrigerate no more than one hour, then scoop balls with minimal handling into a pot of simmering water. Should be ready very quickly (with a large pot they'll all be done in less than half an hour). They'll be light and fluffy, with no need for seltzer or other weird agents.

                                                  1. re: connecticut_lady

                                                    Simmer 1-3 hours? Is there anything left at that point? All the recipes I've made cook about 20-30 minutes.

                                                    I've never added liquid to my matzoh balls. Just the egg and oil.

                                                    1. re: connecticut_lady

                                                      This may be a suitable process for preparing a huge number of matzoh balls for some yom tov when you are in the kitchen cooking and preparing for a week.
                                                      I use the Streits or Manischewitz or Croyden House mix. All I need is about an hour before Shabbos. I quickly mix up the oil, eggs, and mix, and put it in the fridge while I'm waiting for a big pot of water to boli; I try to give the mixture at least 15 minutes in the fridge. I use wet hand to make the balls, and they're done well before I have to light candles.
                                                      The only clean up is the bowl (I often use a disposable plastic if I'm close to Shabbos and don't want to sart off with a dirty bowl in the sink) and the pot which I rinse and can use for something else about to go on the blech.
                                                      They are delicious every time.

                                                    2. I made matzo balls for a kosher caterer for 8 yrs and no matter what scratch recipe or mix you use,the most important thing is not to OVERMIX the egg/meal mixture...It makes them get gluey and they come out like hard rubber balls...mix your meal with the egg and oil with a fork just until uniformly mixed then let rest for half an hour...dont overwork them either when you form the balls...I just use a tablespoon and gently round it but i dont obsess over it...rolling them until they are perfect balls in the palm of your hand can make them tough too...I use Streights mix and never have a flop...The only thing I have ever added besides the mix is some fresh dill which I also add to the broth just before serving,along with some grated carrot.....

                                                      1. Interesting. I discovered the Croyden House secret a few years ago. They are definately fluffier than the others. I don't think any of the other ingredients that people add matter at all. Mine are perfect every time. I prepare the mixture the night before or the morning of and refridgerate. Then do not overwork the mixture as everyone says, form the balls with a light hand and drop in a pot with a LARGE amount of boiling water, then let simmer for about an hour. On Pesach, we make the homemade "bombs" which are heavy and dense, made with shmura matza meal and schmaltz. The schmaltz taste lasts all year as a warm, fuzzy memory. The denseness doesn't bother anyone. BTW, has anyone ever made the stuffed matza balls, stuffed with leek, carrot or dill?

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: cappucino

                                                          I stuff matzo balls with either carrots and dill, or with a meat mixture such as I use for kreplach. If I use meat, I cut the oil in the mix by 1/4

                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                            Meat? Do you then put them in the pot of chicken soup like that or do you wait till you ladle out and then put them in the bowls?

                                                            1. re: cappucino

                                                              I always make my matzo balls in a separate pot of boiling water. I find that if they cook or reheat in the chicken soup they get heavy and attract fat from the soup.
                                                              If serving just the family on non-shabbos nights, I make them fresh and take them right from the matzo ball pot and place them in the soup bowls after the soup s added.
                                                              If serving company at the table, I don't serve individual bowls of soup, but bring a tureen of soup to the table and serving bowls of matzo balls, i keep the matzo balls warm in a double boiler (even on the blech).