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Crumbling meatballs

I made meatballs a night ahead with the intention to grill them. 1 lb lamb, 1 lb beef (coarsely ground by local butcher), 2 eggs, flour and attendant spices. They refused to stick together, and crumbled on the grill. They didn't even stick together after pulling them out of the oven where we finished them off in desperation (Chicago in near-100 degree heat). What did I do wrong?

asked by CrabCakes over 2 years ago
5 answers 1669 views
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added over 2 years ago

I'm definitely not an expert at this, but I do make a lot of meatballs. I would think that there may be a few causes.
1) the meat may not have had a high enough fat content, or it may have been ground too finely.
2) no binding agent. Lots of recipes use finely ground breadcrumbs to keep the whole thing together. When I don't use breadcrumbs, I use Ricotta cheese.

The egg to meat ratio sounds perfect to me.

Hope you have better luck next time!

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added over 2 years ago

Yeah the lack of bread crumbs is definitely your issue. They needs a means to stick together. And a little bread crumbs work and won't compromise the taste of the product.

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added over 2 years ago

Ah, breadcrumbs.....yes, that would've worked better. The meat was pretty coarsely ground, so I think it must be lack of binding agent. Sub breadcrumbs for flour, and I think we're in business. Thanks!

P1291120
added over 2 years ago

Since I generally cook gluten-free, I've also found that uncooked oatmeal, and/or uncooked potato buds can work well in lieu of breadcrumbs. My family actually likes the potato bud version as the best of all (as my teenager quipped "Mom, it is great because it tastes like meatloaf and mashed potatoes all at once"). Anyhow, just offering another alternative. Breadcrumbs (regular or from gluten-free bread) are a well tried and true option as well.

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added over 2 years ago

I always use oatmeal in meatballs and meatloaf instead of bread crumbs for the added nutrition.