This Simple Step Will Free You From Dried-Out Meatballs

March 29, 2017

Psst: Want a new trick for juicier meatballs? We partnered with Sharp Home Appliances to share a step you shouldn't skip the next time you roll up a batch.

Everyone clings to their favorite meatball recipe, regardless of how tender the end product may be. But here's one simple way to make meatballs juicier, regardless of the recipe or your preferred method of cooking: Steam them!

Think about the inside of a steamed bun or dumpling—the meat is always so juicy, right? Adopt this idea to your meatballs; we learned this trick from Patricia Wells's new book My Master Recipes. This is especially helpful for leaner meats like turkey and chicken that have a tendency to be dryer in meatball form than, say, lamb or beef.

Watch a quick tutorial on how to prep, cook, and serve up steamed meatballs.

Steam your meatball however you steam your vegetables until cooked through, usually about 5 to 10 minutes. (If your oven has a steam option, you can try that, too.) Then, if crisp and caramelized outsides are what you like on your meatballs, broil or pan-fry right after. The juices won't go anywhere, and the outside will be nice and caramelized without sacrificing any moisture. Check out the video above for a quick tutorial, and if you don't have a trusty meatball recipe, here's a selection of 'em:

We partnered with Sharp Home Appliances to share a tip you shouldn't skip next time you roll up a batch of meatballs. Read more about Sharp's high-quality, everyday cooking-appropriate appliances, like the Supersteam+TM Oven and Stainless Steel Microwave Drawer Oven here.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • dbradley
  • BerryBaby
Editor/writer/stylist. Last name rhymes with bagel.


dbradley March 30, 2017
What do you mean by saying that, with steaming and then searing, "The juices won't go anywhere"? Possibly relevant:
BerryBaby March 30, 2017
I brown the meatballs on the stove. To obtain a nice, crisp outside, I roll each meatball lightly in flour. After they are browned, transfer to the oven to finish cooking. Then add them to the sauce. Have never had a dry meatball. I can see how steaming would work.