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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 about 4 years ago
5 answers 2351 views
23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 4 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!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 4 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.

883a1fda 5d16 4d87 9c39 64a4440f3570  fb avatar
added about 4 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!

Bac35f8c 0352 46fe 95e3 57de4b652617  p1291120
added about 4 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.

78f24c74 4792 4eca 8199 b48a8da4f58c  stringio
added about 4 years ago

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