How to brown meatballs evenly?

I just made meatballs (in tomato sauce, for spaghetti). They are delicious, but unevenly browned. The recipes I consulted (including Lucinda Scala Quinn's Mad Hungry and the always-reliable 365-Ways to Cook Hamburger and Other Ground Meat) call for browning the meatballs evenly before simmering in the tomato sauce. But I ended up with meatballs that were very patchy. Sometimes nicely browned on 2 sides, with an unbrowned area around the middle (like the equator, if you think about each meatball like a planet). I made sure not to crowd the pan while browning.

Any meatball experts out there who can share some tricks?


  • Posted by: TobiT
  • March 2, 2013


ChefOno March 3, 2013

That ring around the middle is likely an indication you didn't have quite enough oil in the pan.

casadelmonte March 2, 2013
I agree but will add that I do my meatballs in the oven using a mini cupcake tin, makes it very easy to turn them and excess fat stays behind in the well. It's really fab and they brown fabulously. LOVE meatballs :))

Voted the Best Reply!

Cristina S. March 2, 2013
I like to cook meatballs in the oven, as I think it lends the kind of even browning you're looking for. I usually cook (golf ball-sized) meatballs at 375F for about 15-18 minutes, just until they are cooked through, but still tender. However, if you will be finishing yours in sauce, perhaps cook them for 12-15 minutes; just long enough to brown them on the outside.
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