I'm looking for smooth mouthfeel for meatballs. Does anyone have an opinion regarding using a mixer rather than hand-blending the meat?

One of the 'rules' to successful meatballs has always been 'don't over work your mixture' but I am looking for a smoother mouth feel in the final result. Does anyone use their stand mixer on meatball mixture prior to shaping?

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7 Comments

E E. October 3, 2016
Jann, I hope it helps. I'd love to know what works for you. E E
 
E E. October 3, 2016
Hi Jann, I would agree that overworking can make the meat tough. Here are my ideas for aiding a smooth mouth feel: ask your butcher to grind the meat finer. If possible, use meat with a higher ratio of fat to meat, say 20% fat. You can try incorporating some gelatin (hydrated with some water) into your meat mixture, or you can try incorporating some ricotta into the mixture. Or use a beaten egg in your meat mixture. All of these techniques should make your meatballs more tender and hydrated.
I suspect that recipes that instruct to soak breadcrumbs in milk before shaping the meatballs are also using that step to hydrate and soften the final dish.
Browning followed by a simmer in a sauce will make them tender too.
 
Jann K. October 3, 2016
Thanks for the suggestions, E E. The finer grind might just make the biggest difference here. Appreciate it !
 
jeinde October 2, 2016
My husband's Swedish grandmother's recipe for meatballs calls for using a mixer for blending the meat mixture with the bread soaked in milk, sautéed onions, etc. They are then baked before being simmered in a broth/cream gravy. They are delicious.
 
Jann K. October 3, 2016
Thank you, Jeinde. I do bake the meatballs as well when making a few hundred at a time. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
 
Amanda H. October 2, 2016
Hi Jann, this recipe produces extremely light, moist meatballs. https://food52.com/recipes/22467-rao-s-meatballs -- might be worth reading through. Hope it's helpful!
 
PHIL October 3, 2016
They definitely make a good meatball at Rao's. Their recipe is a classic recipe I think anyone with southern Italian roots makes. My recipe is very similar but on occasion I like to add raisins and pine nuts. ALWAYS HAND MIX!!
 
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