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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?

asked by Jann Kelliher 7 months ago
7 answers 239 views
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Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added 7 months ago

Hi Jann, this recipe produces extremely light, moist meatballs. -- might be worth reading through. Hope it's helpful!

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PHIL is a trusted home cook.

added 7 months ago

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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added 7 months ago

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.

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added 7 months ago

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.

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added 7 months ago

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.

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added 7 months ago

Thanks for the suggestions, E E. The finer grind might just make the biggest difference here. Appreciate it !

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added 7 months ago

Jann, I hope it helps. I'd love to know what works for you. E E

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