Q&A: How to cook perfect meatballs

Perfect meatballs

Hautemealz friend Diana, asks: “What’s the best way to cook raw, ground beef meatballs so they don’t dry out?”


Diana, here’s how I do it:

Make your meatballs an even 2 inches round, or so. Use very chilled meat and form them quickly, handling as little as possible. If you can stand it, dip your hands in ice water between meatballs. The idea is that you don’t want to “melt” the the fat in the meatball, which leads to a drier, tougher, finished product.

Also, for a moister (and more flavorful) meatball, I would recommend a 50/50 blend of ground beef (80/20 fat), and ground pork.

…and for pity’s sake, NO breadcrumbs or eggs…if you want meatloaf, just make meatloaf! Meatballs are something different.

Pan sear the meatballs on high heat in veggie oil + butter, in a large pan (don’t crowd the meatballs) until evenly browned. Drain off the excess fat and add  enough beef broth to come about 1/2 way up the meatballs, cover and simmer 5 minutes, shake the pan, cook 3 more minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to rest, lid askew, about 5 minutes.

Alternately, after the meatballs have been browned, you can finish them in the microwave. Drain the meatballs, transfer to microwave-safe bowl and add enough beef broth to come about 1/2 way up the meatballs, cover bowl with saran wrap and nuke 3 minutes, shake the bowl, nuke 2 more minutes and allow to rest, still covered, about 5 minutes.


Chef Perry

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