Meatballs are a comfort food that can be used in many ways: in a tasty meatball parm, in a sweet and sour appetizer, or as the better half of spaghetti and meatballs. While frozen meatballs are fine to use if you're in a rush, there is nothing like making the homemade version of this Italian-style treat.
But when it comes to rolling the meatballs, it's easy for the ground beef to stick to your hands, making for a messy experience. The next time you're rolling out your own meatballs, try greasing your hands with a little oil -- it's a game changer. A cooking spray would even work, too.
Don't worry about the oil getting onto the meatballs. If anything, it will help make them more nonstick as they cook in the oven. Plus, using just a thin layer of oil does wonders, so it's easy to wash right off your hands when you're ready to put those meatballs in the oven.
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Olive Oil Will Help Leave Your Hands Mess-Free
Working with uncooked meat isn't exactly the most pleasant experience, but it's a must when making meatballs. Olive oil is a great trick when you don't have a set of thin plastic gloves to help prevent that meat from sticking to your hands. Depending on what type of meat you use -- and its fat percentage -- a little olive oil might also help crisp the meatballs up while they cook.
If you don't want to use the olive oil and would prefer to keep your hands out of the meat mixture as much as possible, try using an ice cream scoop. While the balls might not be perfectly shaped, this will help keep them all the same size. If you'll be covering them with sauce and cheese anyway, they don't need to be picture-perfect. You can also take a little plastic wrap, put it over top of the meatball, then shape it with your hands once it's on the sheet.
Other Tips For Making The Perfect Meatballs
Besides shaping the meatballs into perfect spheres, you also want to make sure the flavor and texture are strong. Ground beef is often used, but you can blend it with other types of meat, too. Try swapping straight ground beef for a meatloaf mixture, which is often sold in the beef section of the grocery store. It's typically a blend of beef, veal, and pork.
You'll likely need bread crumbs to help the meatballs stick together, so make sure you either purchase pre-seasoned bread crumbs or panko. You can even season them yourself with things like garlic powder, onion powder, and dried parsley. We recommend adding a little sweet onion to the meatballs, too, as well as chopped garlic and any fresh herbs so as not to rely only on the flavor of the meat.
For the tastiest homemade meatballs, a higher-fat meat is recommended. While it's not necessarily the healthiest option, using meat that is 80 to 85% lean will give you the juiciest, boldest flavor. Of course, you can get away with using up to 90% lean meat. To make sure these leaner meatballs don't dry out, add a thin layer of beef broth to the sheet pan: it will steam, creating moisture and flavor, while the meatballs cook.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.