Cooking Methods for Meatballs

Written by errin reaume
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Cooking Methods for Meatballs
Meatballs are commonly used in traditional spaghetti and marinara dishes. (ITStock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Meatballs can be prepared several ways and with different types of meat, such as turkey, beef, pork or veal. Faux meatballs can also be prepared, using portobello mushrooms for vegetarians and vegans. Choose the method that best fits your needs for the overall dish. Cooking meatballs in a sauce works best for hearty pasta dishes, while baked or grilled meatballs can be used in several other meals.

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Slow Cooking In Sauce

Meatballs can be cooked in a tomato sauce over a low temperature for long periods of time. Both the sauce and the meatballs will absorb flavour from each other, creating a rich and hearty meal. Prepare uncooked meatballs while the sauce is simmering. The size of the meatballs can be large or smaller and more choppy depending on your preference. Fry meatballs in a skillet with a little olive oil until browned. Add meatballs and oil to the sauce and cook for up to six hours while simmering. The longer they cook, the stronger the meat flavour will be in the sauce itself.

Baking

Preheat oven to 204 degrees C. Combine ingredients for meatballs in a bowl and mix. Form medium-sized balls, about 1/3 cup each, and place them on a non-stick pan. Bake meatballs in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Meat should be browned all the way through. Remove meatballs from oven and prepare them as desired. Baked meatballs can be used in salads, pasta dishes or as standalone foods.

Grilling

Preheat grill to high. Mix together meatball ingredients in a large bowl and form medium-sized balls with your hands. Drizzle each meatball with a little olive oil to keep from sticking and place on grill. Cook for about five minutes on each side or until meatballs are browned all the way through. Grilling meatballs is fast and will leave visually appealing grill marks on the meat. You can also skewer slightly smaller meatballs with chopped vegetables for an alternative meatball dish.

Sautéing

When using a sauté method for cooking meatballs, you can add onions, garlic, peppers and other vegetables to the pan to add flavour to the balls without weighing them down the way a heavy tomato sauce might. Prepare meatballs as desired. Heat a sauté pan on medium-high and add olive oil. Create medium to small meatballs and place them in the pan. Cook with or without vegetables until the meat is browned on all sides. Promptly remove from heat and add to the final dish.

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