Food - Drink
Avoid This Meatball Shaping Mistake
By HALDAN KIRSCH
Classic Italian-American meatballs are a family dinner staple. While basic boiled or pan-seared meatballs sound like a relatively no-fuss cooking project, there are still plenty of mistakes you can make when mixing and shaping your meat mixture.
In order to make the perfect meatballs, don't overmix your ground meat, which causes the proteins to irreversibly bind together in a dense brick of meat. You want your meatballs to be gently bound together so they turn out tender, and you don't have to roll and pack each one tightly like a snowball to hold their shape.
The easiest way to avoid overpacking meat is to work with your hands and feel for the density of each meatball, according to Bon Appétit; The Kitchn adds that you should lightly oil your hands to prevent sticking. Binding agents like flour, eggs, or breadcrumbs can help hold the meatballs together without too much kneading.