Closeup Meatballs and Tomato Sauce in Pan on table
Food - Drink
The Game-Changing Trick To Achieve Moist Meatballs Every Time
No one likes a dried-out meatball, including chef David Kuo, who has his own secret for moist meatballs every time. He takes a cue from the Chinese soup dumplings xiao long bao.
Soup dumplings technically have a meatball inside, and cooks keep the filling moist by adding a gelatin-rich stock that is solid when cold, but turns liquid once heated up.
To replicate this effect in meatballs, Kuo dissolves powdered gelatin into meat stock, at a ratio of one packet of gelatin and two cups of stock for every two pounds of meat.
You chill the stock until it becomes a jiggly jelly, then hold a fine mesh strainer over your meat mixture and press the stock through so it lands on the meat in small cubes.
As the meatballs cook, the gelatinized stock will liquify and lock the moisture inside, allowing you to bake your meatballs without any extra liquid, while keeping them juicy.
However, we don’t recommend adding the stock to a meatball recipe that uses breadcrumbs as a binder, since the breadcrumbs will get soggy and can't hold the meatballs together.