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Old 10-10-2013, 12:22 PM   #1
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Browning meatballs

I'm new at this cooking stuff. Recipe for porcupine meatballs says to brown the meatballs first. I assume this means to turn them or roll them to brown them on all sides, but when using tongs to roll them they break apart and lose their round shape. Does browning them before adding the sauce really mean on all sides or just on the side initially set in the pan?

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Old 10-10-2013, 12:29 PM   #2
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Use the back of the tongs or a wooden spoon to push/roll them around. Some meatballs have a soft consistency and a slight flat spot is inevitable, but they should not be breaking apart.
Or... brown them in the oven and you won't have to turn them at all.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:31 PM   #3
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Hi, and welcome to DC

Yes, the recipe means to brown them on all sides. I've never liked doing that, so I bake them instead. I preheat the oven to 400F, line a sheet pan with foil, place the meatballs on the pan, and bake for about 12-15 minutes. No standing at the stove baby-sitting the meatballs!
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:06 PM   #4
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Browning adds tons of flavor.

Your best bet is to brown them in a hot skillet. However, using the oven is fine, especially if the meatballs are delicate. Use a hot oven temp (400F to 450F) leave lots of space in between the meatballs and put them on a rack in the sheet pan so they will brown as much as possible. Either way, when they're done, drain off the fat, deglaze the pan and add the juices to the sauce.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:33 AM   #5
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I use to brown them, but one time was make meatball for a family event and thought oh goodness now I got to brown all these - Nope, I baked them and will never brown again, I think they hold together better in the sauce and they still brown up and still get a lot of flavor from them.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:38 AM   #6
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I "brown" meatballs in the oven--a heck of a lot easier.
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Old 10-11-2013, 01:30 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for your replies. Very helpful.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:57 PM   #8
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Browning is where all the meaty flavor comes from

Of your meatballs fall apart in the pan, it's likely your recipe is faulty.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Temecula1 View Post
I'm new at this cooking stuff. Recipe for porcupine meatballs says to brown the meatballs first. I assume this means to turn them or roll them to brown them on all sides, but when using tongs to roll them they break apart and lose their round shape. Does browning them before adding the sauce really mean on all sides or just on the side initially set in the pan?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Browning is where all the meaty flavor comes from

Of your meatballs fall apart in the pan, it's likely your recipe is faulty.
I read it to mean his method might be faulty, as in he/she grabbed the meatballs with tongs to turn them. I could be wrong.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:44 PM   #10
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The recipe was well reviewed online. The meatball prep called for a half cup of water. This may have contributed to over juicy balls. I used 10% fat ground beef. I also did in fact use the tongs poorly, as I now realize.
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