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Old 10-23-2016, 07:30 AM   #1
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Meatball Appetizers

Yesterday our daughter had a first birthday party for our grandson. It was a mid-afternoon party, and I helped out by making appetizers. I decided to make meatballs as one of them. I've never made meatball appetizers before, but thought how hard can this be? I searched for recipes, and settled on this one:

Barbecued Meatballs Recipe - Allrecipes.com

I took the suggestions from the comments and used Italian style bread crumbs and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. I baked them on a foil lined cookie sheet for 30 minutes, and finished them off in a slow cooker on low for 2 hours to coincide with the start of the party. Kenji at seriouseats cautioned against overcooking meatballs, as they will dry out like any other meat.

They got rave reviews. I thought they came out pretty good, but not as good as the comments I heard. Then it registered with me. Many of the recipes I looked at called for using bags of frozen meatballs. My hand made, not overcooked meatballs made with 85% ground beef were most likely compared against mysterymeatballs from the frozen food case, which I'll guess that most milennials are used to. That's a pretty low bar to have to top.

It wasn't all that much work to make them. I scaled up the recipe to 3 lbs. of ground beef, which I guessed was the capacity of my 4.5 qt. KA stand mixer (it was). It took about 20 minutes to shape 60 - 65 meatballs, which was about 2/3 capacity of a 6 qt. slow cooker.

The moral of the story: some shortcuts aren't worth taking.

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Old 10-23-2016, 08:14 AM   #2
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Absolutely agree. I bought frozen meatballs once - once - because I keep some kind of super-easy dinner in the freezer that DH can make for when I run out of spoons. But they were tough and flavorless and I didn't enjoy them at all. So that's one food I won't take from the store on.
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Old 10-23-2016, 08:52 AM   #3
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Good stuff, tenspeed.

It's easy to wow people with home made meatballs when all they get are store bought.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:06 AM   #4
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I had never had store bought meatballs, have always felt why would one want to spend extra for cheap hamburger meat and some seasonings?

Last Christmas, being extra busy, I did think I would take a shortcut, and with a good sauce maybe people wouldn't know or mind. The store was having samples and the cashiers were all raving about how good they were. They certainly smelled good!

tried a sample and discovered they were absolute garbage! sort of made me gag. Chewy chunks of cardboard in a sauce I could not possibly explain!

Good on for you Tenspeed!

I stop reading immediately on recipes as soon as they call for cans soups or premade this - usually the main ingredient. (there are always exceptions of course)
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Old 10-25-2016, 07:44 PM   #5
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How funny, I was thinking about meatballs the other day to have available when guests show up at our new home, which we move into during the holiday season.
Rather than buying pre-made store bought meatballs (one item from Trader Joe's we DID NOT care for btw ), I'd like to have homemade-fully cooked meatballs in the freezer for a quick appy.
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaneohegirlinaz View Post
How funny, I was thinking about meatballs the other day to have available when guests show up at our new home, which we move into during the holiday season.
Rather than buying pre-made store bought meatballs (one item from Trader Joe's we DID NOT care for btw ), I'd like to have homemade-fully cooked meatballs in the freezer for a quick appy.
We didn't care for the TJ meatballs either.
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appetizers, meat, recipe

Meatball Appetizers Yesterday our daughter had a first birthday party for our grandson. It was a mid-afternoon party, and I helped out by making appetizers. I decided to make meatballs as one of them. I've never made meatball appetizers before, but thought how hard can this be? I searched for recipes, and settled on this one: [URL="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/16163/barbecued-meatballs/"]Barbecued Meatballs Recipe - Allrecipes.com[/URL] I took the suggestions from the comments and used Italian style bread crumbs and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. I baked them on a foil lined cookie sheet for 30 minutes, and finished them off in a slow cooker on low for 2 hours to coincide with the start of the party. Kenji at seriouseats cautioned against overcooking meatballs, as they will dry out like any other meat. They got rave reviews. I thought they came out pretty good, but not as good as the comments I heard. Then it registered with me. Many of the recipes I looked at called for using bags of frozen meatballs. My hand made, not overcooked meatballs made with 85% ground beef were most likely compared against mysterymeatballs from the frozen food case, which I'll guess that most milennials are used to. That's a pretty low bar to have to top. It wasn't all that much work to make them. I scaled up the recipe to 3 lbs. of ground beef, which I guessed was the capacity of my 4.5 qt. KA stand mixer (it was). It took about 20 minutes to shape 60 - 65 meatballs, which was about 2/3 capacity of a 6 qt. slow cooker. The moral of the story: some shortcuts aren't worth taking. 3 stars 1 reviews
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