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A meatball maker is a kitchen utensil which forms uniformly sized, compact meatballs. Meatball makers can be very helpful in the kitchen, keeping hands out of the food and ensuring that meatballs will have an even appearance when they are served. A kitchen supply store may stock meatball makers or be able to order them for you, and you can also order a meatball maker directly from a company which specializes in such products.
At first glance, a meatball maker looks like a seriously deformed pair of scissors, with small scoops instead of blades. To use it, people mix their meatballs as desired and then dip the meatball maker into the bowl with the arms open. When the arms are closed, the scoops meet, forming a compact meatball which varies in size, depending on how big the scoops are. The meatball can be packed into a container for freezing or cooked as desired once it has been formed.
There are several reasons to use a meatball maker rather than forming meatballs by hand. Keeping hands out of food as much as possible is always a good idea, since it reduces the risk of food-borne illness. When you're making a lot of meatballs, hand forming them can get tiring, and a meatball maker can ensure that they are all the same size, when means that they will cook evenly and look good when served.
In addition to using a meatballer to make meatballs, you can also use it for other foods like kofta and falafel; essentially any food which needs to be formed into a ball before cooking can be made with a meatball maker. It can also be used to measure out portions of foods like ground beef for freezing, separating them into convenient helpings which can be removed from the freezer one at a time for thawing.
When using a meatball maker, be aware that meat can tend to stick to it. You can try oiling the meatball maker, or you can keep a dish of warm water near your workspace and periodically dip the meatball maker in the water to keep it moist, making it more difficult for the meat to stick to it. Make sure to wash your meatballer well with hot water and soap after use, and if it can be run through the dishwasher, do so, as the heat of the dishwasher will kill any bacteria which might be present.
When you cook your meatballs, cook them very thoroughly; ground meats are more susceptible to food-borne illness, so make sure that the meatballs are cooked all the way through to the temperature recommended for the meats used.
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