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What is a Melon Baller?

Melon ballers allow chefs to scoop spheres out of melons.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2014
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A melon baller is a kitchen utensil designed to scoop out spherical chunks of melon, or other foods, when used properly. While the tool might seem obscure, there are actually a number of uses for one, and it is a tool that many people find well worth acquiring for the kitchen, especially for those who do a great deal of formal entertaining. Most kitchen supply stores sell ones in an assortment of sizes, and they are also typically available through special order.

At first glance, a melon baller looks like a slightly bizarre spoon. It typically has a medium length handle of wood, plastic, or another easily gripped material, attached to a semi-spherical scoop. The utensil is sunk into the melon and twisted to pull out a neat ball of fruit. In some cases, the device is double ended, with scoops of two different sizes to make it more versatile. Ovoid scoops are also available, for creating oblong shapes.

While this tool is designed for melons, there are an assortment of potential uses for it. It can be used to create neatly sculpted butter pats, for example, or garnishes of other fruits, like strawberries. Cooks can also take small scoops of sorbet or ice cream to create dessert garnishes or small teaser tastes. Using a melon baller is almost irresistible, and some cooks find themselves making spherical garnishes out of everything they can imagine when they first buy one.

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This tool can also be used to do things like scoop the seeds and pith from fruits. When making roasted stuffed vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes, or peppers, it can neatly and quickly remove the unwanted portions. It can also be used to scrape the seeds from squash and perform other similar tasks.

When choosing a melon baller, shoppers should look for one that is sturdy and feels heavy in the hand. Consumers should make sure that the handle is very solid, as it should not snap off while being used. Many companies make ones that are dishwasher safe, which can be quite convenient, but cooks should always double check on this to avoid damaging the tool. Double ended ones more versatile around the kitchen.

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John57
Post 8

I have a melon baller that has a scoop on each end. Once side is a mini melon baller and the other side is a regular size.

I like having one baller that I can use for many different things. I usually use the regular size for making melon balls, but like to use the mini size to remove the tops of cherry tomatoes.

This works really slick without mashing the tomato. I have also used it to make mini cookies for my girls when they are having a tea party. The mini melon scoop is a perfect size for something fun like this.

SarahSon
Post 7

If you are going to be cutting up very many pieces of melon, a good stainless steel melon baller will be a lifesaver.

When my daughter graduated from high school, we scooped out the inside of a watermelon and filled it back up with all kinds of melon and fruit.

This included cantaloupe, honey dew and watermelon. The melon baller makes sure all your fruit is the same size and the shape of the balls is very pleasing and appetizing.

Once you get the hang of it, it doesn't take long at all and before you know it, you have a whole bowl of perfectly shaped balls of delicious melon.

Mae82
Post 6

When you are shopping for a melon baller there are a few things you should really look out for. As I am sure most of you know, it takes quite a bit of force to make perfect spheres from fruit, and dig out unwanted seeds.

Your melon baller should have a really comfortable handle, preferably one with a bit of texture to it so you can better grip it. Nothing is worse than slipping with a melon baller and gouging out something you didn't plan on.

As far as the melon baller edge goes, make sure it is sharp enough to do the job. Don't choose any melon baller that has a rounded edge because it is essentially dulling the baller making it harder for you to do your job.

Sara007
Post 5

Wow, I am another one of those people that has never actually used their melon baller for balling melons. I actually use mine on all sorts of fruit, and mostly for some kind preparation work.

With strawberries I use my melon baller to smoothly and quickly hull them. On peaches, I find that the melon baller makes a great tool for popping out the seed and surrounding unpleasant area.

Another trick I have is that when coring apples, I use the melon baller to quickly remove the core without losing much flesh. I hate wasting parts of an apple because it is by far my favorite fruit.

burcidi
Post 4

I use the melon baller for lots of things, except balling melons. I generally use it to scoop out small butter balls when I have guests over on special occasions. It looks very elegant and everyone gets their own share of butter, instead of having to pass around a whole stick of it. It also keeps the rest of my butter clean.

I also make little peanut butter snacks for my son and his friends when they come over. A friend of mine makes the most amazing chocolate truffles with it. My mom uses it to make stuffed veggies and uses it to scoop out potatoes and tomatoes. Last year, she scooped out oranges and apples and filled the insides with Italian ice. That was fantastic.

I've heard of people making decorations with it, with small pumpkins for Halloween and apples for Christmas but I've never tried it myself. It sounds like a fun holiday project though.

candyquilt
Post 3

@fify- I agree, fruit salad looks much better when it's done with a melon baller and kids love it!

I don't like the typical melon baller though. It can be hard to get the balls out, it sticks to the baller sometimes. I like the ones that have a self release. There is also a new kind now that has a little hole in the other end of the baller. So when you've balled up the fruit, you poke it from the back and it falls out. Really simple!

I don't just use it for fruit, I use it a lot for frozen ice, sherbet and ice cream like the article mentioned. I made and decorated an ice cream cake with it once.

Have you tried making cookies with it? It's so hand for that! I scoop the cookie dough with the melon baller and place it on the tray. It's the perfect size, so easy!

fify
Post 2

I love my melon baller, it's a must have for fruit salads. I used to use a regular spoon before but that doesn't come out too great. I also like that when I use a melon baller, all the fruits are the same size so the salad looks much more uniform and attractive.

I use the melon baller for almost all fruits, melons, watermelons, cantaloupe, peaches, pears, mangoes, papayas and apples.

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