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This utensil although not a kitchen necessity if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking is well worth the buy. Mine was quite cheap at under £4 from our local supermarket and although it was sold as a meatball maker i use it for many different cooking jobs. Its great if you don't want to get your hands dirty when your dipping in and out of jobs or if you just simply cannot get the perfect round shape you would like. It is made of non stick stainless steel and so 9/10 times depending on what your using it for is easy enough to get the stuff out of although i have found if your are using it for things such as icing you may want to dust the insides with a little something. My kids love meatballs and so our main use for it is just that which it 100% does what its supposed to do and if im needed i can stop without having to sort my mince meat hands out. well worth the buy
A meat baller is absolutely not a kitchen necessity, but if like me you find it difficult melding meat balls together well, this is a decent product.
I bought this Kitchen Craft product on Amazon Marketplace for 1p, the postage at that time was £4.49, however, it is now over £7, so you are really paying £7.50 for this product. At that price i'm not so sure this is a real bargain, but it definitely has proven useful for us.
Initially I used the meat baller to make meat balls, it seemed the perfect use for it, after putting mince, egg, tarragon, salt and some lea and perrins and a little water in a bowl, I mixed it thoroughly by hand and then washed my hands and got the meat baller out.
Generally when I create meat balls or burgers by hand they end up odd shaped, inconsistent or too large, making them difficult to cook. With the meat baller, I held the handles open, closed the meat baller around areas of the mixture and then held it for a few moments, before releasing the well formed meat balls onto a piece of kitchen roll. I found this worked well and that I got a lot more meat balls out of my mixture than I generally do, they were smaller but more consistently formed and this was excellent as it meant that they all cooked quickly and within the same timeframe, which doesn't always happen with my inconsistent mess.
I have since used the meat baller for Falafel as well as stuffing and it worked brilliantly for both. For me it has been useful in helping me make consistently well formed balls of savoury foods which then cook consistently well, rather than taking some of the mix out of the oven or pan before others.
It could be said that you are adding work, as by the time you've mixed up the meatball ingredients, it takes more time to wash your hands and then use the meat baller, but for me, it's been worth it to produce a more consistent product and we have got more out of meals, and i've been able to freeze a lot more too as the mixture is compacted better and doesn't fall apart in the pan or in the plastic container for freezing.
The meat baller has decent sized handles for people with big fingers like me, it's easy to hold and very easy to wash up, with a minimum of fuss. It is also dish washer friendly so you can just bung it in there and it comes out clean. We've had ours for over 6 months and there is no wear and tear or signs of rust, it's used roughly once a month though.
The meat baller doesn't take up much space being roughly the size of a medium pair of scissors, we keep ours in the basket with stirrers etc. The item is light at around 100g, easy to carry and use and will be a great tool to help our little one get started in the kitchen when they want to, as it feels like a decent kitchen tool and makes your food that little bit more professional looking.
My wife wanted to use this for cake pops but wasn't keen on using a product which has held raw meat regularly for cake pops, but she thinks if we bought another one it would be handy for this as the size of the meat balls is apparently the same size as a cake pop (I have to admit i'm not sure if i'd like a cake this small, but she seems to think they are nice!).
So overall, I think we got our meat baller at a good price, this is a solid, reliable product that should last us a good few years and has meant my cooking has improved and I no longer end up with partially burnt meat balls or stuffing due to my inability to properly size the finished product.
It can be used for any manner of mixtures, now just meats and looks nice, without being too showy.
Kitchen Craft is a great company for kitchen items and I have loads of their products in my house. What I like about them is that they are such good quality for prices which aren't exorbitant and they are usually all genuinely useful things that get used time and time again.
The meat ballers is a great little item for helping to shape perfect meatballs. I tend to have meatballs a lot as they are my one of my favourite dishes which comes from them being one of the nicest weight watchers recipes available. Even though I no longer do weight watchers I still tend to make some of the recipes for dinners often.
The meat baller is a simple enough item and is essentially only a pair of tongs with two hollowed out holes either side to shape the meat balls. To use them you just need to either fill them with mince or else just do what I do and dip them in the mince and then squeeze them together to cut off the edges and leave you with rounded meatballs.
These really do make perfectly round meatballs and they look so much prettier than when you do them by hand. Because they are uniform in size they also all cook at the same time so you know if one is ready then they all are instead of some being cooked and some not because then you run the risk of overcooking the larger ones and making them dry.
The meat baller is made from a on stick metal and it does a good job of actually being non stick and the meat just comes loose without too much of a struggle.
They are also really easy to clean and I just tend to put them in the sink with some washing up liquid but you can also just wash them in the dishwasher if you want to.
To be completely honest these are a bit of a luxury and there is no actual need for them as you can make meatballs by hand easily enough but they do make it just a little easier and I like the fact that all the meatballs are all the exact same size. Also the aren't very expensive and only cost £5.99 so although they are a bit frivolous it is an inexpensive luxury and one that I was happy to pay.
This is an item that we got given free with our mince grinder and at first we were not too sure about it as meatballs are not a usual tea for us. We bought the grinder to make home made burgers so to be honest these laid dormant in our cupboard for ages! Tiring of burgers we eventually moved on to other mince dishes and home made meatballs were on the menu.
==Price and availability==
We received the ballers with the mince grinder we bought but you can buy your own for £3.99 - £4.99 from kitchen stores or internet shops.
These are a very simplistic concept and perhaps one of those inventions that someone dreams up on Dragon's Den, however they do the job very well. The non stick metal ballers are good quality with a strong hinge and a tight fitting cup on the end. They make medium sized balls that are very neat in shape. The ballers move open easily but stiff enough to control the action.
We filled a bowl of home made mince including the other ingredients such as egg, onion and herbs and mixed up the mixture before digging in with the balls filling each scoop and then clamping them together. When we made our first patch of meatballs we made them with quorn mince as we were feeding a vegetarian and the ball really did not form with the ballers, we had to our hands dirty. I think the size of the quorn pieces meant that I could not get the ballers to make round scoops. This will be the last time I cook with quorn mince though, it was not very tasty. When cooking with real mince and preferably our soft, fresh home minced meat, the balls do form and it is quicker and neater than hand rolling. When the mixture gets to the end then you need to start using your hands though. The balls need a large portion of mince to dig into or you will find yourself having to spoon the mixture into the baller. This is probably not as tasking as it sounds and just means that you will get exceptionally perfect meat balls from start to finish.
These are simple, easy to use and make life easier. I probably would not buy them though had I not go them free. The amount of times I have made meatballs I can count on one hand and to be honest I prefer the rustic look of home made hand rolled meat balls. I like to have some big and some small with lumps and bumps as they just taste more authentic. The good thing about having them the same size is that they will all cook evenly, this is a proper advantage!
I guess you could use these for other things, I have yet to experiment though. I am glad I got them free as I would not want to pay full price for them.
I bought myself this little meat baller from Amazon primarily to make Cake Pops with, not meat balls, I'd seen this recommended on one of the baking blogs that I read and so I thought that I'd give it a go. I checked them out on Amazon, spotted the price - 59pence! - yes that's right the absolute bargain price of just 59pence, and so I instantly added it to my online basket.
The meat baller is essentially a cross between a pair of scissors and a melon baller I would say. It's made from stainless steel and it's dishwasher safe, mine has been in the dishwasher loads of times with no problems whatsoever. The 'scissor' handle part of the meat baller is comfortable to use and is suitable for right or left handed users. The scoops or 'balls' on the end of the 'scissors' are coated with a non stick coating and they have drainage holes in them so that if you are forming little balls out of something with a lot of liquid in it you can actually manage to drain some of it off through the holes. A fairly nifty little gadget for just 59pence!
But does it actually work - yes, it's brilliant! I've actually ended up using this for loads of things so far; Cake Pops - which were my initial reason for buying this, Cookies - I form a ball of cookie dough and then I squash it flat on the baking tray this then makes all my cookies a uniform size, Rice Crispie Balls - I make these with my little nephew and they are the perfect bite size little treat, Handmade Truffles - it's slightly on the big size for truffles but is that necessarily a bad thing!, Meat Balls - it's proper use and it does do this well, and Stuffing Balls - I make lovely crunchy small stuffing balls using this. I'll bet that there's probably loads of other uses for it as well, but these are the things that I've used it for so far.
It's easy to use, I just 'scissor up' a portion of cake pop mix or meat ball mix etc in between the two 'half balls', and then I squash the two balls together to form the mixture into a ball. Some of the mix will invariably escape from between the two halves but I just need to wipe the excess mixture off with a spoon. I then open the 'scissors' and the fully formed cookie pop or meat ball etc will just slide out.
This is brilliant in that it's quick and easy to use, and it makes all of your items exactly the same size so they all cook evenly, and they all look uniform. It creates much less mess than forming all of the balls by hand, and it's takes no time at all to make a huge tray of cookie pops or meat balls etc.
I love this and it's had loads of use so far, and I can see it continuing to get loads more use. It was an absolute steal at just 59pence, in fact now I know how much I use this I'd actually happily pay quite a bit more for it. I'd definitely recommend it, it's just 59pence so why not add it to your Amazon basket and give it a go?
After attending a cake course to learn to make cake pops I discovered a kitchen Gadget I didn't own that did seem very practical.
I found the Italian none stick meat baller cheapest on Amazon and promptly ordered the item. It arrived a few days later and is very lightweight and plastic so easy to wash. This item is also dishwasher safe but unfortunately my own dishwasher is a bowl of soapy water.
The gadget itself is like a pair of scissors but with two half circles. To use you simply put the ingredients in the cup and squeeze together wipe away the excess open and your small balls easily slide out.
Now while this is advertised as a meat baller it does have multiple uses. I have used this for making small stuffing balls, cake pops, meat balls and cookies prior to be rolled out.
The stuffing balls are quite small but if you do like crispy stuffing it is ideal. I found the cookies were far more even in size and thickness than when I have previously rolled them in my hands.
As an actual meat baller I found they again make even size meatballs. As I am following meatballs most of mine are handmade and this makes even cooking far easier to achieve.
The cake pops do work far better with this gadget as it does squash the crumbled cake and icing together to make a compact ball which without it they would more than likely crumble.
I did find that the scissor action quite difficult and find that it was far easier to squeeze down around the ball directly rather than using the handles.
I have managed forty years of my life without a meat baller so do I really need one? Yes you can live without one. I did buy mine to make cake pops but I continue to find more uses for this gadget every day. This Item is £4.85 on Amazon with free super saver postage.
I would recommend this product if you do cook or bake on a regular basis from scratch and I am sure there are many more uses for this product that I have not yet discovered.