In my family, when we make meatballs, we make them fried. And, not surprisingly, they always turn out delicious. However, as with other foods that are fried, fried meatballs have their pitfalls. They can sometimes fall apart or they can come out dry, and no one wants to eat dry and messy-looking meatballs. With the tips that I’m going to share with you, however, I’m sure that you will be able to enjoy picture-perfect fried meatballs with little effort.
First, you have to consider the different types of meats that you can make meatballs with. I believe that meats that are not too lean are perfect for making fried meatballs because they have enough fat to hold them together. Turkey meatballs are best baked or steamed. You should try to purchase ground meat that is no more than 70% lean (sometimes, the ratio of leanness is described as 70/30 or 80/20).
Then, you have to consider the types of things that you will mix the meat with. Dried herbs are best used for frying because the fresh ones will release natural moisture that will interact negatively with the hot oil. You want to keep splattering to a minimum so that your cleanup will be fast and easy. Herbs such as rosemary, oregano, dill, and basil are perfect for meatballs. Consider adding spices, even if they aren’t spicy, to your meat mixture. Garlic powder and onion powder are best used instead of fresh garlic and onion because of their lack of moisture.
Whether you want to deep-fry the meatballs or just shallow-fry them, you want to allow the oil to get hot enough. If the oil isn’t hot enough when you are ready to fry, then take some time to yourself and allow it to get hot enough. There is nothing worse than really greasy meatballs that are undercooked. The oil shouldn’t be too hot, however; it shouldn’t be smoking. One tip for making meatballs is not to mash and handle the meat too much. Mix your ingredients just enough so that it holds together, then refrigerate the balls for an hour or until the meat is firm. This prevents the meatballs from falling apart. Using a deep-fryer is not absolutely recommended when you want to fry things; in fact, I think I prefer frying in my own pan instead (a stainless steel one, which is able to take very high temperatures) because I don’t have to clean up a bulky item with so many different parts. Also, I prefer not to shallow-fry meatballs because I want them to finish up quickly. Although deep-frying does use more oil than shallow-frying, I would rather use the former method because I will not have to think about having to turn them over, because that means less work for me.
Fry only a small amount of meatballs at a time. Frying too many at once lowers the temperature of the oil too quickly, and you will get soggy, greasy meatballs. Also, once you take one batch out, wait for a couple of minutes for the oil to come up to temperature again. When you fry things in this way, you will always get picture-perfect, restaurant-quality fried foods that everybody will enjoy.