A meatballer is a kitchen tool used to form balls of ground meat.
Most people form meat balls by hand. Reasons given for using a meatballer tool instead include that the meat mixture can be messy to stick your hands into, that it can get stuck in ring parts, and that with a meatballer, you produce more uniformly sized and shaped meat balls.
Meatballers come in various sizes, and made of varying metals such as die-cast aluminum, stainless steel, etc. Plastic ones don’t seem to be made.
Not all are dishwasher safe; check before buying if this is important to you.
Some meatballers have a spring or gear release action in the handles that forces the meat balls out after being formed. With other models, you use holes in the sides of the ball moulds to gently push them out.
Other users for meatballers
Meatballers can be used to form ice cream balls, though not all may be sturdy enough for well-frozen ice cream. If you use some models on too hard a substance, you can knock any gears in the handle out of alignment and have to futz with it to get them lined up again to work.
A meatballer can also be used to measure out dough for cookies, to make falafel balls, and to make perfect scoops of mashed potato for serving. Small enough ones can make balls of butter for the table.
Some typical meatballer sizes
Meatballers come in both metric and Imperial dimensions. Sizes below are for uncooked meatballs; they end up smaller when cooked.
- 25 mm (1 inch) = 1 ½ teaspoons ( ⅙ oz )
- 35 mm (1 ⅓ inches) = 1 tablespoon (.5 oz)
- 50 mm (2 inches) = 3 tablespoon (1.5 oz)
Imperial / US sizes
- 1 ¼ inch
- 1 ½ inch
- 1 ¾ inch
- 2 inches
Mixtures being formed into balls can stick to your meatballer, particularly meat mix or falafel mix.
To cope with this, you can spray it periodically during use with a vegetable spray, or keep a tall glass of warm water handy to dip it in.