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I've been following a recipe for meatballs but they are far too loose for putting on the bbq. I thought I could maybe put them in the fridge before cooking them, or brown them in a pan before putting them on the bbq - I was wondering, does anyone have any idea of how to make them a bit more solid? or any better way of making meatballs / keftedes?

The recipe is here : http://www.meatwave.com/blog/keftedes-grilled-greek-meatballs-recipe

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This is a recipe for keftedes alright but keftedes are not supposed to be bbqed. They are floured and fried. –  charisis Aug 28 '11 at 9:40

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

a few tips here

  • I noticed that the beef was "80% lean", try to go with little bit fatter beef like "60% lean". This sounds strange, but I would try to beat up (or stir) the minced beef before mixing with other ingredients. When you beat or stir the beef, you will notice the fat will create a gel texture that helps to stick the beef better.

  • I would also separate the egg yolks and egg white. I would put the egg yolk in 1st with all the ingredients and put the egg white last. Egg White on its own will also help you to stick the minced beef better.

  • Lastly, if it still doesn't work, try to lightly apply flour on each meat balls before cooking. The flour will help sealing the juice inside the meat balls, which the meat balls will stick together better

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If you decide to use the flour trick, add that before the eggs, otherwise you'll just end up with crusty meatballs that fall apart. –  Aaronut Aug 28 '11 at 16:56
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+1 to the idea of beating the minced beef as it sounds like what you're looking for is similar to a sausage texture and this is done in sausage making. –  AaronN Sep 19 '11 at 22:29

I'm using a very similar recipe, and usually when they're too soft, it's because the soaked bread still had too much liquid in it. Step 1 of the recipe says:

...squeeze the excess liquid out.

I've found this to be a vitally important step.

If it still doesn't work, try adding one or two tablespoons of breadcrumbs.

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I don't think you need to add anything more to the recipe if you manipulate each meatball more. You're probably not giving the proteins in the muscle fibers the opportunity to be introduced to and bond with one another.

Also, you can cook the meatballs in a pan made for a grill -- there are several models, with wild price variations, that have holes throughout. These are generally intended for grilling vegetables, but can obviously be adapted for other uses.

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