Ratio of eggs to meat in meatball recipes
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  1. #1
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    Default Ratio of eggs to meat in meatball recipes

    I have been searching for a great Italian meatball recipe, and have found that most of them online are really very similar, except for one thing: Some call for one egg for as much as two pounds of meat, while others call for three eggs for one pound of meat. I know the egg helps to bind the mixture together, but does anyone know why there would be this great a difference in the recipes? I'm especially interested in whatever proportions will work best for freezing the baked meatballs, so I can make in bulk.

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    Registered User Momto2Boyz's Avatar
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    Eggs do help bind the meat, but I know too many eggs can make it hard to handle!

    I honestly think that putting in more eggs, might just be a cheap way to stretch the meat further by adding more, or making it a bit healthier by adding less eggs. I don't know, but that would be my theory!

    I'd go to all recipes and try a couple of the 4 or 5 star recipes. I've found that those never go wrong!

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    Registered User dean's Avatar
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    My Italian meatball recipe comes directly from my DH's grandmother, very Italian.
    1 1/2 # Hamburger
    1/2 # sweet ground sausage
    1/2 c. Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
    1 egg

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    As you've already discovered, meatball recipes are as varied as the people making them. A general rule-of-thumb is 1 egg per 1-pound of meat, but it depends on other wet ingredients included in the recipe. I have a Cook's Illustrated recipe that uses 1/2 c. buttermilk (or 6 T. plain yogurt thinned with 2 T. milk) plus 1 egg yolk for 1-pound ground meat (3/4-pound ground chuck and 1/4 c. ground pork).

    For more inspiration: http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/m...ipes/index.htm

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Eggs do help the ingredients stick together but they also add moisture and will help keep the meatballs light. You may need the extra egg to help with the breadcrumbs (if you are using the dried kind instead of fresh bread).
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    My recipe calls for 1.5 lbs of meat to 1 egg. Also, there is 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup of parmesean cheese. A dash of worcheister sauce and some salt and pepper, and you're set to go! :-)

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    Registered User old_lady_in_the_shoe's Avatar
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    Well I agree, it all varies to what "you" like. I like to use 2 eggs per pound of ground meat (but I use mostly ground chicken, turkey or rabbit which are very lean and somewhat dryer). If I were using beef, I would probally only use 1 egg per lb.

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    For meatballs or meatloaf I use one egg per pound of meat!

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    Thank you for this post! It reminded me of my "failed" meatballs, and that determined lunch: chili!

    btw, the meatballs that became glop were 1 lb meat, 1/4C tomato sauce, 1/2C fresh breadcrumbs. Since I "make up" my tomato sauce from paste and water, I think I may have actually used more like 1/2C as I added more water...

    Thank you again --

    Judi

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    Registered User spyzvixxen's Avatar
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    I agree with the other posters. I think it's a consistency preference. There's no right or wrong way. Me? I eyeball everything.

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    Registered User CrazyHomemaker's Avatar
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    Yes. I agree that it is a personal preference. I use the eyeball thing, too. However, an Italian lady told me to mix in eggs until the meat will no longer hold them. That will make them soft. My twist is, if there is too much wetness, I add canned parmesan cheese to soak up some of the wetness until I can get it to handle well. To me, the cheese softens the meatballs.

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    I use 1 egg per pound. Also add oatmeal, 1/4 cup per pound, or french bread with crusts torn into not-too-little chunks.

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    When I make meatballs, I frequently use oatmeal as filler, and I mix the eggs with it separately. I usually start with one egg, mix it with the oats. If it holds together nicely and its consistency is close to that of the ground meat, that's correct. If it's too dry and crumbly, I add another egg. The number of eggs I use depends on the amount of the dry ingredients (oats or crumbs, etc.) I always try to match the consistency of the meat, then mix them together. I hope this helps.

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