The Simple Scoop Hack For Perfectly Portioned Meatballs

Meatballs are delicious, whether served in a sandwich, on pasta, or by themselves. But these round, meaty treats can also can be a pain to make. It's messy work shaping them with your hands, and when rolling meatballs by hand it's easy to get inconsistent results (which lead to inconsistent cooking times as well). In the end, it's a lot of effort for something that often looks a little misshapen, and that might end up overcooked or underdone on the inside. There's an easier way to get consistent, perfectly portioned meatballs than putting your hands in a bowl of raw meat. If you have an ice cream scoop, you're well on your way to making things much easier for yourself.

To take advantage of this meatball hack, simply use the scoop to portion out your meatballs onto the baking sheet — you'll end up with the same size for every ball and less of a mess to clean up after.

Same size, same shape

Using an ice cream scoop to portion out meatballs keeps hands clean, but it also ensures each meatball gets cooked at the same rate in the oven or in the pan. 

Ice cream scoops come in different sizes, so be sure to check before using depending on how large you want your meatballs. Small scoops measure about 1.5 tablespoons; big scoops can be up to 3-4 tablespoons or even more. Keep in mind that the larger the meatball, the longer it will take to cook (and the more likely it is to dry out or be underdone in the middle).

Also, when you're done with cooking, be sure to thoroughly wash your ice cream scoop before dipping it into your next pint — or better yet, get a separate ice cream scoop specifically for savory applications so you won't accidentally taste a little garlic and onion in your next scoop of strawberry.

Other ice cream scoop hacks

Ice cream scoops are multipurpose kitchen equipment, and their use doesn't stop at just ice cream and meatballs. You can use this tool for other situations where you might need to portion out even amounts of something, such as cookie dough. Scooping out cookie dough with a dedicated scoop (rather than just two spoons) will ensure even baking and deliciously brown cookies every time. If you have a deep scoop, you can even use it for batters such as muffin or brownie batter.

As for savory foods, in a pinch, you can always use an ice cream scoop to serve out portions of scoopable foods, such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, or sandwich fillings, including tuna and egg salad. Or you can use it to help core out the interiors of foods you might want to stuff with other ingredients, such as squash or pumpkin. If there's one thing an ice cream scoop is, it's versatile.