Flash freezing uncooked meatballs prepared in advance will save you time and prevent the meatballs from sticking together in the freezer. Flash freezing is the process of freezing food -- typically spaced out in individual pieces -- uncovered, so it freezes quickly, preventing the formation of ice crystals which cause freezer burn. You can freeze a large batch of food, like meatballs, in advance, so you only have to cook them, thawed or from frozen, when ready. When the meatballs are frozen correctly, they won't stick together and you can grab as few or as many as you want.
Things You'll Need
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Air-tight container or plastic bags
Place the rolled meatballs onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Space the meatballs so they're not touching.
Place the tray of meatballs in the freezer and freeze them until frozen solid, which takes about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the meatballs.
Remove the meatballs from the tray and put them in an air-tight container or a resealable freezer bag. Store the meatballs in the freezer for up to three months.
Tips & Warnings
- Thaw meatballs in the refrigerator or cook them straight from frozen, for about 50 percent longer than the recommended cooking time, based on the type of meat and how you are cooking them. Basic 1-inch ground beef meatballs, for example, take roughly 15 to 25 minutes to bake in the oven. Meatballs can also be cooked in sauce on the stove or in a slow cooker.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure the frozen meatballs cook to the proper temperature. Ground beef, pork and lamb must be cooked to a minimum temperature of 160 F, while ground turkey and chicken must be cooked to at least 165 F.
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