Meatball rolling equipment

22
2
Joined Aug 22, 2018
Hello,

Our meatballs have become pretty popular, and we're spending a lot of time rolling them. Does anyone have experience or advice on small-scale meatballs rolling/forming equipment? We're going through 500-1000 a week, which is too much to do by hand, but not enough to warrant a $10,000 machine. Any advice would be very much appreciated!

Miles Tamboli
Tamboli's Pasta & Pizza
www.tambolis.com
 
3,253
684
Joined May 5, 2010
Do the meatballs have to be absolutely round?
Strange question I know, but please here me out.

I too have in the past, had to make 1000's of meatballs for an Italian catering company.
We'd mix 100 pounds of ground beef with the eggs, crumbs, milks, etc., in a large mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment.
Then 3 or 4 of us would take the bowl and turn it upside down on the stainless steel table and using small scoops and gloved hands each of us would grab hold of a amount of the mix in our left hand.

Then, with a small container of water next to us, we'd use the scoop pushing into our hand to fill the scoop. We'd use our wrist to scrape off the excess back into our hand. The meatballs went on parchment lined sheet pans, then baked at 400 degrees until done. The meatballs were then dumped into a colander to drain the liquid, placed on clean sheet pans and placed on the rack in the cooler.
Yes the meatballs will be slightly flat on the bottoms, but in the sauce, no one will notice.

So I ask again, do the meatballs have to be round?
 
7
2
Joined Mar 6, 2021
Take a look at this Bing search result. There are a lot of small scale rolling/forming machines available. Considering the size/foot print of the equipment, mods to current electrical system, maintenance and repair, It might be easier/less expensive to hire someone parttime or work study program from a local culinary class (tech college, Goodwill program, Vo-tech etc.) to come in weekly and make the meatballs, rack, vac bag, and freeze. Who knows, you might even get a good worker for your company.

 
22
2
Joined Aug 22, 2018
Do the meatballs have to be absolutely round?
Strange question I know, but please here me out.

I too have in the past, had to make 1000's of meatballs for an Italian catering company.
We'd mix 100 pounds of ground beef with the eggs, crumbs, milks, etc., in a large mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment.
Then 3 or 4 of us would take the bowl and turn it upside down on the stainless steel table and using small scoops and gloved hands each of us would grab hold of a amount of the mix in our left hand.

Then, with a small container of water next to us, we'd use the scoop pushing into our hand to fill the scoop. We'd use our wrist to scrape off the excess back into our hand. The meatballs went on parchment lined sheet pans, then baked at 400 degrees until done. The meatballs were then dumped into a colander to drain the liquid, placed on clean sheet pans and placed on the rack in the cooler.
Yes the meatballs will be slightly flat on the bottoms, but in the sauce, no one will notice.

So I ask again, do the meatballs have to be round?
Thanks for the response. That's exactly what we've been doing. They're not exactly round, and they don't have to be, but they have to be rolled more tightly than what we get out of the scoop since they hold at temp in marinara through service.

So I ask again, Does anyone have experience or advice on small-scale meatballs rolling/forming equipment?
 
22
2
Joined Aug 22, 2018
Take a look at this Bing search result. There are a lot of small scale rolling/forming machines available. Considering the size/foot print of the equipment, mods to current electrical system, maintenance and repair, It might be easier/less expensive to hire someone parttime or work study program from a local culinary class (tech college, Goodwill program, Vo-tech etc.) to come in weekly and make the meatballs, rack, vac bag, and freeze. Who knows, you might even get a good worker for your company.

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I'm aware that machines are available; I also use search engines. But has anyone ever used one of the small-scale machines? Which ones perform well?

I pay my prep workers $40k/yr and have intention of hiring someone at a low wage to do monotonous work when instead I could pay someone a career-worthy salary and buy them a machine that makes their life easier.
 
22
2
Joined Aug 22, 2018
I may not have been clear enough with my question. I'm not looking for clever ideas. Thank you, but I have some idea how to do this stuff....

I'm looking for equipment reviews. Has anyone used a small-scale meatball forming machine? It's a very specific question. Thanks.
 
22
2
Joined Aug 22, 2018
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