meatballs in skillet
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
October 26, 2023 ·  3 min read

The Meatball Maker: A Forgotten Kitchen Tool That Gets the Job Done

The innovation of culinary arts has brought to the public some really helpful tools and gadgets for the kitchen. However, there’s something really comforting and charming about vintage kitchen tools. Some may be unrecognizable and have undergone many design transformations, such as the vintage meatball maker.

A Long-Standing History

Often associated with Italian cuisine, it’s believed that the first version of meatballs actually originated in Rome. Ancient China, Turkey, and Persia also had their own versions long ago, as well as the more commonly known, Sweden. Some were made in different sizes, while others had differing ingredients like meat and rice, or meat and lentils. Meatballs, can be a meal all on their own or added to soups, sandwiches, and salads, as well as pastas.

Meatball Maker
Image source: Etsy

Meatballs are a versatile staple that are incredibly easy to make. Therefore, it’s not hard to see and why they have held a worldwide place in cuisine. However, shaping them and sizing them perfectly and consistently each time is difficult to do by hand. As such, one nifty kitchen gadget that has always been a popular tool to have is the meatball maker.

Read: Drapery Hooks: Home Decor’s Best-Kept Secret

Why Have a Meatball Maker

Firstly, as previously mentioned, a meatball maker is a handy tool for consistency. Not only impacts the overall aesthetic of a dish but ensures even cooking as well. Next, the meatball maker, particularly the vintage design, is fun and easy for kids to use. That means families have an extra excuse to spend more quality time together, and lastly, they can be surprisingly versatile. The meatball maker’s purpose was to shape meatballs, but it can also shape the perfect falafel or hush puppies. Meanwhile, today’s more modern design allows for things like creating the perfect cake pop or scoop of cookie dough, as well.

Meatball Maker
Image source: Ebay

Antique or vintage meatball makers can be found in places like antique stores or thrift shops. Alternatively, there are many modern meatball makers that can be found online or in kitchen stores. While some are vastly different than those classic and charming vintage pieces, some are designed similarly to them in shape and method of use.

Modern Meatball Maker Designs

For example, the meatball master is a meatball shaper that holds 32 meatballs at a time, perfectly shaped and all the same size. It’s a plastic tray that can also be used for storage of the meatballs until you’re ready to cook them. Although one person cleverly explained their kids use it for play-dough because “the amount of time it takes makes it easier to do by hand.” It’s a popular kitchen gadget and meatball maker for those with large families or who often entertain guests.

Similarly, the ‘Mind Reader Magic Meatball Maker‘ makes 16 perfectly round meatballs and stores them in a plastic container until it’s time to cook the perfect, mouthwatering bite size meatball, cake pop, or dumpling.

Resembling Vintage Designs

Another popular meatball maker is your standard “Meat Baller.” There are slots for your fingers that resemble scissors or the vintage design. In fact, in almost every way, it’s similar to the older version. However, today’s version features non-slip padded handles and polished stainless steel that is “non-stick,” creating a perfect and presentable ball of food. Another option with a slightly different design is the Spring Chef Cookie Scoop; although it’s not made to be a meatball maker, it can serve that purpose and has an interesting design. It comes with a padded handle made of silicone and can be squeezed together, resembling a pair of locked pliers.

Meanwhile, the LEEFONE Meatball scoop fully resembles the vintage model because it doesn’t have padded handles. However, it’s made of polished noon-stick stainless steel.

Meatball makers are a handy and versatile tool used in the kitchen to create the perfect meatball, a component of many dishes dating back thousands of years. Amazingly, meatballs come in many different sizes, so they’re the perfect bite-size hors d’oeuvre for dinner parties or an ideal addition to many dishes like soups and pasta. The meatball maker will surely enhance the experience for the chef and the diner.

Keep Reading: Do You Remember Vintage Tupperware Tuppertoys? Check These Out.

Sources

  1. The History of the Meatball.Allora. August 31, 2021
  2. Are meatballs really Italian?Assaggios
  3. Do You Recognize this Vintage Tool?Homemaking. Nini. October 20, 2023.