One of the key factors to make some mouth-watering beef meatballs lies in the beef cut.
There are many cuts of beef out there and not all cuts work well to make meatballs.
So what is the truth about the best beef cut for meatballs?
Let’s figure it out in this article.
How to choose beef for meatballs?
Choosing beef for meatballs is the same as choosing beef for ground beef because meatballs are actually just a form of ground beef that is shaped into small balls.
Below are some tips to choose beef for meatballs that you should refer to every time you go shopping for the best beef cut to make this dish at home:
1. Buy a tough cut to save money
Every home cook or professional chef in the world desires a tender cut of beef like a ribeye steak, filet mignon, or tenderloin cut.
However, these cuts are often quite expensive and not everyone can afford them.
In this case, since the meat is ground into a smoother texture, the texture of the meat isn’t a big deal anymore.
Therefore, it is better to opt for a tough cut of beef to save money.
Moreover, a tough cut of beef often comes with perfect marbling fat content that makes the meat juicy and more flavorful.
2. Always buy fresh beef to make meatballs
Another tip to choose beef for making meatballs is to buy fresh beef.
Ground fresh beef will have a sticky texture so that the meat won’t fall apart when forming meatballs.
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It is also drier without any excess water like frozen beef.
To make ground beef for meatballs, you can buy a fresh cut of beef to grind it or finely chop it yourself, or buy pre-ground for a more convenient way.
3. The perfect meat-to-fat ratio is 80:20 (or 70:30 per personal preference)
Last but not least, the ratio of meat to fat is also an essential factor to have the best meatballs.
If the mixture of ground beef is too lean, your meatballs are likely to be dry and tough.
Meanwhile, if your ground beef contains a lot of fat, your dish will end up greasy and less attractive.
A perfect meat-to-fat ratio of ground beef is 80% lean meat and 20% fat, or 70:30 if you want it a bit juicier when cooked.
This ratio can be applied to any recipe that calls for ground beef, such as burgers, sandwiches, tacos, or meatballs.
Best beef for meatballs
Now you know the tips to choose beef for meatballs.
However, do you know what cuts of beef to apply these tips? Check the following suggestions of the best beef cuts for meatballs:
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1. Beef chuck
Ground chuck is the most popular kind of ground beef that is made from the chuck cut of beef.
A chuck cut is taken from the chuck area, the top shoulder portion of the cow.
It has a tough texture that is often used in slow-cooking methods like roasting or stewing.
Ground chuck can keep the shape of meatballs without falling apart while still being juicy and tender when properly cooked.
2. Beef round
A round cut is also another common cut for ground beef to make meatballs.
A round cut is often leaner, but it is prized for its flavorful taste and tender texture if properly cooked.
A round cut is also more affordable than the average cut of beef so that people from all classes can afford it.
3. Top sirloin steak
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A top sirloin steak can also be a good option for meatballs.
This lean cut is quite tender when cooked to medium-rare.
However, when ground and formed into meatballs, a top sirloin steak is quick to cook and should be served with some sauces to keep it juicy.
Top sirloin steak is a moderate cut that is not too expensive or cheap, but it is worth the price and can be added occasionally to your family menu.
The bottom line
In conclusion, a tough cut of beef is just perfect for grinding to make meatballs.
It is best to have a meat-to-fat ratio around 70:30 or 80:20 so that your meatballs are not greasy or fatty but still juicy and flavorful.
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