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Flat Top Grilled Meatballs – Easy Italian Griddle Recipe

Flat top grilling is a popular cooking method that involves using a flat, solid surface to cook food. It is often used in restaurants and food trucks to quickly cook a variety of dishes, including meatballs. The benefits of using a flat top grill for meatballs are numerous. The even heat distribution ensures that the meatballs cook evenly and develop a delicious crust on the outside. The flat surface also allows for easy flipping and turning of the meatballs, preventing them from sticking or falling apart.

Key Takeaways

  • Flat top grilled meatballs are a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be enjoyed year-round.
  • To make flat top grilled meatballs, you’ll need ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Preparing the meatball mixture involves combining all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mixing until well combined.
  • Shaping the meatballs involves rolling the mixture into balls that are about 1-2 inches in diameter.
  • To cook the meatballs, heat up a griddle or flat top grill and cook the meatballs for about 10-12 minutes, turning them occasionally to ensure even cooking.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

To make flat top grilled meatballs, you will need a few key ingredients. For the meatball mixture, you will need ground meat such as beef, pork, or a combination of both. You will also need breadcrumbs to bind the mixture together, as well as eggs to add moisture and help with binding. Other essential ingredients include minced garlic, finely chopped onions, salt, pepper, and your choice of herbs and spices for added flavor.

In addition to these basic ingredients, you can also add optional ingredients to enhance the flavor of your meatballs. Some popular options include grated Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, chopped fresh herbs like parsley or basil, and even diced vegetables like bell peppers or mushrooms.

Preparing the Meatball Mixture

To prepare the meatball mixture, start by combining the ground meat, breadcrumbs, minced garlic, finely chopped onions, salt, pepper, and any optional ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands or a spoon to mix everything together until well-combined. It’s important to ensure that all the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

To ensure that the mixture is well-combined, you can use a technique called “kneading.” This involves pressing down on the mixture with your hands and then folding it over itself repeatedly until it becomes more cohesive. Kneading helps to distribute the flavors and ingredients evenly, resulting in a more flavorful and well-textured meatball.

Shaping the Meatballs

Once the meatball mixture is well-combined, it’s time to shape the meatballs. There are several techniques you can use to shape the meatballs, depending on your preference. One common method is to roll the mixture into balls between the palms of your hands. This technique creates round meatballs that are uniform in size.

Another technique is to use an ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop to portion out the meatball mixture. This ensures that each meatball is the same size, which is important for even cooking. You can then roll the portioned mixture between your hands to shape it into a ball.

It’s important to note that regardless of the shaping technique you choose, it’s crucial to make sure that all the meatballs are the same size. This ensures that they cook at the same rate and prevents some meatballs from being overcooked while others are undercooked.

Heating Up the Griddle

Before you start cooking the meatballs, you need to properly heat up your flat top grill. This ensures that the meatballs cook evenly and develop a nice crust on the outside. To heat up the griddle, turn on the burners or heat source to medium-high heat and allow it to preheat for about 10 minutes.

It’s important to note that different flat top grills may have different temperature settings, so it’s best to consult your grill’s manual for specific instructions. The ideal temperature for cooking meatballs on a flat top grill is around 375°F (190°C). This allows for a nice sear on the outside while ensuring that the inside cooks through without drying out.

Cooking the Meatballs

Once your flat top grill is properly heated, it’s time to start cooking the meatballs. Place the shaped meatballs onto the hot griddle, leaving some space between each one to allow for even cooking. Cook the meatballs for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they develop a golden brown crust.

To prevent the meatballs from sticking to the griddle, you can lightly oil the surface before placing the meatballs on it. This will create a non-stick surface and make it easier to flip and turn the meatballs without them breaking apart.

Turning the Meatballs for Even Cooking

Turning the meatballs during cooking is crucial for even cooking and ensuring that they are cooked through. To turn the meatballs without breaking them, use a spatula or tongs to gently lift and flip them over. Be careful not to press down too hard, as this can cause the meatballs to break apart.

If you find that the meatballs are sticking to the griddle when you try to flip them, it may be an indication that they are not yet ready to be turned. Give them a little more time to cook and develop a crust before attempting to flip them again.

Checking for Doneness

To check if the meatballs are fully cooked, you can use a meat thermometer to measure their internal temperature. The ideal internal temperature for cooked meatballs is 160°F (71°C). Insert the thermometer into the center of a meatball to get an accurate reading.

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can also cut into one of the meatballs to check if it is cooked through. The inside should no longer be pink and should be firm to the touch.

It’s important to avoid overcooking the meatballs, as this can result in dry and tough meatballs. If you find that your meatballs are consistently overcooked, you can try reducing the cooking time or lowering the heat on your flat top grill.

Serving Suggestions

Once your flat top grilled meatballs are cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve them up. There are many ways to enjoy these delicious meatballs. You can serve them as an appetizer with toothpicks for easy snacking, or you can serve them as a main course with a side of pasta or rice.

For added flavor, you can serve the meatballs with a variety of sauces. Some popular options include marinara sauce, barbecue sauce, or a creamy garlic sauce. You can also garnish the meatballs with fresh herbs like parsley or basil for a pop of color and freshness.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Flat Top Grilled Meatballs

To achieve the perfect flat top grilled meatballs, here are some additional tips and tricks:

1. Use a combination of ground meats: Mixing different types of ground meat, such as beef and pork, can add depth of flavor to your meatballs.

2. Chill the mixture: Before shaping the meatballs, refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes. This will make it easier to shape the meatballs and prevent them from falling apart during cooking.

3. Don’t overcrowd the griddle: Leave enough space between each meatball to allow for even cooking and prevent them from sticking together.

4. Experiment with flavors: Don’t be afraid to get creative with your meatball mixture. Add different herbs, spices, or even cheese to customize the flavor to your liking.

5. Keep an eye on the heat: Adjust the heat on your flat top grill as needed to prevent the meatballs from burning or cooking too quickly.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to create delicious flat top grilled meatballs that are juicy, flavorful, and perfectly cooked every time.

If you’re a fan of cooking on a flat top grill or griddle, you’ll love this article on “Grill Like a Pro: Elevate Your BBQ Game with a Griddle Attachment.” It provides tips and techniques for using a griddle attachment to take your outdoor cooking to the next level. Whether you’re grilling burgers, pancakes, or even fish, this article has got you covered. Check it out here!


What are flat top grilled meatballs?

Flat top grilled meatballs are Italian-style meatballs that are cooked on a flat griddle or griddle pan. They are flattened into a patty shape and cooked until browned and crispy on the outside.

What ingredients are needed to make flat top grilled meatballs?

The ingredients needed to make flat top grilled meatballs include ground beef, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

How do you make flat top grilled meatballs?

To make flat top grilled meatballs, mix together the ground beef, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Form the mixture into small patties and cook on a flat griddle or griddle pan with olive oil until browned and crispy on the outside.

What is the cooking time for flat top grilled meatballs?

The cooking time for flat top grilled meatballs will vary depending on the size of the patties and the heat of the griddle or griddle pan. Generally, they should be cooked for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through.

What can I serve with flat top grilled meatballs?

Flat top grilled meatballs can be served with a variety of sides, such as pasta, salad, or roasted vegetables. They can also be served on a bun as a sandwich or topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese for a classic Italian dish.

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