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Chicago Metallic Meatball Baker
Manufacturer: Chicago Metallic Bakeware (Focus Housewares LLC)
List price: $24.99
Warranty: 10-year
Dimensions: Pan: 13-1/4" x 10-1/4" x 2-3/4"; Rack: 16-1/4" x 9" x 1-1/4"
Weight: 2 lb 5 oz
Composition: Steel; nonstick coating
Made In: China
Type: Meatball baker; Roasting pan
Color: Dark gray
Ambitions
Apparent goal: kids gift/registry home kitchens restaurants everywhere
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Diet/nutrition: does not apply scary empty promises helpful essential
Green?: not especially neutral mixed blessing earth friendly green!
Innovative: step back standing still progress trendy genius
Problem solving: no better baby steps solid steps giant steps a revelation
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Utility/Quality
Ease of use: impossible frustrating OK simple child's play
Intuitive: Ph.D. required barely logical effortless brilliant
Instructions: missing incomprehensible adequate unnecessary excellent
Quality: cheesy questionable good years of service impressive
Parts to lose: inevitable some one-piece self-storing not a problem
Power source: none hands batteries outlet oven
Clean-up: nightmare wipe clean soap & water scouring pad dishwasher
Does it work?: not at all adequately well very well perfectly
Availability: airfare required online kitchen store department store supermarket
Packaging
Easy to open?: impossible maddening tolerable good opens itself
Green?: fills a landfill huge waste passable minimal waste impressive
Economy
Time saving: time wasting not really modest substantial huge
Labor saving: less efficient marginal a bit noticeable remarkable
Money saving: money wasted none $ $$ $$$
Beats the old way: worse no change better definitely entirely new
Where will it live?: garage/attic drawer cabinet countertop elsewhere
Summary
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfies exceeds home run
How often used: once/twice ≥daily ≥weekly ≥monthly ≥yearly/holidays
Worth the space?: no does not apply w/unlimited space w/limited space absolutely
Need it?: a luxury discretionary basic equipment for serious cooks get it
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it fair good very good excellent

Comments: How often do you make meatballs? Put it another way, can you justify purchasing a special pan just to make meatballs?

We think you can, and here's why:

The Meatball Baker from Chicago Metallic features a roasting pan with a 3-channel rack to hold meatballs in place while baking. Perhaps it is the depth of the roasting pan or simply magic, but there was no spattering of fat in the oven, and most of the fat from the meatballs drained into the bottom of the pan.

Depending on the size of your meatballs, you can fit six or seven per row – so 18 to 21 meatballs per batch. The size will also determine how long they need to cook, which may involve a little guesswork. We stuck the needle of OXO's Digital Leave-In Meat Thermometer in the center of the largest meatball, and let it tell us when the meatballs were done – and all were done to perfection. It took a little over 15 minutes for the meatballs to cook through, but it was 15 minutes without the relatively frequent turning and babysitting required of meatballs in the frying pan.

After years of frying meatballs, we were prepared for less flavor and less browning, but were delighted on both counts. They were delicious, as beautiful as it is possible for meatballs to be, and were not overdone (as can so easily happen in the frying pan.) The roasting pan and meatball rack are both nonstick, for easy clean-up. Both can be cleaned in the dishwasher, and neither wants to be touched with a metal utensil.

Of course, you can also use the set for shish-kebabs or appetizers, such as stuffed mushrooms. And you can use the good-sized roasting pan without the rack for other roasting needs – so it needn't be just for meatballs.



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