Can you name this vintage gadget that’s used to make a delicious dish?

Advancements in technology have played a significant role in the evolution of kitchen tools and culinary arts.

Kitchen gadgets like electric blenders, mixers, and food processors make cooking and baking easier, and allow for a lot more creativity. 

But there’s still something special about antique kitchenware that adds a spice of the past into modern-day meals. Keep reading to learn more about this kitchen tool that’s evolved over the years!

What specialty dish does Italy, Sweden, the Middle East and China have in common?


While they’re made from different ingredients (commonly meat, pork, lentils, fish or rice) and come in different sizes, they’re still balls of delicious goodness!

Some sources say the first meatball was made in ancient Persia but this claim is debated by food scholars. The kofta, made with ground beef, lamb and spices, reportedly inspired new recipes through trading goods and knowledge with neighboring countries. Meatballs were probably introduced to regions throughout the Middle East before making their way to Italy centuries ago.

A simple and versatile staple dish, it’s easy to understand why they have a prominent place in cuisine around the globe.

Meatball maker

Unless you’re a professional meatball maker, you’ll know that rolling the ingredients by hand usually results in multiple-sized, deformed balls.

It can be challenging to consistently size and shape them by hand each time, which is why a meatball maker is so handy in the kitchen!

A meatball maker is a useful tool for consistency, even cooking, and for improving the overall appearance of the dish. After all, we eat first with our eyes!

It’s also a fun family activity.  Your children can join meal preparation by shaping the meatballs with the kid-friendly tool.

Over the years

The traditional meatball shaper can still be found at thrift stores and antique stores, or if you’d rather a newer one, you can get one online or at a kitchen supply store. Some models follow the same timeless tong design, but now they feature a non-stick clasp, non-slip handles and shapes a perfect ball of meat, one at a time.

Vintage meatballers can be time consuming and if you’re feeding numerous people, you’ll need some back up.

Today, you can use a silicon tray that will let you make dozens of identically sized and perfectly formed meatballs at once! Molding meatballs with this tool – similar to an ice cube tray – eliminates the need of rolling and scooping each one individually and allows them to cook evenly.

Just spread your mix in the bottom tray and close the lid.

Commercial meatball makers

If you’re feeding a lot of people and need a machine to toss many balls at once, a commercial grade baller is perfect. Though they’re on the pricier side, these machines can make about 250 balls per minute!

On the lower end, you can buy one that makes three at a time, which is still easier than having to roll the ingredients individually.

Multi-purpose tool

As its name suggests, its primary purpose is to shape meatballs but this handy little tool can also be used to create flawless falafel or hush puppies.

As for baking desserts, they make a great cookie dough scoop or mold for cake pops!

Online users also recommend using these to serve mashed potatoes, turkey dressing, or ice cream.

Makeshift Meatballers

Much like using a vintage meatball maker to shape cookies, you can also use a cookie scoop to make meatballs! While they’re not intended to be a meatball maker, children will love using these fun little gadgets and enjoy cooking time with mom and dad.

Meatballs are surprisingly versatile. You can impress your guests with bite-sized appetizers or use this tasty treat to complement a variety of dishes, like pasta and soups.

Do you have a meatball making trick? Let us know in the comments!