How to use a Melon Baller

If you are making a fruit salad or you want to present fruits in a different way, why not try using a melon baller? Melon ballers are relatively inexpensive yet useful, and they will save you a lot of time and effort in trying to create circular forms out of fruits. If you have never used a melon baller before, here are some simple and easy to follow instructions that will help you get started. 

First, you will need to decide what fruit you are going to make balls out of. This is important because some fruits are not appropriate for a melon baller. For instance, it would be difficult to use a melon baller on a strawberry (even though it is possible). Apples would be equally difficult because the flesh is quite hard. However, melon ballers are best for large fleshy fruit, such as muskmelons (cantaloupes), papaya, mangoes, and watermelons. As you can see, melon ballers are best used for melons, hence the name of the tool.

There are different types of melon ballers. Some are made out of wood, while most are made out of stainless steel. The metal melon ballers will last for a long time, although you must take proper care of them. Most melon ballers come with two ends of different sizes. One end is for larger balls while the other end is for smaller balls. Some melon ballers will only have one bowled end, while the other end may just be blunt or may have a different function, such as scraping the fruit’s flesh. Choose the melon baller that you think will be most useful for you.

To use the melon baller, wash and cut the fruit down the center. If you are cutting a melon, you can steady the fruit by slicing off a thin piece of the bottom or the top, and then setting the melon down on that flat surface. Be sure to remove all of the seeds if you are using muskmelons. Wash the fruit again, and then use the melon baller as if you were scooping out ice cream. If you want fully-formed “balls,” you will need to make deep plunges into the flesh and then scoop. If you want half-balls, you will simply just scoop using shallow moves. Start from the middle of the fruit where there is usually a cavity. For instance, muskmelons’ centers are usually filled with seeds, and once the seeds are scooped out you have a great starting point for using your melon baller. If you are using the melon baller on a mango, just start closer to the edge. That way, you will get more “fully-formed” balls.

As you can see, using a melon baller is easy as pie. Don’t let this strange-looking gadget fool you into thinking that it is difficult to use. This is one of the easiest kitchen tools that you will use.

What’s new in Kitchen Tools

KITCHEN TOOLS
Are You in Touch with these basic new helpers?

You’ve watched some cooking shows. You’ve seen ads and infomercials. You know there’s a slew of new kitchen aids and utensils and gadgets and ware that might help make life in the kitchen easier for you. But you can’t buy em all. Or can you?

Actually, it won’t take much to update your kitchen, and there’s a lot of really neat stuff at kitchen specialty stores, where you can find products that transcend the merchandise offered at department stores, supermarkets, drugstore chains and big-box outlets.

THE SILICONE FACTOR
If you haven’t introduced silicone to your kitchen, it’s time you did. The silicone revolution began with spatulas. Those plastic spatulas recommended for non-stick cookware tend to melt or at least deteriorate after time, don’t they? Enter silicone, the wonder stuff. Spatulas made with silicone don’t melt or deteriorate. They’re more flexible and virtually heatproof, withstanding heat that reaches 600 to 900 degrees. Silicone spatulas led to other silicone products. Now you can find silicone baking mats that can go from pastry board to freezer to oven without any problems. Silicone promotes even heat distribution so baked goods come out moist and flavor-true. A high-gloss nonstick finish makes it easier to remove cookies or pastry from the baking mat and, because it is nonporous, it won’t retain the odors or flavors of your food after cooking. And it’ll last forever. Silicone muffin pans are flexible, and non-stick, and they cool quickly. Silicone whisks have the same heat resistance, and their handles don’t absorb heat. Silicone cake molds come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Silicone oven mitts allow you not only to reach into the oven and grab very-hot things, but also to plunge your hand into boiling water!

TAKING TEMPERATURES
You have a meat thermometer. You may even have a digital meat thermometer. But you’re probably out-of-date. Now, you can buy a programmable meat-temperature fork. Set it to the appropriate temperature. Stab your roast with it and it’ll show you the current temperature, then it’ll beep when the proper temperature is reached. And now there’s a digital thermometer that sits on top of the stove as it measures the temperature of the food inside the oven! You can buy one that beeps progressively, letting you know when your meat (or whatever) is almost done, done, and overdone (with a more-urgent sound). You can buy one that hooks on your belt and keeps you in touch with your oven, even if you’re out in the yard!

And we’re just dancing on the warm griddle here. Locate a kitchen specialty store. Venture in. Find a clerk. Tell him or her what you’re looking for and you’ll be amazed at the variety and advancements that clerk will reveal. If you want to have special fun, just ask, “What’s new?” Then be prepared for a journey through the store that will fascinate you. What the heck? If professional chefs are using all this new stuff (and they are), why shouldn’t you be?

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