If you consider the perfect meatball, you probably think a crispy exterior with a juicy interior, seasoned well and smothered in simmering tomato sauce.

But until now, meatball bakers have typically tossed them on a sheet pan where they would simmer in their own grease and retain a bit too much of that sogginess.

Alton Brown ([Victoria Will]/Invision/AP)
Food innovation is a marvelous thing.

Television show host, chef and author Alton Brown took to Instagram to share with us his genius hack for solving this dilemma. He posted, “Thinking about the time I roasted my meatballs in an egg carton to wick away the grease. #crispyallover.”

Fans responded in the comments with praise.

Using Alton’s hack, the grease pools that usually form when baking meatballs are soaked up by the cardboard egg carton. This allows the meat to form a crispy exterior shell. (With grease-soaked paper in the oven, be sure to keep a careful watch!)

Recipe

Alton’s baked meatball recipe calls for a combination of pork, lamb and beef to be mixed with spinach, parmesan, basil, red pepper flakes and other seasonings, but at the time of posting, he suggested baking them in a muffin tin pan — still a more clever hack than your basic cookie sheet. No word on whether he’ll update the directions for his fancy new food hack.

Thinking about the time I roasted my meatballs in an egg carton to wick away the grease. #crispyallover

A post shared by Alton Brown (@altonbrown) on

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Author

Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.