Patent No. 5,685,217

Issued: November 11, 1997

Inventor: Rachel Kreitzer, 74 West Union Street, Canton, Pennsylvania 17724

Meatballs and the like are hard to cook without frying them in their own fat, since they are made up of ground meat which has little coherence, compared with chunks of solid meat as might be cooked on a skewer such as shish-kabobs. If spitted vertically, the meatballs would tend slip down the spit and wind up back in the fat. If spitted horizontally, as is usually done with shish kabobs, they tend to fall apart and fall off the spit.

The prior art method of cooking meatballs involves frying them in a skillet, then draining the fat and putting the meatballs in with the spaghetti or sauce with which they are to be served. As the meatballs are effectively fried in their own fat, they absorb much of that fat rather than having it drain away during cooking. The result is meatballs which are relatively high in fat and cholesterol. Often the meatballs are merely browned, then the sauce is added to the pan, and the meatballs cook in the sauce. This is even worse, as all the fat from the meat is mixed with the sauce.

The invention is a device for cooking meatballs, which may be made for use in a microwave oven, conventional oven or stove-top. The invention comprises a horizontal drip pan having a plurality of relatively short vertical pegs projecting upward from the bottom, spaced throughout the pan sufficiently apart to allow each meatball to be impaled on a peg without touching its neighbor meatball. Each peg has a disk-like stop for supporting a meatball, and preventing it from sliding down the peg into the bottom of the pan. The pan is preferably fabricated of microwave-oven safe material, but can also be made of metal and covered with Teflon® or a similar anti-stick coating for better cleaning in stove-top or regular oven use. The pan is preferably dishwasher safe for easier cleaning.

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