Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Aaron
Mozzarella balls, or mozzarella pearls, are often used in salads and other dishes.
They’re small, bite-sized pieces of mozzarella cheese that are easy to add to a dish. But what happens if you want to melt them?
The mozzarella balls usually come packed in brine, which is a salty water solution. This helps to preserve the cheese and keep it from spoiling. The brine may also add some flavor to the cheese. However, the high moisture content makes it harder to melt them. Especially when they’re also cold or frozen out of the fridge. It will make your food soggy, rather than melted and gooey.
The easy solution is to buy low-moisture mozzarella or shredded mozzarella. Also called “aged” mozzarella or regular mozzarella. Low-moisture mozzarella is drier and has lower water content, so it melts and spreads more easily. Choose the one with whole milk as it’s higher in fat and melts better. You can find it in most grocery stores. These are better for pizza and other dishes where you want the cheese to melt.
How to Melt Mozzarella Balls/Pearls?
If you can’t find low-moisture mozzarella or don’t have time to run to the store, there are a few things you can do to help the mozzarella balls melt. You should slice or shred it instead of using the mozzarella balls whole. This will help it to melt more evenly and is likely to melt but not spread.
If you want to use the whole mozzarella balls, then drain them well first. Get rid of as much water/brine as possible. Place them on a paper towel or kitchen towel to dry them off even more. If you have a cheese press or simply weigh it down for 30 minutes will help to remove more moisture.
Another tip is to cook it slowly on lower heat. This will give the cheese time to melt without getting burnt or drying out. Depending on what you’re using them for, you can use a grill, broiler oven, toaster oven or any other similar oven that will work. If you’re making a dish like pasta al Forno or lasagna, where the mozzarella will be baked in the oven anyway, there’s no need to pre-melt it.
If you want to microwave them, cook them on the pan over the stovetop (cover the lid to steam it), or use an air fryer, you’ll need to take some extra steps otherwise the mozzarella will not melt nicely, and sometimes turn out rubbery. Not the best solution out there, but they should work too.
Whichever way you choose, make sure the mozzarella balls are at room temperature before you try to melt them. This will help them melt more easily.
If you’re using frozen mozzarella balls, you can try thawing them out before melting. You can do this by placing them in the fridge overnight. Once they’re thawed, you can melt them in a pan over low heat or in the microwave.