Meatball - world record set by Glen Oaks Community College
CENTREVILLE, Mich., USA -- After cooking for 32
hours, the Glen
Oaks Community College meatball was ready to be served
and organizers determined the final weight to be 254 pounds
- which sets the new world record for the Largest
"It started out as a joke," said Lester
Keith, a professor of business administration at Glen
Oaks Community College. Keith and Bill Furr, also
on the faculty at Glen Oaks, co-directors of Recreation and
Student Activities, were trying to come up with something
fun to do within Glen Oaks and the community at large.
Math and science instructor Gerald Barkley
was enlisted to help craft the recipe. "Usually when something
like this comes up and somebody says, 'You can't do that,'
I say baloney," Barkley said. Mixed into the ground chuck was an assortment
of spices and additives, including oregano, garlic powder,
oatmeal, salt and a pasteurized egg mixture.
Lester Keith, a business professor at Glen
Oaks Community College whose casual suggestion last
November has led to the attempt, said nearly 50 pounds of
additives are included in the 400-pound blob of ground chuck.
“We just followed a recipe, and our physics
and math guy did all the calculations for how much to add
to each batch of meat,” Keith said. “We did a 50-pound meatball
test midweek to see how long it would take to cook and a lot
of people who ate portions of that meatball said it tasted
a lot like meatloaf.”
The magic number of 160 degrees was reached
around 32 hours after cooking began.
It took a forklift to move the world's
largest meatball to the scales, which recorded the
weight at 405 pounds, including the rack, wok and wrapping.
Organizers removed the last of the wrapping,
deducted the weight of the not-quite-cooked core and some
of the outside rim that was too charred to eat, and determined
the final weight to be 254 pounds.
Dave Wagner of the county health department
monitored the process. Captain Tim Schuler of the St. Joseph
County Sherriff’s department attested to the edibility of
The first 250 sandwiches — topped with red
sauce and mozzarella cheese — were served to the St. Joseph
County Commission On Aging for its Meals on Wheels recipients.
Food handlers then cut the rest of the meat for the waiting
crowd of 400 inside the gym.
Much of the food and drink being served,
tables and chairs inside the school gymnasium, the cooker,
hats and T-shirts were offered for free or at cost. Sturgis Hospital, for example, donated
salad, and Burger King of Three Rivers agreed to donate
dressing. Jim Brandon of Nottawa Gas has offered an
extremely large cooker and all the propane fuel necessary
to cook the meat. M&Q Packaging in Pennsylvania donated
an entire roll of oven bag material.
“We’re going to have to get together a list
of all the people and businesses who worked with us on this
… there are just too many to mention off the top of my head,”
said Keith, adding that the event would not be possible without
the help of the school’s student government members.