Ikea is giving away massive ‘turkey-sized’ meatballs in the UK

We’re always curious about nontraditional main dishes that really make a statement on the holiday table. This year, some (possibly) lucky diners will have a truly unconventional centerpiece to share with guests: a massive, “turkey sized” Ikea meatball.

The British branch of the Swedish retailer famous for its flat-packed furniture — and normal-size Swedish meatballs, which are sold in the stores’ cafeterias or in frozen form — is holding a contest in which it is giving away 30 of the giant orbs, along with another 30 “vegan friendly Veggieball Christmas Trees,” which appear to be a cone-shaped pile of smaller, presumably meatless “meatballs.”

Ikea did not specify the weight of the thing, but the hulking, perfectly round meatball/boulder feeds up to 25 people, it said.

To win, participants were instructed to like the company’s posts on various social media platforms, comment on them and tag friends they planned to share it with.

The giant ball of meat, which looked comically overscale in Ikea’s posts, had some wondering if it was a joke. But over the weekend, the company revealed the legal terms and conditions of the giveaway, making it look like this was, in fact, the real deal. Winners, the company said, must pick up their prizes from their Ikea stores on Dec. 22-23.

“The Turkey-Sized Meatball is real!” it said in an Instagram post. “It’s big. It’s tasty. It could be yours!”

Ikea’s regular meatballs are a cult favorite, with some fans visiting store cafeterias just to order them — even when they had no need for a sack of tea lights or another Billy bookcase. During the pandemic, the company even released its recipe to give housebound devotees their fix. They are typically served in a cream sauce, and the giant holiday version appears to come with a side of that traditional pairing to pour over the top.

Get the recipe: Ikea’s Swedish Meatballs With Cream Sauce

But the gargantuan version of the ’ball perplexed my colleagues. First, guessing the size was difficult: 4 oz. servings for 25 people totals 6 ¼ pounds. But Ikea claims that it is “turkey-sized,” and most holiday turkeys are 10 pounds are more, reporter Becky Krystal noted. Then again, unlike its poultry rival, the meatball contains no bones.

Ikea U.K. did not immediately respond to an email seeking clarity, but regardless of exactly how it stacks up on the scale, our staff was also unclear on how one could cook such a large meatball so that it was done on the inside but not dried out on the outside. (And we are supposing that Ikea is giving these away fully precooked?) “Luckily they have gravy,” noted multiplatform editor Jim Webster, who suggested that the retailer might cook them in a steam oven to keep some of the moisture in.

“Can I make it in an air fryer?” Food and Dining editor Joe Yonan joked.

Reporter Tim Carman thought that all of these mysteries might be made (sort of) clear. “Does it come with a 20-step instruction booklet, impossible to follow?” he wondered.

Online, people expressed similar wonder at the mammoth orb. “What the flatpack is going on here?” one asked. “We’re gonna need a bigger gravy boat,” one commented, reprising an iconic line from the movie “Jaws.” “Going to need an Uber XXXXXL to get that bad boy home,” another surmised.

Jokes aside, the contest had nearly 10,000 responses on Instagram alone as of Tuesday afternoon.

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