In this research, the effects of different cooking processes (grilling, oven, and microwave cooking) on microbial flora and chemical composition of the raw and cooked meatballs as consumed in Tekirdag were investigated. Microbial flora of the raw meatballs was as follows: total bacteria, 6.02 x 10(6) cfu/g; psychrophilic bacteria, 1.3 x 10(5) cfu/g; yeast and mould, 2.4 x 10(5) cfu/g; coliforms, 1.1 x 10(5) cfu/g; Escherichia coli, 1.0 x 10(2) cfu/g; total staphylococcae, 3.3 x 10(2) cfu/g; Staphylococcus aureus, 85 cfu/g. While Salmonella was found in only one sample, none of the samples contained Clostridium perfringens. The cooking processes clearly decreased the microbial flora (2-3 log cycles in grilling (71degreesC) and oven-cooked (79degreesC), 3-4 log cycles in microwave (97degreesC) heating) of the meatballs. However, because of the crust formation and high moisture losses from the meatball surface in microwave heating, some sensorial defects were observed in the final product. Also, fat and moisture losses were higher in microwave cooking compared to the other cooking processes. In conclusion, it is advised to use slightly higher temperatures than used in the grilling or conventinal cooking procedures to increase microbial quality of the meatballs studied in this research.