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MOINK Balls, The Easiest Grilled Appetizer Ever

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Smoked bacon wrapped meatballs

We dare you to eat just one of these delicious smoked bacon wrapped meatballs, affectionately known as MOINK balls.

In search of the perfect appetizer for your backyard bash, pre-game party, or family get together? It doesn’t get much easier than these tasty bacon wrapped meatballs, a.k.a. MOINK balls!

Popularized several years ago by my brother in smoke, Larry Gaian, MOINK balls are the tasty combination of beef (moo) and pork (oink) in the form of frozen beef meatballs wrapped in bacon, seasoned with a rub such as Meathead’s Memphis Dust, then smoked to perfection. So simple, and so good! Brush them with a little BBQ sauce and you’re good to go.

Note that while you can make your own meatballs, Larry’s original recipe keeps it simple (stupid) with the precooked frozen variety. For my version, I modify commercial BBQ sauce with the addition of cherry juice for fruitiness, a little squeeze butter for richness, and chipotle powder for smokiness. The result? One of the easiest, most crowd pleasing BBQ and grilling appetizers ever for any couchgating, tailgating, or backyard bash.

Before jumping out our own recipe below, check out this MOINK ball video from our friends at SnS Grills, featuring our commercial pork rub and KC barbecue sauce (read more about them and order them here)! Note that in the video, Russ stuffs dresh ground beef meatballs with cheddar cheese while ours stays true to Larry’s original formulation featuring frozen pre-cooked beef meatballs. Regardless of which way you choose to make yours, friends and family will still devour them in seconds!

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Meatball (MOINK Balls) Recipe


Smoked Bacon Wrapped Meatballs
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
3.69 from 109 votes
In this flavor packed MOINK ball recipe, frozen beef meatballs are wrapped in bacon then smoked for one of the simplest, yet crowd pleasing BBQ and grilling appetizers.

Serve with: Your favorite pilsner.


Course:
Appetizer
,
Side Dish
,
Snack
Cuisine:
American

Makes:

Servings: 4 Servings

Takes:

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

MOINK Balls

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

  • 18 ounce bottle BBQ sauce, such as KC Masterpiece (alternatively, you can use our bottled commercial KC BBQ sauce)
  • 1/4 cup cherry juice
  • 2 tablespoons Parkay® squeeze margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
Notes:
About the Meathead’s Memphis Dust. If you’d rather not make this rub from scratch you can buy it instead. We have created a bottled rub that is very similar and you can purchase it here. Keep in mind that our bottled rubs have salt in them. When using the bottled rub with this recipe, you do not need to add the salt that is called for in the recipe. Just use the rub instead and add it when the salt is called for.
About the BBQ sauce. If you don't want to make your own BBQ sauce, be sure to try our Meathead's Amazing "Good Enough To Drink" KC BBQ Sauce.
About the meatballs. Although the original MOINK balls recipe uses frozen pre-cooked beef meatballs, you can certainly make your own using fresh ground beef. You can also stuff them with cheese to make them extra special.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page

Method

  • Fire up. Prepare a smoker for indirect cooking. Alternatively, you can set up a charcoal grill for 2-zone cooking by placing a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the grill's charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the smoker or grill vents to bring the temperature to about 325°F (162.8°C) and add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 325°F (162.8°C) on the indirect side.
  • Prep. Cut the bacon slices in half and wrap each meatball with bacon. Secure the bacon with toothpicks then dust the meatballs with Meathead's Memphis Dust dry rub seasoning.
  • Cook. Place the MOINK balls on the cool side of the grill, cover, and allow them to cook until the bacon is browned and crisp, approximately 35 minutes.
    Smoking bacon wrapped meatballs
  • As the MOINK balls smoke, combine the BBQ sauce and cherry juice in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until the cherry juice has reduced and the sauce has thickened, approximately 10 minutes. Stir in the margarine and chipotle powder.
  • Remove the MOINK balls from the grill. Pour the sauce into a medium sized bowl and use the toothpicks to dip the meatballs into the sauce.
  • Serve. Plate the MOINK balls and serve immediately.

Related articles

Published On: 3/27/2018 Last Modified: 10/24/2022

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  • Clint Cantwell, Champion Pitmaster - Clint Cantwell is AmazingRibs.com's Senior Vice President of Whatever, charged with creating recipes, writing articles, shooting photos, and a little bit of everything else. He was named one of the "10 Faces of Memphis Barbecue" by Memphis Magazine and was the winner of Travel Channel's "American Grilled: Memphis".

 

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