Smoked Meatballs are a tasty appetizer perfect for game day and parties. Juicy ground beef meatballs are slow-smoked to perfection and finished with BBQ sauce. The best meatball recipe for an electric smoker or pellet grill like Traeger.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What Makes Smoked Meatballs With BBQ Sauce a Delicious Way to Serve Meatballs From Your Smoker?
Who could say no to tender smoked meatballs wrapped in bacon and glazed with tangy BBQ sauce? These appetizer-sized pork and beef meatballs may be small, but they deliver a huge hit of flavor.
The bacon keeps the meatballs' interior moist and tender, while the BBQ sauce coating helps the exterior develop a beautiful crust.
With a cooking time of less than two hours, you can make these beauties in the morning and serve them the same day.
Why You Should Try This Smoked Meatballs Recipe
Smoked Meatballs with BBQ Sauce make an ideal snack for just about any casual get-to-together. The best part is that there is nothing complicated about this recipe.
Whether you are new to smoking or you have spent years perfecting your technique, you will love making (and eating) these smoked meatballs.
Smoked Meatball Ingredients
For Traeger smoked meatballs, you'll need:
- Ground chuck
- Ground pork
- Whole milk
- Plain bread crumbs
- Fresh parsley
- Onion powder
- Freshly ground black pepper
- BBQ sauce
Match the wood used to smoke the bacon with the type of wood you'll use to smoke the meatballs.
How to Make Meatballs on the Smoker
To prepare the meatballs for smoking:
- In a large mixing bowl, use the tips of your fingers to combine the beef, pork, egg, breadcrumbs, and seasonings. Help prevent dense meatballs by not overworking the meat.
- Portion the meat into one-and-one-half-ounce meatballs. Roll the portioned meat into balls. You can use a mini meatball maker or food scoop to speed up this step.
- Cut the bacon strips in half and wrap one piece around each meatball. Hold the bacon in place with a toothpick.
To smoke the meatballs:
- Preheat the smoker to 180°F.
- Set the bacon-wrapped meatballs on a smoker-safe rack and put them in the smoker.
- Smoke for about an hour.
- Increase the temperature of the smoker to 350°F and cook until the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 165°F, about 20 minutes.
- Thin out the BBQ sauce with the water and use a pastry brush to coat the meatballs with the sauce.
- Smoke for ten more minutes.
- Remove the meatballs from the smoker and allow them to cool for about five minutes before serving.
Special Equipment That You May Need
Besides a good wood pellet or traditional smoker, you'll want to have a few other items handy.
- A meatball maker or food scoop will make portioning and forming meatballs much easier and quicker.
- An instant-read thermometer is a must to ensure that the interior temperature of the meatballs has reached at least 165 degrees.
- A smoking rack to keep the meatballs off the bottom of the smoker to prevent burning. If you want to get fancy, you can find racks specifically designed for cooking meatballs.
- A pastry brush for glazing the meatballs is handy. Silicone food brushes won't burn like traditional pastry brushes, but both styles work.
Recommendations on Wood to Use
Match the wood you use for smoking with the wood used to smoke your bacon. The slight sweetness of applewood smoke works very well in this dish, but if you prefer a more intense flavor, choose hickory wood for both the bacon and the wood you use for smoking.
What to Serve With Them
Smoked Meatballs are lovely on their own, but are better with a dipping sauce. A quick option is just using more of the same BBQ sauce from the recipe. Or you may want to get more creative with remoulade, chimichurri, or chili sauce.
To turn these meatballs into a full meal, pair them with your favorite grilled veggies, mac and cheese, or use them in the best meatball sub ever!
How to Reheat Leftover Smoked Meatballs
You can make these Traeger smoked meatballs ahead of time and heat them right before serving:
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Spread the meatballs out on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Bake in the oven until the meatballs reach at least 165°F in the center, about 15 minutes.
More Smoker Recipes for Game Day
- 1 pound kielbasa
- 1 cup barbeque sauce
- Preheat the smoker to 225°F.
- Smoke the kielbasa for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F.
- About 10 minutes before the kielbasa is done, mix the barbecue sauce with 2 tablespoons of water and brush the mixture onto the sausage, allowing the barbecue sauce to caramelize.
- Remove the sausages from the smoker, slice, and serve.
Leave a Reply