Since I started blogging I have also been on twitter contacting and following other BBQ fanatics. Last week one of the competition teams I follow mentioned he was making smoked meatballs. Well I have to say I love smoked foods and I love meatballs. It was a no brainer to make this as one of the things for our Superbowl party. I have a great meatball recipe that I have worked on over the years and figured it would be easily adaptable to BBQ flavors. Most big time BBQ pit masters will tell you never to try an untested recipe for a party or competition. That being said I was confident with just a few alterations the recipe would work. We had some friends over for the game and have to say they were a big hit. I also took some left overs to work today and let a few people try them and yes the smoked BBQ meatballs received rave reviews.
1 lb ground round
1 lb ground chuck
1 lb hot and spicy pork sausage
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups italian bread crumbs
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of BBQ sauce (I used some of my homemade the recipe for that is on The Best Brisket post)
Place all of the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl. As with my famous meatloaf recipe I don't believe in using a mixer. I just get in there with my hands and mix thoroughly until all ingredients are mixed and distributed evenly. I like to put the mixture in the refrigerator for an hour or so before forming the balls it makes the mixture easier to form the balls. I make the meatballs about the size of tennis balls. Keeping the meatballs uniform in size is important when it comes to the smoking time and cooking time.
I use a 2 zone fire for making the meatballs. I smoke the meatballs with indirect heat and keep the temperature at 350 degrees. I take 2 cups of pecan wood chips and soak them in water for about an hour prior to grill time.
I place the meatballs right on the cooking grate opposite the fire. Keep them as far away from the heat as possible so they do not burn. I also did my best not to move them around too much so they didn't fall apart.
Once you get the meatballs on the grill take your wood chips and drain off the water and add them to the coals you should get some good smoke going right away. I let the meatballs smoke for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. I then baste them with the BBQ sauce I used in the meatball mix. I then close the lid and let them go for another 15 minutes. I served them with some of the sauce on the side. They can be served as meatball sandwiches with BBQ sauce and a cheese of your choice or just on a plate. I have to say I will be making these again and make some pasta and tomato sauce. The smoked flavor is really great but not over powering. It is a good alternative to normal Italian meatballs. Enjoy