Bacon-Wrapped Meatballs – Moink Balls
Moink balls combine the best of two worlds in the grilling sphere: “moo” and “oink”, the combination of beef and bacon, and it doesn’t get any better than that. These tasty treats are the perfect dish for any gathering or even a night at home.
Moink balls were made famous in 2008 when Larry Gaian first introduced this twist on the meatball to the world. However, moink balls aren’t just any meatball, they are wrapped in bacon then rubbed in seasoning, grilled to perfection and glazed with barbecue sauce, taking this recipe a step above the basic meatball.
There are a few ways to create these delicious, simple bites. Some chefs like to create smoked meatballs as an alternative to grilling. Others like to keep it simple and use frozen Italian meatballs, sticking to the original way made famous by Gaian. Still others are convinced creating your own meatballs to throw on the grill or smoker is the only way to go. Whichever way you decide, these bacon-wrapped meatballs are simple to make, but the explosion of taste will have others doting you as the top chef of your circle. If you have an event coming up and you are unsure of what to make, give moink meatballs a shot by following these simple instructions – you won’t regret it. Remember, safety is first, so avoid cross contamination by using different utensils, platters and cutting boards for raw and cooked foods. With frozen meatballs that are already cooked, this is not quite as big of an issue as cooking raw meat, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
How to prepare moink meatballs
Meatballs (As mentioned before, you can create your own meatballs. To keep it easier and follow the original moink master himself, use a high quality, frozen bag of meatballs)
- ¼ cup of your favorite Barbecue rub
- 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
- Apple jelly (option)
1. Take each strip of bacon and cut it in half.
2. Wrap each meatball in bacon and secure tightly with a toothpick. You don’t necessarily have to use toothpicks to create this entrée, but it sure makes life easier by holding together the meat.
3. Once you have all the meatballs wrapped in bacon, season each bacon-wrapped meatball generously with your favorite barbecue rub.
4. Prepare the grill or smoker by heating it to 225 to 240 degrees. A good tip is to preheat the grill 15 to 20 minutes before you begin cooking to make sure it reaches the perfect temperature. It is easier to remove debris after the grill is hot, so after it is warmed up and ready to go, use a grill brush to wipe off any unwanted dirt or other pieces.
5. Place the meatballs on the grill. The inside of the meatballs are already cooked, so don’t be too concerned with the internal temperatures of the meatballs. Instead, the grilling should be focused on heating and cooking the bacon through, creating a nice, mahogany color. This typically takes around an hour and a half to create.
6. Once the meatballs are cooked to perfection, it is time to add a tasty glaze. Combine your favorite go-to barbecue sauce with a ½ cup of apple jelly in a bowl and mix.
7. Dip each meatball individually in the barbecue and jelly mix until it is well coated, placing the moink meatball back on the grill.
8. Leave the meatballs on the grill for an additional 10 minutes to allow the flavor to really set in.
9. Remove the moink meatballs and allow them to cool for several minutes. Not only will this give the moink meatballs time to cool, but it also allows juices to redistribute evenly. Next, serve them up on your favorite platter to your anxiously awaiting guests – but don’t expect them to last long, these bites are sure to be gone in a flash.
To make a meal of it, consider serving up some delicious side dishes to go along with your moink meatballs for your hungry guests. A grilled vegetable always adds a burst of flavor, and a vegetable kabob makes the perfect side to your moink meatballs. Simply gather cut tomatoes, zucchini, squash, mushrooms and your other favorites and marinade in Italian dressing in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. When the time is up, place on a skewer. A great tip is if you are using wooden skewers, allow them to soak in water around 30 minutes to prevent burning. Place the vegetables on the skewers and cook until grill marks begin to show, which typically takes around 10 minutes.
Of course, nothing beats a good potato on a grill. Simply take a square piece of foil and cover in butter. Sprinkle the outside of the potato with salt, pepper and garlic seasoning, and wrap the potato in the foil. Grill for one hour, turning the potatoes often.
If you want to kick the potatoes up a notch, cut up the potato, cover in ranch, bacon, chives and cheese, and wrap up in a piece of foil. Place on the grill for 15 minutes, flip, and cook another 30 minutes. Sometimes the ranch will absorb as the potatoes cook, so you might want to add a little closer to when the potatoes are finished cooking.
For those with a sweet tooth, consider sprinkling some lemon juice over cut up peaches or a pineapple, coat in sugar, and throw on the grill for a savory treat. Serve up with ice cream.
Whatever side you choose to make along with your moink balls, just make sure to have plenty of food on hand because your guests are sure to love the combination of beef and bacon all smoked or grilled to perfection. There is a reason they are so popular – and that’s because they’re delicious. These treats are easy to eat and the perfect dish for any outside party, and work just as well as an appetizer when attending a more formal occasion. With the ease of cooking and their delightful taste, moink balls really are the ultimate grilling treat.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Moink balls?
This twist on a classic meatball is a combination of beef (“moo”) and bacon (“oink”). They were made famous by Larry Gaian in 2008. After preparing your beef meatballs, you wrap them in bacon and smoke them to perfection. They’re a delicious, easy grilled appetizer!
Can you use frozen meatballs to prepared bacon-wrapped meatballs?
If you don’t have time to make your meatballs from scratch, we actually recommend using frozen meatballs. The original Moink balls were created using frozen meatballs, so don’t feel bad about using them! Our favorite frozen meatballs for this grilled appetizer are Italian seasoned meatballs, which have a flavor profile that goes perfectly with smoky bacon.
How do you make bacon-wrapped meatballs?
It’s easiest to wrap meatballs in bacon if you choose the right bacon. Thickly sliced bacon is great for breakfast and pasta dishes, but it doesn’t work very well for wrapping. We’d recommend finding thinly sliced bacon, which will make it much easier to cover the meatball in a thin layer. Then, once you’re finished wrapping, use a toothpick to keep the bacon tight to the meatball. Then pop ‘em on the grill or the smoker and cook away using the technique outlined in the above article.
What temperature do you cook meatballs?
All ground meat products should be cooked to a well-done temperature of 165 degrees F. This is especially true if you’re buying store-bought ground beef, because this product often comes from multiple animals. To prevent the risk of contracting E-coli or Salmonella, the USDA recommends 165 degrees F for cooking meatballs, burgers, and meatloaf. If you are grinding your own meat from a single steak, you could cook them to medium rare, but we don’t recommend it.
How long do you cook bacon wrapped meatballs?
The answer to this question really depends on whether your meatballs are already cooked. In our recipe above, we recommend using cooked meatballs so you can concentrate on cooking the bacon to a beautiful color. It should take about 90 minutes to cook bacon wrapped meatballs on a 225 degree F smoker. If your meatballs are raw when you start, it can take closer to 2 hours.