Smoked Meatballs (6 SIMPLE Steps = Super Delicious)

There is nothing better than meatballs!

You can have it in the sub, in a wrap, or with a tasty bowl of pasta and sauce!

We all know that homemade meatballs are always better than store-bought.

Plus there are pretty easy to whip together.

But what makes these so special?

We smoke these meatballs!

Now, some people find them tricky as they can dry out if you are not careful.

But if you follow my simple steps below, you end up with a juicy, smokey meatball in no time!

What Type Of Meat Is Best For Meatballs

The best combination for meatballs is a mix of ground beef/ lamb and ground pork mince

The beef/lamb gives the hearty meat flavor and the fattier pork keeps the meatballs moist and light.

Having said that, using only beef works as well. Turkey or chicken mince makes a great meatball too.

How To Smoke Meatballs

Once you’ve prepared the meatballs, it’s an easy process from there.

Load up your pellet grill with whatever pellets you desire.

Applewood is great for infusing some sweet, smoky flavor. It’s down to personal preference here.

Preheat the grill, then lay out the meatballs directly on the grill.

You might like to place a drip tray or aluminum tray underneath the grill.

You’ll thank yourself when it comes to cleaning up.

What Temperature Should You Smoke Meatballs At?

Smoke at 225°F for around 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 155°F. Once the meatballs reach this temp remove them from the grill.

What Temperature Are the Meatballs Done At?

The smoked meatballs are done when the internal temperature reaches 155°F.

For a saucy-based dish, place the meatballs in a heatproof dish and top with bbq or tomato sauce. Mix to completely coat.

Why Are The Meatballs Red?

Meat smoked in the pellet grill often has a red appearance. This is perfectly normal and that’s the smoke doing its thing.

Judging the doneness of meat is best not done on appearance or time alone. Always use a temperature probe to check the internal temps.

How To Stop Meatballs Falling Apart

Getting the right amount of binder is the secret to keeping meatballs together.

Too little or too much will throw the mix off. It’s a game of trial and error when you start to perfect the right amount of each!

It helps to refrigerate the mixture before forming the balls too.

And use a scoop of some kind – an ice cream scoop or a spoon. The less handling, the more likely they won’t crumble apart. 

Using a scoop will also guarantee you’ll have the same amount of mixture each time.

Consistent-sized balls will cook together better on the grill.

How to Make Meatballs Tender?

Some extra tips and tricks to help achieve the perfect meatball:

  • Adding fattier meat like pork will give a juicy, tender meatball.
  • Add some moisture – usually eggs and/or milk
  • If you’ve no milk, try plain yogurt, thinned down with a little water.
  • Try not to overmix the mixture. The less handling the better.

Storing Leftover Meatballs

Make a double batch and store half for a quick and easy meal in the future.

Place in an airtight container when completely cooled. Or, a zip-lock bag will work as well. 

Place baking paper between each layer to avoid them sticking

Avoid spoilage or freezer burn by making sure all the air is removed and can’t come in contact with the food. 

To defrost, place the frozen meatballs in a single layer on a baking tray and heat at 300°F until heated through.

Serving Ideas For Meatballs

Meatballs are a versatile addition to any dinnertime. Some great ideas for smoked meatballs include:

  • the good old favorite spaghetti or pasta. Top with a tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and fresh chopped basil.
  • for a healthier option, serve with grilled vegetables, or salad.
  • smoked potatoes or homemade chips work well with a bowl of meatballs and gravy.
  • serve alongside smoked mac and cheese for a great earthy smoke flavor.
  • top with cheese, peppers, salsa, and sour cream with a side of corn chips.
  • serve on a fresh sub or as sliders, with fresh salads and barbecue sauce.
  • insert toothpicks for a great appetizer alongside a great tasting sauce.

What You Need for Smoked Meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef or lamb
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground pork
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onions 
  • 1/3 cup Italian Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 bunch of parsely
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder 

Smoked Meatballs Recipe

Step 1 – Pre-heat the Smoker

Load up the pellet grill with wood chips and set the temp to 250°F.

Step 2 – Preparing the Meatball Mixture

In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, pork, chopped onions, bread crumbs, cheeses, egg, parsley Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic.

Take care not to overmix.

Shape into 1-inch-sized meatballs. An ice cream scoop is a great tool for this job!

Place on a baking sheet or baking dish. Brush the meatballs with barbecue sauce.

Step 3 – Smoking the Meatballs on a Traegar

Place the meatballs on the smoking rack of your Traegar.

Place a foil-lined tray under the rack to catch the drips – you’ll be glad when it comes to clean-up time.

Smoke for about 30-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160-165°F.

Use a temperature probe to check the internal temp.

Step 4 – Serve and Enjoy

Remove the meatballs and serve as desired.

Here we placed them in a dish with tomato-based sauce and baked for 20 minutes then topped with lemon tahini

Not Sure What To Serve With Your Meatball?

Don’t want to serve your meatballs in sauce? Check out some delicious ways to serve them!

Savory Cheesy Meatball Mac & Cheese

Smoked Beans

Meatball Biscuit Sliders

See some more ideas on what to serve with meatballs here.

Smoked Meatballs On A Pellet Grill

There is nothing better than meatballs! You can have it in the sub, in a wrap, or with a tasty bowl of pasta and sauce!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 450kcal
Author: Charlie

Equipment

  • pellet grill

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs of ground beef
  • 1 ½ lbs of ground pork
  • 1 whole onion finely chopped
  • cup Italian Panko bread crumbs
  • cup Milk
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup parsley
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder

Instructions

  • Load up the pellet grill with wood chips and set the temp to 250°F.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, pork, chopped onions, bread crumbs, cheeses, egg, parsely, milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic. Take care not to overmix.
  • Shape into 1-inch-sized meatballs. An ice cream scoop is a great tool for this job!
  • Place on a baking sheet or baking dish. Brush the meatballs with barbecue sauce.
  • Place the meatballs on the smoking rack. Place a foil-lined tray under the rack to catch the drips – you’ll be glad when it comes to clean-up time.
  • Smoke for about 30-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160-165°F. Use a temperature probe to check the internal temp.
  • Remove the meatballs and serve as desired. We placed them in a dish with tomato-based sauce and baked for 20 minutes then topped with lemon tahini

Next time you have a gathering of family and friends around, why not try serving some smoked meatballs?

You’ll have happy, satisfied guests in no time!

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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