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MOINK Balls (Bacon-wrapped Meatballs)

Home::Recipes > Appetizers  |  September 2011

Everything truly is better with bacon!
Bacon-wrapped meatballs

The MOINK Ball is a beef meatball wrapped in bacon, seasoned with a dry rub, smoked and then smothered in barbecue sauce. Simplicity is at the heart of this popular barbecue appetizer – cheap, easy to make and it’s easy to keep all ingredients on hand (and in the freezer). Best of all they taste fantastic!

The term MOINK Ball (yes, all capitalized) is just a mashup of MOO+OINK just like the appetizer. The name came from Larry over at The BBQ Grail, but he says he doesn’t try to take credit for being the inventor of bacon-wrapped meatballs since he probably wasn't the first. Who hasn't tried to wrap bacon around everything in sight?!

Feel free to some take liberties with the ingredients, because the taste goes well with anything from sweet to hot, Swedish to Greek to Italian, from tossed and sauced to just dry-rubbed. Whatever you do don’t make just a few.


Yield: 24 Meatballs
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours


24 Frozen or homemade Italian-style meatballs
1 packages of bacon (like Bar-S thick cut)
4 tbsp Rusty’s Memphis Rib Rub
1 bottle BBQ sauce for glazing
Skewers or toothpicks

1) For this barbecue appetizer recipe you can use Kirkland frozen meatballs or make your own. However, the best thing about these finger foods is that they’re cheap, easy to make and chances are you have all the ingredients on hand (assuming you like the frozen foods section at Costco).

2) Cut the slices of bacon in half. If you’re planning on making the entire bag into MOINKs, then I’d keep the bacon in the fridge until you’re ready for it. The bacon is easier to manage that way.

3) Wrap each meatball with a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick or skewer several together. I prefer skewers or larger toothpicks because small toothpicks tend to burn before they are done.

4) Prepare your smoker/grill for indirect cooking at 225-275°F. The frozen meatballs will take between 1.5 - 2 hours to cook.

5) Cook the meatballs until done – typically 165°F internal temp (check package). This should also allow the bacon to crisp up nicely. Apply the glaze during the last 10-15 minutes.

6) Warm up the sauce for the glaze and drizzle or dip to coat each MOINK liberally. I like to use the Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce from Sams or Costco for a sweet and peppery taste. Or if you’re using a regular barbecue sauce add 1/4 cup of honey to help it glaze.

7) Enjoy. Next time try it in a MOINK-ball sub!

Other Sauces to Try

Raspberry Balsamic Chipotle Glaze
Mixture of half grilling sauce and half Welch's grape jelly
Tropical Texas Pepper Jelly mixed with the original Head Country BBQ Sauce

Tagged: Appetizer   Bacon   Barbecue Recipe   Beef   Dry Rub   Finger Foods   MOINK  

Last Updated: November 13, 2011

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