I don’t know about you, but I love smoked meatballs. Smoked meatballs can be perfect for tailgating or heck, just plain eating.

And now thanks to this amazing recipe, you can make the best smoked meatballs ever.

All you will need are a few ingredients and a smoker. But don’t worry, if you don’t have  smoker handy, a little liquid smoke is all that you will need.

Now there are several options for this recipe, so first you need to decide if you are going to put the meatballs in to the oven or if you are going to use your smoker.

If cooking in the oven you will need to use liquid smoke. Otherwise if you are going to smoke the meatballs in a smoker, skip the liquid smoke and use real wood. I prefer oak, but hickory and mesquite will also provide great smoke flavor.

For me, I chose to skip the evaporated milk as I don’t like to mix meat and dairy products, so you can also skip this part too if you’d like. I found that my meatballs were still able to bind nicely without the evaporated milk.

You can also mix and match the ground meat. For example, I used entirely ground turkey. But a nice mixture of ground beef, ground turkey and ground pork should turn out great.

Lastly, you can make this recipe entirely gluten-free with just some simple substitutes. Instead of Quaker Oats, go for a gluten-free oat. Just also double check your ketchup to make sure it is gluten-free.

Making the meatballs is relatively easy. Grab a large bowl and all of your desired ingredients. Simply mix them by hand and roll into golfball-sized meatballs. Place into a shallow pan or cast iron dutch oven.

For the sauce, mix all the ingredients together and pour over the meatballs.

Then place in to the oven or smoker and before you know it, you will have the best smoked meatballs ever.

And for me, serve the smoked meatballs over a nice helping of jasmine rice. Or better yet, just pluck them in to your mouth one by one until they are all gone and done.

Meatballs

  • 13 ounce can of Evaporated Milk (optional)
  • 2 cups Quaker Oats (or gluten-free oats)
  • 1 cup Chopped Onion
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 3 lbs Ground Beef (or 2 lbs ground beef and 1 lb ground turkey or pork)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

Take a large bowl and mix all of the meatball ingredients by hand. Once mixed, shape in to balls roughly the size of golf balls or use a medium cookie scooper. Place the rolled meatballs in to a shallow pan if cooking in an oven or in a cast iron dutch oven if placing into a smoker.

Sauce

  • 2 cups Ketchup
  • 2 tbps Liquid Smoke (or oak wood if using a smoker)
  • 1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 cup Finely Chopped Onion

Mix all of the sauce ingredients well and pour over the meatballs in the shallow par or the cast iron dutch oven.

Recipe Notes

Set oven to 350 degrees. Cover the shallow pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes. For a smoker, set the temperature to 350 degrees using the direct method of smoking. About 10 minutes prior to cooking in the smoker, add a couple small oak hunks or a handful of soaked oak chips. Once the smoke has settled, place the dutch oven in to the smoker and leave uncovered for the entire cooking time of one hour. At 30 minutes, check the meatballs and stir with a spatula. After on hour total smoke time, you should have the best smoked meatballs ever.