Monday, February 11, 2013

BBQ Meatballs

When I say I'm going to make meatballs, it usually gets my family's attention. Usually I make my Italian style meatballs with marinara sauce, but this weekend I decided to reach into my bag of tricks and replace the marinara sauce with a homemade barbecue sauce. Meatballs roasted in a hot oven, then finished in barbecue sauce. My eight year old son was a bit skeptical at first, but then he gave them the best compliment he could; he cleaned his plate.

When I make meatballs, I typically use the same method no matter what flavor I am going for. I start by mixing the meat with whatever seasonings and flavorings I want to use. For example, when making Italian style meatballs, I start by mixing the meat with pesto sauce and finely chopped onions. For these meatballs, I went with a simple flavoring of Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. After I have the flavor added, I work in an egg and enough bread crumbs to hold everything together.

Once the meatballs are divided up and shaped, I move them to my roasting pan with the rack installed. By roasting them in this manner, the grease drains away as they cook. They also cook evenly and hold their shape very well. After 30 minutes in the oven, I transfer them to the sauce to simmer for 30 minutes.

BBQ Meatballs

1 lb ground sirloin
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
1 Tbsp liquid smoke (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In large mixing bowl, combine all meatball ingredients using hands until well combined.
Divide meat mixture into 24 even portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Arrange in roasting pan. Roast in 425 degree F oven for 30 minutes.
While meatballs are roasting, heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onions in oil until soft. Stir in ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, dry mustard, and liquid smoke. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered.
When meatballs are finished roasting, transfer to barbecue sauce. Stir to coat. Cover and simmer twenty minutes more. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice, or as a filling for a really awesome sub sandwich.


  1. Mmm.. hubby would love these. BBQ sauce is his fave!

  2. Love meatballs, especially italian style. Have pinned this one just for the BBq sauce recipe, will have to try it out for something different :)

  3. Hi John,
    These are awesome BBQ Meatballs, I just love your sauce and can't wait to try it! Hope you are having a great Valentine Weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. Loved that your 8 yr old finished them... I know how much of a huge compliment that is, lol!

    Just pinned these to my Link Party Recipe Board :)

    Thanks for sharing at last weekends link party @The Weekend re-Treat!


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