I guess I figured when I posted a teaser shot of these MOINK Balls Sunday night on Facebook that everybody would know what I was talking about. Sometimes I forget that not everybody hangs out on BBQ Forums and is aware of all the stuff that is going on in the BBQ scene (either there is something wrong with you people or there is something wrong with me. Let’s just leave it at that 😉 ).

     So a bit of history for you. Larry Gaian of The BBQ Grail is officially recognized as having created the MOINK balls. What is a MOINK ball (and yes, btw, MOINK should always be capitalized)? It is a beef meatball wrapped in bacon (MOO + OINK = MOINK) rubbed down with BBQ rub, cooked on a grill or smoker and glazed with BBQ sauce towards the end. But there is more to it than that. There are official rules, an International MOINK Ball Appreciation Society (IMBAS) and even an official International MOINK Ball Appreciation day. So what are these rules?

1. MOINK Balls will be made with ALL BEEF meatballs, wrapped in PORK bacon. Seasonings, sauces and glazes are encouraged but not mandatory. In the past MOINK Balls were only made with pre-made, store bought meatballs. Due to the international appeal of MOINK Balls and the lack of availability, in some localities, of store bought pre-made meatballs, HOMEMADE meatballs will now be acceptable provided the meatballs are made with no other meat other than BEEF. The standard binding agents are approved. Keep in mind the beauty of MOINK Balls is simplicity. Don’t get too fancy on the binders/fillers. (This rule change will forever be known as the NOSKOS Rule)

2. MOINK Balls must be cooked out of doors using a wood or charcoal fire. Balls cooked indoors or using a fuel source other than wood or charcoal can not be considered for certification. It is important to note that pellets that are made of wood are acceptable as a fuel source for MOINK Balls.

3. The use of the term MOINK Balls requires the proper capitalization. Failure to capitalize MOINK Ball will result in your application being denied.

     Now that we’ve got that all covered, I guess we can get started. Since these are supposed to be kept simple, all you need is some frozen meatballs, bacon, bbq rub and some bbq sauce. Pretty easy.The first thing that you want to do is to allow your meatballs to defrost just enough that you can run a toothpick through them. You do NOT want them defrosted. Either 30-40 seconds in a microwave or a couple of minutes sitting on the counter.

Getting started

     Slice each strip of bacon in half and roll up your meatball.

Secure with a toothpick

     You will now want to secure your meatball with a toothpick. It should take some effort to shove the toothpick all the way through. Be careful not to stab yourself (I had one go about 1/4″ into my finger….OWW! Had to wear gloves to finish them off so I wouldn’t bleed all over them….gross).

Onto a 250F smoker

     Next, rub them down with your favorite BBQ rub. Seems like lately I’ve been grabbing an old standby, Stubb’s Rub. And then onto your smoker at 250F. If you don’t have a smoker, you will need to cook these over indirect heat (no flame or charcoal underneath). I used hickory for my smoke, but any wood will do.

30 minutes in

     After about 30 minutes, you may need to flip them or rotate them to ensure even cooking, depends on your grill or smoker.

One hour in, starting to glaze

     After one hour, you will want to start glazing your MOINK Balls with a BBQ sauce. Any kind will do, just pick your favorite. For these ones, I went with a new to me bbq sauce that I recently found out of Elgin, Texas called Meyers. The only one I had on hand was their spicy version, so that’s what we went with. I glazed mine every 10 minutes for the next 30 minutes making sure to get all sides.

MOINK Balls finished

     In all, it took 90 minutes to cook these at 250F. You can shorten the time by increasing the temperature of your smoker if you want. The MOINK Balls came out really good. They had absorbed the hickory smoke flavor nicely, had some saltiness from the bacon and the meatball was still rather moist inside, not dried out at all. The BBQ sauce might have been a bit hot for these, and for once, MAYBE….MAYBE I could see a use for some Sweet Baby Rays (gasp…shock….did he just say that? Some of you might be aware of my utter disdain for SBRs) or another sweet bbq sauce. These would be a fantastic (and cheap) way to feed the masses and keep them happy while they are waiting on your brisket, ribs or pork butt (which just so happens would also be cooking at 250F) So, if you haven’t heard of these before, or have but have yet to try them, I urge you to get off the fence and make some. Your guests will thank you for them….and you can thank me later.

***BTW – I was kidding about the Sweet Baby Rays. It’s still NOT allowed in our house. 😉 ****


27 thoughts on “MOINK Balls

  1. Great post. Love these things… but after reading your rules, I guess mine don’t qualify as official! I usually make them with fresh meat but I also like take cheese strings/sticks and put a small piece of cheese inside the meatball. Awesome stuff.

    1. I don’t know about all that “official stuff” just something I read. Mrs. G and I were actually talking about making them ourselves next time and maybe adding some cheese. Great minds think alike, huh?

  2. Yum…had never heard about these, but I guess it’s because I have been 10 years away from the states and grilling here is not really something you do….since most of us plebeians live in an apt! Next time I get my hands on a grill….I will try them and let you know how it goes!

  3. I appreciate the MOINK Ball love. One of the problems with posting “official” rules like this is it misses the whole context of the thread they were in, along with the tongue in cheek nature that was originally intended.

    MOINK Balls are what MOINK Balls are. Just cook, eat and enjoy because that’s what it’s all about.

    1. Hey, thanks for taking the time to visit my site, Larry. I appreciate it. Yeah, I knew they were tongue in cheek and I debated whether to post them or not, but finally just went ahead and did. So glad you ame up with them. So how do you like to glaze yours?

  4. Don’t hate the Sweet Baby Ray’s… It’s the best dipping sauce around, great for nuggets, etc. 😀 Just not something I’d put on real BBQ. Now on your MOINK balls, SBR’s would do just fine. I’ll have to send you my bacon wrapped “armadillo eggs”, even though they are slightly different, but it calls for SBR 😛

  5. I was waiting for your response on fb the other night on what these were but figured I had to visit your blog.
    These sure do look delish! Beef & Pork, my 2 favorite food groups.

  6. I think I’m in love! 🙂 Although I stuff my applewood smoked bacon bites with dates and nuts, the addition of a smokey bbq glaze makes my mouth water! An adaptation of these will be on my grill this weekend! Thanks!

  7. LMAO over the toothpick – ahhh who cares, they won’t be able to see any blood after you glaze them (ha ha). I like a sweet sauce with ours, the family likes Blues Hog Original.

  8. Every Friday, I share my favorite food finds in a series called Food Fetish Friday. I love this post so much I’m featuring it as part of the roundup (with a link-back and attribution) and I hope you have no objections. It’s a pleasure following your creations…

  9. I’m cookin these to take to a Super Bowl party and had to stop by your blog for a refresher. Thanks and I hope all is well!

  10. Looks great – making about 40 on saturday, but I have a question about preparing these ahead of time. Do you think I can do the meatball semi-defrost today (friday) apply bacon/toothpick and throw them back in the fridge for a Saturday afternoon cook? I have some time now so trying to eliminate any saturday prep when my guests are over. You emphasis “still frozen enough to put a toothpick through” so figured I would ask . . . thanks!

    1. It might work. I think the reasoning behind leaving them partially frozen is a) gives the bacon time to cook while the meatball if thawing and then cooking so it doesn’t dry out and b) partially thawing them allows you to get a toothpick through them. Can’t do that when frozen. I think if your meatballs were all the way thawed, you might want to pre-cook the bacon for a minute or so in the microwave just to give it a head start. I guess the tricky part is making sure the meatballs and bacon are done at the same time.

      1. AAAhhhh ok that makes sense. Figured it had some logic behind it. Thanks for the prompt reply (as always) and looks like I will wait until tmrw – thanks!

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