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.
Slice each strip of bacon in half and roll up your meatball.
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).
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.
After about 30 minutes, you may need to flip them or rotate them to ensure even cooking, depends on your grill or smoker.
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.
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. ;) ****