Bacon Wrapped Meatballs on the Grill – MOINKs

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There has been a lot of buzz on MOINK balls online, and an Earth MOINK Day was held in June. So, these great grill treats are not just catching on in the South, they are getting international attention.

What are MOINKS?
The concept is pretty simple. Take hamburger (moo) and bacon (oink), and combine the two for the term MOINK which was coined by Larry who came up with the idea and put it online at BBQ Grail for others to enjoy.

Larry insists on keeping it simple. The basic recipe is frozen meatballs with bacon and sauce. Nothing fancy. Doctor these up too much, and he will tell you that they are no longer MOINKs.

But, he cuts a little slack like overlooking those whole roll up their own meatballs. This is, in part, because frozen meatballs are not available everywhere.

Southern MOINKs or Bacon Wrapped Grilled Meatball Recipe


  • Around 1 ½ lb of ground beef
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Around one pound of regular sliced bacon
  • Seasonings (like salt, pepper, rub etc)
  • Marinade
  • Barbecue sauce (favorite type is fine)


Put toothpicks (15 to 20 in a bowl of water to soak for later – 20 minutes minimum).
Put ground beef and cheese in a large bowl and hand mix until the cheese is blended in evenly.
Roll meat/cheese into balls around the size of golf balls.
Sprinkle with seasonings if desired.
Cut bacon strips in half and put a half strip around each meatball and secure through the middle with a water soaked toothpick.
Pour marinade over bacon wrapped meatballs if desired. This can be homemade marinade, bottled, or even apple juice.
Save the barbecue sauce for the last 10 to 15 minutes of time on the grill.

How to Grill MOINK Balls

MOINKs can be slow smoked in a commercial or homemade outdoor smoker, but they can also be done on a grill. If made on a grill, then offset the charcoal to one side of the grill or turn on one side of the gas grill burners but leave the other side off. The barbecue meatballs go on the cold side of the grill. The lid goes down with the temperature low. And, in the smoker or on the grill, the time runs around an hour to an hour and a half.

The bacon is a good indication of whether of not the grilled meatballs are ready. It will be browned but not super crisp.

It is fine to put MOINKs right on the grates to grill, but that may require some turning and moving. Using a grill wok makes it easier and also makes the cooking time a bit less, since the metal conducts the heat.

If adding barbecue sauce, do that when the grilled meatballs are about done – the last 10 to 15 minutes. Tomato based sauces will burn if put on too early due to the sugar content.

Are MOINKs Good?

MOINK balls are fabulous. That’s why they are getting so popular. Although they take a while to smoke, they really are easy and low maintenance. They are definitely worth trying out whether you make the BBQ Grail classics or the Southern version with hand rolled meatballs and a little cheese thrown in for good measure.

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