Spicy Smoked Meatballs Recipe

When it's my turn to make the appetizers, everyone wants my spicy smoked meatballs. They love 'em. And I have to admit...they are pretty darned good, even if I do say so myself!

What's unique about this recipe and these meatballs is that the meat is cured before the meatballs are smoked. That changes flavor and texture, making them more like little cured sausage balls than regular meatballs.

Sweet and Spicy Smoked Meatballs Recipe and Instructions

Great Balls of Fire!

This recipe makes enough to roll out about 2 dozen meatball appetizers.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef, 90/10
  • 1/2 pound fresh country style pork sausage
  • 2 teaspoons Morton's Tender Quick (Meat Cure)
  • 1 teaspoon Johnny's Seasoning

Add After Meat is Cured:

  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sweet red bbq sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 or more for HOT!) ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine the ground beef, pork sausage, Johnny's and Morton Tender Quick. Mix thoroughly. Place in a sealed food storage container and refrigerate overnight. Mix again, and refrigerate for a second night.

Add the remaining ingredients to the cured meat and mix well. Form into balls, about ping pong ball size. Smoke at a low temperature, at 190-200 degrees with hickory for two hours, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve immediately with a sweet dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce Suggestion-
Bulldog's Jelly Sauce

This simple sauce fools you, as it tastes nothing like the two ingredients it's made of. I learned of this sauce at a party my friend Bulldog threw many years ago.

The sauce was used to drown little cocktail sausages as they warmed in a crockpot. And it's great for dipping your smoked meatballs too. Here's the recipe.

  • 1 - 16oz bottle tomato ketchup
  • 1 - 16oz jar of grape jelly

Pour ketchup and jelly into a saucepan. Gradually warm over medium heat, stirring until jelly melts and combines with ketchup.