Smoked Meatballs, loaded with garlic and tangy parmesan cheese, are a go-to recipe anytime!
Meatballs are a favorite entree or appetizer for good reason. Whether formed into bite sized morsels perfect for dipping and dunking, or made into larger meatballs that sit on top a heaping platter of spaghetti, meatballs are delicious! And smoking them just enhances their flavor even more! This simple recipe combines the flavors of garlic and parmesan cheese with lean ground beef, and is held together using egg and panko crumbs. Cooked on a smoker until perfectly tender, juicy and infused with smoky flavor, these meatballs taste amazing!
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Savory Smoked Meatballs
- Easy to mix up, and easy to cook, this smoked meatballs recipe is definitely a keeper!
- Make a double batch and freeze for future meatball hero sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs, or just as fancy appies!
- Low-carb smoked meatballs are always welcome at parties, potlucks, and picnics! Serve as is or with an easy side of ranch or blue cheese dressing!
Ingredients & Variations
BEEF: Choose an 80/20 blend of ground beef since that bit of extra fat will make it juicier. Or use a combination of pork, turkey or Italian sausage with the ground beef.
SEASONINGS: Parmesan cheese adds a ton of tangy flavor to smoked meatballs but finely grated mozzarella or even small crumbles of feta or bleu cheese will work. Spice up those meatballs and experiment with a simple dash of liquid smoke, paprika, cayenne pepper, or a DIY chili seasoning, jerk seasoning, or even a Tex-Mex fajita flair.
How to Smoke Meatballs
- Preheat the pellet smoker to 300°F (as per recipe below).
- Mix Panko and water and allow to rest. Add remaining ingredients in order given.
- Mix until just combined and shape into meatballs
- Smoke meatballs until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
Serve with marinara or your favorite dipping sauce.
Tips for Smoking Meatballs
- It’s important to soak the Panko in water so that it expands, making the meatballs light and tender.
- Avoid over-mixing the meat mixture, or the meatballs may get dense and tough.
- Make meatballs any size you like, as long as they are uniform and the cooked temperature reaches 165°F before they’re removed from the smoker. Let them rest about 3 minutes before serving so the juices stay intact.
Keep leftover smoked meatballs in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat them in the microwave, air fryer, or stovetop. Use them to make Italian meatballs, serve them in a wrap or in a meatball sandwich, or in a spaghetti sauce bolognese. Freeze cooled meatballs in a zippered bag up to 8 weeks.
Other Tasty Recipes In The Smoker!
- Smoked Chicken Drumsticks – delicious, crisp skin
- Beef Ribs In The Smoker – tender and flavorful
- Smoked Baby Back Ribs – the perfect summer entree!
- Smoked Chicken Breasts – so juicy every time
- ½ cup panko
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese shredded
- 2 Tablespoons parsley finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic minced, about 2-3 cloves
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- Preheat smoker to 300°F.
- In a large bowl, mix together panko and water. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Add parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, and garlic and combine well.
- Add beef and mix until just combined. Begin with a spoon, then use hands to finish mixing. Do not over mix as the meatballs may turn out tough.
- Divide meat evenly into 7 meatballs, about 3.5 ounces each*.
- Smoke meatballs for 25 minutes, or until meatballs reach 160°F on a digital thermometer.
- Serve warm or room temperature with marinara sauce or any favorite dipping sauce.
- *Meatballs can be made into any size, simply adjust the cook time accordingly.
- Meatballs should reach an internal temperature of 165°F for safe consumption. It's a good idea to use a digital bbq thermometer for accuracy.
- Many smoker models like Traeger and Weber have built-in thermometers.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.