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Porter Road Smoked Beef vs. Bacon Meatballs

In this recipe, we are making meatballs from a blend of beef and bacon made by Porter Road. Meatballs are a crowd favorite, and you, my friends, are in for the treat of your life.
Course Appetizer, Entree
Cuisine Barbecue, Hot Smoking
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of Porter Road Beef vs. Bacon*
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 TBS Worcestershire
  • ¼ cup grated onions
  • 1 TBS minced garlic
  • 3 TBS Jeff's Texas style rub
  • ¼ cup Jeff's original barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Instructions

Step 1: Make the Meatball Mixture

  • Place the breadcrumbs into a separate bowl and pour the buttermilk over the top.
  • Add onions, Texas style rub, Worcestershire and chopped parsley.
  • Give it a good mix and then leave it sitting so the ingredients could get to know each other for about 10 minutes while you get the smoker ready.
  • Break the meat up into chunks and add that to a large bowl with the bread crumb mixture on top.
  • Blend that carefully with your hands making sure to only mix as much as absolutely necessary. Over-mixing is not good for meatballs and tends to make them tough.

Step 2: Form the Meatballs

  • To make the meatballs more uniform in size, you can either weigh them or just use a scoop so you get the same amount of mixture for each one.
  • Roll the mixture between your palms to form as many uniform meatballs as you need.

Step 3: Set Up Your Smoker

  • Setup your smoker for cooking at about 225 to 240°F using indirect heat.
  • I recommend oak or cherry smoke or a mixture of these if you have it.
  • Lastly, if your smoker utilizes a water pan, fill it up and use it.

Step 4: Smoke 'em

  • Once the smoker is preheated and ready to go, place the meatballs on the grate or you can leave them on the pan if you are using something like a Bradley rack or a Weber grill pan like I do.
  • Keep a close eye on these meatballs since they'll most likely be done in an hour or less depending on the size that you make them and the temperature that you run in your smoker.
  • Use a handheld thermometer that reads fast for best results.
  • The meatballs are done when they reach an internal temperature of 160°F however, when they reach about 150°F, you have a decision to make– keep reading!

Step 5: To Sauce or Not To Sauce

  • If you want to glaze the meatballs with sauce, then read on. Otherwise skip to step 6
  • Pour a cup of my barbecue sauce into a bowl and mix in ½ cup of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Glaze the meatballs with this sauce mixture then let them finish cooking.

Step 6: Serve

  • When the meatballs reach 160°F they are finished and should be removed from the heat and served immediately.
  • Add a little chopped parsley on top for garnish.

Notes

*I'm sure you could mix 80/20 ground beef together with some really high quality bacon and come up with something that would work if you wanted to but Porter Road has worked hard to come up with this unique blend of really high quality dry aged beef and Berkshire/Duroc bacon and I really recommend giving theirs a try.