Barbecued Meatballs are most definitely an appetizer that I have used over and over again. No party is really complete without them. You can make them in a variety of sizes and, best of all, you can make them ahead of time. In fact, they are actually better if you do.
I have always used my mom’s recipe for Barbecued Meatballs and have never had a disappointed client.
Mom’s Barbecued Meatball Appetizers
And the truth is – this is actually a meatball recipe mother and grandma used in a lot of different dishes – so you will trip across it a lot while surfing RoasterPro.com
Let’s start with the Meatball Mixture
In a large bowl, combine the following ingredients well.
- 3/4 cup pulverized saltine crackers (she actually just murdered a whole sleeve of these things with a rolling pin)
- 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoons each salt and pepper
- 3 pounds ground beef
- 1 medium onion chopped very small
- 1 medium green pepper chopped very small
Form into one inch meatballs. (Mom would put the meatballs on a cookie sheet and stick them in the refrigerator for several hours. Sometimes overnight. But you don’t necessarily need to do either. If you do however, make sure to cover them well with plastic wrap!)
Let’s get our Party Started
On the afternoon of the party, Mom would pull out ‘Nesco’ (a roaster that was as old as grandma) and fire him up! (You can read all about “Nesco” here!)
Anyway, prepare your Roaster or Crock Pot by setting the temperature to 350 degrees or on high.
Depending on how many meatballs you are planning to serve, will determine the amount of sauce you will need. In any case, it’s equal parts BBQ sauce to grape jelly! (Pretty darn easy, huh!) With the recipe above, you will yield at least fifty meatballs.
I personally am a big fan of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce and it’s all I ever use, especially in this recipe! So, in a large bowl, combine 18 ounces of sweet baby ray’s bbq sauce with an 18 ounce jar of grape jelly and combine well. Put a cup or so of the sauce in the bottom of the crock pot and set the rest aside. (Cover the bottom of the roaster in the same fashion.)
In a large cast iron skillet, add enough oil to brown each meatball on all sides. Remove to a paper towel to drain excess oil. Once all of the meatballs are browned and drained, using a tong, place a few meatballs at a time in the bbq sauce and coat completely. Then place in your crock pot or roaster.
Top the meatballs with the rest of your sauce, slap on the lid, steam vent closed, and allow to cook on high for two and a half to three hours. (After the first hour or so, you can carefully stir the meatballs and sauce to ensure they are all covered and cooking equally.)
When you are ready to serve, use a slotted spoon or a pair of tongs to carefully remove the meatballs and place them on a platter. Stir the sauce to recombine and pour over the plated meatballs. Garnish with small chopped greens of a scallion.
Always have decorative toothpicks or short skewers nearby so guests can use them to select their appetizers.