Here’s another installment from Arthur Aguirre. The guy has some serious BBQ (and photography) skills. In this post Arthur attacks one of the rising phenomenons of BBQing – The MOINK ball. Not only does he show you how to do it, but he also explains the origins of the mighty MOINK. These little nuggets of deliciousness are always a huge hit. From here, I’ll hand it over to Arthur to show you how they’re done…
***Editor’s Note ~ Arthur has started his own blog and I’m more than happy to promote his on mine. His new site is called MajorLeagueGrilling.com***
If you love Atomic Buffalo Turds (ABT’s), you will love MOINK balls. A simple description of MOINK balls are BBQ bacon wrapped meatballs. Without a doubt these tiny tender treats are the biggest thing to hit the grilling scene since ABT’s. The world wide craze of the MOINK ball is credited to a Larry Gaian author of the BBQ Grail.
***Editor’s Note ~ BBQ Grail is an excellent blog/website very similar to what we do here at GrillinFools.com. I highly recommend Larry’s site***
Since the MOINK balls introduction into the BBQ world, it has earned positive reviews from people all over the world fortunate enough to taste the mighty morsels of smokiness.
The name MOINK is not an acronym, it is the combination of the two main ingredients: beef and pork. When referencing these ingredients, we know they come respectively from a cow and a pig. Hence, the sounds they make are moo and oink. Therefore, the creation was aptly named MOINK ball.
To understand how the MOINK ball was conceived, we need to understand its purpose. First, it was designed to feed the masses. Second, it utilizes two ingredients used often by families – bacon and frozen meatballs. Third, it must be grilled or smoked outdoors. And finally, MOINK balls are aerodynamically shaped for fast consumption.
End of summary.
So, when the 4th of July came charging upon us, the parties were a plenty. I made a batch of MOINK balls each for two different parties. Unquestionably, MOINK balls are a tasty and an inexpensive way to impress people.
There are five major items needed for MOINK balls:
- Pre-made, all-beef meatballs
- BBQ sauce
- Smoke wood
When I made a batch of MOINK balls for the first party, I took a conservative approach. This party always had a ton of food and there are plenty of leftovers. Also, early estimates were close to about 60 people attending the party. With that in mind, I bought just a bag of frozen meatballs because I didn’t want to take leftovers home with me, especially when they sit out too long. When I had an idea on how many MOINK balls I’ll be making, I drew up my game plan.
1 bag of frozen meatballs [approx. 50]
2lb of bacon (2 packages)
John Henry’s Pecan Rub
Blues Hog Tennessee Red Sauce
Hickory wood chunks
Pre-made, all-beef meatballs are the official meatballs of MOINK balls. BBQ Grail set up guidelines which do not allow fresh meatballs. However, one can definitely make fresh meatballs, just call them meatballs wrapped in bacon. The only exceptions are for international grillers where fresh meatballs are perfectly acceptable.
***Editor’s Note ~ That’s right. These things are so popular there are purists out there and guidelines that are different for international grillers***
Moving on with our MOINK balls, the first batch is being set up for indirect heat on the grill manufacturer that shall not be named. I’m going with lump charcoal here, so by the time it gets hot enough the MOINK balls will be ready.
First, I have to assemble the meats. The meatballs are thawed but still firm enough to handle without falling apart:
The bacon is a 1lb package of strips, 2 may be needed. Each strip is way too long for one meatball, so cut the bacon in half. It’s easier to cut the bacon when it is semi frozen. The bacon is too much like rubber at room temperature:
I suggest buying the thin cheap bacon rather than the thick cut bacon because it cooks faster and it’s crispier when it’s done.
Use one half piece of bacon and wrap it around the meatball, then stick it with a toothpick to keep it together:
Assembling the bacon and meatballs may take a while. This is a good opportunity to get the kids involved in some BBQ activity:
***Editor’s Note ~ Love the Abita Turbo Dog in the background!!***
Next, I poured the rub all over the meat:
At this point, the grill will be ready to go. I banked the charcoal to one side of the kettle. In addition, I placed the MOINK balls on the grill opposite of the coals so I could indirect grill the MOINKS and keep the temperatures down:
Then, I added some hickory wood chunks. Also, I made sure the lid was placed with the vent over the meat so the smoke would have to travel across the meat before leaving through the vent. I leave the bottom vents open all the way too. The temp range will be somewhere between 350 and 375. Cooking time will be about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
After an hour I check on the MOINK balls:
They look just about done so I brush some BBQ sauce over them. I leave them in a little longer, just enough to crisp up the bacon. As a result, the bacon turned out very dark, almost black:
It isn’t that they are burnt, it’s just the rub and BBQ sauce has lots of sugar in it. It’s almost like bark on a pork shoulder or brisket.
At the time, I thought I really screwed up. I ate a couple of them and they didn’t taste burnt. I put them in a foil pan, brushed more Tennessee Red on them and covered them until they got to the party. Meanwhile, I thought to myself, nobody is going to like these.
So we arrive at the party and I put the MOINK balls on the table and I jump in the pool for a swim. After a while of being in the pool, some brave soul must have tried a MOINK ball because I heard people talking about how others should try these little meatballs. They were a huge hit and the talk of the party. In fact, they were all gone before the main course was served!
The following week, I made a second batch for a family reunion party:
This time, I smoked them for 2 ½ hours at 225 degrees on the smoker with hickory wood:
For me, these were much better than the first batch. Although, the bacon could have been crispier, but I didn’t have time to do it. However, a few people at the reunion who were also at the pool party said they preferred the first batch of MOINK balls.
I used a different rub and sauce for the second batch and I made twice as many for roughly the same amount of people. They too went over really well, but they were not all gone. I love these little succulent samples, I look forward to making more. And so do a bunch of people who loved them at the party.
If you have any questions about the MOINK balls, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email and I will forward it to Arthur. Although, if he keeps kicking ass like this I might have to give him his own Grillin Fools email address!!
If you are interested in other appetizers and sides click here.
And you can follow the Grillin Fools on our Facebook page and post your own grillin pics just like Arthur did.