Smoked Meatballs with BBQ Sauce

5 from 3 votes

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Smoked meatballs are a great Father’s Day or tailgating treat, with ground beef, sauteed onion and BBQ sauce. Make this recipe on any smoker or grill. Beyond tender and all made in the same pan!

smoking meatballs in cast iron pan on grill

This recipe post is NOT sponsored, nor was I compensated in any way. I just happen to love Traeger grills.

This meatball recipe starts with ground beef and onions, sautéed with Worcestershire, cumin and other pantry spices.

I roll the meatballs a little bigger than golf ball size, then dust with flour. Using a cast iron skillet, or one that can also go into the smoker, I quickly pan sear until golden brown.

But I need to back up here. I need to tell you about our new baby!

photo collage of steps in making ground beef meatball recipe

Smoked Meatballs on a Traeger

Recently I acquired a Traeger pellet grill. We’d been looking at them for a while now and the Timberline 850 was the one for us.

I love the versatility of the pellet grill because I can grill, smoke, roast, BBQ and bake and with it. Plus, the Traeger BBQ Wood Pellets are 100% natural, food-grade hardwood. Made right here in the USA, the cleanest, healthiest fuel source.

The variety of wood pellets include hickory, mesquite, apple, pecan (my favorite), oak, cheery (another favorite), maple, alder and a bunch more.

The Traeger Timberline 850 has a pill-shaped barrel, double-wall stainless steel interior, and airtight lid gasket. Inside there are three-tier stainless steel grates, and it cooks like a champ thanks to the new TRU Convection® system.

The feature that sold us on this model is the WiFIRE® controller. We just downloaded the Traeger app onto our phones, synched it to the unit and can adjust the grill from the yard or on the couch. How cool is that?

photo collage of smoking meatballs on traeger grill

Smoking on a grill or smoker

I take the pan seared meatballs and place them directly on the grill, cover and smoke for 10 minutes.

Then smother the meatballs with BBQ sauce and then they get kissed by mesquite once more in the smoker.

close up image of bbq sauce coated ground beef balls

These BBQ smoked meatballs are beyond tender and all made in the same pan!

cast iron skillet of bbq meatballs

Serving Suggestions

Serve the smoked meatballs with grilled corn and potato salad for a great summer time cookout. The mesquite smoked flavor on these is incredible, although feel free to use whatever wood is to your liking for the smoke.

The meal would be fantastic with other smoker recipes too, like smoked potato salad, smoked baked beans and smoked mac and cheese.

The day the smoker arrived, we broke doing a reverse sear for a smoked rib eye steak that was just outstanding! I foresee lots more grilling and smoking meals ahead for the Traeger Timberline 850!

Smoked BBQ Meatballs

This recipe post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking June 13, 2018, was last updated on August 14, 2021.

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smoked meatballs smothered in BBQ sauce in cast iron skillet

Smoked Meatballs with BBQ Sauce

5 from 3 votes
Smoked meatballs are a great Father's Day or tailgating treat, with ground beef, sauteed onion and BBQ sauce. Make this recipe on any smoker.
Servings: 5
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 45 minutes



  • Prep your grill/smoker and set temp to 325°F. Prep wood chips per manufacturer’s instructions. I used mesquite for this recipe.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the oil and onion. Cook for several minutes until softened and add the Worcestershire sauce, salt and cumin. Cook another 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl mix together the ground beef, oats, milk, onion mixture, and pepper. Roll into golf ball size and place on a cookie sheet (makes between 16 to 20 meatballs). Place sheet in freezer for five minutes to firm up.
  • After 5 minutes, remove from freezer and roll each meatball in the flour to coat. Pan sear meatballs in oil until just browned.
  • Place skillet (I used cast iron) directly on the grill and close the lid for 10 minutes (See Note 1). Next, coat meatballs with your favorite BBQ sauce and place back in the grill/smoker for 15 minutes more.
  • Remove from grill and serve with sauce poured over meatballs.


1. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet or one that can go directly in an oven/grill/smoker, use an aluminum pan or casserole baking dish.


Calories: 598kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 996mg | Potassium: 701mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 198IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 5mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Dinners
Cuisine: American, Grilling/Smoking
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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    1. We have it in overdrive this past week. Doing a spatchcock chicken today and a prime rib this weekend. Thanks Marissa. 🙂

  1. 5 stars
    I can see you’re putting your smoker to good use! These meatballs look delicious, Kevin! Bet they’d be awesome on a sandwich too 🙂