© 2023 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Cooking With Fire: Moink Balls



The final days of 2016 are ticking away, so it’s time to look forward to another year. If you’re like me, you’ll be ringing in the new year with friends and family.

New Year’s has always seemed to be a holiday of excess, too much food, too little sleep, and sometimes, a little too much to drink.

Now I have a theory as to why that is… you see, modern humans evolved 200,000 years ago, but we’ve only been celebrating the New Year for 4,000 of them, which means we have 196,000 years of catching up to do.

The only problem I’ve truly ever had with the holiday is when it comes time to prepare snacks for the party. You’re worn out from cooking those huge meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You don’t want to slave away for hours in the kitchen making appetizers from scratch, so you cheat and just heat up some frozen snacks or dump bags of chips into bowls and throw some pre-made guacamole into a serving dish.

It doesn’t have to be this way… you can make a fantastic snack that doesn’t take much time or effort, but it will make you look like you’ve slaved in the kitchen for hours when you really whipped it up in 30 minutes flat.

This week on Cooking with Fire, Chef Tom and I are making a new barbecue classic, the moink ball.

You heard that right… the moink ball. Sure it has a funny name, but the name perfectly captures the combination of bacon wrapped beef meatballs. And once you taste them glazed in homemade barbecue sauce, I’m pretty sure you’ll forgive the ‘moo’ and ‘oink’ mash-up.

Here’s another thing you’re going to love. The recipe for these moink balls includes ingredients for the homemade barbecue sauce and a homemade barbecue rub, but the base of the moink balls--Italian meatballs--can be purchased fully-formed from the frozen foods section of your favorite grocery story. You only have to thaw them.

Here's the full podcast, and the recipes are below.  


Moink Balls


24 frozen Italian meatballs, thawed

12 slices center cut bacon


For the BBQ rub:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  •  1?2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne

For the BBQ sauce:

  • 2 1?4 cups ketchup
  • 2?3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1?2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. celery seeds
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1?2 tsp. fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat a charcoal grill for high heat grilling (400ºF-500ºF). Bank the coals to one side, so you also have an indirect grilling area.
  2. Wrap 1/2 a slice of bacon around each meatball and secure with a toothpick. Mix the ingredients for the rub. Season the moink balls with the rub. Grill over direct heat, turning to crisp all of the bacon. Move the moink balls to indirect heat and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. 
  3. While the meatballs cook, combine the BBQ sauce ingredients in a saucepan and warm to dissolve the sugar and salt. Immediately after removing the moink balls from the grill, pour some of the sauce over them and toss to coat.
Josh Cary may be the eCommerce Director at All Things Barbecue during the day, but at night he takes on the mantle of an award-winning Pitmaster, who has cooked on the competition barbecue circuit under various team names including ATBBQ, Yoder Smokers and the Que Tang Clan.
All Things Barbecue Staff Chef Tom Jackson is a Kansas native, born and raised in Wichita. In 2008 he and his wife moved to Portland, Oregon, where he attended Oregon Culinary Institute. Tom studied both general culinary skills as well as baking and pastry while working as a cook in a variety of restaurants. After graduating from Oregon Culinary Institute he began working as a bread baker and pastry chef at the renowned Ken’s Artisan Bakery in northwest Portland. He spent more than four years honing his skills under James Beard Award winning chef and owner Ken Forkish. In that time he and his wife had their first child, and the draw of home and family grew stronger. Longtime friends of the Cary family, owners of All Things Barbecue, they returned to Kansas to help All Things Barbecue continue to excel in their cooking classes. Tom has been further developing and building cooking classes and private events at All Things Barbecue since March 2014.