Game Day Slow Cooker BBQ Meatballs

meatballsI enjoy cooking for my family and friends, especially on game day. One of the guys favorites in our house is BBQ meatballs. (Also great for church pot luck dinners.) There is the easy way, using pre-packaged frozen meatballs, or making your own. Either way works. In this article I am going to show you how to make and freeze your own meatballs so you can make a batch, freeze them and use them for other things as well.

(Note: Prepare the actual meatball the day before and freeze.)

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds ground beef, preferably 90/10 but 80/20 works fine to
  • 5 oz can of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal (rolled or instant)
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon of butter, to saute onions and garlic
  • 1/2 chopped onion, diced fine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

Sauce:

  • 2 cups of ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions.
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

  1. Saute’ the onions and minced garlic until onions are clear in color.
  2. Combine all meatball ingredients using your hands.
  3. Shape meat into walnut size balls. I like to use a heaping scoop with melon baller so they come out being about the same size. With anything you cook you always want to try to make sure that meat and vegetables are around the same size so they cook at the same rate.
  4. After shaping the meatballs, place them on a waxed- lined cookie sheet and freeze them. When fully frozen, place the meatballs in a Zip-lock Freezer bag and keep stored int he freezer until needed.
  5. When you are ready to use them, put the frozen meatballs in your slow cooker. Cover and cook on high while mixing up the sauce.
  6. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and continue to cook on high for 1 hour.
  7. Remove the lid, gently stir and turn slow cooker down to low.
  8. Cook for 4-8 hours.
  9. You can serve the meatballs directly out of the slow cooker (so they stay warm) or transfer them to a nice dish for serving.

Makes around 20-25 appetizer servings

Tips: You can use the meatball recipe for multiple recipes. Instead of using BBQ sauce you can add a jar of spaghetti sauce to the slow cooker or cream of mushroom soup and serve them with noodles or rice.

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