This recipe is so simple in terms of prep, the hardest part really is waiting for the sauce to infuse the meat in the crockpot because the smell is wonderful!
What You Need:
3 lbs Hamburger (or turkey or any meat burger)
2 Tsp, Pepper (I use a McCormick brand that is a grinder)
2 Tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 Tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
2 tsp. Onion Powder (If you want fresh onions that is your call, but this makes it easier)
(if you want to go real fancy you can put some cilantro in)
1 large bottle of BBQ Sauce (don’t go too thick on the sauce you need to be able to stir)
1/2 C. Grape Jelly
- Preheat oven to 350. Get a nonstick cookie sheet ready. Get a large skillet and drizzle about 2 TBS. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the pan, this needs to be hot but do not turn it up to high you don’t want to burn the oil.
- Get your hands dirty. Wear gloves if you can’t stomach handling raw meat. I don’t own gloves at home. Yet. Start mixing the meat and seasonings together. Then start forming one inch balls, just like you would for peanut butter cookies.
- Carefully lower the balls into your hot oiled skillet. You want to put them in here to sear them, give them a nice color and lock the flavors in. You may have to turn them a couple times to get even color.
- When you have some great color on your meatballs transfer them to your cookie sheet and put them in the oven to finish cooking them. Mine were done after 15 minutes but start with ten and make sure you test one by opening it and seeing that its well done.
- Transfer your cooked meat to the crock pot (mine is a 5 Qt) and then cover them with half the bottle of BBQ sauce and the jelly. Stir it and get them coated, then stir in the rest of the BBQ sauce. (the beauty of all that sauce is if you felt the need to add lil’ smokies links to the mix for fun there is enough sauce for it!). Put the mixture on the temp that makes them bubble a little but not boil. My crock pot is kinda old so I keep mine on low for a simmer.
Honestly the longer they baste in that sweet delicious sauce the tastier they are. My husband and son were fighting over them an hour into them simmering but I waited until 2 hours, and they were perfect!
You could make the meat balls ahead of time the night before and then just put them in the crockpot and add your sauce. I find that my homemade ones taste better than the store because they aren’t laden with tons of garlic which is great because its less gassy! My 3/4 full crock was emptied between myself, husband, and 13 year old son, they said it was the best ones ever. I am still going to tweak it a little and add fresh herbs but for the most part its super easy and probably less other “stuff” added like store bought. You can also use the recipe to make meatballs for Spaghetti just skip the whole BBQ stuff and dump in spaghetti sauce. All of this works well for potlucks