Smoked Bacon Wrapped Meatball Tree

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Meatball Tree Moink


I thought it would be a nice idea to try a new presentation for my bacon wrapped meatballs.

I have made many traditional Crockenbouche for past Christmas events and I thought the design would be super festive for meatballs. This worked really well and it was fun and easy to make.

This was fun to do and everyone at our annual Christmas party loved it. It didn’t last long lol.

I started with an 8” foam core tree shape and wrapped it in foil.










I used extra-long “Clubhouse sandwich” toothpicks. The meat balls were 2 boxes (almost 3 lbs) of Angus Beef Meatballs from Sobeys that are pre-cooked. I wrapped them each with 1/3 slice of bacon each then sprinkled with Smoky Mountain Smokers Chipotle rub.  They were smoked on my Traeger for just over an hour at 225F. I used Hickory & Oak pellets. When I removed them I glazed them with Garland Jack’s Secret Six Hickory Spice BBQ Sauce.






Pretty simple after that point  just poke them in tightly until the tree is full. I also made a bacon star that took me a few tries to get right btw a super cute when done. The star bacon shape was baked on a silpat sheet to keep it flat. I did the star at 225F and it took 3 strips of bacon to make.


All of the bacon I used was 18/22 slice size.

The tree was simply garnished with the last sprigs of rosemary from my garden. It was a great appetizer for my Christmas party guests who have a serious love for all things bacon & BBQ.




Just a reminder this weekend i’ll be here for 3 demonstrations daily in the Traeger Grill ZONE!

Ill be doing demonstrations on:

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs stuffed with cream cheese, pimento, onions, garlic, & spices all wrapped in Bacon!
  • MOINK Balls (Bacon wrapped meatballs rubbed & sauced!)
  • Cajun & Pineapple juice injected pork loin sandwich with caramelized onions and grilled pineapple

Hope to see you there!


Well I have to tell you this was a challenging comp to do weather wise. The site is wonderful. Lots of room for future growth. We can really see it becoming premier BBQ event in Canada in future years.


Our neighbours Good SMoke BBQ were terrific. They had the loveliest children and were great to be beside.

Next to us on the other side was Stanley’s Smokehouse. Scott Stanley was a former member of another team and he has now moved on to his own team now. They are sponsored by Charlies Sticky Sauce. Well I guess they are still a little pissed at me for the review I did of their Mid Evil Sauce in April as the first thing out of the guys mouth was that we threw them under the bus. He seemed realy quite annoyed but I stand by what I said here. I reminded him that if he had actually read the post clearly that there were two sections when I stated that I really enjoyed the original. Apparently that was enough to set him off as he stomped away and said well what do I care we got more sales from it. Whatever. LOL

Friday was a gorgeous day and we went through the usual motions of setting up stuff etc. We were expecting some family from Europe that had flown in so we brought the awards out to show them. We have never brought all of our awards out before.


Friday night moved on and it was time for the potluck. WE made MOINK balls for the first time. IF you have not heard of MOINK balls please visit this website Larry does a terrific job. I enjoy that site a lot!

Here is how we prepped the MOINK balls. There are endless varieties this one worked for us. Really quite easy – Bacon Premade Frozen meatballs (Yes I know normally this would gross me out too but somehow it works) rub sauce and brown sugar.






Really simple- Unthaw meatballs. Wrap with half slice of bacon. SEcure with toothpick. Sprinkle on favorite rub. BBQ until bacon is done. Sprinkle on some brown sugar and glaze with favorite BBQ sauce. Thats it.

We made 65 of them. They were gone fast. Best quote we ever saw about our MOINk balls came from a good BBQ friend- Darryl

BusterRhinosBBQ@DivaQBBQ gave me some Moink Balls tonight – I have only one thing to say – Holy Shit – my mouth had food sex in it tonight!!!

The potluck was great. Chili from BBQ effect, Hashbrown casserole from Can’t Stop Grillin, Steak and pepper sammies from Bustin Loose, Venison from Stanleys Smokehouse, and a decadent bacon wrapped green apple with dipping sauces (Chocolate and Peanut butter) from Happy Smoke More.







Also around potluck time we got a visit from a member of Happy Grillmore !!! We had a great chat about BBQ and living in Toronto. Then he went to pull out one of his business cards and wait….. what do I see??? BACON. YES!!! Bacon. A Bacon wallet. You just have to love that!!



After the potluck I went right to bed after having a chat with Darryl owner of Buster Rhinos BBQ and Three Men and a Hog pitmaster Vince. Vince got a great idea for a 50/50 draw to raise money for breast cancer. This is the charity that the team Can’t Stop Grillin raises money for this year. So happily we put in money and we were glad to be the winners too!

My briskets were small after trimming so going to bed early was the best option for me. Got up at about 11 om to check on the butts etc and we had a challenge with our biggest cooker. Just that sort of day. Everything eventually sorted itself out but it was a battle.

One of the best things about comps is the visiting you get to do with other teams. Some of the best BS stories come out and some really good heartfelt talks are had. Darrin from BBQ effect and I got to chat for a bit. Now this guy has a really deep love and affection for all things BBQ. HE and Dave his other team member have travelled extensively eating at just about every BBQ joint they can come across on their travels. I am really glad to see them at comps. They are a terrific team and a terrific representation of true love for BBQ!

At around 2ish am things changed for the worse. The winds picked up significantly. The rain started coming down in buckets and from then on till after turn in times not many people were around or visiting much.


I would like to say two very very special thank yous to Vince for the expresso and to Earl for delivering breakfast in the pouring rain. This is just yet another reason why BBQ comps are awesome- the people make it wonderful to experience even if its pouring down rain, your cookers are not running well and you are having a hard go of it – the people always make it worthwhile win or lose.

And speaking of people the larger than life BBQer Ted Reader was on hand for the weekend. It was good to see him again- as always whenever you talk to Ted his passion for all things BBQ comes through! As we were standing there chatting I happened to see —– BACON—– on his wrist. YES BACON!!! He was wearing a BACON watch. You just gotta love that.


A highlight of the weekend for me was meeting Master Chef Olaf Mertens. He was a great person to discuss recipe compilation and his very successful restaurants and catering business. I probably talked and asked more questions then humanly possible in the short time we got to discuss with him but as I said to him there are not that many opportunities for me to have a face to face chat with a guy if his esteemed background. He and Ted after the competition was over were generous enough to give each of the teams signed copies of their cookbooks. That was lovely.

Back to the meat…..

Well everything came off in time to the coolers to relax, boxes were all prepped and everything got turned in on time. We thought our chicken was great. I am really happy with my comp chicken now. It has been very consistent and I am happy about getting to that level of comfort with them. NOw I still need to tweak them but so far so good. The ribs were good and I really thought the pork and brisket were not that great.

The scores reflected that. Ugh. It is what it is.

We ended up coming in 4th overall. Not bad. Not great. Middle of the pack. Not good enough. So it was back to the basics this week for me pracice wise. I also need my BBQ Karma back, tonight I did a brisket practice that was incredible. I was thrilled with the results and I am really looking forward to putting the new spin on things for this weekends competition in Boston Hills NY! Wish us luck.

Congratulations to Can’t Stop grilling for the GC. They are a terrific team who has earned every accolade they have received in the last two weeks. They practice and practice just as much as I do if not more. Also a big congrats to Happy Smoke More a new team full of chefs. They are doing really well (even if Jeffrey looks like a complete goofball with that rag on his head) their first year competing. They travelled down and took Mike Davis class and it really seems to be helping them!!!

Well done to all who got calls.

As a last note to this weeks blog in the coming weeks I will try to blog more often. Thanks for the emails wondering where I have been. I am still here. Just not updating nearly enough apparently.

For the rest of the pictures from the 2009 Crazy Canuck BBQ Championships please click here

You can always catch me on twitter as well as facebook.

Next weekend I will be at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville Ontario for the Thrill of the Grill with Rob Rainford from Food Network Canada Carrie Oliver from Oliver Ranch and of course Traeger Canada. I am looking forward to it !!!!