Cheesy Bacon Meatball Sliders Recipe | Goldens' Cast Iron Cooker

Cheesy Bacon Meatball Sliders Recipe | Goldens' Cast Iron Cooker

My Cheesy Bacon Meatball Sliders are a simple dish that’s sure to please a crowd. Juicy meatballs stuffed with bacon and cheese; what could be better? Sauce them with my award-winning Sweet BBQ Sauce, and you have a winning combination. 

Sliders are trendy in the food world, and my version is fit for a BBQ-king. These sliders are a fun game-day treat, but you can also make a complete meal of them. Be sure to grab one while you can; these little morsels disappear fast. 

Cheesy Bacon Meatball Slider Recipe | Goldens’ Cast Iron Cooker

These Cheesy Bacon Meatball Sliders come together in an hour. I love serving them burger-style, but you can always leave the bun off for a cocktail meatball. The choice is yours! Traditionally, meatballs are cooked on the stove, but doing them on the Goldens’ takes it up a notch. You get hints of sweet smokey flavor throughout the meat, and the sauce caramelizes beautifully. Don’t just take my word for it; see for yourself!

The Ingredients

My Cheesy Bacon Meatball Slider Recipe uses simple ingredients to create one stellar meal. Be sure to save any leftover rubs for the next fantastic dish. Here’s what you need to add to your shopping cart. 

  • Ground meat. I used ground beef for my meatballs. Some fat cooks off when cooking, but higher-fat beef keeps the meatballs from drying out.  If you prefer, you can use ground chuck. The full recipe calls for about 2 pounds of meat. 
  • Cracker crumbs or breadcrumbs. I used crumbled saltines, but you can also use crushed ritz crackers. This is a great substitute if you don’t have breadcrumbs on hand. The crumbs help our meatballs stick together, and they sop up the fat, adding extra flavor. 
  • Shredded cheddar cheese. A little cheese gives these meatballs a little goo, making them the ultimate slider. I recommend using freshly shredded cheddar. Prepackaged may be easier, but it contains wax fillers that affect melting. 
  • Bacon and onion. Chopped bacon adds the crunch factor. It gives the meatballs a full-rounded flavor reminiscent of a bacon cheeseburger. I love adding onion to my meatballs to give them a little bite. 
  • Egg. Every meatball needs a good binder. Egg keeps our meatballs together and adds richness to every bite. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce. This BBQ sauce took me 10 years to develop. I wanted something with the perfect balance of zesty and sweetness. This sauce fits the bill! Use it on ribs, meatballs, or chicken. It makes anything taste awesome. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Rub. My Sweet BBQ Rub was the first one I ever created. It’s a fabulous base coat for any meat and adds pizazz to any burger or meatball. You can’t beat the combination of brown sugar and paprika. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Beef Rub. Don’t let the name fool you; you can use this delicious beef rub on pork, chicken, and vegetables. This award-winning blend of chili powder, garlic, salt, and pepper goes great with anything. 

The Setup

Here’s the main equipment I used for this cook. You can find more of my grilling must-haves in the equipment and tools section. 

  • Grill. I cooked these meatballs in the Goldens’ Cast Iron Cooker. This is a durable setup that doesn’t take up a lot of space. It includes shelving for meal prep and a searing plate for steaks. It’s not complicated to use, making it perfect for beginners. 
  • Charcoal/fire starter. I stoked my grill with Royal Oak Charcoal and Royal Oak Tumbleweed Fire Starters. I love Royal Oak Charcoal because it doesn’t have any fillers. All you get is the good stuff, just how it should be. 

The Process for Making Cheesy Bacon Meatball Sliders

You can find a detailed demonstration in the recipe card and video at the bottom of the post. Here’s a brief overview of how I pulled this recipe together. 

  • Fire up the Goldens’. I put my place setter in the grill and stoked it with Royal Oak Charcoal. I heated the grill to 300℉. 
  • Prep the meatballs. I added the meat, bacon, crackers, diced onion, eggs, and cheddar to a large mixing bowl. Then, I poured about ¾ cup of Sweet BBQ Sauce over the top. I finished the meatball mixture with a dash of Sweet BBQ Rub, followed by a little Beef Rub. I mixed the meatballs with my hands since that’s the best way to incorporate everything. 
  • Form and grill. I formed my mixture into golfball-sized meatballs and set them directly on the grill's grates.
  • Sauce and finish. I let my meatballs cook for about 30 minutes, then took them off the grill and put them in a foil pan. I poured an entire bottle of Sweet BBQ Sauce over the top and let them simmer, uncovered on the Goldens’ for 20 more minutes. 
  • Serve. To assemble the sliders, I placed a meatball on a slider bun and topped it with some cheese. Since this is a larger slider, I added a toothpick to keep it in place. 

The Results

The sliders were juicy, with just the right amount of bacon. The sauces and rubs I used made the meat extraordinary without overpowering its natural flavor. 

Storing Cheesy Bacon Meatball Sliders

Leftovers can be tightly covered in the fridge for 4-5 days. These meatballs can be made ahead of time and frozen for easy meal prep. Simply reheat on the smoker for the best flavor. 

Equipment and Tools

Goldens’ Cast Iron CookerRoyal Oak Charcoal and Royal Oak Tumbleweedcutting board, heavy-duty aluminum foil pan, instant-read meat thermometer, and insulated gloves for handling meat.  

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