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Spicy Meatballs from Scratch

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Whip up some fantastic meatballs and add your favorite sauce!
Whip up some fantastic meatballs and add your favorite sauce!
Sometimes you just need a quick and easy recipe for meatballs that’s not boring! Forget the frozen rocks at the grocery store and whip up this spicy version with ease.
This is a pretty basic recipe that’s perfect for ground beef or even ground turkey. But where’s the fun in just jumping right to the recipe? The worlds largest meatball was cooked in Columbus, Ohio back in 2011. This sucker weighed over one thousand pounds and was over four feet across! Here’s the complete writeup from Guinness World Records.
The largest meatball weighs 503.71 kg (1110 lb 7.84 oz), has a diameter of 1.38 m (4 ft 6.50 in) and was prepared by the Columbus Italian Club (USA), during the St. John’s Italian Festival, in Columbus, Ohio, USA, between 5 and 8 October 2011. This attempt was organized by the CIC (Columbus Italian Club) (USA), which has over 300 members. During the attempt only seven members of this association handled the meat before it was cooked. These participants were: Fred Muccio, Mike DiCarlo, Jim Vergalitto, Bill Maselli, Rick Willimott, Chuck Nance and Joe Gigliotti. The meat and spices were mixed in batches of 50 lb at the Mr. Meatball kitchen owned by Phil Gulatta. It was then refrigerated and transported to another location to be packed into a pod-like vessel and cooked in an oven the CIC had made themselves. The temperature in the heart of the meatball was monitored before and during the cooking process to ensure it was approved by the health and safety officials. There is also proof that the vessel was weighed along with all the equipment that would eventually be on the scale when the meatball was weighed in its entirety. The weight of the vessel and the equipment was 92.5 kg. Media were present throughout the festival to document the final weight and tasting of the meatball. – SOURCE: Guinness World Records. PHOTO via Columbus Italian Club.

Spicy BBQ Meatballs from Freaking Scratch! Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef – 80% lean
  • 3/4 cup crumbled cornbread
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno peppers, minced
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup onion, fine chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Dash of hotsauce
FOR THE SAUCE: Combine a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce with a dash of liquid smoke and some chili powder in a large sauce pan. Use a pan that’s large enough for the meatballs – heat the sauce just a bit – there’s no need to reduce. Directions First thing you need to do is heat your oven to 400°F. Line 13×9-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray, or use a drip pan. Then, in large bowl, mix all of your ingredients and shape mixture into 25 to 30 meatballs. Place 1 inch apart in pan and bake uncovered for about 20 to 25 minutes. Time may be shorter, or longer, depending on your oven. To finish things up simply mix the meatballs with the heated sauce, coat evenly, and serve!


Kent Whitaker, also known as "The Deck Chef," is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He's also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motor sports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.

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