We can all agree that meatball sandwiches are delicious. However, my recipe for smoked meatball subs will keep you coming back for more!
These smoked meatballs subs are perfectly delicious, kissed with a bit of smoke, and ready to eat in a little over 40 minutes. If you’re lucky, you might have leftovers too! I designed this recipe using a pellet grill, but any grill or smoker will do the job!
What you’ll need to make smoked meatball subs:
- Ground beef: I recommend 80/20 for this recipe
- Sweet Italian sausage: sub with spicy Italian if preferred
- Bread crumbs: unseasoned or plain
- Eggs: you’ll need 2 for this recipe.
- Italian seasoning: easily found in most grocery stores
- Worcestershire sauce
- Granulated garlic: or garlic powder if preferred
- Red pepper flakes: purely optional
- Sub sandwich rolls: 4-6, 6-inch sandwich rolls
- Marinara: You’ll need one 23-ounce jar for this recipe.
- Mozzarella slices
Gently combine the meatball ingredients. Do not over mix to avoid tough, dry meatballs.
Don’t overcrowd the meatballs. Give them room to cook evenly.
Let these smoked meatballs heat in the marinara for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, and serve your sandwiches. If preparing this dish ahead of time, place the marinara with meatballs into a slow-cooker and set to warm.
Use one large or two smaller disposable aluminum pans for this recipe.
Grill set up:
As mentioned above, this smoked meatball subs recipe was created using a pellet grill. I started the smoke-cooking process at 225 degrees; then, after 15 minutes, I increased the heat to 375 degrees F. to finish cooking the meatballs.
If using a charcoal unit, like a kamado cooker or kettle, prepare a two-zone cooking area. Use your charcoal chimney to light the charcoal. Then bank all of your hot coals on one side of your grill. This will function as your direct or hot cooking area, while the side without the coals will be your cooler or indirect cooking space. Cook the meatballs over indirect heat for 15-20 minutes, then transfer over to the direct side until they have cooked through (165 degrees F).
Wood Recommendation: Alder, oak, maple, or cherry.
Smoked Meatball Subs
- Sandwich fixings:
- 4-6 sub sandwich rolls 6 inch
- 1 jar marinara or more if you like it saucy
- 8-12 mozzarella or provolone slices
- For Meatballs:
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 3 strips bacon finely chopped
- 2/3 cup bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes adjust to your liking
- Gently combine ground beef and sweet Italian sausage with the remaining ingredients. Do not over mix to avoid tough, dry meatballs.
- Form into 1 1/2 inch meatballs and place into a large parchment-lined aluminum tray or baking sheet. Do not overcrowd them; they need room to cook evenly!
- Set your pellet cooker to 225 degrees F., or follow the cooking temperature recommendations for your particular smoker.
- Place the pan with meatballs onto the grill grate, close the lid and let them smoke for a good 15 minutes.
- Remove pan, turn up the heat to about 375 degrees F. Once to temp, place the tray with meatballs back on the grill, close the lid and let the meatballs come up to temp. They are done once they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Using your stovetop, heat the marinara in a large, medium-sized pot.
- Once cooked, remove the tray from the grill, and set it onto a heat-resistant surface. Carefully remove the meatballs, place them into the marinara. Let the sauce bubble a bit and make sure the meatballs are well coated.
- Assembling sandwiches: I recommend toasting the bread with a bit of butter. Add about 3-4 meatballs per sandwich and a little extra sauce with 1-2 slices of cheese. You can also serve these smoked meatballs over pasta.
Photos by: elenathewise and bhofack2/Depositphotos