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Traeger Smoked Italian Meatballs

Traeger Smoked Italian Meatballs are smoked for about a half-hour, and they are finished off at 325° until they are done. Packed with Italian flavors, these are great on their own as appetizers, in a Meatball Sub, or in some Smoked Meatball Marinara.

Traeger Smoked Italian Meatballs

Traeger Smoked Italian Meatball Recipe

Meatballs are one of those things that I just can’t abide by non-homemade versions. Or not happily, anyway. There’s just something about the texture of most of the frozen meatballs I’ve tried that just…NOPE. It is spongy and retains so much liquid that I’d just rather skip completely than throw down with those things. Nope nope nope.

That means if I want meatballs, I have to actually make them. That also means we don’t have meatballs all that often.

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Traeger Smoked Italian Meatballs

Traeger Smoked Meatballs shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Ground beef
  • White bread
  • Whole milk
  • Salt
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • Black pepper

Try these in a sub with Traeger Smoked Spicy Candied Bacon!

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Traeger Smoked Italian Meatballs

How to make Traeger Smoked Italian Meatballs

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.



Turn your Traeger to 200°F and let it preheat fully.



Mix the white bread, milk, salt, onion powder, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and ground black pepper. Mush it all together with a spoon or your hands.

Gently mix in the ground beef until it is well incorporated into the milk and bread mixture.

Form into meatballs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.



Place the meatballs on the baking sheet into the grill. Smoke at 200°F for 30 minutes and then increase the heat to 325°F.

Cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F internal temperature.



Serve hot! Serving suggestions are below!

Put this in my Homemade Herbed Marinara!

Smoked Italian Meatball Rigatoni

Smoked Italian Meatballs FAQ

Should you pan-fry meatballs?

Part of the reason for that is also being I just can’t stand the pan-frying process. It takes forEVER and is so messy and greasy.

When I discovered oven meatballs, it was a glorious day.

Now that I’ve discovered smoked meatballs, we’re ALL in trouble. I’ve already got plans in the works for several more varieties, just in time for all of your sports and holiday gatherings.

What kind of meat is best for meatballs?

This is debatable. Highly. Personally, the BEST meatballs have a combination of pork and ground beef, in my opinion, but that doesn’t mean that it is the only way to do it. 

Sometimes I do meatballs with JUST ground beef. 

Sometimes I can get DOWN on some turkey or chicken meatballs. 

The best meatball is the one that you have the stuff to make, so don’t worry too much about getting it just right. 

Should smoked meatballs be red on the inside?

It is totally normal for these to be red on the outside. That’s just the smoke doing its thing. As long as they are at the minimum internal temp they are cooked, and you are good to go.

These are delicious with a toothpick in each, and various dips to dunk them in for an app!

Homemade Grilled Garlic Bread

Smoked Meatball Sub on a white plate

More Meatballs To Love

Traeger Smoked Italian Meatballs
Yield: 6 people

Traeger Smoked Italian Meatballs

Traeger Smoked Italian Meatballs

These Traeger Smoked Italian Meatballs are smoked for about an hour, and then finished off at 325 until they are done. Packed with Italian flavor, these are great on their own as appetizers, in a meatball sub, or in some smoked meatball marinara.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Preheat your grill to 200°F.
  2. Mix together the white bread, milk, salt, onion powder, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and ground black pepper. With your hands, mix in the ground beef until it is well distributed. The meatballs will be a bit sticky. 
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and roll them into golfball-sized meatballs, and place them onto the sheet. 
  4. Place the baking sheet onto the grill.
  5. Smoke for 35 minutes. Flip the meatballs once, and then turn the Traeger up to 325°F and cook for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temp of the meatballs is 160.
  6. Remove from the grill and serve hot!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 550mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 42g

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.


Monday 28th of August 2023

What I really need is the meatball sandwich grocery list for the photo you have featured ?

Nicole Johnson

Monday 28th of August 2023

Which picture is that? I'm not sure I know what you're referencing.


Tuesday 7th of June 2022

Can these be frozen after smoking? And if so, how long in the freezer for quality?

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 8th of June 2022

I'd freeze these prior to smoking for the best quality. How long they can be frozen depends on how you freeze them. In a vacuum sealed environment, probably a year or more. Just tossed in a freezer baggie? Probably a couple of months, depending on your specific freezer. They likely could be frozen after smoking, but I haven't tried that personally so I can't comment on any quality loss there.


Sunday 5th of July 2020

How do you prep the white bread before mixing? Thanks!

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 5th of July 2020

When you mix it with the milk in step 1 it makes it mixable. :D Thanks!

Andrew Vehorn

Monday 20th of April 2020

These are delicious. Followed the recipe exactly, and they turned out perfect!

Nicole Johnson

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

That's awesome, Andrew! Thanks for letting us know. Make sure to click 5 stars up in the recipe card!


Saturday 18th of April 2020

Hey from quarantining in Owego NY!

We are Making these to smoke tomorrow. Since my hubby’s smoker is electric with wood chips and digital temp setting, what is the temp to smoke these at the first half hour?

Many thanks! Keep on smokin’ !

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 19th of April 2020

Hi there! I actually have a friend that lives in Oswego, NY! Small world. The "smoke" setting on the traeger usually runs about 180-200°, so I'd set it there. Can't wait to hear how you like them!

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