There’s nothing better than firing up the grill and gathering in the backyard with family and friends. While everyone expects to see burgers, dogs and steaks, you can show your guests you’re a true barbecue master by serving up smoky, grilled appetizers fresh off the grill.
Try a new fan favorite of the season – Barbecue Meatball Skewers with Mozzarella- courtesy of Chris Lilly, world champion pitmaster. This recipe for deliciously gooey grilled meatball skewers is a tasty way to kick the party off right.
The key is a little trick all pitmasters know: the two-zone fire. Simply put, the two-zone fire splits the grill in half. Pile hot charcoal on one half for direct, high-heat cooking and searing, while leaving the other side free of charcoal for lower-temperature cooking of dishes, such as appetizers and sides.
Pitmasters and novice grillers alike choose Kingsford(r) charcoal to keep their grills burning bright. These briquets light faster and burn hotter than other fuel sources.
Follow these tips for creating the perfect two-zone charcoal fire:
1. Light your coals using a chimney starter or lighter fluid. For high heat, use a full chimney of charcoal or light a pile of about 100 briquettes.
2. Pour out your hot coals on one side or use a spatula or tongs to carefully move all the coals to cover 50 percent of the lower grill grate.
3. The void space, free of coals directly underneath the grates, is still hot. Food will cook there – just not as fast as on the direct side, right above the coals.
4. Use the hot side of your grill for direct cooking with high heat-for example, searing a steak to get good color, caramelization and grill marks. Use the other side for slow, indirect cooking and to let foods cook through after searing. The coal-free side also serves as a flame-free zone. In case of flare-ups, just move your food to the indirect side until the flames subside, then move them back to the direct side to finish cooking.
For more grilling tips and recipes, visit www.kingsford.com.
Barbecue Meatball Skewers with Mozzarella
Makes: 20 meatball skewers
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup basil, chopped
1 egg, scrambled
3 tablespoons onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces fresh mozzarella
2 cups KC Masterpiece Kansas City Classic Barbecue Sauce
20 3-inch wooden skewers
Build a charcoal fire for indirect cooking using Kingsford(r) Charcoal by situating the coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side void. Preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In medium bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, basil, egg, onion and salt. Mix well.
Form about 20 meatballs using 2 tablespoons of beef mixture for each meatball. Place meatballs over indirect heat and close grill lid. Cook for 10 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160ºF.
While meatballs cook, form a ball of mozzarella (1 teaspoon each) around each wooden skewer, 1 inch from end. Remove meatballs from grill and stick a mozzarella skewer into top of each meatball. Place back on grill over indirect heat, close grill lid and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Pour 2 cups barbecue sauce into bowl. Once cheese melts, remove each skewer from grill and immediately dip meatball into barbecue sauce, up to bottom of melted cheese. Serve warm.