Great Balls of Fire

Can prepare this so many ways, and customize it to your heat tolerance. Think of it as round chicken wings.


  • Meatballs:
    • 2 lbs ground chicken (or turkey)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup Panko crumbs
    • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
    • 2 tsp onion powder
    • 2 tsp paprika (hot Hungarian paprika is my favorite)
    • 1 tsp ground pepper
    • 2 tsp cayenne pepper – optional, if you like things really spicy)
  • Sauce:
    • 1 cup Franks red hot (I buy it by the gallon these days)
    • 2/3 cup brown sugar OR
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar plus 2 Tbsp molasses – for a little more complex sweetness
    • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (adds a nice bite, and another slight sweetness)
    • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes – optional, and you can add more if you want
    • Other heat boosting sauce additions (Dave’s Insanity, cayenne pepper, diced habaneros, for instance) – optional



  • Mix meatball ingredients lightly, until just combined. Overworking them results in a dry, hard texture
  • Heat some oil in a large frying pan
  • Make meatballs, about 1″ in diameter, and put in pan to brown (I make them with my left hand, and turn them with a spool with my right as they cook). You’ll likely need to do several pan-fulls. (Note: You’re not cooking them through, just browning the outside, so turn them pretty quickly as they brown)
  • Combine sauce ingredients and stir until brown sugar is mixed in
  • Two options for finishing cooking…
  • Crockpot:
    • Add browned meatballs to crockpot
    • Cover with sauce
    • Set on low for 5 hours, or high for 3 hours
    • Turn once in the middle of the cooking time to coat all the balls
    • Turn again at the end of the cooking time
    • Serve in the crockpot as a party appetizer, or dish out into bowl(s)
  • Stovetop:
    • Add meatballs to a large pot
    • Cover with sauce
    • Heat on medium for 20 minutes, stirring gently a few times
    • Serve ’em up!

via Kencooking