Tuesday, March 13, 2012

MOINK Balls, Armadillo Eggs and Sea Turtle Eggs

More March Madness food.  I swear we don't eat like this all the time. 

MOINK balls, BGE appetizer

Barbecue folks have the best appetizers and best appetizer names.  That's what happens when it takes hours and hours to smoke meats.  You play around and cook snacks in the mean time.  Here are some of the classic BBQ appetizers.
  • Fatty - Breakfast sausage chub stuffed with cheese, peppers, or whatever, seasoned with BBQ rub, sometimes wrapped in a bacon weave, and smoked.
  • Atomic Buffalo T**** (ABT's) - Jalapenos stuffed with a cheese mixture, seasoned with BBQ rub, wrapped with bacon and smoked
  • Stuffed Fritos - See my previous post
  • MOINK Balls - covered in today's post
  • Armadillo Eggs - covered in today's post

If you have ever spent 30 seconds on a BBQ forum, you have probably seen or heard of MOINK Balls because they are wildly popular.  They are the creation of Larry "The BBQ Grail" Gaian.  Here is the funny story behind the name.

Here's the Cliff Notes version.  If you don't have a smoker or smoke capable grill, you could cook these indirect at a very low heat on a gas grill.
MOINK balls, BGE appetizer
Wrap meat balls in 1/2 strips of bacon, impale with a tooth pick and season with your favorite BBQ rub.  I used Drapers AP Rub.

MOINK balls, BGE appetizer, Craycort grate
Smoke at 250f for an hour.

MOINK balls, BGE appetizer
Glaze with your favorite BBQ sauce.  Tonight I used Blues Hog Original.  Not my favorite but my family loves the super sweet sauce.  Smoke another 30 minutes.

MOINK balls, BGE appetizer
Eat.  Wait....remove toothpicks first.

Armadillo Eggs
Did you know that an armadillo can grow as large at 132 pounds?  I do only because Trevor had to do a research paper on the armadillo a few weeks ago.  

Anyway, when I first started trying to learn about barbecue 10 years ago, I heard about Armadillo eggs.  They are a jalapeno (or jalapeno boat) de-seeded, stuffed with a cheese mixture, wrapped in sausage, seasoned with rub, and then smoked for an hour.  It's kind of like a spice Scotch Egg without the egg.  

We LOVE ABT's but since the jalapeno in Amradillo Eggs is wrapped in sausage, it doesn't cook as much.  That leaves it spicier and not as tender.  So if you like spicy, make them as Armadillo eggs.  

My family likes a milder version that uses a diced jalapeno/cheese stuffing.  Because they turn out round, we call them Sea Turtle Eggs.
armadillo egg big green egg, armadillo egg grill dome, sea turtle egg grill dome
Armadillo Eggs (oval) and Sea Turtle Eggs (round)

Sea Turtle Eggs
Source:  Nibble Me This
Serves:  Makes one clutch of sea turtle eggs

  • 1 lb Jimmy Dean Sage Breakfast Sausage, cut into 10-11 slices
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese*
  • 1/2 cup shredded colby-jack cheese*
  • 2 jalapeno chile, de-seeded and finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp Draper's AP rub or your favorite BBQ rub (divided)
  1.  Preheat a charcoal grill set up for indirect heat to 250f.  Add a chunk or two of cherry, hickory or whatever smoking woods that you have on hand.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, cheese, jalapeno and 1/2 tsp of BBQ rub together.
  3. Place about 1 tsp of the cheese mixture on each slice of sausage.  Pull up the edges of the sausage and seal, forming it into a round, golf ball sized "egg".  
  4. Season your "eggs" with the remaining 1 tsp of BBQ rub.
  5. Smoke the "eggs" for about 90 minutes.
  • I used whipped cream cheese...new to me, that stuff is awesomely good.
  • Feel free to sub any other cheese.
This an an armadillo egg being made.

Smoking with cherry wood.  Armadillo eggs in front, Sea turtle eggs in back.

Don't panic if you get a few ruptures.

sea turtle egg, big green egg
Sea turtle egg cut open, armadillo egg in the rear. 
 Okay, so after that weekend of March Madness food, this week requires a diet of nothing but Shredded Wheat, veggies, and a lot of exercise.  But it was worth it.


  1. Holy cow...and the whole thing just started..so you have a few more weekends eating like this. I am realizing I don't know a whole lot about the BBQ world because I have never heard of any of these...I want all three right now, but I think i would try the sea turtle eggs first because I love jalapeno and like the idea of it being chopped up in the cream cheese - holy yum! I love the sage sausage, too.

  2. Ahh your inspiring me to dust of my Weber! Maybe this weekend, these apps look well tasty!!
    Take care

  3. I've not made moinks or armadillo eggs, but you make them look too good not to try.

  4. Meatballs wrapped in bacon? Jalapenos wrapped in meatballs? It's like meat heaven and I just entered through the pearly white gates!! OMG.. I want it all!!

  5. Oh my gosh, those moink balls look so GOOD! My family would devour them. I wonder how many I'd have to make in order to call them a meal? I am definitely making them soon! Thanks.

  6. Those sea turtle eggs look great!!

  7. Could it ahve been beef + pork = boink?

  8. What is the grate in use in the armadillo eggs picture?

  9. Wow!Those armadillo eggs look amazing! They filling sounds creamy and spicy!!! I am drooling here!

  10. @Anonymous - That actually isn't a grate. It is a "pizza screen" that I bought for $4.99 from Gordon Food Service. Just happened to notice it this weekend while shopping there and it seemed like a Frogmat. It's good for doing soft items that might sink into normal grill grates, like fatties and armadillo eggs.

  11. Awesome idea on the pizza screen. Never seen one of those before. Amazon carries them. I'm guessing you have it directly on the grate. Is that a 17" or 18"?

  12. OMG any one of these need to be in my tummy NOW. Seriously. All of them. Think anyone would notice if I brought those instead of Scotch Eggs to a party??

  13. I have done the Jalpeno with stuffed jack cheese and wrappped in bacon.The only problem is I could make them all day and no one would get enough for a large crowd. They are deeeelicous. We just call them Poppers.

  14. Personally I' a little partial to MOINK Balls, but I'm adding those Sea Turtle Eggs to my appetizer menu.

    Thanks for MOINK Ball love...


  15. All of these apps look amazing, and I know from experience they taste great! I'd like to add that they are really easy to make.
    Most of the work is prepping / cleaning the jalapeƱos, and wrapping the bacon. Half strips of the bacon makes things easy, as you've said.
    Nice job breaking down the categories of MOINK balls, Armadillo eggs, and the Sea Turtle eggs. Who knew? :)

  16. Fascinating names. Guess I don't hang around in the right circles.

  17. Best article yet!!! ;-)

  18. I love all of these appetizer recipes! YUM!

    Kim in MD

  19. I think you have a typo here...Armadillos don't lay eggs. They reproduce using photosynthesis. GREG

  20. I've had armadillo eggs on my list to things to make for about 70 years. This post made me instantly hungry. And please God, don't ever let me see an armadillo that weighs over 100 pounds.

  21. Heehee these all look outrageously good and the names are funny! I would gobble these up and not be able to eat the main meal! So yummy.

  22. Good lord... you are killing me with both of those bad boys. YUM!

  23. Holy heck! Sausage with a jalapeno popper on the inside?!! You are on a creative roll my friend! I want these right now. Right now I tell ya! Some interesting names too.

  24. The sea turtle eggs are fantastic! Great idea! And thanks for turning me on to the cast iron grates. Got a set for my Performer and my old gasser. Next, getting a set for my Smokey Joe. Thanks for the post(s)!

  25. I CANNOT wait to make armadillo eggs. YUM!

  26. I have not been able to get those turtle eggs out of my head since I saw them. We are heading down to the ranch this weekend and I will be making up a batch of these for sure.

  27. you stupid people! you don't DONT... EAT FREAKING SEA TURTLES. what if you were a baby sea turtle, on the verge of birth, and some person ate you?!?!?! you are crazy. >:(

  28. Anonymous that posted on Jan 16, 2014: you are an idiot!
    Good grief, how stupid can one person be!!!

  29. i agree Anonymous they are unborn baby turtles and we just eat them this is freaking horrible

  30. this is illegal you stupid people will be arrested for eating 1 single sea turtle egg.

  31. In regard to armadillo eggs, I smoked some fresh jalepenos till the were just soft on a BGE. Halved and deseeded them and proceeded with the armadillo egg recipe. Added even more smokiness, a soft bite, and slightly less spicy (I did a side-by-side comparison with some uncooked jalapenos).


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