Frozen meatballs are a staple in many kitchens. They’re easy to prepare, inexpensive, and they can be heated up in just a few minutes! But how do you cook frozen meatballs on a Pit Boss pellet grill? Here’s everything you need to know to ensure they come out nice and hot with a hint of smoky flavor.
How to Cook Frozen Meatballs on the Pit Boss Pellet Grill
Follow the cooking directions on the meatballs packaging. Preheat both the pellet grill and the cast iron skillet. Allow the meatballs to cook 45-60 minutes, or until hot enough to eat. Monitor and continually stir and move the meatballs around, to make sure they don’t stick to the skillet and cook evenly.
We decided to cook some frozen Amylu Cranberry & Jalapeno chicken meatballs we had in the freezer, purchased from Costco. The cooking instructions said to heat the meatballs using a stovetop, oven, or microwave, we chose to cook them on the Pit Boss, and here’s how we did it.
So how did they come out? They were extremely flavorful and it’s definitely a do-over on the grill!
Can You Cook Frozen Meatballs on the Pit Boss?
Yes, you can but expect it to take 50% longer than cooking unfrozen meatballs. When possible plan your meals ahead and pull the meatballs out of the freezer 24-48 hours before cooking, that’s what we did.
If you forget to pull them out the night before, you can use water or the microwave to defrost them.
We’ve cooked frozen meatballs before, but prefer thawing them out before cooking because they cook faster.
Cooking Frozen Meatballs on the Pit Boss Pellet Grill
Most people don’t think about cooking frozen meatballs on their pellet grill because they are not the typical food to throw on the pellet grill. However, the Pit Boss pellet grill is a versatile appliance that makes it easy to cook almost anything an oven can cook.
The grill does most of the work, infuses the meat with a hint of smoke, and you have less clean-up. This step-by-step guide is for cooking meatballs on the Pit Boss but can be used for any brand pellet grill.
What You Need
- Pellet grill
- Meatballs (your favorite brand)
- Cast iron skillet
- Gloves (cast iron gets really hot)
- Your favorite sides
What Temperature to Cook Frozen Meatballs on Pit Boss?
Set the temperature control on the pellet grill from 325°F – 350°F, depending on what the back of the box says. Close the flame broiler plate to ensure you’re cooking over indirect heat.
Can You Smoke Frozen Meatballs?
Yes, but since they are already cooked, I’m not sure how much smoke flavor they will get. If you want smoked flavored meatballs, consider making homemade meatballs.
The meatballs will be on the grill for about 30-60 minutes depending on the grill’s temperature. This is considered a fast cook, not enough time to infuse with a lot of smoke flavor.
Instead of using the smoke setting, consider using stronger pellets such as hickory, or mesquite flavored pellets.
Prepping the Meatballs
There’s not a lot of prep work that goes into frozen meatballs. Coat the bottom of the skillet with a light coat of olive oil and empty the contents into the pan.
As long as the cast iron skill is seasoned properly, you don’t have to worry about the meatballs sticking to it. Because of its dense material, it will take a while to heat up, so don’t rush it.
This is already cooked ground beef, chicken, etc. All you’re doing is heating them up.
What P-Setting to Use for Cooking Frozen Meatballs?
Unless you’re grilling in colder temperatures, use the default factory P-4 setting. I hardly ever change the P-setting on my grill and have never had any issues with it.
Best Pellets to Use for Meatballs?
As mentioned above, cooking frozen meatballs is a “fast cook”. Therefore, the pellets you use won’t make a huge difference. I used the ones that I had left in the hopper from the last cook, which were the apple-flavored pellets.
They were leftover from the smoked cheese I made. However, most of the time for fast cooks, I use the Pit Boss Competition Blend.
Cooking the Meatballs In A Cast Iron Skillet
We chose to cook the meatballs in our 12″ cast iron skillet, which I love. It makes the process so easy and helps keep the grill clean. Place the empty skillet in the pellet grill, and allow it to get hot before placing the meatballs in it.
It’ll take about 10-20 minutes for the skillet to become hot. You should hear the meatballs sizzle when you put them in it. Waiting until the skillet is hot, will prevent the meatballs from sticking to it.
Close the lid and let them cook. Every 20-30 minutes, open the lid and stir, move, or jiggle the skillet. Make sure you’re using a good pair of BBQ gloves, as the cast iron will be extremely hot.
It won’t be possible to do a pan-flip, because cast iron is too heavy.
However, the goal is to get the meatballs to move around. This ensures they cook evenly throughout.
Placing the Meatballs on the Grates
If you don’t have a skillet to use, just place the meatballs directly on the grill. Wait for the grill to reach the desired temperature, before placing the meatballs on it.
Close the lid and check back 8-10 minutes as you don’t want a burnt meatball. Flip them over when they start looking brown, using a spatula or tongs.
How Long to Cook A Frozen Meatballs on a Pit Boss?
Completely frozen meatballs will take about 45-60 minutes. Thawed or partially thawed the meatballs, it can take about 25-35 minutes. Cooking time will vary on how many meatballs you’re cooking, packaging instructions, outside temperature, and grill temperature.
Regardless of how long it takes, you’ll want to make sure they are cooked completely inside and out. Removed them too early, they will be hot on the outside but cold on the inside.
You can use a thermometer to ensure they reached an internal temperature of 165°F. I always pull one off the grill and cut it open to make sure it’s hot enough. Just be careful not to burn yourself when you’re taste testing.
Anything that comes off the grill should be allowed to rest, frozen meatballs are no exception. Allowing them to rest 5-10 minutes allows the juices to redistribute back into the meat, making every bite moist.
In addition, it allows the food to cool ensuring your family and guests don’t burn their mouths trying to eat food that’s too hot.
What to Serve With Meatballs?
Frozen meatballs go great with almost anything such as mashed potatoes, zucchini noodles, green beans, etc. We served ours with spaghetti noodles with parmesan cheese. Instead of adding spaghetti sauce, we added a pesto sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Store-bought frozen meatballs won’t have to be seasoned as they are preseasoned. Homemade frozen meatballs can be seasoned with your favorite seasoning but will need to be thawed out before seasoning.
When cooking frozen meatballs on the Pit Boss pellet grill, allow up to 50% more cook time than the package recommends. Pay close attention to them, so they don’t burn, and always use a thermometer, or do a taste test to ensure they are cooked through.
Meatballs can be served with almost anything, we love ours with spaghetti noodles!
Enjoy and Happy Grilling!
- Pre-cooked Frozen Meatballs
- Pellet Grill
- Noodles (your favorite kind)
- Olive Oil
- Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat the pellet grill. Follow the cooking temperature on the packaging.
- Wait 15-25 minutes or until the grill has reached the proper temperature.
- Preheat the iron cast skillet and let it get hot before placing the meatballs on it.
- Stir the meatballs every 10-20 minutes to ensure they cook evenly throughout.
- Serve over your choice of pasta.
- The meatballs are already cooked, all you're doing is heating them up before serving.
- If you want a more smoky flavor, consider using Mesquite, or hickory flavored pellets. You can also use a smoke tube.
- We served our meatballs over noodles, but you can serve them with any of your favorite sides.