The Triton


Crew’s Mess: Bacon-wrapped BBQ Onion Bombs


Crew’s Mess: by Capt. John Wampler

Ahh, summer. The smell of fresh-cut grass and two-cycle lawn mowers. The distant crack of a baseball bat. An ice cream truck approaching, with the screams of delighted children in chase. And then you catch a whiff of your neighbor’s barbecue grill, and you ask your South Florida self, “Who the heck barbecues in this heat?”

Yep, there are two things that are certain signs of August in South Florida: hurricanes on the horizon, and temps of 94 degrees F with a heat index of 107 F. Fear not. This gastronomical grenade is simple to create in the air-conditioned comfort of your galley and is a treat for any dockside or poolside party.


  • 5 medium white onions
  • 1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup onions, diced
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon green jalapeno sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon. soy sauce 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 pack of bacon (the wider the better)
  • 1 bottle of barbecue sauce
  • Toothpicks  


  • To start making these tasty barbecue meatball onion bombs, preheat your oven to 425 F. 
  • Cut off the tops and bottoms of the onions and remove the exterior skin. Cut the onion in half. Starting at the middle, carefully peel the onion from the inside-out, leaving the last two outside layers for a shell. Set the onion layers aside. 
  • Mix the ground beef, diced onion, parsley, brown sugar, condiments and bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl by hand. 
  • Place a handful of the meatloaf mixture inside two of the onion shells and join together to make an onion-meatball. 
  • Wrap the onion meatballs in bacon, using three slices per ball. Secure the bacon with toothpicks to keep it from unraveling during cooking. 
  • Bake in a dish or cast iron skillet at 425 F for 40 minutes, or until the interior temperature reaches 165 F. 
  • Baste your balls in barbecue sauce and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let sit at least 5 minutes before service. 
  • Enjoy.

Capt. John Wampler ( has worked on yachts for more than 30 years. His recipes are casual enough for anyone to prepare. Comments are welcome below.

Share This Post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the question below to leave a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Editor’s Picks

Fort Lauderdale requires face covering

Fort Lauderdale requires face covering

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis issued an Emergency Declaration today requiring people to wear a face covering in the city of Fort …

Yacht captain missing from own boat

Yacht captain missing from own boat

Capt. Bob Peel, a longtime yacht captain, has gone missing. Living and cruising aboard his personal vessel, the 54-foot (16.5m) S/Y …

Captain urges all crew to follow COVID rules; virus spreads without knowing

Captain urges all crew to follow COVID rules; virus spreads without knowing

By Lucy Chabot Reed The captain of a 130-foot Westport docked at a marina in South Florida called this week to express concern at what …

Yacht captains share what COVID-19 has done to their world

Yacht captains share what COVID-19 has done to their world

By Dorie Cox and Lucy Chabot Reed As information changes quickly for yacht crew in a COVID-19-pandemic world, The Triton reached out to …