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BBQ Little Smokies (Crockpot Recipe)

Crock Pot Little Smokies are mini cocktail sausages simmered in a sweet and savory BBQ sauce. A super easy slow cooker appetizer that takes less than 5 minutes to put together and always gets rave reviews.

hand holding toothpick with bbq little smokies

It is officially football season, so roll out the delicious appetizers and let’s get on that turf! Pull out the slow cooker and whip the best little smokies recipe out there.

Talk about an easy appetizer for your next big game or holiday parties!

Crockpot Little Smokies

These tasty and meaty bites at cocktail parties switch up names…

  • cocktail weenies
  • cocktail sausages
  • bbq weenies
  • cocktail wieners
  • mini sausages

I just call them delicious!

Preparing for guests to come over is probably in my top 10 stressors of life. The cleaning of the house, the inviting of people, then the people coming over, and then the food!

It is so much to cram into one afternoon. Whenever I’m stressed though, I grab my slow cooker and some quick bites; and that’s where this barbecue slow cooker recipe came from.

Putting together this recipe is the easiest thing I’ve ever done, so I knew I had to share it with you! As soon as the little sausages wrapped in the tangy flavor of barbecue sauce greets your food lineup, guests will be snacking away making you wish you tripled your batch!

Make them part of your appetizer line-up along with grape jelly meatballs, pigs in a blanket, crockpot bbq meatballs, and a creamy corn dip!

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labeled picture of ingredients

Ingredients Needed

Cocktail sausages – Substitute Little smokies sausages for sliced smoked sausages, sliced hot dogs, or cocktail wieners.

Ketchup – If you need a ketchup substitute, try tomato paste or vinegar to replace the acidity.

Brown sugar – Any shade of brown sugar will work, or even use white sugar with a bit of molasses.

Vinegar – It’s your choice of vinegar here, whether that be white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

Worcestershire sauce – Make a substitute for Worcestershire with soy sauce, or to pin that flavor even better, a mixture of soy sauce and ketchup.

Garlic powder – Substitute garlic powder with 1 ½ teaspoon of minced garlic for every ½ teaspoon.

Onion powder – Finely grated onion is a great substitute for onion powder.

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How to Make Crock Pot Little Smokies

FIRST: Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar for the BBQ sauce, then whisk in Worcestershire, garlic powder, and onion powder until well combined. 

SECOND: In a slow cooker on low heat, add little smokies and cook for 20-30 minutes until heated thoroughly.

THIRD: Pour sauce into the crock, stirring to evenly coat and cook for additional 15-20 minutes until everything is heated thoroughly. Turn to the warm setting and enjoy.

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

hand holding two little smokies on a toothpick

What are Lil Smokies?

Lil smokies are one of the many names that small cocktail dogs take on. Mini hot dogs, mini wieners, cocktail franks are also names for them.

These teeny tiny wieners are at all main chain grocery stores, and occasionally even Trader Joe’s will have them!

How do you serve them?

Barbecue cocktail wieners, just like any mini cocktail wiener, are perfect for serving delicately with a toothpick as an appetizer or you can spoon them and their delicious sauce over white rice!

Can you use hot dogs instead?

You can totally make these BBQ lil smokies with hot dogs or even sausages! Slice the hot dogs or sausages into small slices, or into halves to make them bite-sized.

overhead picture of mini crockpot with little smokies in it

What do you do with leftover Lil Smokies?

Refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to five days! Reheat them in the microwave for 1 minute intervals until warmed through.

After heating, I love to top with a little sprinkle of brown sugar or BBQ sauce.

Are Little Smokies fully cooked?

Technically they are already cooked so you can eat them raw or cold. I like to heat mine through to make sure they are safe to eat according to food safety guidelines.

Can I freeze them?

Yes, you can! Make the bbq little smokies ahead of time, cool completely, and store the lil smokies and sauce in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just thaw and reheat as you like.

spoon holding bbq little smokies over a slow cooker

Flavor Variations

  • SWEETER: Try adding maple syrup, molasses, honey , or orange juice to make them a little sweeter.
  • SPICIER: These are great with buffalo sauce, hot sauce, or chopped green chilies and cumin.
  • TANGY: Try using equal parts grape jelly (or cranberry, apple, orange marmalade) with chili sauce or ketchup.
  • MORE FLAVOR: Add 1/2 cup of your favorite cola (Coke, Dr. Pepper, etc.) or your favorite spirit like bourbon or beer.

Tapas Tips & Tricks

  • While reheating, serve with a sprinkle of brown sugar or your favorite barbecue sauce!
  • Serve lil smokies with toothpicks poked in the center or on the side of the crock pot.
  • Use a crockpot liners to have an easy clean up.
  • Leftovers will be good for up to five days in the refrigerator.
  • Use your favorite bbq sauce if you want. I hear reads say they love Sweet Baby Rays.
  • I use the 14-ounce packages but use what you can find.
hand holding two little smokies on a toothpick with text

Your next event will be delicious with the sweet and tangy addition of this crockpot little smokies recipe! With your homemade BBQ sauce, this is an easy recipe for game day!

hand holding toothpick with bbq little smokies

BBQ Little Smokies

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Crock Pot Little Smokies are mini cocktail sausages simmered in a SWEET and SAVORY BBQ sauce.

Ingredients

  • 28 ounces little smokie sausages (2-14 ounce packages)

BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

Instructions

  1. Make the BBQ sauce by combining, ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar. Whisk together until well combined. Add in Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and onion powder. Whisk again until well combined
  2. Put the two packages of little smokies into the crockpot and cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes, or until sausages are heated through.
  3. Pour sauce into the crockpot and stir to coat all of the smokies. Continue to cook at low heat for an additional 2 hours. Turn to warm setting stirring occasionally.
  4. Turn to warm setting and serve!

Notes

  • While reheating, serve with a sprinkle of brown sugar or your favorite barbecue sauce!
  • Serve lil smokies with toothpicks poked in the center or on the side of the crock pot.
  • Use a crockpot liners to have an easy clean up.
  • Leftovers will be good for up to five days in the refrigerator.
  • Use your favorite bbq sauce if you want. I hear reads say they love Sweet Baby Rays.
  • I use the 14-ounce packages but use what you can find.
  • {Originally posted 11/04/20 - photos and recipe notes updated to improve reader experience 09/10/22}

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 617mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 7g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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What do you serve with little smokies?

{Originally posted 11/04/20 – photos and recipe notes updated to improve reader experience 09/10/22}

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