These little smokies are cocktail sausages simmered in the crockpot in a sweet and savory barbecue sauce.  A super easy slow cooker appetizer that takes just minutes to put together and always gets rave reviews.

I love to offer a variety of snacks when I’m entertaining, including baked brie, potstickers and these super flavorful little smokies. Whenever I serve these smokies at a party, everyone always asks me for the recipe!

A bowl of crockpot little smokies with a fork in it.

Little smokies are a classic snack that are easy to make and adored by kids and adults alike. These crockpot smokies are bathed in barbecue sauce and slow cooked until they’re piping hot and ready to devour.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients including sausages, barbecue sauce, ketchup and seasonings.

The ingredients for this recipe include little smokies, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder and garlic powder.

How do you make crockpot little smokies?

First make a sauce by whisking together the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder and garlic powder. Place two packages of cocktail sausages in a crockpot, and pour the sauce over the top. Cook the sausages on low heat for 2-3 hours, then serve and enjoy!

Step by step shots showing how to make cocktail sausages in a slow cooker.

Tips for the perfect appetizer

  • You can use your favorite store bought barbecue sauce for this recipe, or make your own. Either way works great!
  • I recommend cooking the sausages for at least 2 hours so that they’re warmed all the way through, but you can cook them for longer if needed. You can also cook on low for 2 hours, then keep the crockpot on the warm setting so that the little smokies stay hot throughout the whole party.
  • The sauce for this recipe can be made up to 3 days in advance.
  • I typically make this recipe with light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar will also work if you prefer a more pronounced molasses flavor.
  • You can serve this recipe with toothpicks so everyone can help themselves, or use cocktail forks for a more elegant presentation.
  • Feel free to add some garnishes such as cooked crumbled bacon or chopped parsley.
Sausages in a slow cooker with sauce on top.

Recipe FAQs

Are little smokies already cooked?

Little smokies come pre-cooked, all you have to do is warm them up! While I like cooking these sausages in the slow cooker, they can also be heated through in the oven or microwave.

How long do little smokies last in the fridge?

This recipe will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the smokies in the sauce in an airtight container. Thaw the container overnight, then reheat the sausages on the stove or in a crockpot.

How do you know when little smokies are done?

Little smokies are ready to eat when they are warmed all the way through, and plump. The sausages will plump up as they start to absorb the sauce.

Crockpot little smokies coated in sauce.

Flavor Variations

There are so many different ways to customize the flavors of this dish to suit your tastes.

  • Sweetener: Instead of brown sugar, try maple syrup, honey or even freshly squeezed orange juice.
  • Spice: For smokies with a little kick, try adding buffalo wing sauce, hot sauce, sriracha or crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Protein: Try using half frozen meatballs, half little smokies for a unique snack option.
  • Sweet and Sour: Instead of the barbecue sauce mixture listed in the recipe, whisk together 12 ounces of chili sauce with 1 1/2 cups of melted grape jelly. Pour the grape jelly mixture over the smokies and cook as directed in the recipe.

Every time I serve this appetizer, there are never any leftovers! I love how easy it is to put together, and it’s always a welcome snack at any occasion.

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Crockpot Little Smokies Video

5 from 79 votes

Crockpot Little Smokies

AuthorSara Welch
A bowl of crockpot little smokies with a fork in it.
These little smokies are cocktail sausages simmered in the crockpot in a sweet and savory barbecue sauce.  A super easy slow cooker appetizer that takes just minutes to put together and always gets rave reviews.
Time
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Serves 12

Ingredients 

  • 2 packages little smokies 12-14 ounce size
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions 

  • Place the little smokies into a crockpot.
  • Place the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  • Pour the sauce over the little smokies. Cover and cook on low heat for 2-3 hours, then serve.

Notes

  1. You can use your favorite store bought barbecue sauce for this recipe, or make your own. Either way works great!
  2. I recommend cooking the sausages for at least 2 hours so that they’re warmed all the way through, but you can cook them for longer if needed. You can also cook on low for 2 hours, then keep the crockpot on the warm setting so that the little smokies stay hot throughout the whole party.
  3. The sauce for this recipe can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Nutrition

Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 741mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 131IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

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Comments

    1. The sauce isn’t meant to be overly thick, you could try whisking a tablespoon of cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water and then stir that into the sauce and bring it to a boil to thicken.

  1. 5 stars
    Made these for the first time tonight as written. Hubby is raving about the sauce and talking about all the other things it would be good with! So yummy!!

  2. 5 stars
    I cheat and use a mixture of bottled Honey BBQ and Honey Chipotle BBQ sauces. I also got a good price on Oscar Meyer wieners, so cut those into thirds and toss in and cook. Always a family favorite.
    .

    1. It depends on the size of your crockpot, if you larger a larger pot (around 6 quarts) cook time would stay the same. If you have a smaller pot and they’re piled really high I’d add an hour.

    1. It depends on the size of your pot, if you have a larger pot you won’t have to add more time, but if the pot is really full then add another hour.

  3. what size crockpot do you recommend using? i have a large (7 qt) crockpot, but I’m worried it’s too big and the sauce will evaporate.

  4. 5 stars
    Little smokies have always been my favorite holiday appetizer! I really. need to eat them more often!

  5. 5 stars
    This is just the right kind of recipe for these days. Simple, few ingredients and yet flavorful. Thanks.

  6. 5 stars
    A classic indeed, and no wonders. These little sausages are simply bursting with flavors. And best of all, super easy to cook. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    This is my mom’s favorite thing to take along to our family gatherings. We hardly ever come home with leftovers. Such a delicious classic.

  8. This is one of our favorite appetizers during the holidays. This will be a perfect afternoon snack during this time at home!