This easy and addictive little smokies recipe is made even simpler thanks to the Crockpot and is perfect for game days and parties.
CrockPot Little Smokies Appetizer
Every year around this time, it’s the same thing.
The phone rings. Well, it used to ring. Now it just buzzes with texts. And then I
hear read, “Heidi, can you send me your Little Smokies recipe again?”
Yep, like clockwork.
As the big game day draws near, I start hearing—make that seeing—the requests. And every year I send the same little smokies recipe out to friends who have had these sweet little barbecued sausages in the crockpot (or my new Instant Pot) on game days of years past.
They’re craving them again, but this time in the comfort of their own home where the game day bets are a little looser, and a whole lot more forgiving.
I never thought this humble lil smokies recipe was worthy of a blog post, but given the requests I still receive, and the fact that I crack open my war-torn recipe binder for the recipe each year, I realized me and my friends might not be the only ones in need of a super simple, slow cooker game day appetizer.
What’s in This Little Smokies Recipe?
These days there are a variety of cocktail weiner flavors out there. Turkey. Beef. Sausage, and combos of them all. I chose traditional pork sausages but also threw in a package of cheddar-stuffed weiners for a little once-in-a-few-bites surprise.
A basic store-bought barbecue sauce is the base for this sauce, so I choose a quality, honey sweetened version to lend the smoky, sweet flavor.
White vinegar adds tang and a puckery punch. I don’t use apple cider vinegar because it comes off a little too strong.
And then there’s beer. What would game day be like without another layer of it?
How to Make Little Smokies
This game day appetizer couldn’t be simpler. Just add everything to your slow cooker, pop the lid on, and let the cocktail weenies cook on high for 2 to 3 hours until warmed through.
Once cooked, turn the heat to “warm” to keep the lil smokies warm all afternoon.
Can I Omit the Beer?
The alcohol from the beer cooks out of the cocktail sausages, but if you’d rather not add the beer, add the same amount of water or sparkling cider in its place.
What Type of Beer Should I Use?
You want to use a light beer in this recipe. Bud Light or something similar will work.
Tips for Making Little Smokies
I add 1/2 cup brown sugar to the lil smokies sauce to amp up its sweet flavor. If you don’t like your little smokies to be too sweet, scale back the amount of sugar you use.
I don’t recommend using granulated sugar in place of brown sugar, as brown sugar’s caramel-y flavor pairs better with the honey barbecue sauce.
If serving this little smokies recipe to guests, be sure to plonk a serving spoon into the slow cooker so they can easily serve themselves. A stash of clean toothpicks to eat these cocktail weenies with also makes for less cutlery to clean after the big game.
More Easy Appetizers You’ll Love
- Bacon Beer Cheese Dip
- Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Cheese Dip
- Easy Yogurt Fruit Dip
- French Onion Dip
- Pigs in a Puff Pastry Blanket
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Slow Cooker Little Smokies
- 4 14- ounce packages cocktail sausages
- 16- to 18- ounce bottle honey-flavored barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 12- ounce bottle lager beer
- Place the sausages in the bowl of a slow cooker. Add the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and beer and stir to combine.
- Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or until the sausages are warmed through.
- Lower heat and keep warm to serve.
More Slow Cooker Recipes to Master
- Slow Cooker Healthy Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili with Quinoa
- Slow Cooker Sriracha Meatballs
- Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
Craving more life balance, less stress, and better health? Check out my Nourished Planner, the daily planner to help create simplicity and under-schedule your life.
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