BBQ Little Smokies (Slow Cooker and Instant Pot)

BBQ Little Smokies are everything you could possibly want for your game day spread! Savory cocktail wieners in a sweet and smoky sauce with almost no work on your part. These are the perfect dump-and-go appetizer!

ittle smokies crockpot

This recipe is part of my Dump it ’til it’s hot series of dump recipes. It’s all about making delicious food with minimal prep, no pre-cooking, the ability to freeze for a good make-ahead meal. And trust me when I say, easy never tasted so good!

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BBQ Little Smokies

Is it even a party without Lil’ Smokies? Also known as cocktail weenies, they’re a mainstay at every get-together we have around here, especially game day parties! And what’s not to like? I mean they’re basically mini hot dogs in a sweet and smoky barbecue sauce! I could eat a whole bowl of them with no regrets.

I especially love that this is a dump-and-go recipe, because I really wanted to add options that work well for entertaining. I’ve read plenty of little smokies recipes that use things like grape jelly and while I’m sure they’re good, this one is a more straightforward BBQ sauce.

little smokies recipeslil smokiesTips for making this Little Smokies Crockpot recipe

  • I like to mince my onions pretty small for this.
  • After you add the Lil’ Smokies stir until everything is evenly coated.
  • Switch the slow cooker to warm and serve them from the pot if you want to keep them warm (or place them in a prettier bowl if serving right away).
  • If you aren’t into the smoky flavor, you can substitute the same amount of soy sauce for the liquid smoke for an Asian-inspired flavored sauce.

little smokies crock pot recipe

Frequently asked questions about making this Lil’ Smokies Crockpot recipe

  • How long do little smokies last? These will last up 3-4 days covered in the refrigerator and up to 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Are little smokies fully cooked? Yes- since the sausages are fully cooked, they require only simple reheating, so all you have to do is prep the sauce.
  • How do you warm up little smokies? For the slow cooker, I cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 3 hours.
  • These can also be cooked in the instant pot for 5 minutes on manual high pressure with a natural release for 10-15 minutes. If the sauce isn’t thick enough for you, remove the Lil’ Smokies and reduce the sauce on the saute function until it reaches your desired level of thickness.
  • Can you freeze little smokies? Yes- I recommend freezing before cooking.
  • Can you cook frozen little smokies? I encourage you to thaw these before cooking if freezing in advance.

BBQ Little Smokies are everything you could possibly want for your game day spread! Savory cocktail wieners in a sweet and smoky sauce with almost no work on your part. These are the perfect dump-and-go appetizer!

BBQ Little Smokies Recipe Upgrades

Although this recipe is designed to be a dump-and-go recipe, here are a few “upgrades” you can make if you have a little extra time on your hands and don’t mind doing a small amount of extra work. You don’t have to do them to have a delicious meal, But they will make the recipe come out even more delicious:

  • Top with chopped scallions.
  • Use extra-pretty tooth picks with the fancy colors at the ends of them!

little smokies

Make it a meal!

A few great recipes to round out and complete this meal would be:

Helpful tools:

  1. Gallon freezer zipper bags
  2. Measuring spoons
  3. Measuring cups
  4. Chef’s knife
  5. Cutting board
  6. Whisk
  7. Slow cooker
  8. Instant pot
BBQ Little Smokies
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 5 mins
 

BBQ Little Smokies are everything you could possibly want  for your game day spread! Savory cocktail wieners in a sweet and smoky sauce with almost no work on your part. These are the perfect dump-and-go appetizer!

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: little smokies
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Jessy Freimann, The Life Jolie
Ingredients
  • 2 cups tomato ketchup (1 20 ounce container)
  • 2 Tablespoons liquid smoke (or you can substitute soy sauce for an Asian-inspired sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 2 13 ounce packages Little Smokies
  • Green onions for garnish, chopped (optional)
Instructions
Slow cooker instructions
  1. Place ketchup, liquid smoke, brown sugar and onion into the crockpot. Stir to combine.

  2. Add Little Smokies and stir until everything is well coated.

  3. Cover the crockpot and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 3 hours. Set crockpot to warm and serve immediately with chopped green onions to garnish.

Instant Pot instructions
  1. Place ketchup, liquid smoke, brown sugar and onion into the Instant Pot. Stir to combine.

  2. Add Little Smokies and stir until everything is well coated.

  3. Cover the instant pot and set it for 5 minutes on manual high pressure with a natural release for 10-15 minutes. If the sauce isn’t thick enough for you, remove the Lil’ Smokies and reduce the sauce on the saute function until it reaches your desired level of thickness.

  4. Serve immediately with chopped green onions to garnish.

Now that you know how to make BBQ Little Smokies be sure to share them and tag @thelifejolie on Instagram and Facebook.  And be sure to pin it to save for later or bookmark it!

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BBQ Little Smokies are everything you could possibly want for your game day spread! Savory cocktail wieners in a sweet and smoky sauce with almost no work on your part. These are the perfect dump-and-go appetizer!

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