Crock Pot Little Smokies is a popular appetizer often served at parties, game days, and holiday gatherings! This dish involves slow-cooking cocktail sausages in a tangy, sweet, and slightly smoky sauce. Typically, the sauce is a simple combination of barbecue sauce, grape jelly, and perhaps a dash of Worcestershire for extra depth. After several hours in the crock pot, the sausages become incredibly tender and flavorful, having absorbed the delicious sauce. They're usually served with toothpicks for easy, crowd-pleasing finger food.
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Slow Cooker BBQ Little Smokies
Crock Pot Little Smokies is a deliciously convenient dish to prepare, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of occasions. Its ease of preparation and serving makes it a perfect addition to game day spreads, birthday parties, holiday gatherings, potlucks, and any event where finger foods are appreciated. You just need to add the ingredients to the slow cooker and let the appliance do the work, freeing you up to focus on other tasks or simply enjoy the event.
The beauty of this dish is that it can be prepared ahead of time. The cocktail sausages can be tossed in the slow cooker with the sauce ingredients in the morning, and by the time your guests arrive, they'll be ready to serve. The low, slow cooking infuses the sausages with the flavor of the sauce and makes them tender, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
When it comes to serving, Crock Pot Little Smokies couldn't be easier. They can be served straight from the slow cooker, which can be set to the "warm" setting to keep the sausages at the perfect temperature throughout your event. A stack of toothpicks or small forks nearby encourages guests to serve themselves.
In terms of flavor, Crock Pot Little Smokies are nothing short of delightful. The cocktail sausages, while tasty on their own, are elevated by the sauce they're cooked in. The barbecue sauce adds a tangy, savory depth, while the grape jelly provides a contrasting sweetness. The result is a balance of flavors that's complex and satisfying. The smokies are both sweet and savory, with a rich, meaty flavor and a tender texture that practically melts in your mouth. It's this unique taste profile that makes Crock Pot Little Smokies a hit at any gathering, satisfying a wide range of palates and food preferences.
How to Make Crock Pot Little Smokies
To make this recipe, you will need:
- Little Smokies or Cocktail Sausages: These mini sausages are usually smoked, adding a depth of flavor to the dish. They're savory and slightly salty, which helps balance the sweetness of the other ingredients.
- Barbecue Sauce: Barbecue sauce contributes a tangy, smoky, and slightly sweet flavor that complements the smokies well. Depending on the variety you use, it may also add a bit of spice.
- Grape Jelly: Grape jelly is primarily used for sweetness in this recipe. It mellows out the tanginess of the barbecue sauce and complements the savory smokies. It also helps to give the sauce a glossy, appealing look.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire sauce is known for its umami flavor, which comes from the fermented ingredients it's made from. It can add depth and complexity to the sauce, enhancing the savory characteristics of the sausages and balancing the sweetness from the barbecue sauce and jelly.
Once you've gathered your ingredients, you will use the following method:
- Prep. Start by adding the little smokies or cocktail sausages to your slow cooker. In a bowl, mix together the barbecue sauce, grape jelly, and Worcestershire sauce (if using) until well combined.
- Cook. Pour the sauce mixture over the smokies in the slow cooker. Stir until the smokies are well coated with the sauce. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours, or until the smokies are heated through. Stir occasionally to ensure that all smokies get evenly coated in the sauce.
- Serve! Once done, you can leave the slow cooker on the 'warm' setting if you're serving these at a party. Provide some toothpicks or small forks for your guests to serve themselves. Enjoy your Crock Pot Little Smokies as a perfect appetizer or party snack!
Tips and Tricks To Perfect Crock Pot Little Smokies
Choose the Right Sauce: The sauce is the key to flavor in this dish. While barbecue sauce and grape jelly is a popular combination, feel free to experiment with other sauces you enjoy. Chili sauce, ketchup, or even a spicy mustard could add an interesting twist.
Stir Occasionally: While it's not absolutely necessary, stirring the sausages occasionally as they cook helps to ensure they're evenly coated in the sauce.
Don't Overcook: Little smokies are already fully cooked when you buy them, so you're essentially just warming them up and allowing them to absorb the sauce. Be careful not to overcook them, as they can become tough. Usually, 2-3 hours on low is sufficient.
Keep Them Warm: If you're serving these at a party, you can keep them warm by leaving them in the slow cooker on the 'warm' setting. This will ensure that they're hot and ready for guests to enjoy throughout the event.
Try Different Sausages: While traditional little smokies are great, don't be afraid to try this recipe with different types of small sausages. Mini chorizos or andouille sausages could add an interesting flavor twist.
Add-Ons: For extra flavor, consider adding in some diced onions, bell peppers, or even a splash of bourbon or your favorite liquor.
Yes, you can prepare the dish a few hours in advance. However, since little smokies are already cooked, you're essentially just warming them in the sauce. So, it's best to start them a few hours before you plan to serve them.
Absolutely! While little smokies are traditional, you can use any type of small, fully cooked sausage. Mini chorizos, andouille sausages, or even small hot dogs or bratwursts could work.
Yes, you can experiment with different sauces. Some people use chili sauce, ketchup, or even mustard. Just remember that you want a balance of sweet and savory for the best flavor.
If you don't have a slow cooker, you can simmer the sausages and sauce gently on the stove in a covered pot for about 20-30 minutes. Just make sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.
Leftover Little Smokies can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, you can use the microwave or gently warm them on the stove in a saucepan.
Yes, you can freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat them, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
What to Serve With Crock Pot Little Smokies
Coleslaw: The cool, creamy texture and taste of coleslaw can provide a nice contrast to the sweet, tangy flavor of the smokies.
Baked Beans: A dish of sweet, savory baked beans makes a hearty side to serve with the little smokies.
Cornbread: A slice of warm, buttery cornbread is perfect for soaking up the sauce from the smokies.
Vegetable Tray: A simple tray of raw or grilled vegetables with a dip can add a fresh, crisp counterpoint to the rich smokies.
Macaroni and Cheese: This comfort food classic is always a crowd-pleaser and pairs well with the flavors of the smokies.
Pickle Spears: The tart, tangy flavor of pickles can balance the sweetness of the little smokies.
Crock Pot Little Smokies Recipe
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Tangy, smoky, meaty little smokies from the slow cooker with a classic American flavor perfect for parties!
- 2 packages (14 ounces each) of little smokies or cocktail sausages
- 1 cup of barbecue sauce
- 1 cup of grape jelly
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- Start by adding the little smokies or cocktail sausages to your slow cooker.
- In a bowl, mix together the barbecue sauce, grape jelly, and Worcestershire sauce (if using) until well combined.
- Pour the sauce mixture over the smokies in the slow cooker. Stir until the smokies are well coated with the sauce.
- Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours, or until the smokies are heated through. Stir occasionally to ensure that all smokies get evenly coated in the sauce.
- Once done, you can leave the slow cooker on the 'warm' setting if you're serving these at a party. Provide some toothpicks or small forks for your guests to serve themselves.
- Enjoy your Crock Pot Little Smokies as a perfect appetizer or party snack!
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Concord Grape Jelly by Good Good - 12 oz / 330 g - Keto Friendly No Added Sugar Concord Grape Jelly - Keto - Vegan - Gluten Free - Diabetic (Concord Grape)
Lillie's Q - Smoky Barbeque Sauce, Gourmet BBQ Sauce, Sweet Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce, Mild Smoky Flavor, All-Natural Ingredients, Made with Gluten-Free Ingredients (21 oz)
Lea & Perrins The Original Worcestershire Sauce (10 fl oz Bottle)
Hamilton Beach Portable 6-Quart Set & Forget Digital Programmable Slow Cooker With Temperature Probe, Lid Lock, Stainless Steel (33969A)
Crockpot Portable 7 Quart Slow Cooker with Locking Lid and Auto Adjust Cook Time Technology, Stainless Steel
Serving Sizeabout 6 smokies
Amount Per Serving Calories 61Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 1mgSodium 178mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 0gSugar 11gProtein 0g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.