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Slow-cooked in a mixture of grape jelly and BBQ sauce, these easy Crockpot Little Smokies are a winning snack or appetizer! With just 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time, they couldn’t be easier to make.
Sweet and Savory Crockpot Lil Smokies
If you’ve never tried these lil smokies before, you are totally missing out! We’ve been making them for years and they’ve always been a popular potluck option. While the combination may sound completely strange and crazy – it works! Those who try them love them! The combination of sweet and savory works perfectly to give these little guys amazing flavor with little effort.
And of course that little bit of effort is the other appeal here. In addition to being super tasty and addicting, they couldn’t be easier to make. Throw everything in your crock pot and forget about it. When you’re ready to serve them, put out some toothpicks and you’re done! You’ll be amazed how quickly these disappear.
What Are Little Smokies?
Also known as cocktail weenies, little smokies are basically just mini hot dogs. The original Lit’l Smokies were created by Hillshire Farm, a popular American meat company that’s been around since the 1930s. Nowadays, all sorts of brands offer similar mini sausages. Just stop by the deli at your local grocery store and see what they’ve got!
What You’ll Need
As I said, you only need 3 simple ingredients to whip up this flavorful appetizer.
- Grape Jelly: Use your favorite brand.
- BBQ Sauce: I’d stay away from anything too smoky since the sausages provide some of that flavor on their own.
- Little Smokies Sausages: I use two 14-oz packages.
How to Make Little Smokies with Grape Jelly
Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, your work is nearly done! This is when the Crockpot comes in.
- Combine Jelly & Sauce: Add the grape jelly and BBQ sauce to the Crockpot and stir to combine.
- Add Little Smokies: Add the little smokies and stir to coat them in the sauce mixture.
- Cook: Heat the cocktail weenies on low for 3-4 hours, or until they’re warmed through.
- Enjoy! Serve warm.
Tips for Success
Eager to perfect your sweet and savory lil smokies? I have some tips and tricks to help you do so.
- Testing for Doneness: I like to take out one of my cocktail weenies after 3 hours and cut it in half to determine whether or not the inside is warm. If it still feels cool, I’ll let them cook for 30 more minutes and then check again.
- Topping Them Off: Feel free to garnish your grape jelly little smokies with chopped herbs, bacon bits or another desired topping. Have fun with it!
- Keeping Them Warm: Want to take your time and snack on these lil smokies throughout the evening? If you turn your Crockpot to the warm setting, they will stay hot without overcooking.
Don’t be afraid to switch things up to suit your mood – this recipe is very flexible. Try one of the tempting variations below!
- Replace BBQ Sauce with Chili Sauce
- Use Another Kind of Jelly
- Add Minced Garlic
- Add Ketchup
- Replace Cocktail Weenies with Pre-Cooked Meatballs
- Add Brown Sugar
- Add Red Pepper Flakes
- Add Worcestershire Sauce
- Serve with Cucumber Salad: The coolness and creaminess of this Cucumber Salad lends itself beautifully to the smokiness of these mini sausages. Any salad would go great with them, but this is definitely one of my personal favorites.
- Pair with Watermelon Cocktails: You know I had to throw a boozy drink in here – they call them cocktail weenies for a reason! Your lil smokies are guaranteed to taste amazing with a Tropical Watermelon Lemonade Cocktail to wash them down.
- Serve with Cheese Dip: This Bacon Cheddar Beer Cheese Dip is pretty much my best friend during football season. And it complements these Crockpot little smokies any time of year!
How to Store and Reheat Cocktail Weenies
Extra little smokies should be refrigerated in an airtight container after they’ve completely cooled. They will stay good for up to 3 days. Reheat them in a low-heat Crockpot along with the leftover sauce until they’re warmed through. You could also pop them into the microwave if preferred.
Can I Freeze These?
Yes – transfer your leftovers to a freezer-safe container and freeze the weenies in the sauce for up to 2 months. Thaw the little smokies in the fridge overnight before reheating them.Print
Slow-cooked in a sumptuous mixture of grape jelly and BBQ sauce, these easy Crockpot Little Smokies are a standout snack or appetizer! With just 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time, they couldn’t be easier to make.
- 8 oz (1 cup) grape jelly
- 12 oz (1 1/2 cups) BBQ sauce
- 28 oz little smokies sausages (two 14 oz packages)
- Add grape jelly and BBQ sauce to a crock pot and stir to combine.
- Add the little smokies and stir to coat.
- Heat on low for 3-4 hours or until heated through. Serve warm.
- To Store & Reheat: Refrigerate cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a low-heat Crockpot until weenies are warmed through. Alternatively, warm leftovers in the microwave.
- To Freeze: Place cooled leftovers in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 287
- Sugar: 20.2 g
- Sodium: 813.4 mg
- Fat: 16.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 27 g
- Protein: 8 g
- Cholesterol: 38.2 mg
Keywords: cocktail weenies, little smokies in the crockpot, mini hot dogs
More Crave-Worthy Snacks and Appetizers
Snacking is one of the simple pleasures of life. I have plenty of amazing recipes to prove it!