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Slow Cooker Little Smokies (or is it really Lil’ Smokies?) in Honey Garlic BBQ Sauce are one of the easiest, tastiest party foods ever and perfect for your next Game Day event!
I was skiing in Utah this week with my daughters and dad when some guys struck up a conversation with us on the gondola ride up the mountain.
After mentioning I was from the Bay Area, one of the guys mentioned that it was unfortunate that I was missing the big game that night. I stared at him blankly.
“You know,” he offered, “the college playoffs? In San Francisco? At the 49’ers stadium?”
Normally I’m a pretty quick thinker, but when it comes to sports references, I just don’t follow. It literally took me a couple of seconds to even recognize that he was talking about football.
But really, isn’t the best thing about most sports the food that is associated with it?
I’ve been to parties associated with the big game before but I honestly couldn’t tell you which teams have been playing, even though I could probably remember what dips and apps and other party foods were served. I’m just there for the food and anybody who knows me knows it.
When it comes to party food and easy appetizer recipes, I am such a sucker for these saucy little smokies (or lil’ smokies, which is how we really usually pronounce it).
The diminutive mini sausages (aka cocktail weiners – does that just mean mini hot dogs? what are they actually? I can’t seem to put my finger on it.) are always calling my name. Especially when they are paired with a sweet sauce for that salty-sweet combination I just can’t resist.
This awesome sauce comes together super quick by just combining ketchup with some brown sugar, soy sauce, honey, mustard, and a few cloves of chopped garlic. It’s amazing and way better than the bottled stuff.
I love them wrapped up in crescent rolls as pigs in a blanket too, but I have to admit that it’s this tangy, saucy version that is my favorite.
This quick little smokies recipe takes almost zero effort since it just involved dumping ingredients into a crockpot and then turning it on. That’s it. But you’ll be happy to have it on hand for parties and gatherings since it’s such a crowd-pleaser.
And if you don’t have a slow cooker or you are using it for something else for your party, you could always just heat these up in a saucepan and keep it on low. Or dump them into a baking dish and cover and stick in the oven on 250 until warmed through. I’m all about options.
I tend to use the original little smokies, which are made from pork, but if you want to substitute turkey or beef little smokies, then go for it.
I love that this easy crockpot BBQ little smokies recipe only takes a handful of ingredients but the sauce is still home made rather than just dumping a bottle of store-bought barbecue sauce over the sausages and calling it good.
We have actually had these for dinner before, just served over rice with veggies or a salad on the side and everybody was pretty happy about that. Aren’t appetizers just the funnest?
How to Make Slow Cooker Little Smokies
Since little smokies are already fully cooked, you really only need to heat them up and they are ready to go. I like to do this in the slow cooker because when I’m prepping for a party, the less that needs to be done last minute the better.
A couple hours before serving, just add the little smokies to the slow cooker along with all the sauce ingredients. No need to dirty a separate bowl, unless you really feel like whisking everything together first and then pouring it in. Just dump everything in and give it a good stir to mix things up.
Then cover it with the lid and turn it onto high for an hour. Give it all a stir again right before the party starts and drop the temp down to warm or low and the little smokies will stay hot all through a party.
I find that the flavor gets better and better the longer the little smokies have to soak in the tangy, mouthwatering sauce.
Just be sure to have toothpicks handy for guests to snag these slow cooker little smokies with!
More Tantalizing Game Day Party Food To Try
- Jalapeno Popper Dip with Bacon
- Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip
- Oven Baked Korean BBQ Chicken Wings
- Easy Greek 7 Layer Dip
- Chicken Parmesan Sliders
- Trader Joe’s Lentil Bruschetta Feta Dip
Slow Cooker Little Smokies in Honey Garlic BBQ Sauce
- 48 ounces lil’ smokies or cocktail weiners drained
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- Place the lil’ smokies in a crockpot. Dump all remaining ingredients over the lil’ smokies, stirring to coat.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or on LOW for 4 hours, until hot and saucy, giving another stir and decreasing the temperature to WARM or LOW for serving.
- Serve right out of the crockpot with toothpicks for an easy appetizer or over rice with a salad or veggies on the side for an easy, super kid-friendly dinner.