Easy Slow Cooked Little Smokies Recipe

Sausages might have been a part of our diets for the last 4,000 years (via Atlas Obscura), but our go-to options for cooking up these handy, tasty little nuggets have largely been limited to frying, boiling, or grilling — at least until the introduction of appliances like the slow cooker.

Aside from freeing you up from the need to hover over your food as it cooks, slow cookers work their magic on sausages because the low, steady heat can coax the most subtle flavors out of your favorite links. It also allows sausages to enter into a mutually beneficial relationship with the sauce it is simmering in, resulting in a marriage of flavors.

If you're cooking for a crowd, recipe developer Hayley MacLean of Happy Healthy Hayley says slow cookers also allow her to turn around tasty treats like this slow cooked sausage fairly quickly. "I've been making this recipe for years for family and friends when they come over for football games, birthday parties, or really any event — they are always a hit," she says.

Here's what you'll need to make this dish

Most of the ingredients you'll need to make the barbecue sauce for little smokies may already be in your pantry, so you'll probably only need to hit the grocery store to get two the sausages. To make the sauce, you'll need barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, onion powder, and garlic powder. if you want to give your sausages extra fire, you'll also want to get some hot sauce.

The sauce is what elevates this recipe

The sauce is everything for this dish. To prepare your little smokies, put both sausage packages into the slow cooker. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, onion powder, and garlic powder. You can also add the hot sauce into the barbecue mixture. Blanket the little smokies in your slow cooker with the sauce and set to low.

There are flavor benefits to using a slow cooker

MacLean says there are benefits to using a slow cooker for this particular recipe. "The slow cooker allows the sauce to really come together and concentrates all the flavors together," she says. "The end result is the perfectly moist meaty bite with a velvety smooth sauce full of flavor."

Slow cookers can be used to prepare other types of sausages, too. The Slow Cooker Society reports that you'll only need to pay attention to the cooking times, because pre-cooked sausages can be ready in about two hours, while fresh sausages need to be browned in a pan before they are transferred into the slow cooker.  

These mini sausages are hard to resist

The amount of time it will take for the little smokies to cook will depend on the slow cooker setting. If you're not pressed for time, the sausages can be set to low so they will be ready in about two to three hours. But if time is tight, they can be ready in as little as an hour with a slow cooker set to high. When the sausage bites are heated through, you can then serve them hot. 

These delectable, barbecue-flavored little smokies aren't just the perfect supper when you're short on cooking time. "I love serving these at any gathering," says MacLean. "They are super simple to throw together, and can stay warm in the slow cooker throughout an event. They can also be a fun passed hors d'oeuvre with tooth picks on a platter."

Easy Slow Cooked Little Smokies Recipe
4.9 from 24 ratings
Slow cookers coax the most subtle flavors from your favorite links. This easy recipe for slow cooked little smokes, coated in barbecue sauce, are no exception.
Prep Time
Cook Time
little smokies in serving bowl
Total time: 1 hour, 3 minutes
  • 2 (14-ounce) packages cocktail smoked sausages
  • 1 ½ cups barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  1. Place both packages of little smokies in the slow cooker.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, and hot sauce (if using).
  3. Pour the sauce mixture over the little smokies, and mix together.
  4. Cook on low for 2 to 3 hours, or on high for 1 to 2 hours, until heated through.
  5. Serve hot.
Calories per Serving 344
Total Fat 20.0 g
Saturated Fat 6.1 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 55.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 29.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 24.8 g
Sodium 1,172.8 mg
Protein 12.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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