Sharpen your toothpicks. Barbecue Little Smokies are the easiest, most festive appetizer you’ll ever make. Two ingredients, zero prep, and 100% addictive, exactly the way all good party food should be.

2 ingredient barbecue little smokies in a white bowl.

Game days, birthday parties, movie night, sleepovers, and cocktail gatherings all have one thing in common: people who love little smokies simmered in BBQ sauce.

So instead of toiling in the kitchen for hours on end, I suggest giving them what they want – especially if it makes things easy for you! This recipe is so simple, it’s barely even a recipe. It’s just two ingredients that make one insanely delicious snack.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled ingredients for 2 ingredient barbecue little smokies.

Ingredient notes:

  • Little smokies: Famous things usually go by many names. You may know them as cocktail wieners, cocktail franks, lil smokies, or as my grandma says “baby wursts.” They’re small smoked sausages sold in 12- to 14-ounce packages at the store, in the deli section. (I’ve even heard that Costco sells them in 3-pound bags, and Trader Joe’s carries them sometimes on a seasonal basis.)
  • Barbecue sauce: Sweet Baby Rays is my personal fave, so much so that I even made a copycat Sweet Baby Rays recipe. But you can use any tomato-based BBQ sauce, as long as it isn’t a vinegary, Carolina-style sauce.

Instructions:

  • To make on the stove: Heat the BBQ sauce and the smokies in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot throughout, about 10 minutes.
    Barbecue little smokies being cooked in a skillet.
  • To make in a slow cooker: Add the BBQ sauce and the smokies and stir them up. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 to 2 hours, until hot. Once hot, they can be turned down for serving.
    Barbecue little smokies being cooked in a crockpot.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Yield: 1 pound of cocktail wieners has about 40 sausages. With 5 sausages per serving, you can get about 8 servings per pound (assuming you are serving this at a party as part of a buffet with other choices).
  • Serve with toothpicks: Forks might be too easy; toothpicks slow things down a bit. Everyone can jab what they want, and you don’t have to worry about running low.
  • Leftovers: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or over medium-low heat on the stove.
  • Make it sweeter or spicier: The brand of sauce you choose will determine the flavor profile of the appetizer. You can also try the classic Cocktail Sauce and Grape Jelly combination that is so popular on crockpot meatballs.
  • Or use the big ones: You can cook the larger-sized sausages, too. Slice them up into rounds before cooking and heat as directed.
  • Bangers and Mash: Serve these over mashed potatoes and call it dinner!

2 ingredient barbecue little smokies in a white bowl.

More delightful appetizers:

 

Barbecue little smokies in a white bowl.

2-Ingredient Barbecue Little Smokies

Sharpen your toothpicks. Barbecue Little Smokies are the easiest, most festive appetizer you'll ever make. Two ingredients, zero prep, and 100% addictive, exactly the way all good party food should be.
4.99 from 64 votes
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 16 servings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Calories 169

Ingredients 

  • 2 packages cocktail wieners (see note 1)
  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce or any other barbecue sauce (see note 2)

Instructions 

To make on the stove:

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, add little smokies and barbecue sauce and cook until hot, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

To make in a slow cooker:

  • In a slow cooker, add little smokies and barbecue sauce and stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 to 2 hours, until sausages are hot.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Little smokies: Famous things usually go by many names. You may know them as cocktail wieners, cocktail franks, lil smokies, or as my grandma says "baby wursts." They're small smoked sausages sold in 12- to 14-ounce packages at the store, in the deli section. (I've even heard that Costco sells them in 3-pound bags, and Trader Joe's carries them sometimes on a seasonal basis.)
  2. Barbecue sauce: Sweet Baby Rays is my personal fave, so much so that I even made a copycat Sweet Baby Rays recipe. But you can use any tomato-based BBQ sauce, as long as it isn't a vinegary, Carolina-style sauce.
  3. Yield: 1 pound of cocktail wieners has about 40 sausages. With 5 sausages per serving, you can get about 8 servings per pound (assuming you are serving this at a party as part of a buffet with other choices). 
  4. Serve with toothpicks: Forks might be too easy; toothpicks slow things down a bit. Everyone can jab what they want, and you don't have to worry about running low.
  5. Leftovers: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or over medium-low heat on the stove.
  6. Make it sweeter or spicier: The brand of sauce you choose will determine the flavor profile of the appetizer. You can also try the classic Cocktail Sauce and Grape Jelly combination that is so popular on crockpot meatballs.
  7. Or use the big ones: You can cook the larger-sized sausages, too. Slice them up into rounds before cooking and heat as directed.
  8. Bangers and Mash: Serve these over mashed potatoes and call it dinner!

Nutrition

Serving: 5smokiesCalories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 7gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 576mgPotassium: 97mgSugar: 1gCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
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Comments

  1. My school teacherl35 years ago used to make these I didn’t have the recipe so I called her and hers were always different than somebody else’s and she never use grape jelly and Hershey used apricot and oh my God does that make a difference thought I would pass it on

  2. AWESOME RECIPES, and the new idea with smokies/bbq sauce/mash potatoes, I gotta try that one!

    But this website, I don’t know what’s wrong… when I scroll down, then hover my mouse to the task bar (I was gonna screen shot for a friend), it adds “space” on top, making your screen to the top picture. It’s like it forces you back at the top, but there are added blank spaces if you scroll up after that. I’d suggest fixing that if you want more followers, or they’ll just give up and skip out.

    wolfie…

    1. Hi Wolfie, I hope you love it! Thanks for taking the time to let me know, we just pushed out a redesign on the site, and are working through bugs (or features 😅) I tried to duplicate what you described, but I couldn’t. Sorry! What browser are you using, if you don’t mind sharing? I’ll pass it on so we can get that fixed. Thank you again and sorry! – Meggan

    1. I know, sounds like LIES right? LOL. I took it off the package, I didn’t know what else to do?! 🥴 -Meggan

  3. A delicious and easy to make smokies recipe i have ever tried so far. Thanks for sharing this recipe with all of us. Also do check out my special smokies recipe as well. 5 stars

  4. All the talk of Trader Joe’s sausages without any love for their barbeque sauces?

    1 bottle of TJ’s Kansas city bbq sauce
    +
    1 jar of TJ’s grape jelly
    =
    Kids quietly stuffing their faces with whatever I’ve cooked.

    This is especially good on cocktail franks, frozen meatballs, and pulled pork. My adult pallet prefers something a little less sweet, but a dash or two of tabasco/frank’s/sriracha to my individual serving is often enough to cut through the sweetness.5 stars

  5. We Love these!! We fix them at most family gathering and they’re always a hit!! You asked to pass on any other BBQ sauces that were good… for Sam’s shoppers there’s a BBQ sauce I buy there called Sonny’s Sweet BBQ Sauce… it’s “very good” on these smokies as well. Not to down play Sweet Baby Rays, but just another choice… give it a try sometime. 😊5 stars

    1. Sonny’s sweet sauce is our go-to! I just put some in a pot with our smokies. If you ever get the chance to eat at a Sonny’s, I recommend the pulled pork and corn nuggets!

  6. If you add about 6-8 oz of plum or grape jelly in while cooking with the Sweet Baby Ray’s it makes them just a touch sweeter. My grandmothers always cooked them that way5 stars

    1. Yes! I do this with my crockpot meatballs and it’s so good. So obviously it would be awesome on these little smokies! Thanks Tyler! -Meggan

  7. 2019 & I’m still over here cooking up little smokies for my little ones . Food blogs are a godsend as stated before . & anyone who doesnt appreciate the value of passed down simple recipes through generations which are then passed through the food lover community I would just say your in the wrong place. I thank everyone for your comments & the commitment of the original blogger . My kids thank you very kindly.5 stars

  8. I wish Bob had not used the “F” bomb in his comment.  There is no need for such vulgarity in a post that is public and subject to being ready by young people.

  9. I love this recipe! I first browned the in a cast iron pan. (not that it really matters what pan) then used your recipe for on the stove top. WOW! So good I ate most of them! My first choice for barb sauce is Sweet Baby ray’s Sweet and Spicy. Thank you for posting this recipe as I love it!5 stars

    1. Hi Megan, Yes I did!! Once the sauce warms up it is looser, so you’ll have more than enough. Thanks for the question!

  10. I was in Sam’s or Walmart about a month ago and tried one of their samples of BBQ lil’ smokies. I had never had them before and was taken aback at how darn good it was!! : ) I was wondering how they were made, and whether it was as simple as (bottled) BBQ sauce with the smokies….now I know for sure and I’ll be serving them at my party next weekend!!!! Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi Debbie, this is so great! Thank you for the lovely comment! Yes, this is basically non-recipe but so good. :) If anyone questions you, just say it’s a “midwest thing.” Ha ha ha! These are my absolute fave. Take care and thanks again!

    1. Pretty sure that would taste AMAZING, but as the blogger here I feel “obligated” to test this immediately. Ha ha!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation! I would love to try someone else’s “favorite” barbecue sauce. :) I’ll hunt for it!

  11. Oh my GOD!!!!!     OLD OLD OLD recipe!!!!  Not even a recipe really!!!!!  MY GRANDMA USED TO MAKE US THIS FOR SLEEPOVERS!!!  

    (why do people act like they create or discover old recipes or tricks when they share them on blogs….  Don’t people ever talk to their parents & grandparents and find out stuff….  jeez!!)5 stars

    1. It really ISN’T a recipe…. ha ha! Well it’s nice to know other people make this too. The trouble with food blogs is, everything has already been done before. All we can hope is to take a good photo. :)

    2. Meggan, what a graceful response to this uncalled for comment. Kudos for that and for this yummy recipe!

    3. Well that’s very kind of you, Brittany! Thanks. The whole point of my blog is to share the recipes from my parents, grandparents, etc. in case others didn’t have the same experience. :) Those are always the best recipes! Happy New Year!

    4. Well considering I don’t have any grandparents/parents who bothered to share recipes with me, food blogs are a godsend to me and my noivce cooking skills!! Thanks for this recipe, was wondering what to do with these hot dogs I picked up on a whim at Walmart. Love your food blog?

    5. You’re so nice Katrina! :) Little Smokies are the best! I hope you love them as much as my family does. :D And great to have you on the blog, thank you so much!

    6. Hi funny. I’m usually the one to swear. Don’t hate Bob. I like to add a bit of red wine or good draft beer and drink the rest. Sometimes I comment on the recipes I read out of pure enlightenment and slip a cussword or two. Also I’m a big fan of Gordon Ramsay and his actual reality acting in kitchens at restaurants. People cuss and yell and throw shit. I kind of miss that. I digress…this recipe 2-ingredient recipe was probably very good, and Sweet Baby Ray’s has a lot of variety. but I chose to click the link for the homemade sauce. At first I followed the directions to a T but it got old and my fermented pineapple elixir was gone out of my fridge so I had to make shit up. Great guidelines on the first set of instructions. I made some really good shit. Best bbq little smokies ever. I’m pinning both the 2 ingredient and the custom recipe. Hit me up. I wrote nothing down, but I think I understand bbq sauce ingredients better than ever, now. Thanks! If you haven’t followed the link and threw all ingredients in the bowl as guesswork, you should. I got dill in mine and crushed tomatoes as well as hickory smoked bacon bits, Franks Red Hot Sauce, real maple syrup, cloves and I subbed Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Mustard in for I had no prepared mustard!5 stars

  12. I’m so happy i gound this recipe. I grabbed some little smokies and a bottle of sweet baby rays last night, and was just hoping for the best, because I was unsure. I found this recipe and felt a lot more confident. Also i was hoping i didn’t have to use the crockpot. Thanks so much for putting this up!5 stars

    1. Holly, that is so great to hear and so nice of you to say! I hope they were everything you were hoping for. I just LOVE these little smokies. They are the best with the Sweet Baby Rays.

  13. Thanks, I’m going to try this recipe New Years Eve.  I’ve had them at parties but have never made them.  All the recipes I was looking at talked about throwing a bunch of sugar or a jar of grape jelly in the sauce.  I don’t recall ever tasting grape jelly in my little smokies.  This sounds perfect though, Sweet Baby Ray’s is my favorite sauce and I have a few bottles on hand, just need the sausage.5 stars

    1. Grape jelly with little smokies is actually really good too! But you need something else to go with the jelly – chili sauce. I use this for frozen meatballs a lot. Grape jelly alone is awful, but a hot chili sauce balances it out. But yeah, THIS recipe is even lazier, just dump Sweet Baby Rays on it and be done. That is definitely my favorite barbecue sauce too! Thanks so much for your comment and Happy New Year!

    1. Costco saves the day *again.* They are so amazing. I love that place. Thank you for letting me know!!

    1. YAAAASSSS! Time to stock up. Thank you so much for letting me know! That actually makes a lot of sense.

  14. Unfortunately, Trader Joes does not carry these anymore. I have asked several times when I could not find them on the shelf.5 stars

    1. Are you serious?! I haven’t looked for them in so long. That is terrible, they were really delicious and not overpriced and just GOOD. I will ask next time I’m there and update my post. :(

  15. Yum! The bottled sauce would work in a pinch, but I agree with Maggie. The homemade version looks like it’s worth the effort!5 stars

  16. I totally agree with you, there’s something addictive about little smokies! I love that they’re so quick and easy to make!5 stars

  17. This is the type of dish I always need for the movie’s night! The homemade barbecue sounds great, much better than the ketchup I usually use!5 stars

  18. I’ve always thought these were such great appetizers. This is such an easy recipe there’s no reason for anyone not to make them. Great game day food.5 stars

  19. Oh, I think I would definitely have trouble not gobbling all these up before the game, Meggan! I’ve never seen anything like these gorgeous sausages before – where have you been all my life? ;-)5 stars