Lil Smokies are a classic appetizer that no party or get-together should be without!

This recipe makes a thick, sweet, and savory sauce made from brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and a splash of bourbon whiskey. This sauce has a deep, rich flavor that clings to each little bite-sized sausage!

brown sugar bourbon smokies in a serving dish

Best Brown Sugar Bourbon Little Smokies

  • Little smokies (aka Lil’ smokies) are a popular appetizer at cocktail parties, barbecues, and potlucks.
  • This recipe is so versatile! Make the stovetop version for a quick & easy recipe, or cook them in the slow-cooker.
  • No smokies? No problem! Stir in some frozen or homemade meatballs.
  • Take these perfectly portable hearty apps to a tailgating party and watch them disappear!
  • Nothing is easier than an easy 5-ingredient sauce!

brown sugar bourbon smokies ingredients

Ingredients and Variations

SMOKIES: Cocktail smokies are mini smoked pork ‘weenies’ that can be cooked just like regular hot dogs. This same recipe can be made with chopped beef or pork hotdogs if smokies can’t be found! Stir in pre-cooked frozen meatballs if you’d like.

SAUCE: Little smokies are delicious on their own, but taste even better when they are slow-cooked in this tangy 5 ingredient sauce. Make the sauce sweeter by adding grape jelly and brown sugar, or spicier by adding bbq sauce, sriracha, or Tabasco.

brown sugar bourbon smokies ingredients in a crock pot

How to Cook Lil Smokies

Make ahead, warm up, and serve!

In the Crock-Pot:

  1. Combine all the ingredients (per recipe below) in a Crockpot.
  2. Cover and cook on high for two hours.
  3. Keep Crockpot on a warm setting to serve them.

On the Stovetop:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan per recipe below.
  2. Cook on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

brown sugar bourbon smokies cooking in a slow cooker

Storing Leftovers

Keep brown sugar bourbon little smokies in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Reheat them on the stovetop and add a little extra ketchup to refresh their flavor!

Feeding a Crowd?

Did you make these Brown Sugar Bourbon Little Smokies? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

brown sugar bourbon smokies being scooped out of a slow cooker
5 from 30 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Brown Sugar Bourbon Smokies

Little Smokies are slow-cooked in a sweet & savory sauce until perfectly tender!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 14
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  • 24 ounces little smokies 2 packages
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


  • Add all ingredients to a crockpot and stir until evenly coated.
  • Cook on high heat for 2 hours.


Keep leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheat on the stovetop until heated through. 
5 from 30 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 230 | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 584mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Party Food, Slow Cooker, Snack
Cuisine American
Brown Sugar Bourbon Smokies in the crockpot with a wooden spoon and a title
plated Brown Sugar Bourbon Smokies with a title
crockpot full of Brown Sugar Bourbon Smokies with writing
Brown Sugar Bourbon Smokies cooked in the crockpot and close up on a toothpick with writing


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


    1. Hi Claudette, we have only made this recipe as listed but you could leave it out, or try replacing the bourbon with a tablespoon or so of vanilla extract. We also have this bacon-wrapped smokie recipe that you might enjoy! I hope that helps!

    2. I don’t use bourbon either. I’m thinking of mixing a.c. vinegar and chicken stock to make 3 T. or chili sauce.