Nothing cures a savory-sweet party craving quite like Bacon-Wrapped Smokies, and if you thought this retro appetizer was good before, just wait until you taste what we’ve done to them.
The classic recipe gets an easy upgrade thanks to a sticky-sweet brown sugar glaze. The glaze is spiked with a smoky mix of spices and a splash of apple cider vinegar for the perfect burst of acidity. It cuts through the richness of the hors d’oeuvre like butter, and there’s no doubt — you (and your guests) will find this rendition down-right addictive.
This Little Smokies recipe is both make-ahead and easy to make, making it the perfect game day or holiday appetizer! Need more yummy starters to add to the line-up? Add this quick, simple (and budget-friendly) Meat and Cheese Tray to the menu!
HOW TO MAKE BACON-WRAPPED SMOKIES
- Wrap the Little Smokies – Cut bacon strips into thirds and wrap each section tightly around each Little Smokie, and place it seam-side down in a greased casserole dish.
- Make the Glaze – Add butter, brown sugar, vinegar, and spices to a small saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the mixture simmers, remove it from the heat and pour it over the bacon-wrapped sausages.
- Bake – Transfer to the oven and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Then, baste or spoon over the tops of the Bacon Wrapped Smokies with the glaze, and continue cooking for 15 minutes.
HOW LONG DO YOU COOK THEM?
Little Smokies are actually fully cooked fresh out of the package. The reason for cooking them is to get the bacon cooked through. After a total of 35 minutes in the oven at 400°F, the bacon will be perfectly cooked!
ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS:
For this recipe, we used center-cut bacon, which is just bacon with the fatty ends cut off. This is particularly beneficial for Bacon-Wrapped Smokies recipes because the extra fat from the ends is completely unnecessary and would just create unwanted grease in the brown sugar glaze. If you don’t have center-cut bacon, just trim away the fatty ends before you do any wrapping.
Little Smokies are miniature smoked sausages and they are ideal for party appetizers! You can easily find them located near the bacon and other cured pork products at the grocery store. You can use either Beef or Turkey Lit’l Smokies to make these Bacon-Wrapped Smokies.
For those of you who are party prepping, it might be helpful to know there are about 40 of these sausages in a 12-ounce package and 4 to 5 of them equals one serving.
THE BROWN SUGAR GLAZE
The brown sugar glaze is what sets these bacon-wrapped cocktail wieners apart from the rest. It comes together easily with a quick simmer of the following ingredients:
- Butter | This recipe was developed with unsalted butter. If you only have salted butter, leave the salt out of the recipe.
- Brown Sugar | We used light brown sugar, but if you only have dark brown sugar, feel free to sub it in!
- Vinegar | A splash of apple cider vinegar adds a nice balancing note to the brown sugar glaze by adding a touch of acidity to the recipe. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar you could use plain, white vinegar or a tablespoon of yellow mustard instead.
- Seasoning | The seasoning blend for this sauce is very similar to those you would use in a homemade BBQ sauce. Chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt add smoky, savory vibes to this sweet and sticky sauce!
CAN YOU MAKE BACON-WRAPPED SMOKIES AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes, you can get the bacon-Little Smokie prep work out of the way up to 48 hours in advance, but it is best to make the sauce and add it just before transferring to the oven.
Once you have your Bacon-Wrapped Smokies assembled, transfer them to the baking dish you plan to use and cover it tightly with plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container to store in the refrigerator. Make sure you either place them seam-side down or secure the bacon wrapping with a toothpick.
HOW TO REHEAT AFTER COOKED
If you’ve already baked your Bacon-Wrapped Smokies, and you’re looking to reheat them, you can place a single serving quickly in the microwave. It will take about 30 seconds to 1 minute to heat through depending on how many you are cooking.
Microwave or transfer to 350°F and bake for 10-15 minutes, just until warmed through. Remember, sugar gets very hot and can cause bad burns so do not touch before cooling!
HOW LONG ARE BACON-WRAPPED SMOKIES GOOD FOR?
You can keep Bacon-Wrapped Smokies refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
5 MORE FINGER FOOD RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Bacon-Wrapped Smokies get a delicious upgrade thanks to this smoky, tangy brown-sugar glaze! The sauce makes the dish and it come together in minutes!
- 1 (12-ounce) package center-cut bacon
- 1 (14-ounce) package Little Smokies
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F and have ready a greased 9x13" casserole dish.
Cut each piece of bacon into thirds. Then, wrap each Little Smokie tightly with a third of a bacon strip and place seam-side down in the dish. Make sure there is a little bit of space between each one.
Add the butter, brown sugar, vinegar, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, and stop the cooking as soon as the mixture has completely liquified.
Pour the mixture evenly across the Little Smokies and bake for 20 minutes. Baste and bake for 15 minutes more.
Remove from the oven. Note, the sugar will be very hot. Do not touch. Baste the Little Smokies once more, and set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.