Bacon Wrapped Smokies are the best little bites of sweet, salty and smoky! Easy to make ahead appetizers with a caramelized glaze everyone will love!
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Some recipes are so perfectly described by their names that they don’t need any eloquent descriptions to make them sound delicious.
Who knows why these recipes are so well named – a linguistically-clever chef, perhaps? Or maybe it’s just the perfectly simple combination of ingredients that lend themselves to sounding delicious no matter what the name is.
This recipe has that perfect name and that perfectly simple combination of ingredients. Bacon wrapped smokies.
Let me say it again.
Bacon! Wrapped! Smokies!
Man, oh man do those sound good. And, like I said, the name is pretty enticing, isn’t it?
Little smokies – the bacon-wrapped item in question – are a potluck favorite where I live. I usually find them slow-cooking in a delicious, meaty barbecue sauce. My family loves little smokies wrapped in crescent rolls. As they nest into the rolls I melt a little cheddar cheese on top, typically called “pigs in a blanket”.
But this recipe? It tops all of those other uses for little smokies.
This recipe is the absolute king of delicious little-smoked sausage appetizers – which is pretty clear to me every time I hear, “Bacon Wrapped Smokies.”
What makes these appetizers so darn delicious – beyond the obvious (bacon + little smokies) – is the fantastic brown sugar/cayenne pepper glaze. Lots of recipes use a brown sugar glaze as a sweetener, but it’s the cayenne pepper that really brings this glaze into the “genius” category. This wonderful topping caramelizes in the oven and gives each smokie a sticky, sweet flavor with a little bit of heat.
I generally serve this brown sugar little smokies recipe plain – and they get snatched up in a hurry! But occasionally I’ll serve a bacon wrapped smokies dipping sauce as well, which is also a huge hit.
The dipping sauce I use is a special mixture. I take ¼ cup mayo and ¼ cup barbecue sauce and whisk them together with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. That mixture has a much better flavor combination than plain old bacon wrapped smokies with barbecue sauce.
As the ingredients list might indicate, this recipe is E-A-S-Y, easy. Flip through the instructions if you don’t believe me.
What could be easier than wrapping little smokies in bacon and baking them? Mix up the brown sugar and cayenne pepper, sprinkle on top. That’s about as easy as it gets!
The next time you’re serving a party (like Superbowl Sunday!), or cooking for a potluck, give this recipe a try for a sure-fire hit.
Just remember to save a few for the late arrivals – or yourself!
Recipe Notes for Bacon Wrapped Smokies:
You may be tempted to heat up the bacon before wrapping your smokies – don’t! Wrapping the cold bacon is much easier than wrapping warm bacon.
How long do you cook bacon wrapped little smokies? Well, I go with 30 minutes. I think that gives the Smokies a great texture.
But if the bacon isn’t crisping when your 30 minutes is up, try using the boiler setting for a few minutes to really crisp it. But watch carefully if doing this. You don’t want to set your toothpicks on fire!
If you need to reduce the fat content of this recipe, try using turkey bacon strips instead. They should bake the same way and will have a much lower fat content.
Pressing each bacon-wrapped smokie into the mixture gives them a nice, even coating which becomes wonderfully flavorful. If you’re interested in getting more of the glaze mixture on there, you can put the sugar/cayenne pepper mixture into a plastic bag and toss each bacon-wrapped smokie in the bag.
If you really love the glaze mixture, you can sprinkle some on both sides of the bacon before wrapping it around the little smokies. That will ensure the mixture gets bubbly and delicious inside the bacon as well as outside.
The recipe instructs you to use foil to line your baking sheet before putting the little smokies on the sheet. This makes for far easier cleanup – as you can imagine.
But that’s not the only reason to use the foil. The main reason is that the bacon wrapped smokies will stick to your pan if you don’t use the foil.
When you pull the smokies off the pan, you’ll destroy them. And leave a gross, sticky residue behind that you’ll have to scrape off.
I recommend cooking more smokies than you think you need. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they fly off the serving plate.
Toothpicks are my favorite option for pinning the bacon to the Smokies. They allow me to individually manipulate each smokie.
But, if you’re interested in efficiency, using long wooden skewers can be pretty effective too. Put 5 or 6 smokies on each skewer. Then slide them off with a fork when done cooking.
What’s nice about the skewer is that you can turn a whole row over all at once, ensuring each side gets cooked and browned thoroughly/ evenly.
The truth is that you don’t have to keep these smokies warm after cooking them. They taste pretty darn good, even at room temperature. But with bacon wrapped smokies, crockpots can be a good tool for keeping them warm while they’re sitting out to be served.
Just put the fully cooked smokies (complete with their delicious bacon wrapping) into a slow cooker and keep it on low. I recommend putting a little maple syrup in the bottom of the crockpot to keep the smokies moist.
Plus, if you’ve never tried bacon wrapped smokies with maple syrup… well, I’ll just say you’re missing out.
This recipe is an awesome make-ahead and freeze dish.
The instructions are simple: wrap each smokie in bacon, then stick them in a plastic bag and freeze. On the day of, simply mix up your glaze, press each smokie into the glaze, and bake.
I would add about five minutes to the cook time to account for the meat being frozen.
I think the mayo-and-barbecue dipping sauce recipe provided here is absolutely fantastic. But plain old ketchup or barbecue sauce will taste pretty good with these appetizers as well. Though I prefer bacon wrapped smokies with brown sugar and ketchup to barbecue sauce.
If you don’t like little smokies, try cut chicken tenders instead. The glaze tastes awesome with chicken as well as little smokies.
Bacon Wrapped Smokies
Bacon Wrapped Smokies are the best little bites of sweet, salty and smoky! Easy to make ahead appetizers everyone will love!
- 1 14 Ounce Package Smoked Lil Smokies
- 15 Slices Bacon Uncooked, Cut Into Thirds
- 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoons Dried Cayenne Powder
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Wrap each smokie with a bacon piece, overlapping ends, then securing with a toothpick.
- Mix brown sugar and cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl then firmly press each smokie in mixture, coating generously.
- Place in a single layer on prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until bacon is browned. Flip the sausages and continue to cook another 20-30 minutes or until bacon is browned on the second side.
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Source: Adapted From All Recipes