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Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies

by Brad Prose

Simple, sweet, and salty are the words to describe these highly-addictive snacks. You better make a double-batch of these Smoked bacon-wrapped little smokies. They seem to disappear before they make it to the guests.

Smoked bacon wrapped little smokies

We’ve recently picked up a new puppy, named him Lil’ Smokie. Naming him was totally unrelated to this food, however, I had to make a batch of these to celebrate his arrival in our family.

Little smokies have been gracing our parties for decades, typically showing up in a crockpot mixed with BBQ sauce and jelly. I admit, I’m kind of a sucker for the old-school vibe, but these are much tastier.

They couldn’t be easier to make too. Aside from having a constant supply of little smokies in the fridge, you’ll probably have everything else: bacon, brown sugar, and chile powder. The dark color from the little smokies lets you know that these were all-beef, but feel free to use whichever blend you’d prefer. I’ve found the contrast between beef and bacon was my favorite combination.

Grabbing a smoked bacon-wrapped little smokie

Quick Tips for these Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies

Not all food needs bacon, but these little smokies sure do. Bacon-wrapped little smokies crisp up nice, while staying moist from the bacon. Without it, they tend to dry out and leave you with a leathery bark on the outside. The bacon is also a great vehicle for the seasoning, as the fat tends to hold the brown sugar in place without needing to baste anything.

Bottom line: GET BACON.

Did I mention easy? Slice a pack of traditional (not thick-cut) bacon into thirds as shown below. Roll the little smokie in the bacon and secure with a toothpick. You don’t need to soak the toothpicks ahead of time, they won’t burn in the smoker at the 350°F temperature during this process.

These bacon-wrapped little smokies are small enough to fall through most grills, so I highly recommend minimizing your risk and just using a wire rack or grill mat. The wire rack in the photo above is a tool I use for anything smaller, which is also a nice way to simply transfer the food on/off the grill. Here’s the link to the one I use:

Little smokies typically come in a pack of 12-14 ounces, which I would recommend you buy 2-3 packs for this recipe. One package of bacon sliced into thirds will at least be enough for 2 pounds of the smokies. Can you imagine, holding a plate with 2 pounds of bacon-wrapped little smokies? Soon, it will be your reality.

Simple Seasoning for Little Smokies

Brown sugar and bacon pair perfectly, and it’s no different with these smoked bacon-wrapped little smokies. The recipe is very simple, and will provide enough for you to make the 2 pounds of little smokies as mentioned:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder

Note that I said chile powder, not chili powder. Don’t use a pre-salted spice blend, you don’t need it. Fresh ground chile powder such as ancho, guajillo, or even cayenne if you want some heat. My recommendation is 2 tablespoons of whichever combination you choose. My preference is ancho chile powder: naturally sweet, smoky, and rich.

You can sprinkle the seasoning on top or place the smokies in a bowl and coat them with the seasoning, rolling around to completely cover them.

Seasoned bacon-wrapped little smokies on the smoker at a low temp.

How to Make Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies

Transfer your wire rack, loaded with the little smokies to your preheated smoker set to 350°F. The thickness of the bacon and variations in your smoker will determine the cooking time, but I’ve found about 35 minutes to be pretty consistent. Too much longer and the smokies will start to overcook, and the edges will turn from a deep red to a crispy brown.

There’s no need to rest, these little smokies can be served immediately! Just remove the toothpicks, they won’t fall apart, and you’re good to go.

Plate of tempting smoked bacon-wrapped little smokies

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Smoked bacon wrapped little smokies

Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies

Smoked bacon-wrapped little smokies are the hit of your next party! Or, if you are like me and just want to graze selfishly.

  • Total Time: 45
  • Yield: Serves about 4-6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 packs of Little Smokies, about 14-ounces per pack
  • 1 pack regular cut bacon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground chile powder (recommend ancho chile)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the smoker to 350°F.
  2. Open up the bacon and slice the strips into thirds. Wrap each little smokie with a strip of the trimmed bacon and secure with a toothpick. Make sure the bacon is tight, careful that it doesn’t tear. 
  3. Mix the brown sugar and ground chile powder together. Place the smokies in a large bowl, or on the wire rack, and sprinkle with the seasoning to coat them. Make sure they are spaced out on the wire rack before cooking.
  4. Place the wire rack in the smoker and allow them to cook for about 30 minutes. After this time, check on them to see if the bacon is crispy enough. Continue for another 5-15 minutes until cooked to your preference.

Notes

Toothpicks do not need to be soaked before cooking the recipe.

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Appetizer

Keywords: appetizer, snack, bacon, bacon-wrapped, little smokies

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