Appetizer Hot Dogs in Barbecue Sauce

Miniature hot dogs
Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 20 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
307 Calories
27g Fat
5g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 307
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 11g 54%
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Sodium 854mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 261mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy slow cooker recipe combines hot dogs and homemade barbecue sauce for a delicious twist on the quintessential party food recipe of sweet and spicy cocktail wieners. Popular in the 1970s, this combination of mini hot dogs and thick and dark-colored piquant sauce has still held strong as an easy appetizer that everyone seems to love.

This recipe keeps the flavor profile somewhat simple, focussing on the tastes of barbecue sauce and eliminating any use of spice. Of course, you can use your favorite bottled barbecue sauce, but considering how easy this recipe is, it makes sense to control the ingredients so you know exactly what is in the dish. You can use sliced hot dogs, cocktail franks, or little smokies. Just put it all in the slow cooker—all you need to do is provide the toothpicks and napkins.


  • 4 pounds hot dogs, or small cocktail hot dogs or little smoked sausages

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion, optional

  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, or honey

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 2 teaspoons vinegar

Steps to Make It

  1. If using regular hot dogs, cut into bite-size pieces. Place franks in a crock pot.

  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a measuring cup or bowl and pour over hot dogs.

  3. Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours, or on high for 1 to 2 hours.

  4. Serve from the crock pot, with the temperature set on low.

Additional Recipes

If these barbecue cocktail franks are the hit of the party, you may even want to add some other recipes to your repertoire. The next time you have guests over, try this sweet and spicy mini hot dogs that cook in the crock pot, or little smokies in a spicy sauce. And, as we all know, everything is better with bacon—and bacon-wrapped mini hot dogs in a maple-brown sugar sauce is proof of just that.