Sweet and Spicy Crock Pot Cocktail Franks

Sweet and Spicy Crock Pot Cocktail Franks

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
165 Calories
11g Fat
11g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 165
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 675mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 130mg 10%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 201mg 4%
*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.)

Who doesn't love a cocktail weenie? Bite-sized hot dogs (cocktail wieners) or sausage are cooked in a tangy ketchup and brown sugar sauce in the crockpot or slow cooker. It's the perfect appetizer for a Super Bowl party or any party or gathering, all with minimal prep.

The sauce adds barbecue flavor to the addictive little hot dogs, and it makes a nice alternative to the classic grape jelly sauce or bourbon mixture. Li'l Smokies (mini smoked sausages) or cocktail franks work well in this dish, but standard hot dogs or smoked sausages are good as well. Just cut hot dogs or other larger pieces into 2-inch or 3-inch lengths. 

Serve the cocktail franks right from the slow cooker. Make sure you provide plenty of napkins, toothpicks, and plates for guests. 


  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 pound cocktail wieners, or little smokies

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sweet and Spicy Crock Pot Cocktail Franks ingredients

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  2. In the slow cooker, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, and garlic powder. Stir to blend the ingredients thoroughly. Cover and cook on high for about 1 hour.

    combine the ketchup, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, and garlic powder in a crock pot

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Add the hot dogs and stir to coat them. Cover and cook on high for about 1 to 2 hours, or until the hot dogs are piping hot.

    hot dogs and sauce in a slow cooker

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  4. Turn the setting to low (or warm) and serve them hot from the slow cooker. 

    Sweet and Spicy Crock Pot Cocktail Franks in a slow cooker

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg


  • To transport the cocktail franks, cook them as directed. Put the slow cooker in an insulated carrier or wrap it in blankets or newspapers to keep it hot. When you reach your destination, plug it in and set it on high until hot. Turn it to warm or low for serving.

Recipe Variations

  • Add some heat to the sauce with about 1/2 teaspoon or more of crushed red pepper flakes or some cayenne.
  • For fruity, sweet-sour flavor, add about 1/2 cup of drained crushed pineapple to the sauce mixture.
  • If you like your barbecue sauce to have some smoked flavor, add a teaspoon of liquid smoke or some mesquite or hickory barbecue seasoning.
  • For a bit of honey or maple flavor, replace the brown sugar with honey or maple syrup.
  • Give the recipe an upgrade with bacon. Wrap each cocktail hot dog or mini smoked sausage with a half strip of partially cooked bacon (cook it just until the fat has rendered, but it is still soft and flexible) and secure each one with a toothpick. Add them to the sauce mixture and cook as directed.
  • Instead of hot dogs, add 1 to 2 pounds of your favorite homemade or frozen meatballs. Use mini meatballs, if possible.
  • For nippy franks—adults only—add 1 to 2 tablespoons of a good quality bourbon to the sauce mixture.