I struggled and struggled with the right title for these lil' smokey-type snacks. BBQ Beef Cherubs? Chubs? Lil' Beefy Bites? BBQ Snackaroos? I mean really, nothing was quite right. But you get my drift: these are bite-size, delicious little snacks perfect for any party or just because. Reminiscent of the classic favorite "Lit'l Smokies," this version not only gives you the easy mastery of a delicious DIY bbq sauce (perfect on anything, not just these), but it's also free of the junk common in the little beefy bites and barbecue sauces of yesteryear. Nowhere in this recipe will you find refined sugars, corn syrup or any of its cohorts, MSG, artificial colors or preservatives. You're getting fun-size grass fed beef links, and a simple ingredient barbecue sauce for a flavor-packed, nourishing snack.
You can also make these using your own preferred pre-made barbecue sauce. I recommend a variety with minimal ingredients and no added sugar (I've linked a couple faves below). However, most of the sauce ingredients are things you might already have on hand, and if not, they’re great flavor-building basics to add to your pantry. I highly recommend you try the super easy-to-customize DIY version.
Whether your team made it to the big game or not, you can still be a winner and score with these amazingly squeaky-clean lil’ smokies! They come together quickly and are an undeniably amazing addition to your snack table.
(yeah, there's NO attractive way to photograph sauce-covered sausages...)
Makes approx. 20 oz (about 3 cups)
- 2, 10 oz. packages Teton Waters Ranch Uncured Beef Junior Franks* (or other similar grass fed, junk-free mini beef links)
- 1 cup BBQ sauce recipe below, or a store bought variety like this or this.
For the Sauce:
Makes approx. 1 cup
- 3 Tbs organic tomato paste
- 3 Tbs unsulphured blackstrap molasses
- 1 tsp raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs coconut aminos
- 1 1/2 Tbs honey or maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked salt
- 3/4 tsp granulated garlic (you could also use fresh, about 1 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients until well combined. Taste at this point and adjust according to preference (more salt? more garlic? honey/maple syrup? You do you.) The flavors of this sauce continue to marry the longer it sits. (This bbq sauce recipe works great for other meats too, so get creative!)
2. Add 2, 10 oz. packages of mini links to the bowl and stir to coat.
3. Transfer links and sauce to a small crock pot set to low, or alternatively, heat in a small sauce pan over low heat for approx. 15 minutes, heating the links through and allowing the sauce time to caramelize and intensify in flavor.
4. Serve warm with toothpicks and other high-quality snacks and high-five yourself and all your friends for a job well done!
Let me know in the comments below if you make these for your game day snack table! You don't have to sacrifice quality or taste for great snackability.
In loving health,
*this post is in no way sponsored by Teton Waters Ranch. I prefer their products for quality and taste. The key is to look for a grass fed beef or pastured pork variety with no added preservatives, sugars, or mystery ingredients. I have often found this particular brand at Natural Grocer , Whole Foods, and Costco. You can find out where to purchase near you by following this link.
Note: This post does contain affiliate links. The sole purpose is to help you find quality ingredients easily and take out some of the guess work. It is my hope that your experiences in the kitchen are free of stress and frustration, and this is my way of helping you get there. I also never advocate for anything that I don't 100% believe to be a quality item.