Air fryer bacon wrapped little smokies is a classic recipe cooked up in the air fryer. Crispy bacon wrapped around a cocktail smokie coated in brown sugar and spice.
Little smokies wrapped in bacon, sometimes referred to as crack little smokies, is the ultimate party food. They are a great 5-ingredient appetizer for any gathering or even as a meal served with a few veggies.
Why this works
The air fryer is a great option for cooking many things but I especially love the way is crisps up bacon. This makes it a great way to cook this little smokie appetizer and in half the time of cooking in the oven.
Lil’ Smokies – These can be found in the refrigerated section usually by the hot dogs.
Bacon – I like using center cut bacon. I would recommend against using thick cut bacon because it will take longer to cook.
Brown Sugar – This gives a nice sweet balance to the saltiness of the meat.
Ground Black Pepper – This adds spice and a little heat to the mixture.
Garlic Salt – Enhances the salt from the sausage. Could be substituted with sea salt.
How to make bacon wrapped little smokies in the air fryer
Scroll down for full printable recipe, ingredients and video.
- Prepare: Spray a foil lined cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
- Wrap: Cut bacon strips into 3 smaller pieces. Wrap a small piece of bacon around a smokie and secure with toothpick.
- Coat: Place brown sugar, black pepper and garlic salt in a large plastic bag or bowl. Place wrapped smokies in the sugar mixture to coat.
- Cook: Place in the air fryer basket, being sure to not put on top of each other. Cook at 390 degrees F for 5 minutes then flip over and cook another 3-4 minutes or until bacon crispy.
- Bacon – You can use bacon or turkey bacon to wrap. I really like using center cut because there is not a lot of extra fat. Thicker bacon will have a hard time crisping up.
- Cocktail Sausage – I like using the original Lil’ Smokies, you could also use the beef, turkey, and cheddar versions.
- If you aren’t in a hurry, wrap and coat with brown sugar and then let them sit in the refrigerator for an hour to “marinate” before cooking.
- I like to preheat my air fryer before cooking this appetizer. If you forget, no big deal. Preheating helps the bacon get cooked evenly.
- Don’t stack. Again, to get your food to cook evenly and allow the hot air to circulate, don’t stack on top of each other.
- Remember, each air fryer model cooks a little bit different.
- If you like a little spicy, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the brown sugar mixture.
- Add some BBQ sauce at the end as a glaze.
- You could also glaze with warmed grape or apricot jelly.
How many lil smokies are in a package?
There should be about 40 per package so you could figure about 3-5 per person for a party.
Can you make these ahead of time?
Yes, these can be assembled ahead of time. Get them wrapped, leaving sugar off, and then keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to eat, coat in sugar mixture and cook.
How to store
Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes or in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Can you freeze?
Yes, you can freeze. Place in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator and then coat with sugar mixture and cook.
How to make in the oven
If you don’t have and air fryer and want to cook in the oven, leave the bacon wrapped smokies on the baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
More easy appetizer recipes
- Chipped beef dip – Creamy dip filled with dried beef and onions.
- Ranch crackers – Fast and easy appetizer that can be made in minutes.
- Vegetable pinwheels – Colorful vegetables wrapped with a cream cheese mixture in a tortilla.
- Sausage balls – Few simple ingredients to make this family favorite.
For more information on air fryer cooking times, download this free cooking times and temps cheat sheet.
***If you made this recipe, please feel free to leave a comment and rating below.
Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies
- 1 16 oz package lil smokies
- 1 lb bacon slices cut into 3 pieces each
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- Line baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Place smokies on the prepared pan.
- Begin by cutting bacon into thirds. Wrap one bacon piece around each little smokie and place back on pan.
- Place brown sugar, black pepper and garlic salt in a large bag or bowl. Working in batches, place wrapped smokies in the brown sugar mixture to coat.
- Preheat air fryer.
- Add wrapped smokies to air fryer basket, being sure not to stack on each other. Will probably have to cook 2 batches depending on size of air fryer.
- Cook at 390 degrees for 5 minutes, flip them over and cook for another 3-4 minutes.