I have lovingly dubbed these bite sized meat snacks, Pig skins, because they make the perfect game day appetizer and they are wrapped in candied BACON! What's a more perfect way to celebrate the Superbowl, than with sausages wrapped in bacon. If you are anything like me, the food is far more important than the game anyway, so grab your little smokies and lets get wrapping.
I used our Traeger smoker to cook my Pig Skins, because that extra smokey flavor takes these to the next level. If you don't have a smoker, don't worry, I will also let you know how to make them in the oven. Because I am using a smoker though, the first thing to do is fill the smoker with pellets, turn the smoker onto smoke mode, then go inside and start wrapping the sausages.
Tip: For pork, we use Hickory wood pellets.
- Take the Lil Smokies (cocktail sausages) and bacon out of their packaging, then cut the bacon in half. If your bacon is really thick, you can probably even get away with cutting into thirds. As long as the bacon fully covers the lil smokies when wrapped around them, you're in business!
2. Wrap each cocktail sausage in 1/2 slice of bacon and set for now.
3. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and BBQ seasoning until everything is evenly distributed.
4. Roll each bacon wrapped sausage in the brown sugar mixture, until it's evenly coated. Place them on a tray that you can take out to the smoker.
5. Take your plate out to the smoker, place each of your Pig Skins on the grate then close the smoker lid. Leave these on to smoke for at least an hour. The meat will not cook during this step, but it will soak up all of that delicious smokey flavor.
6. After one hour of smoking is complete, turn the heat up to 350° and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or just until the bacon is crispy. Once the bacon is crispy, they are ready to remove from the smoker. You should also notice the brown sugar has caramelized at this point to perfectly candy these yummy little treats. You can serve Candied Pig Skins hot or at room temp.
If you are using an oven, do all the steps the exact same way, only now you will preheat your oven to 350° before assembling. Once the Pig Skins are wrapped and coated in brown sugar, place on a lined baking sheet.
Tip: For these (or anything really sticky), I use parchment paper to line the baking sheet. It makes for an easy clean up and the Pig Skins wont stick to the parchment like they would to foil.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 30 minutes or just until the bacon is crispy on the outside and the brown sugar is caramelized. Do keep an eye on them though, everyone's ovens bake differently and you do not want to burn the sugar on the outside. Once they are fully cooked, remove from the oven and place on a serving tray to be enjoyed.
These will be the star of your next game day party, or any event! Candied Pig Skins are so pretty, I decided, this year they needed a very special platter so Nick and I went to a paint your own pottery joint and glazed this one of a kind serving dish! Honestly, I am in love with how it turned out and can't wait for next football season to use it again! Thank you all for cooking with me today, and thank you for all of your support!