Grilling hot dogs is one of the fastest ways to turn a gathering into a party! Everyone’s always happy to enjoy a frank with their favorite toppings with some friends. That’s why nothing’s a bigger party-pooper than burned, overcooked dogs.
We’ve got directions and tips for how to grill the best dogs, and a few twists as well.
How do I grill the perfect hot dog?
- The first step is cleaning your grill grate and making sure you have plenty of charcoal or propane.
- Next, use a non-stick grill spray on the grates. That way your wieners won’t stick to the surface, making it easier to turn your dogs and clean your grill when you’re done.
- Now it’s time to preheat the grill. For a propane grill, preheat it on high for 10 to 15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, wait until there’s a coating of white ash on the charcoal. For a gas grill, you’ll want to lower the temp down to medium for regular hot dogs and low-medium for hot dogs that have less fat.
- Place the hot dogs perpendicular to the grill grates so that you get some tasty grill marks. Use tongs so that you don’t burn your fingers, or risk breaking the frank with a fork.
- Grill each side of your frank until the ends begin to split. The amount of time you grill the dogs will depend on the size of the dogs.
- 5 to 7 minutes for regular-sized dogs.
- 7 to 10 minutes for jumbo-sized dogs.
- 15 minutes for quarter-pound dogs.
- Apply the fat or oil of your choice to your buns. Place the buns on the grill and let them toast and warm up for a minute. Don’t toast them for too long or the bread will dry out. Do this 2 to 3 minutes before your dogs are ready and you’ll have a warm, grilled hot dog bun good to go!
- Serve your dogs, and top them to your heart’s content! Consider some a fun hot dog recipe.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when I grill hot dogs?
- Don’t boil your hot dogs before grilling them. Doing so may zap some of the flavor out of them. If you want to make sure your dogs are cooked all the way through, you can poach your dogs for a minute or two in a covered saucepan of hot water.
- Don’t grill your hot dogs over an open flame. Most hot dogs are small, so improper placement on the grill can burn and ruin them. Instead, cook them over indirect heat and turn them regularly so that every side gets grilled.
- Don’t poke or cut holes into your hot dog before or during grilling. If you do, the delicious juices will spill out! You don’t need to poke holes into your dog to check for doneness because most hot dogs come pre-cooked. Instead, focus on grilling the dogs to your liking.
How can I tell a hot dog is done grilling?
When they begin to brown and curl a little bit.
How do I grill my hot dog to give it that snap?
The key to the hot dog’s snap is grilling. You can’t get it boiling your hot dog (not that boiling is a bad cooking method).
One trick is to poach your dogs prior to grilling. You can even poach them in a flavored liquid, like a mixture of beer, onions, and seasoning. That will firm the casing without breaking it.
Can you eat uncooked hot dogs?
No, even when it comes to hotdogs that are precooked, you still risk getting Listeria monocytogene, which is is a bacteria that can make you very sick.
- Muscle ache
If the infection spreads to your nervous system, you can develop other symptoms.
- Stiff neck
- Loss of balance
Grill those dogs!
How else can I grill my hot dogs?
Marinated Grilled Dogs
Consider cutting slits into your dog and marinating it first.
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
Make cuts as an angle on both sides of the hot dog about half an inch apart, and then marinade your franks in an air-tight container for 10 to 15 minutes. Grill until the desired level of browning and grill marks are achieved (roughly 3 to 5 minutes).
Hot Dog Kebabs
Just use hot dogs as the protein in your favorite kebab recipe. Some veggies to consider include peppers, onions, eggplant, and corn.
The Spiral Cut Dog
The reason to make a spiral cut dog is that it creates more surface area to grill. The spiral also creates more room for your toppings. That way you won’t overfill your bun with condiments, which could lead to your dog falling out of the bun or the toppings falling onto you.
To achieve the spiral cut, run a skewer through the hot dog. Place the hot dog on a cutting board and cut into it at a slight angle. Turn the dog until you’ve spiralized it all the way to the other end.
Should I grill cured or uncured hotdogs?
When a hot dog says “cured” that means it contains synthetic nitrates or just nitrates, which are preservatives that help meats keep their color and prevent bacteria growth. “Uncured” hot dogs still have nitrates, they just come from natural sources like celery powder and juice.
In terms of grilling, it makes no difference if your dogs are cured or uncured, but it does matter when it comes to storage. Keep uncured dogs refrigerated until you’re ready to cook them since they contain no artificial preservatives.
Which grills hot dogs better: gas grills or charcoal grills?
This is a hotly debated subject, but, we’re not here to choose sides. We’re just here to spread the love of hot dogs! Choose whichever grill you prefer.
How do you cook hot dogs on a powerless smoked grill?
A powerless smoked grill AKA an indoor grill AKA the George Foreman Grill makes grilling dogs super easy. Just preheat your grill on high, which should take no more than five minutes, and then grill the dogs for 2 to 3 minutes, turning them throughout. If you want more grill marks, just cook them longer. You can also use the grill to toast the hot dog buns. It just takes a minute!
Does hot dog skin make for a better grilled hot dog?
Dogs with casings are better for grilling than skinless franks because the skin protects the meat from drying out and shriveling.
Bottom line on how to grill a hot dog
Grilling dogs is only one method to cooking great dogs! But it’s not always the right weather to grill. Luckily, boiling is an option, and you can use plenty of appliances to get the job done. That way you can enjoy delicious hot dogs any time of year!