It’s that time of year again! Nothing says summer like the smell of char-grilled hot dogs wafting from the neighbor’s backyard, and we’ve got some tips for how you, too, can cook the perfect hot dog.
10. Choose the Best Hot Dog
The most important step in cooking the perfect hot dog is to start by choosing the best hot dogs the grocery store has to offer.
Some recommend buying Nathan’s Famous hot dogs — those delicious hot dogs they sell at Coney Island. And, yes, they are sold at the grocery store, too. These franks are all 100% beef and contain no by-products or artificial flavors.
Then, there’s the type of meat. Many people believe that all-beef hot dogs are superior to pork, chicken and turkey dogs. For example, chef Darryl Harmon of Clinton Hall in New York City said he prefers all-beef hot dogs because they grill better due to their high-fat content.
Another option is cured vs. uncured hot dogs. Curing hot dogs extends their shelf life and prevents bacteria from forming. But, on the flip side, those additives can potentially cause health issues.
Lastly, there are skinless hot dogs and hot dogs in natural casings. While franks in natural casings are harder to find, Joshua Bousel of SeriousEats.com thinks they are better than skinless franks because they have more snap factors.
Check out this article on the best and worst hot dogs to buy before you head out to the grocery store.
9. Thaw Them Thoroughly
Make sure your hot dogs are totally defrosted before attempting to cook them. In fact, after thawing them in the fridge overnight, you should allow them to come to room temperature before putting them on the grill. Why? Because they’ll cook evenly.
When you put frozen hot dogs on the grill, the outside of the hot dogs will likely burn before the inside gets warm. The last thing you want to do is serve your guests a hot dog that’s overcooked on the outside and undercooked on the inside. Yuck!