Never Flip Hot Dogs One At A Time Again With A Simple Grilling Hack

While people can debate hot dog toppings, another topic needs to be considered prior to sliding that encased meat into the bun. Putting aside the New York City water dogs, many home cooks prefer to barbecue hot dogs. Although the perfect grill marks can be mastered, others see that flame-kissed food fall through the grate. One simple grilling hack can flip the script forever. Instead of letting those hot dogs roll around, Delish recommends skewering them. 

Use two skewers to pierce the hot dog, which allows easy rotation, avoids falling through the grates, and eliminates rolling onto the ground. While this concept seems simple, the preparation does take care. Even placement, skewer size, and number of hot dogs need to be considered. Poking an uneven hole could cause the hot dog to become loose during grilling, which defeats the whole purpose. Also, metal skewers can be more convenient, but caution should be used when coming into contact with a hot surface. If wooden skewers are used, remember to soak them in water prior to hitting the flame. After all, a few grill marks are nice, but being engulfed in a fire is usually not preferred. 

Lastly, too many stacked hot dogs can be cumbersome to flip. Since this method is about convenience, thoughtfulness is advised every step of the way. Whether cooking for a large group or just fearing that falling frankfurter, the skewer is the simple grilling hack that points directly to simplicity.

What's the proper way to place hot dogs on a grill?

While skewering hot dogs might make them easier to flip as a group, another grilling concept needs to be considered as the encased meat kisses the flame. Without going into a geometry or engineering lesson, it is straightforward. It's better to lay hot dogs perpendicular to the grill gates. Basically, if the grill grates are vertical, the hot dogs are placed horizontally. This method helps prevent the hot dogs from slipping into the gaps.

In addition, placing hot dogs over indirect heat can help. Indirect heat is a spot where the food is not placed on top of the flame. As the hot dog cooks, consider rolling it across the grates to cook it evenly. The whole process should take about 5-7 minutes.

Just before pulling the hot dogs from the barbecue, a quick sear over direct heat can create those visually appealing grill marks. While some people might believe that this technique seals in flavor, it is more about appearance since most of the cooking has already been completed. For those people who prefer a pristine dog, the sear is not required. Similar to how some recoil at the idea of ketchup being squirted on that hot dog, grilling methods are personal.

In the end, grilling hot dogs is not necessarily a difficult task. With a little thought, a watchful eye, and flame avoidance, the classic barbecue food is waiting to be enjoyed.

3 hot dog grilling mistakes that need to be avoided

As the grill heats up and everyone anticipates a delicious meal, the cook does not want to see dinner go up in flames. While there are some simple grilling hacks that can ease those flame fears, avoiding things you shouldn't do when cooking hot dogs is just as important. Before the meat kisses the grate, you should ensure the grill is clean. A clean surface ensures the food does not stick to the grate.

Second, some people choose to boil their hot dogs prior to placing them on the grill. While that New York City water dog becomes one with its cooking water, over-saturation is not necessary. The key is to let the grill do most of the cooking. If boiling is considered, swapping out beer for water can enhance the overall flavor because the beer can make the casing firmer, which can help to avoid potential splitting.

Lastly, avoid slicing, cutting, or otherwise poking that hot dog before or during the cooking process. Just like cooks have learned to let meat rest or risk all that flavor escaping onto the cutting board, the same concept applies to a hot dog. Creating a hole for all the flavor to escape onto the grill is not beneficial. It is better to carefully watch the food than to preemptively make a poor choice.

In the end, the classic hot dog might seem like simple food, but proper grilling techniques are beneficial to creating the best-tasting product. The only other remaining mistake to fix is keeping ketchup off that bun.