How to Grill Hot Dogs
Grill up the all-American hot dog perfectly every time.
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Set up your coals in a two-zone configuration. Keep all your hot coals on one side of your grill, leaving the other side empty. It’s a great way to get color and grill marks on your hot dogs, while allowing you to move the dogs to the cool side in case of a flare-up.
Place your hot dogs directly over the coals on the hot side of the grill. Here is the important part: watch them like a hawk. Hot dogs burn very quickly. They can and do turn pitch-black in the brief time it takes you to grab a cold beverage out of the cooler. So watch them closely, and keep them moving. Set them down perpendicular to the grate. This not only creates nice grill marks, it also makes them easy to roll and rotate to avoid burning.
Once nicely browned and covered with nice grill marks, move the hot dogs over to the cool side of the grill to finish heating. Hot dogs are fully cooked straight out of the package, so the objective of this phase is to just ensure that the dogs are thoroughly heated through. This takes approximately five to seven minutes, depending on the size of your hot dogs.
Toasting the hot dog bun is an easy way to send your grilled hot dog over the top to perfection. Open the hot dog buns and place them face down on the grill, directly over the coals. Again, watch the buns closely—they burn fast, if not faster than the hot dogs. Toasting takes anywhere from a few seconds to a minute, depending on how hot your coals are.
Hot dogs are so popular because they are so versatile. You can top them with classic condiments like ketchup, mustard, onions, and pickle relish. Or go Chicago style with pickle spears and tomato wedges. You could even make a chili dog. Use your imagination. Think of the hot dog as a blank canvas and get creative with your toppings.
For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.
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