The sun is out, the grill
cover is off and the grill is fired up, and your family is ready for a backyard barbecue of epic
proportions. Now the only question left is what to serve them! There’s one summertime meal that has remained a
classic for decades, and is so beloved it has its own national holiday: the hot dog. These American classics are
the preferred summer snack from the ballpark to the backyard, and many would venture to say that no barbeque is
complete without them. While it may seem like a challenge to celebrate a holiday as unusual as National Hot Dog
Day, unique recipes and grilling techniques can take this summertime staple and make it the center of your
barbeque’s attention. So get
your grill ready and bust out the buns: it’s time to serve up some franks with a side of fun in the
Cooking hot dogs on a grill is a fairly simple process that most of us are more than
familiar with. However, there are a number of factors to consider when grilling your dogs that you may not have
on your mind. Here are some hot tips for grilling the most savory dogs on the block:
- The biggest challenge facing backyard barbecuers when it comes to hot dogs is
overcooking that can result in shriveled franks. Cook weiners at a medium temperature and keep an eye on
them as they grill to avoid the pitfalls of overcooking.
- Slashing small cuts in meat before tossing it on the grill allows heat to reach
every part of the hot dog and cook evenly.
- A similar method to slashing your franks is spiraling them. This simple prep
method has been proven to produce the most thoroughly grilled hot dog, and the unique cuts allow you to add
as many condiments as your heart desires.
- Keep rotating your franks as they cook. A perfectly grilled dog will have evenly
spaced grill marks to show that each side has been cooked to perfection.
While the meat may seem like the most important part of your hot dog, the importance
of the bun it goes in can’t be forgotten. When preparing for your National Hot Dog Day celebration, be sure to
provide a wide selection of bun styles for your guests, from traditional white to whole grain and gluten free
options. Once everyone has chosen their preferred bread type, encourage them to pull off the pool table cover and enjoy a
game of billiards while you focus on toasting up their perfect hot dog holders. Tossing the buns on the grill’s
upper warmer shelf for a couple minutes can turn a basic bread into a warm, toasted bun that will be a tasty
combo with your grilled dog. Taking this extra step is what separates a mediocre backyard chef from a barbeque
connoisseur. After all, who wants to eat a hot dog with a stiff, cold bun?
Much like its barbeque counterpart the burger, hot dogs have seemingly endless options
when it comes to the world of condiments. Sure, there’s always the old standby of mustard and the oft argued
about ketchup (we love it), but why limit yourself to just two choices? Unique condiments are the key to turning
a basic hot dog into an exciting barbeque dish. If you’re in need of some topping inspiration, these are just a
few of the many condiment possibilities for your fire grilled franks:
- Buffalo Sauce: Drench your dogs in hot buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, and blue
cheese crumbles for a pleasantly spicy experience.
- Cheesesteak Dogs: This Philadelphia favorite puts a yummy twist on traditional
hot dogs. Just add melted cheese and grilled onions and peppers to create your own cheesesteak
- Spiced Chili Dogs: We all love a good chili dog, but have you tried spicing them
up? Adding chipotle peppers and spice powders to your standard chili dog recipe to give it a flavor kick
that’ll have your guests asking for more.
- Mango salsa: There’s no better summer style salsa than mango salsa. Drizzle some
of this fruity concoction on your franks and you’ll be in sweet and savory heaven.
- Bacon relish. What’s not to love? Bacon turned into relish with sweet peppers,
brown sugar, vinegar and garlic. Oo-la-la that’s some good eating. Mix it up by using balsamic or apple
cider vinegar for a little flavor profile tweaking.
It’s time to ditch the disposable plates and paper towel napkins: your backyard grill
and its guests deserve only the best when it comes to enjoying their meals. This doesn’t mean you have to break
out the fine china, but taking simple steps goes a long way in making a backyard barbecue a little more special.
Toss on some colorful tablecloths and hang up some outdoor string lights to create a warm environment for your
guests to relax in while they indulge in some delicious hot dogs. You can even DIY some National Hot Dog Day
decorations for the full party experience. No matter what decor route you choose to go down, your friends and
family are sure to get a kick out of the most unique backyard barbeque they’ve ever attended.