The Biggest Mistakes Everyone Makes When Cooking Hot Dogs

No backyard barbecue is complete without hot
dogs on the scene. There’s something distinctly satisfying about
chomping into the perfect one. Turn up the heat on your hot dog game by avoiding
these common mistakes. For starters, the best way to cook hot dogs
is on the grill, not boiled in water. “I’ve been reusing the hotdog water so it
gets more flavor. It’s only gonna keep getting better.” But you don’t want to neglect preparing your
grill before tossing the hot dogs on top. Make sure the grates are clean and free of
gunk from previous grill sessions. If you’re worried about the franks sticking
to the grates, spray them with a nonstick cooking spray, then preheat the grill for
a few minutes before you start cooking. The heat level also matters when it comes
to cooking hot dogs. While you shouldn’t shy away from high heat
since you want to achieve that coveted char on the outside, you also don’t want to burn
the franks before the insides have cooked all the way through. To avoid undercooking or overcooking your
hot dogs, place them on the grill grate in indirect heat away from the flames. Doing so allows you to cook the hot dogs quickly
and effectively without any chance of going too far. While hot dogs belong in the category of casual
foods, that doesn’t mean you should opt for the cheapest options available. As a rule of thumb, the simpler the dish,
the more the quality of the ingredients you choose matters. From chicken and turkey to pork and beef,
you’ll quickly discover that there are a wide array of hot dogs available to you at the
supermarket. With all the choices out there, go with your
taste preference. But don’t just pick the cheapest ones. The inexpensive varieties tend to come without
casings and are made using a hodgepodge of meats, tons of sodium, and lots of preservatives. Some of them are barely worthy to even be
called hot dogs. “Not hot dog?” “Wait, what the f—?” Moreover, higher-quality beef franks just
taste better all around. With more nuanced flavor and fewer shady additives
to contend with, you can just sit back, fire up the grill, and enjoy the crisp snap of
biting into a perfectly cooked hot dog. While some might argue that splitting a hot
dog partway down the center or making small slashes on top keeps the casing from bursting
and lets the frank cook all the way through, it’s usually an unnecessary step. Since most store-bought hot dogs are precooked
anyway, they’re already cooked through. Splitting them open lets out all the juices
that make the meat tender and moist. If you’re working with encased hot dogs that
have been precooked, skip the butterflying. However, if you’re using raw hot dogs you
get at the butcher’s, you might find that splitting them open helps them cook more thoroughly. Hot dogs are small portions of meat, so they
cook quicker than you think. Because they can burn or cook unevenly, it’s
crucial that you pay attention to them during cooking. Using tongs or a spatula, be sure to move
the hot dogs frequently, rolling them around continuously so every side gets touched by
the heat source. You also want to place them just right so
you get those stunning grill marks. Arrange your hot dogs perpendicular to the
grill grates, spacing them apart. By doing so, you should be guaranteed grill
mark victory with all the franks. The hot dogs are as important as the buns
that hold them. Hot dogs are a classic food, so don’t treat
them like any other meat and bread combo. It’s not a hoagie, so you don’t want a bun
that’s overly firm. For the ideal hot dog presentation, choose
buns that are similar in texture to the most exquisite burger buns. These should be soft, squishy, and just the
right length for the hot dogs you’ve chosen to pair them with. “It’s not good for my buns unless you like
‘em soggy.” You’ve come too far to not toast the buns
for your perfectly cooked hot dogs. To toast your bun, simply brush both cut sides
with a small amount of butter and plop them on the grill or the pan for a few minutes. By taking the extra time to do so, you get
to enjoy all the layers of textures that can be tasted in a truly satisfying hot dog. “Did you… Did you just take a bite of yourself?” “Actually, yeah. I’m pretty delicious.”

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