Everyone has a favorite way to prepare hot dogs. This versatile food can be boiled, fried, grilled or roasted in the oven. Dress it up with a classic combination of mustard and ketchup, or get more creative by adding onions, relish, and a variety of other toppings. This article provides instructions on grilling, boiling, microwaving, and oven-roasting hot dogs.
- Prep time: 13-17 minutes
- Cook time (grill): 2-3 minutes
- Total time: 15-20 minutes
- Hot dogs
- Condiments, such as ketchup, mustard, relish, and ranch dressing
- Toppings, such as chopped onions, chili, grated cheese, lettuce, hot peppers, or tomato sauce
Grilling Hot Dogs
- 1Fire up your grill. Grilling hot dogs results in a pleasant smoky taste, and many consider this to be the best way to prepare them. Any sort of grill will work, so go ahead and light your charcoal, gas, or wood-fired grill.
- While the grill is heating up, prepare the hot dog buns and condiments. Hot dogs are best enjoyed hot from the grill.
- Make sure that one side of the grill is hot and one side of the grill is a little cooler. You can do this by stacking up the charcoal a little higher on one side. If you have a gas grill, you should be able to control the heat using the knobs on your appliance to make hot dogs good.
- 2Lay the hot dogs on the cooler side of the grill. Place them at an angle to create a diagonal sear-mark on the dog.
- 3Cook the hot dogs for a minute on each side. Hot dogs come already cooked, so your goal here isn't to cook the dog so much as give it some good color and get it piping hot without burning it.
- Keep turning the dogs until all sides have developed a nice, even char.
- If the dogs are hot but have not developed color, move them over to the hot side of the grill. Grill them quickly, just to develop a bit of char, and then move them to a plate.
- 4Serve the hot dogs. Place them in a bun and serve with any combination of mustard, ketchup, relish, onion, tomato, cheese, or sauerkraut.
Boiling Hot Dogs
- 1Fill a large saucepan with enough water to cover hot dogs easily. For 4 hot dogs, 4 cups (about 1 liter) of water should be more than enough. Be sure to use a pan large enough so that the water falls at least a few inches below the rim.
- 2Bring the water to boil. Place the pan on a burner and turn the heat to high. Let the water come to a full boil before proceeding.
- 3Add the hot dogs to the water. Once the water is boiling, slip in the hot dogs one by one with tongs.
- 4Simmer the hot dogs. Turn the burner down to its low setting and simmer hot dogs for anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes, depending on how you like your hot dogs cooked.
- For a moister, softer hot dog, simmer them for less time, around 3 to 4 minutes.
- For a crispier hot dog, simmer them for more time, around 5 to 6 minutes.
- 5Remove the hot dogs and serve. After the hot dogs are finished boiling, remove them from water and dry them off carefully with a paper towel before placing them in a bun. Serve the hot dogs with any combination of mustard, ketchup, relish, onion, tomato, cheese, or sauerkraut.
Microwaving Hot Dogs
- 1Place hot dog in a microwave-safe bowl. Use plastic or glass, rather than a metal bowl. Make sure the bowl is deep enough to hold the hot dogs comfortably.
- 2Cover the hot dogs with water. It may boil over the sides, so try to leave an inch (2.5 cm) or so between the top of the water and the rim.
- 3Cook the hot dog. Place the bowl in the microwave. Close the door, then cook the hot dogs on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Some larger hot dogs may need more time in the microwave.
- 4Remove the hot dogs from the microwave and drain away the water. Let the hot dogs stand for 30 seconds to cool and dry off, since they will be bursting with heat when they come out.
- 5Serve the hot dogs. Once the hot dogs are dry, put them in buns and serve them. This quick method of cooking hot dogs is conducive to serving with a simple mustard and ketchup combo for an on-the-go meal.
Oven-Roasting Hot Dogs
- 1Preheat the oven to 400° F (~204° C). This method of cooking hot dogs results in juicy, blackened hot dogs. They taste about as close as you can get to grilled hot dogs without the inconvenience of lighting up the grill.
- 2Make a lengthwise slice down half of each hot dog. Use a sharp knife and cut on a stable surface, since hot dogs can be slippery. Do not slice through the hot dogs themselves; just make a cut that will serve as a vent in the surface of the hot dogs.
- 3Place the hot dogs on a baking tray or roasting pan. The hot dogs will drip as they release juices, so you may want to line the pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
- 4Cook the hot dogs for 15 minutes. Place the roasting pan in the oven and let the hot dogs cook until the skin begins to brown and the dogs begin to curl gently.
- Brown the hot dog by turning on the broiler if you prefer your hot dogs crispy.
- Add cheese and place the hot dogs back in the oven for an additional minute, if desired.
- 5Serve the hot dogs. Carefully take the hot dogs out of the oven and place them on buns. Oven-roasted hot dogs pair wonderfully with chili and cheese. Scoop chili on top and sprinkle on some cheese, then serve the hot dogs with forks.
Frying Hot Dogs
- 1Cut up some hot dogs. You can fry whole hot dogs, but they taste most excellent when they're cut into bite-seized pieces. That way, more surface area gets a crispy brown sear. Take two or three hot dogs - depending on how many you want - and cut them into smaller pieces you can fry.
- 2Heat some oil in a frying pan. Place the pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Add enough oil to rise up the sides of the frying pan by about 1/4 - 1/2 inch (.6 - 1.3 cm). Let the oil heat up completely. To test whether it's ready for the hot dogs, drop a crumb of bread into the hot oil. If it immediately starts sizzling and sputtering, the oil is ready.
- 3Place the hot dog pieces in the frying pan. Do this carefully, since they may sizzle and pop right away. Put them all in the pan in a single layer and let them start to fry. Try not to overcrowd the frying pan, since this will cause the hot dogs to cook unevenly.
- 4Turn the hot dog pieces. Use tongs to carefully turn them over after a minute or two, when the first side has become brown and crispy. Keep frying the hot dog pieces for another minute or two, until they're cooked just the way you like them.
- Remember that hot dogs are pre-cooked, so you can cook them to any texture you like without worrying about whether they're still raw in the middle.
- 5Drain the hot dog pieces. Use the tongs to transfer them to a paper-towel-lined plate so the oil can drain off and the hot dogs can cool a bit.
- 6Serve the hot dogs. They're delicious with fried peppers and onions, mixed into macaroni and cheese, or on their own with some ketchup and mustard.