What Are The Best Hot Dogs For Grilling

Applegate The Great Organic Uncured Chicken Hot Dog

The Best Grilled Hot Dogs

Heres another alternative for anyone trying to avoid red meat. Not only are they organic, these uncured dogs are also antibiotic-, hormone-, GMO-, sugar- and nitrate-free. Unlike the turkey dogs, these are light beige rather than hot-dog red. But theyre also strikingly flavorful, like well-seasoned chicken rather than chicken trying to imitate beef. We definitely recommend grilling these to get light char marks and blistered, crisp skin that makes for a decent snap.

Total PureWow100 Score: 76/100

Best Pork Hot Dog: Hillshire Farms Cheddarwurst Smoked Sausage Links

Generally speaking, Im not a huge fan of cheddar brats. Most cheese-filled hot dogs seem to taste too artificial, or worse, lose their signature ingredient on the grill. Hillshire Farms cheddarwurst links are the first I might reach for again, however. The cheddar melts well without running completely out of the link, and the sausage also crisps well in the broiler without frequently splitting, which can be a problem even in bigger franks where extra ingredients arent included. Cheese loving kids in your lives will thank you if you bring these to the grill.

Buy It: $2.44, Walmart

The Best Turkey And Chicken Hot Dogs You Can Buy At The Store Or Online

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Can there really be that much of a difference between the best turkey hot dogs and the best chicken hot dogs? we asked ourselves as we fired up the grill and gathered around a picnic table for another Epicurious blind taste testthe first one weve conducted together since March 2020. The answer: Yes, absolutely. The two dogs are alike in animal kingdom only otherwise, they have distinct characteristics that Ill get into below. Our top-rated poultry dog turned out to be turkey, but it does come with a caveat: Ferndale Market Uncured Turkey Wieners are made with a natural lamb casing. If youre opting for turkey or chicken hot dogs because you avoid red meat, the Ferndale option might not be what youre looking for. We picked a few other top dogs, though, too, so keep scrolling to find out our methodology and the full list of contenders, including your new favorite grilling-weekend staple.

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Hot Dog Method: Poached

  • Grilling time: A little over 1 minute
  • Rating: 8.75/10

About This Method: Touted by Epicurious for yielding juicy, perfectly cooked franks, this method starts by heating a small saucepan of water to 150°F, slipping the hot dogs into the water, lowering the heat, and cooking the dogs to an internal temperature of 150°F. The franks then go directly on a grill rack over high heat, where you turn them frequently until they brown a little on the outside.

Results: The dogs had a great snap and were quite juicy. Because they were grilled over high heat, they even got a little char. They were just marginally tastier than the straight-up grilled dogs, but the very short time spent on the grill means these franks are far less likely to burst and spill their precious juices.

Youre Not Giving Hot Dogs A Short Bath

The BEST Grilled Hot Dogs

Boiling the heck out of a hot dog before grilling is just wrong, but giving it a little moisture bath isnt a bad idea for several reasons.

We always suggest simmering hot dogs in water for roughly 3 to 5 minutes before grilling, said Elias Cairo, owner and meat master salumist of Olympia Provisions.

For an extra bit of flavor, Cairo says to sausages in a hoppy ale: If you really want to kick it up a notch, simmer it in beer first and then grill. This will also help firm up natural casings so theyll be less likely to burst on the grill.

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The Best Chicken Hot Dogs: Applegate Organics

Another Applegate on the loose: Of all the chicken hot dogs we tried, these were our favorite, hands down. While we generally preferred the texture and flavor of the turkey hot dogs over chicken, this brands chicken dogs could go head-to-head with many of our top contenders.

Unlike its turkey counterparts, the Applegate chicken franks do not contain cherry powder. This means theyre pale in color, which, frankly, isnt as appealing to the eye. But they still taste quite good: juicy, salty, spiced with garlic, black pepper, and some warm spices . Tasting them on their own made us question if these franks really had true hot dog vibestheres distinct chickeny flavor here. But given their balanced seasoning and pleasing texture, were confident that youll enjoy them as much as any deli-style frank, especially once they are loaded with your favorite hot dog toppings.

Is It Better To Grill With The Lid Open

When you cook with the grill open, youll more effectively get a crispy, perfect-Maillard-reaction caramelization on the outside of the meat without overcooking the center. So, they can hold up to the heat chamber the lid creates, and in fact, the lid will help thicker cuts of meat or vegetables cook more evenly.

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How To Control The Internal Temp Of Hot Dogs

As the knowledge, it is easy to know the best internal temp of hot dogs is 140°F or above, but it is difficult for people to know if the hot dogs reached the temperature when grilling. Although some experienced grillers can adjust it by using visually checked the internal color of the meat to determine whether it was cooked or not, and most of us can not do it well. This method was neither safe nor accurate. Therefore, we better use some tools such as a meat thermometer to gauge whether your meat or hotdog is cooked. It is the most convenient and accurate method

You can use an instant-read meat thermometer. The Digital instant-read and Round-dial thermometers are great kitchen supplies when grilling your hot dogs. Instant read thermometers provide readings quickly.

Use the thermometer when the hot dogs color change. Insert the thermometer at the center of the hotdog and take the readings on the thermometer after 15 seconds at a depth of 2 inches or to the level of the indicator provided on the thermometer.

However, they are not oven-safe thus should not be left in the hot dogs during grilling. If you want to grill hot dogs with oven, you need to choose the meat thermometer with a probe, it can be used in the oven.

Best In Show: Nathans Famous Skinless Beef Franks

The Best Hot Dog Recipe – with Homemade Garlic Fries! | SAM THE COOKING GUY 4K

Host of the annual 4th of July hot dog eating contest, this brand took the title of champion. Our panel unanimously agreed that Nathans Famous combined all of the best qualities into a winning hot dog. It tasted flavorfulseasoned but not saltyand had a gentle snap with every bite. Nathans Famous has had plenty of time to perfect the recipe: The company has been serving up its signature franks for well over a century .

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Use A Properly Preheated Charcoal Grill

Are you using a gas or charcoal grill? Rizzas preference is the latter. The charcoal method gives grilled food so much more flavor, he says.

If you are using charcoal, use a chimney starter.

When are the coals “are all ashed over, spread the charcoals flat using long tongs and replace the top grate. Let that heat up for a few minutes and then begin to grill,” Rizza says.

If you’re cooking just a few hot dogs, bank the coals to one side of the grill for greatest cooking efficiency. If you’re cooking a whole bunch, spread the charcoal evenly and consider shaking on a few more if it looks like you’re going to need them.

Using a gas grill? Fine. Preheat it to the highest possible temperature and then, just before putting the dogs on the grill, turn it down to medium heat, he says.

Preparing To Cook Your Hot Dogs

Any meat you plan to cook should be at room temperature so it will cook evenly, this includes your franks. If they are frozen let them thaw out in the refrigerator overnight.

When cooking any type of meat, it should be at room temperature so it cooks evenly. The last thing you want is to sink your teeth into a half hot/half cold frankfurter.

Kitchen hack: if you forgot to pull the hot dogs out of the freezer, you can quick thaw them by placing them in a bowl and running cold water over them. Cold water raises the temperature of the meat from the outside in and will not cook the meat while defrosting.

Take a fork or small knife and poke a few holes into your hot dogs, similar to what you should be doing with your baked potatoes. This will allow the hot dogs to cook without exploding or splitting.

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The Best Way To Grill Hot Dogs

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There’s rarely a day in the summer when there aren’t hot dogs in my refrigerator. No matter what fancy thing I may be grilling, they’re always a welcome fallback for when a recipe goes wrong or I have guests over and need a little extra meat to throw on the grill.

On one level, cooking them is a somewhat foolproof processthey come precooked and their high fat content helps keep them moist even after they’ve been on the grill a little too long. But on another, grilling hot dogs is the kind of thing that anyone can do, but, like sex, it’s a lot better if you know a few things.

Avoid Poking Or Splitting Your Dogs

Grilled Hot Dogs

You may be tempted to poke your hot dogs with a knife or fork while theyre grilling to test for doneness, but you should try to break the habit.

Since hot dogs are usually precooked, there is no need to split them open or pierce them during the cooking process. By poking and prodding your dogs, you release the delicious juices that make them juicy, Sidoti said.

Instead, gently turn your hot dogs using tongs to ensure their casings stay intact and full of flavor.

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How To Grill Hot Dogs

There’s rarely a day in the summer when there aren’t hot dogs in my refrigerator. No matter what fancy thing I may be grilling, they’re always a welcome fallback for when a recipe goes wrong or I have guests over and need a little extra meat to throw on the grill.

On one level, cooking them is a somewhat foolproof processthey come precooked and their high fat content helps keep them moist even after they’ve been on the grill a little too long. But on another, there’s definitely a difference between a good grilled hot dog and great one. Although it may sound a little counterintuitive, there are tricks to grilling these emulsified sausages that can make them the best they can be.

The first step to grilling the best hot dogs is picking the right ones. First, there’s the type of meat. When I talk about hot dogs, I’m always referring to all-beef franks. Sure, there are pork, chicken, and turkey dogs out there, but none of those taste as good to me as beef. In my experience, beef is the only meat that can stand up to classic hot-dog seasonings, like garlic, onion, paprika, mace, mustard, and coriander, and still maintain its bold, meaty flavor.

The Best Way To Cook Hot Dogs And Make Them Perfect Every Time

It was the kind of call every writer dreams of getting, the one where an editor rings, poses a silly question, and tells you he’ll pay you to give him the answer. This time, it was the editor of this site on the line. “What’s the best way to cook hot dogs?” he asked.

I accepted the assignment and locked down the money. Then, a few weeks later, I turned in my answer. The best way to cook a hot dog? Open the package.

That’s it. Really. Rip open a package right now. Those dogs are fully cookedthey’re not sold any other wayand those cold, flaccid sausages are perfectly safe to eat immediately.

It was the easiest story I’ve ever written. Except for one thing.

A hot dog isn’t a hot dog unless it’s hot, dog.

Hot hot dogs are plump and ooze juice, tasting like a shot of unrestrained beef, with garlic and paprika haunting around the edges. They dont mess around with subtlety. They go right for the kill. And they beat out cool, and even tepid, hot dogs every time.

So the the real question about hot dogs is not how to cook them, but how best to heat them up. And that, it turns out, is a harder question to answer.

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Not Our Favorite: Bar S Jumbo Franks

If Bar S is the best budget buy in your area, then by all means reach for it. It still will taste delicious. We’ve placed this brand in the bottom ranking not because of its flavor profile, but because of its texture. We broiled these dogs for the same amount of time as the others, and the outside looked beautifully crisp. The crispy exterior was an illusion, however we’re not sure how, but the franks we tried were still soft. Still, if texture isn’t a big deal for you, then you’ll still find a great buy in Bar S.

Buy It: $1.28, Walmart

But How Do You Grill Hot Dogs Without A Grill

How to grill the perfect hot dog

Oh, boy. Well, do you have a stovetop with at least one working burner? If so, then slap a cast-iron grill pan or regular ol cast-iron pan on that working burner and preheat that pan to medium-high. Dont add oil. Otherwise you wont achieve quite the same char-effect youd otherwise be reaping from the grill.

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Lightlife Smart Dogs Veggie Hot Dogs

Dont eat meat? Soy and pea protein to the rescue. At only 50 calories a link with 7 grams of plant protein each, these veggie dogs fit into just about any diet . While their coloring is similar to beef franks, its obvious that theyre meatless in both taste and appearance. We wouldnt suggest boiling them: They end up looking a bit unappetizing because the outer skin and inside are the exact same color, so they gave us some franken-food vibes. The boiled ones were also spongy, rubbery and so slippery that when we tried fishing it out of the pot with silicone tongs, it broke. But when grilled, it kept its color plus some random spots of browning and bubbling. The real perks here are the price and nutrition facts.

Total PureWow100 Score: 70/100

The Best Grilled Hot Dogs Recipe

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It doesn’t take much to grill a decent hot dog: Just put it on the grill until heated through. But making a truly great hot dog requires knowing a few key tricks. Here’s the recipe.

Why this recipe works:

  • Using a poaching liquid of beer and hot-dog onions or sauerkraut infuses the franks with lots of extra flavor.
  • 4 cups stewed hot-dog onions or 1 package sauerkraut
  • 2 bottles lager or light ale
  • 2 pounds natural casing all-beef hot dogs
  • Hot dog buns, for serving
  • Mustard, for serving
  • Grill heat:medium-high

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Dont Cook Your Hot Dogs Over Direct Heat

Since hot dogs are small portions of meat, they can easily burn when cooked on an open flame.

“To avoid burning or overcooking your dogs on the grill which can cause the casing to burst cook them over indirect heat on the grill grate and move them around frequently so every side gets touched by the heat source,” Claudia Sidoti, principal chef and head of recipe development at HelloFresh, told Insider.

Plopping your hot dogs right over the flames can also lead to their casings charring and burning before the inside even has a chance to warm up.

How Do You Cook Hot Dogs On A Powerless Smoked Grill

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A powerless smoked grill AKA an indoor grill AKA the George Foreman Grill makes grilling dogs super easy. Just preheat your grill on high, which should take no more than five minutes, and then grill the dogs for 2 to 3 minutes, turning them throughout. If you want more grill marks, just cook them longer. You can also use the grill to toast the hot dog buns. It just takes a minute!

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Oscar Mayer Uncured Cheese Dogs

As the classic idiom goes, if it aint broke, dont fix it. These cheese-filled dogs taste like our childhood and are guaranteed to win over every kid who tries them. They’re giving us a “grilled ham and cheese sandwich made with Kraft Singles” vibe, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The creamy, cheesy flavor and decent snap come through best when grilled, plus they brown up pretty well. But theyre sweet and melty both boiled or grilled. If youre hosting or have a bunch of kiddos coming to a cookout, look for the resealable ten-pack designed with families in mind.

Total PureWow100 Score: 83/100

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