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May 15, 2024

How To Make A Hot Dog

We’ve eaten a million in our lifetimes and this summer alone, we’ll probably have a few hundred more. Here’s some of our tips to make the most of the beloved hot dog.

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3 homemade hot dogs in buns one topped with ketchup, one with mustard and one with relish
Photography by Gayle McLeod

How To Make A Traditional Hot Dog

The act of eating a hot dog is to take part in an American tradition, and how you cook it depends on personal preference. Our preferred methods of cooking hot dogs are boiling, grilling, and in the skillet. Now you’ll need to gather your favorite sides to make this a real meal. We suggest Classic Coleslaw, Macaroni Salad, and a scoop of Dressed Up Baked Beans.

6 hot dogs being cooked in boiling water

How To Make A Hot Dog Better

You probably have had a microwaved hot dog, which does the trick, but we’re offering a few more options to level up your hot dog game. Luckily, there’s no wrong way to cook a hot dog, and it’s really about the toppings and where you are when you eat it. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to hosting a backyard hot dog eating contest.

hot dogs cooking on a griddle

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make A Hotdog At Home

  • Your favorite brand of hot dog. If you’re on the East Coast it’s likely Nathan’s or Sabrett all beef franks you’re eating. Trader Joe’s makes a good dog. There’s the timeless Oscar Mayer. Applegate and Ball Park are some other big hitters in the hot dog world.

  • Hot dog buns.

  • Toppings. This can be anything from Homemade BBQ Sauce to Fry Sauce. Hot dogs are your world and we’re just living in it.

hot dogs being cooked in a cast iron skillet

How to Make A Good Hot Dog

Keep in mind that all hot dogs need to be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 140°F. Each cooking method has their advantages. Stove top methods can be made all year round, and the skillet method offers a little pan-searing texture. Grilling gets it done fast and offers the most flavor. A good pair of tongs will also be handy, any way you cook them.

  • Boil Method – Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan on the stove. Add the hotdogs, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the hot dogs until they appear slightly darker in color, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry with paper towels.

  • Grill Method – Preheat the grill on high. Reduce the heat to low and add hot dogs. Cook, rotating often, until the hot dogs are slightly charred, about 1-2 minutes.

  • Skillet Method – Set a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is glistening, add a few hot dogs to the skillet. Sear until plumped and beginning to brown on each side, 3 to 4 minutes.

3 homemade hot dogs in buns one topped with ketchup, one with mustard and one with relish

How to Store Hot Dogs + Tips

  • Cooked and uncooked hot dogs freeze well. Just make sure everything is tightly wrapped so it doesn’t get freezer burn. Same goes for hot dog buns. Throw them in the freezer!

  • Line up all the condiments for service so folks can choose their own toppings. This can be a buffet of items from onions (chopped fresh, Pickled, Crispy Fried Shallots, or Caramelized), ketchup and mustard, Quick Pickled Vegetables. The list goes on, and these are some of our favorite creative hot dog toppings.

  • And last, serve them hot! That’s when you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

May All Your Backyard Parties Be Legendary, Or At Least Have Really Good Food

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How To Make A Hot Dog

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  6 min
  • Calories: 150

Ingredients

  • 6 hot dogs

Method

Boil Method

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the hot dogs, then reduce to a simmer and cook until hotdogs reach an internal temperature of at least 140°F and appear slightly darker in color, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Grill Method

Preheat the grill on high. Reduce the heat to low and add hot dogs. Cook, rotating often, until the hot dogs are slightly charred, and have reached an internal temperature of at least 140°F, about 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Skillet Method

Set a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is glistening, add 3 hot dogs to the skillet. Sear, shifting every minute or so, until plumped and beginning to brown on each side, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories150
  • Protein4 g
  • Carbohydrates4 g
  • Total Fat13 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol35 mg
  • sodium550 mg
  • Total Sugars3 g

How To Make A Hot Dog

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jenn

    I love that this includes so many methods to cook the hot dog. The boil instructions will be so nice to use for my kids in a pinch!

    Thanks Jenn, glad you find it helpful!