How to Grill Hot Dogs

If you are asking how to grill hot dogs I'm guessing you are pretty new to grilling and cooking in general. And that's OK! I love inexperienced, but enthusiastic, beginners. More teaching to do! If this is the case, be sure to check out the rest of my site, especially the Grill Cooking section with links to lots of the basics. You may also find the Charcoal section helpful in picking and getting your charcoal lit quickly and easily. And finally, there are a bunch of great Grilling Recipes once you get a bit more adventurous!

Grilling hot dogs is one of the most basic, but also most classic, things you can do on a grill. Summertime just wouldn't be right without several good ol' cookouts with big plump hot dogs topped with all your favorite toppings.

So how do you do it? Its easy, there is pretty much nothing easier to grill, you almost can't go wrong!


How to Grill Hot Dogs

  1. First, before learning how to grill hot dogs you obviously need hot dogs. This is up to you, the type and brand you like is a personal preference. I like regular old dogs but some people prefer beef. Some like em long and skinny, others like them plump.
  2. Next, you need to prepare your grill. Start your charcoal and heat up the grill. There is ample info on other parts of my site to help get you started if you are new to grilling.
  3. Next, and this may seem obvious to most of you, hot dogs do not require any special preparation. You don't have to pre-boil them, you don't have to season them. Just open the package and bring them out to the grill. One thing that some people don't realize is that hot dogs are pre-cooked. You could theoretically eat them straight out of the package. The grilling is just to warm them up and get some yummy crusty dark caramelization happening on the skin, which accents the flavor and makes the texture more interesting. Of note, this is not always true of all types of sausages. Some packaged sausages are sold pre-cooked as well, but many are raw and do require cooking to get the interior temperature up enough. If in doubt, check the package which should say if they are cooked or raw.
  4. Once your grill is good and hot, just throw those dogs on! Its that easy! Because they are small, pre-cooked and heat up fast, you can cook over direct heat, right over the hot coals or burner.
  5. At this point, simply watch your dogs and gently turn them with a tongs after a few minutes. Keep doing this until they are cooked to your liking. Some people like them barely colored, some like them practically burnt to a crisp! I recommend somewhere in between, when they have puffed up a bit and the skin has some nice dark brown color to it. When learning how to grill hot dogs, really the only thing you can do wrong at this point is to forget about them and leave them on too long. Over direct heat they cook fast and will burn (the surface will start to become charred to a crisp burnt coal that is not pleasant to eat) if you leave them too long. So don't step away and go about other things. Stay there and watch them cook, turning them to check the progress.
  6. Thats pretty much it! Once they are done to your liking, take them off and serve them up. And don't forget to cover them in all your favorite fixin's… ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, sourkraut, whatever you like! Another brief note, if you like your buns a bit warmed up, you can throw them, opened up, on the grill for a minute. They will burn very fast so just leave them there for 10 to 30 seconds and then check them.

Enjoy!



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