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The Do's and Don'ts of Cooking Hot Dogs

Who knew there were Do’s and Don'ts when it came to preparing hot dogs? Most of us would have thought you take it from the fridge or freezer, once thawed; you cook it how you like.

Grill it, boil it, bake it, fry it, and you’re set!

Hot Dog

Main image by The BlackRabbit on Unsplash

Apparently, it is not that straightforward and there is a right and wrong procedure for enjoying a hot dog. Let’s get into how to prepare America’s favourite snack.

The Art of Freezing Hot Dogs

If you just pop them into the freezer in the plastic packaging they came in, that’s unacceptable. The correct course of action is wrapping the pre-wrapped dogs in heavy-duty aluminium foil, freezer paper, or an additional plastic wrap. 

Taking this extra step will prevent freezer burn caused when air gets in contact with the food item. If they are unopened, they can be stored for weeks on end, but if opened, try to use them within a week.

 As for hotdog buns, whether partially used or sealed and unopened, it is best to follow a similar method to ensure they remain air-tight and fresh. 

To thaw the buns, simply place them on your kitchen counter. The natural room’s temperature will take care of it. 

Now, to thaw hot dogs, the process is different. After removing them from the freezer, place them in the fridge for approximately 24 hours. If you’re in a rush, use your microwave. 

The Art of Cooking Hot Dogs

There are many ways to achieve hot dog perfection. Which you choose depends heavily on your preference. For a juicy inside and crisp outside, pan-fry them. 

Despite the name, there is no oil involved. Grab your frying pan, turn up the stove to medium heat, add in some water, put the hot dogs in, and allow to simmer with the lid closed, ensuring that the water never fully evaporates. 

After about three minutes of this, uncover the pan and allow the water to dry up. Once that has taken place, sear the dogs as brown as you like them. Serve and enjoy. 

Boiling is pretty straightforward. Here's a tip when using the microwave. Wrap the hot dog in a paper towel and cook for about 30 seconds. 

The culinary-inspired folks at the Huffington post assure you that this allows for the dog to retain its moisture. Try out some recipes for grilling and oven roasting for some mouthwatering enjoyment. 

Mistakes you’re Most Probably Making When Grilling

Hot dog sausages on the BBQ

Image by Oliver Fetter on Unsplash

Are you guilty of not showing your grill enough love and attention before plopping on those hot dogs? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It is best to first ensure the grill is clean. 

You don’t want any bit from a previous grilling session getting onto your dogs. You can opt to spray the grates with non-stick cooking oil. 

Preheat the apparatus and once sufficiently hot, then and only then do you apply the dogs. How you place them there is also relevant. 

The grates run across, you don’t want to place the links in the same direction. Be sure to place them longitudinally so that you get those famous grill markings when you’re done. 

The experts urge you not to slice or dice your Weiner open. This will reduce the plumpness of the meat once cooked. If you do anything at all, it should only be using a fork to poke some holes in the top.

Leaving well-cased franks as they are is perfectly fine and will cook just as deliciously. If you notice your casings bursting, this is a warning sign that your fire is too high and should be immediately reduced. 

Don’t just put the franks on the grill and leave them alone for minutes on end. These small portions of meat cook very quickly. You need to be standing at the grill, attentive, flipping and turning them intermittently. 

After you’ve taken all this care, do not disrespect your hot dogs by pairing them with any old bun. You’ve prepared quality dogs; make sure you have quality buns. Toasting them makes them, all the better.

Did any of these do’s and don’ts surprise you? Who knew there were such intricacies to what seems like the simplest process. 

Takeaway points: Select quality wieners or franks. Take the pepper steps to store them. This also applies to hot dog buns. 

Use them, preferably, before the ‘best by' date for ultra-freshness. According to your preference, whip them up. Pan-frying and grilling are top contenders and the mass favourites. Show respect to the dogs and they’ll show respect to you. Enjoy!

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