The Skewer Trick For Crispy Spiral-Cut Hot Dogs

Wooden skewers are an absolute must-have tool to keep stored away in your cabinets. They are indispensable for all sorts of cooking, but come in particularly handy for summer. They provide support for everything from marshmallows and kebabs to hot dogs. For hot dogs, however, skewers can be particularly useful. Far from merely an implement with which to hold the iconic sausage, the skewer is the perfect tool needed to achieve a perfect spiral-cut hot dog.

A spiral-cut hot dog is, as it sounds, a frankfurter that has been cut in a spiral down the entirety of its length. It's a method of cooking hot dogs that maintains the juiciness of a poached dog, and the crispiness of a grilled one. The spirals in the franks open up as they cook, providing a crispy exterior, which also keeps the dog from curling in on itself. They also provide plenty of surface area for cooking and create open pockets along the hotdog, which can be filled with an array of different toppings, from relish to mustard to Kewpie mayonnaise, can find a home.

The only potential downside to this method is actually achieving a good spiral cut. This is where the wooden skewer comes in handy. By skewering the dog, you are providing a central pillar with which to keep the dog held together during cutting.

How to spiral cut a hot dog

To accomplish the spiral-cut, you need only two tools: a long wooden skewer, and a paring knife. Insert the skewer at one end of the dog, run the length of the sausage, and have the skewer emerge from the other end. This creates a central core that keeps you from cutting completely through the hot dog. Next, lay the dog flat on a cutting board, take your paring knife, and, holding it at a slight angle, cut along the length of the dog by spinning the skewer. The hotdog will naturally corkscrew around the blade as you cut. Remember to cut from one end of the skewer to the other, spiraling the entire dog. 

At this stage, remove the skewer and grill the hot dogs over a medium flame. Turn them every so often so you achieve the desired level of crispiness on the outer skin. Leaving the skewer in during cooking will prevent the necessary stretching required to achieve the proper spiraling effect. Removing it is, therefore, necessary for the best results. Serve up the hot dogs in a great bun and plenty of wonderful toppings. 

While this is a touch more work than simply pulling the dogs from their packaging and throwing them onto the grill, it's really not that much effort when you stop and think about it. Spiraling your hot dogs will give you the juiciness of poaching with the crispiness of grilling. Plus, they just look wicked cool.