Simplify Your BBQ Burnt Ends This Summer With A Hot Dog Swap

Summertime BBQs are the best way to get your fill of all manner of smoked meats, hearty side dishes, and perhaps even a wholesome vegetable or two. If you're looking for a way to mix up your meat offerings, try a fun alternative to pork burnt ends that swaps out the usual protein with a substitute containing beef — and sometimes more. Cut up hot dogs for a tasty twist on traditional burnt ends. This incredibly easy swap is a hot dog hack you'll wish you knew sooner, and it can be translated from a BBQ grill to an oven broiler for even more convenient cooking or when you're stuck indoors. Playing with different styles of hot dogs and your preferred levels of heat and char allow you to fully customize just how burnt you want your ends.

Though they might not pass for beloved Kansas City burnt ends, hot dogs are a budget-friendly and simple substitution. For one, hot dogs already come fully cooked, which means you're only beholden to heating the franks to your ideal temperature and texture. Rather than trimming fatty pork belly or brisket, slicing up hot dogs into rounds or cylinders for cooking is considerably less labor-intensive as well. The flavor of your favorite hot dogs is also more dependable than gambling on a more expensive cut of meat. This leaves only the variable of how you wish to season and sauce your hot dog pieces, for which there are tons of fun options.

Making your hot dog burnt ends frank-ly fantastic

This wonderfully easy style of hot dog burnt ends will have your backyard party abuzz in no time. First off, select a hot dog brand that you already enjoy, particularly one that will taste good with some extra char and sauce. All-beef franks are recommended as they can handle a good charring and still maintain a robust flavor. Slicing your hot dogs into rounds will make them more chip-like, while chopping into larger chunky pieces will give more of that burn ends style of shape to each bite. While some recipes will recommend saucing your hot dogs first, a lighter option is to toss hot dogs in BBQ marinade or sauce after cooking.

Pick a good smoky dry rub to season your hot dogs first, or make your own three-ingredient dry rub from scratch. If you want to cut some of the added sweetness, skip pre-saucing and load your seasoned hot dog bits either into the broiler or in a foil packet on your BBQ grill to get them nicely charred. Keep an eye on the dogs to ensure you don't burn them beyond your desired taste. It's up to personal preference how you prepare your franks, but any way to slice them, these hot dog burnt ends are sure to become a must-have at all your summer cookouts.