Why You Should Try Slicing Hot Dogs Before Grilling

Hot dogs are an essential part of the American summer experience. Most of the season's events just feel incomplete without them. They're practically a mandatory feature of pool parties, ball games, and Fourth of July celebrations across the country as the mercury rises. They're filling enough to satisfy hunger pangs, small enough to grab and go in between activities, and versatile enough to match any cravings with toppings that range from chili sauce to Jalapeño relish and fried pickles. With summer fast approaching it's time to rethink your favorite method of grilling up a pack of hot dogs.

Hot dogs have been a part of the American diet since at least the opening of the first Coney Island hot dog stand in 1870, but that doesn't mean it's too late to rethink how they're cooked (via The Culture Trip). Hot dogs aren't that tricky to just throw on the grill and enjoy. It's a part of their appeal. According to Serious Eats, most are precooked so they don't need a lot of grilling time; they're essentially being reheated. Those that want to elevate their hot dog grilling game though should try slicing their dogs for a juicier, crisper snack this Summer.

Slicing hot dogs helps them cook more evenly

According to Serious Eats, giving hot dogs a light scoring helps them to cook more evenly without losing any of the juices. Hot dogs can sometimes shrivel up shortly after they're taken off of the grill because they aren't cooking evenly enough. It takes too long to get the interior heated properly, and the exterior skin ends up drying out after it's left to sit. Making shallow slices onto two opposite sides of the hot dogs before putting them on the grill exposes the center of the dog to more heat. This allows it to cook all the way through without turning the exterior to ash.

Serious Eats notes that this should only be done with skinless hot dogs. Most hot dogs available in stores are cooked using a synthetic casing that is removed before they're shipped out to consumers. These are skinless hot dogs, as opposed to those in natural casings which are harder to find, and not as well suited to slicing. Anyone interested in trying a dog with a natural casing could opt for the Danish rødpølser which typically uses a natural sheep casing per This is Mold.

Anyone interested in going a step beyond can spiralize their hot dog to get a perfectly charred dog inside and out (via Greatist). They look and taste great, and have all sorts of nooks and crannies to fill with toppings.