WASHINGTON, DC - April 11:  The Chili Cheese Dog with a side of onion rings at Spelunker's Frozen Custard and Burgers photographed for Casual Dining in Front Royal, VA on April 11, 2020. (Photo by Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Common Mistakes Everyone Makes With Hot Dogs
Choosing Bad Dogs
Don’t be too trusting with any store brand, and try looking for an independent regional brand or butcher shop where you know the meat will be fresh. If you prefer store brands, Hebrew National and Nathan’s Famous are both trusted brands, but make sure to always read the list of ingredients — the fewer, the better!
Ignoring Food Safety
You need to keep your hot dogs cold until you’re ready to grill them — they’re good for two weeks if you haven’t opened them yet and only one week if you have. In order to avoid harmful bacteria, cook your dogs until they’re steaming, and avoid leaving them out for over an hour.
Splitting Dogs
Cutting into the casing is not the best way to cook a hot dog evenly, and it’s best to instead place aluminum foil on your grill and add liquid such as stock or beer so it can simmer. Move the liquid off the heat, add your hot dogs to the foil until they sear, and finally add them directly to the grill for five minutes.
Using Direct Grill Heat
To avoid overcooked or split hot dogs, establish a two zone grill, which you can do by adding charcoal to only one side of a charcoal grill, or only turning on one side of a gas grill If you heat your dogs with indirect heat for the first part of cooking and finish them off on the heated side, they’ll be perfectly charred.
Using Old Methods
You can bake your hot dogs in the oven by preheating the oven to 400 degrees and cooking for 15 minutes in an ovenproof pan or tray until they’re brown and slightly curled. You can also fill a pan with ¼ inch of room temperature water and add the dogs when the water is simmering, leading to evenly toasted hot dogs.