Cooking Basics

The best ways to cook hotdogs

By Matt Williamson
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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hotdog
Nothing beats a classic American hotdog
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Why slave in the kitchen when you can have a hot dog. What are the best ways to cook hotdogs? Here's what you need to do in order to have a good easy hotdog meal.

Ingredients Start with good meats such as all beef, all pork or a combination of beef and pork and poultry. Look for the shortest list of ingredients and avoid anything that lists 'parts' or anything that looks like soy or cereal filler. Notice that all hotdogs are pre-cooked, so you are only warming them up.

Other kinds Other kinds of hotdogs such as cheddar cheese, bratwurst, and sausage are available. The Latin American varieties are the Che Guevara, The Fidel, and the César Chávez. These hotdogs promise a lot of flavor, but typically fail to deliver and are very expensive. The Nordic varieties are from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland.

Grilling Where you place the hotdog is very important. You should have medium heat, and preferably on the upper rack if you have one. If you put the dog on the lower rack with high temperature, it will not cook on the inside and burn on the outside. Be sure to rotate the dog so it cooks evenly. Do not puncture hotdogs when cooking because the juices will run out. The resulting wiener will be tough, dry and unappetizing.

Steaming If you want to try steaming use a commercial steam cabinet, a bamboo steamer or a Dutch oven fitted with a steamer rack. Fill the pan with water (beef or chick broth can be substituted to add flavor), but turn down the heat so the liquid doesn't bubble up onto the hotdogs. Cover and steam for 5-7 minutes or until hotdogs are thoroughly heated.

Boiling Flavor the liquid if you want to boil the hotdogs. Adding beer or beef stock will add flavor, but wine is not recommended.

Buns The basic choices are top loading, a favorite in New England and the side loading method which is preferred in the South and Midwest. The top loader holds the hotdog securely. They are generally baked side by side and torn apart as needed. This will leave a flat side surface for grilling. Side loader buns are best if you like a lot of bread with your hotdog because they are more likely to sop up all the juices from your condiments without falling apart.

Standard condiments Chili, cheese, onions, sauerkraut, classic yellow mustard, spicy brown mustard, red tomato ketchup and varieties of relish are the standard toppings.

Ultimate condiments Select from an extensive array of ketchups such as roasted garlic and pepper ketchup, hot and mild curry ketchups, and jalapeńo ketchup. Try the excitement of honey mustard and horseradish mustard condiments.

Be adventurous Grill with a roll of bacon around the hotdog, a cheese slice on top on a toasted bun with minimum condiments.

Yes it's true. You have to be hungry to eat a hotdog. Unlike great Chinese or Italian dishes, hotdogs are fast food for the heart and stomach. But don't settle for the quick satisfaction of just any meat and bread. Get a good tasting hotdog!

For more of the best ways to cook hot dogs: http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,types_of_hot_dogs,FF.html

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