It’s officially hot dog season. But there are so many options for sausages, buns, condiments and cooking techniques that it’s easy to take the wrong path and end up with a mediocre dog in your hand as the fire brews. fireworks break out on July 4. While we’ve spent a lot of time figuring out what the best dogs, toppings, and cooking methods are, it still feels like it’s always a roll of the dice sometimes – especially if you can’t even find a certain sausage. custom we love or don I don’t have the kitchen equipment to cook a dog a certain way.
Let’s skip it all. I’ll just break down the two crucial “hacks” (they’re simple! Beyond simple – intuitive!) you need to make the perfect hot dog this 4th of July. It’s so foolproof that you can use just about any sausage, bun, or condiment and it’ll be better – that’s both in flavor and structure – than if it were made any other way.
The key here is dual, so I break it down like this below. But the crux is that you can do this with any grocery store or frank “jumbo” hot dog and any decent grocery store hot dog bun – I used National Hebrew Jumbo Franks , the standard brioche buns from the bread aisle of my local Krogers. You don’t have to pay high prices for European-style sausages or visit three bakeries to find the best bread. You can do it right now for less than a ten and it will be fantastic.
It sounds good ? Let’s dive!
Also Read: Top 5 UPROXX Food Posts of the Last 6 Months
Tip 1 – Slice it and cook it
The best way to cook a standard hot dog is the Five Guys method. You cut it lengthwise about 3/4 across and bend it so that there is a flat surface on one side and two small bumps on the other side.
Basically, you create a flat surface and expose the fat and meat to sear and create a delicious Maillard effect (perfect browning with amplified flavor) on the exposed inside of the sausage.
The best part is that you can cook it in a skillet or frying pan on the stove or on the grill outside. Just because I’m using a grill doesn’t mean you have to – it works great in a skillet/pot too. Either way, you’ll get a nice seared sausage on the exposed side, thanks to more surface area while retaining the classic click of the outer casing on the other side. See? The best of both worlds!
It doesn’t matter if you cook the dog in a pan or on the grill, you will need to weigh it down. I used a second pan for this on a grill – I used my Traeger like a standard high heat grill. Adding weight allows the flat inner side of the sausage to lay flat on the heat source and get a good sear.
Then, be sure to keep that weight on the sausage when you flip it to the casing side. This will keep the heat even and prevent the sausage from curling up while cooking.
And that’s really all. You’ll have a deliciously seared, well-cooked sausage for your hot dog with more surface area and the perfect level of that delicious Maillard while holding the casing snap. It’s a marvel of texture!
Tip 2 — Toast the bun
While a steamed bun is great, you really need to butter, season, and toast this bun.
I do this by laying the bread flat, coating it with a thin layer of unsalted butter, then hitting it with a few shakes of the garlic salt.
Then I heat a skillet or skillet over medium-high heat and toast the bread until nice and crispy. It takes a minute and results in a bun that’s about a million times tastier with real texture and crunch.
And like grilled hamburger buns, it creates a surface that will support condiments and meat without falling apart or getting soggy.
BONUS TIP – Add whatever you want
It is obvious. But if someone tells you what you can and can’t put on your hot dog, they can fuck off. Period. Put whatever makes you happy on your dog and don’t judge anyone else for doing the same. It’s not that hard, guys.
The best part about this method is that it provides better structure. As you can see from the pictures above, there’s a uniformity throughout the sandwich (yes, we said that) that allows you to get the full spectrum of your toppings, buns and sausages at every bite. There is no more space in the bun with only toppings or only sausages.
And perhaps most importantly, there is no slippage. This hot dog holds up from start to finish while maintaining its structural integrity.
Excellent structure and fully realized keys are unbeatable. I hate to overuse the word “high”, but this is how you really up your hot dog game with some good standard ingredients that we can all find right now. I mean, just look at this delectable cross section full of hot dog goodness below…it’s awesome!