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Safety Question: can you roast hot dogs in a gas fireplace?

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  • p.j. Nov 21, 2005 04:47 PM
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An interesting question (remember, no question is stupid!) arose at lunch today, when we were discussing things to do at home with our kids on New Year's eve.

Can hot dogs be cooked on a stick over a gas log fireplace? (the fireplace under consideration is vented) Some of us thought that it would be like a cooking over a gas grill. Others were nervous about messing up the logs.

Any experienced fireplace cooking hounds out there?
Thanks, p.j.

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  1. You can cook hot dogs over anything except what's chemically toxic, like oleander or poison ivy (and you shouldn't even BE around burning oleander or poison ivy!). If you cook'em over paper or soft coal they'd taste crappy, but wouldn't hurt you. I have cooked those and quite a few other things over fires of dry cow poop, mostly just to show off, but with no ill effects...of course!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Will Owen

      Yeah there's a reason the lyric is not "hot dogs roasting on an open gas fire".

    2. As far as cooking the dogs, they should come out OK and be perfectly edible, but if they exude any greasy juices, do you want that dripping in to the fireplace?

      1. I happen to own a fireplace/bbq store and even though it would work, I will tell you....

        NO!

        Unless of course you don't mind replacing your gas logs. You should never wash gas logs. They're porous and can crack as well as absorb the grease. There is also the sand and embers below that will collect the drippings.

        Nice sets are in the $300+ range these days.

        Also, suet builds up on anything the flame touches in a gas fireplace. Notice the black spots on the logs? I'm not sure that's healthy to eat.

        Then there's the possibility that your fireplace doesn't vent as well as it should and you'll get a grease layer on things close to your fireplace.

        If your gas fireplace is not also a wood burning fireplace the answer is definitely not! That's not a fireplace at all, just an appliance masquerading as a fireplace.

        Hold them over the stove instead. ;)

        1. hmm. sounds like the time we tried roasting marshmallows near the radiator in a friend's dorm room. won't say what condition we were in. but seriously, the hotdogs would cook ok, but i'd be worried about the mess factor.

          1. Sounds like a no on the fireplace, but a good crispy camp fire hot dog would be a treat on a cold winter night. How about a small fire pit just outside the door?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Spudlover

              I hear a metal garbage can makes a good vessel for a cozy suburban campfire. I'd honestly think it's a far better idea to use a gas stove as a makeshift campfire (or if you use electric, simply place your meat on the elements for that grilled look).

            2. wheres the safety question.....

              1. Thanks for all your input! Sounds as though the consensus is that they will probably not burn down the house or make the hot dogs toxic----but that the practice might make a greasy mess of the fake logs, which cannot be washed.
                I will pass the information on to my colleague!
                Thanks and have a delicious Thanksgiving,
                p.j.