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Apr 4, 2010 08:36 AM

Hot Dog cooking/preparation/topping(s)...Your favorite way?

Ah the hot dog. Whether you call it a frankfurter, frank, wiener, or weenie that little sausage is revered and loved by many, maligned and despised by some. Me? I pretty much like 'em quite a bit. And for a few good reasons. I guess first off because of it's ease of preparation.

Lately, I've been craving the frank. In trying to satisfy that craving a couple of weeks ago I bought a couple of packages of Foster Farms hot dogs. One chicken and one turkey. They were just okay. Heated some by boiling in a pot of hot water. And pan grilled some with the flat cast iron skillet. I found that both ways after getting them in the bun, and garnishing with mustard, sauerkraut or just mustard and little ketchup that by the time I got to the last bite of the first dog (I usually have 2) it had cooled somewhat. Half way through the second it had cooled it had cooled quite a bit. And with this brand of franks the skin is very thin and when pan grilled, what I thought my favorite way to cook them indoors, they just tend to blister instead of that seared grill texture.

So I went out and got some good 'ol Oscar Mayer Light 'Premium' Beef Franks. My gosh those FFs dogs, 1 dog 12 grams of fat! Two of those is a little 'fat overload'. The OM Lights, just 7 grams per dog. Whew! But I digress. When I looked through the wrapping I could immediately tell the difference in the skin between them and the FFs. So I had pan grilled some and noticed a big difference in how these do actually sear. But still got the cooling effect by the last bite. So I decided to try somewhat different method of heating. I turned up the toaster oven to the broil setting, foil lined the shallow baking pan and inserted the rack. Placed the dogs on the rack, and into the oven. Occasionally rotating with a pair of tongs they're fully heated and start to get a good sear under that broiler when they just start to curl up a bit. And heated in this manner I found that even by the time I get to eating the second dog it stays good and hot to last bite! Voila! My new favorite way to heat wieners indoors!

Now on to toppings/garnishings. I'm a lover of the kraut dog! Just give me some mustard and jar of Libby's 'Crispy' Sauerkraut and I'm lovin' that dog! Not much of a fan of sweet pickle relish or onions, unless the onion is finely, and I do mean finely, chopped and then just a little. Occasionally I do like them topped with chili and a little shredded cheese, and a little of the 'finely' chopped onion.

Okay those are pretty much the 'run of the mill toppings'. Now I think I'm going to try a 'slaw' dog, dog topped with of course, coleslaw. The sweetness of the slaw dressing is something I could handle as opposed to the over the top sweetness of sweet pickle relish. I think its the perfect ratio of sweetness to 'salt' of the dog. I'm also thinking along the lines of a kimchee topped dog as I'm a huge fan 'hot' spice! Oh and I just remembered we have on hand in the frig a couple varieties of Sriracha Hot Chil Sauce!!! Ooo, as well as some Tapatio and Castillo's Habenero sauces! Oh yeah, look out broiler, you're about to get 'busy' (LOL).

Okay so let's share our favorite prep methods as well as toppings/garnishings and ideas for 'exotic' T & Gs as well. And with late spring and summer approaching it will be break out the BBQs which of course we all know is the ultimate cooking method for the hot dog!

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  1. Yup, grilled is my favorite way. I like the mustard and kraut too, but I like my kraut fried until brown. NO onions and NO ketchup, but a sprinkling of celery salt is nice.

    1. My favorite has always been Thumman's natural casing in the blue lettered package (pork). As to the fat count I don't even look. The best cooking meathod is the Grioll, about the only thing I fire up the gas one for. Everything else gets grilled over charcoal. For toppings? Kosiusko (sp) mustard and kraut. I shudder when I see someone put Ketchup on a dog.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Eric in NJ


        Drive to Newark and go to Best Provisions (not a great neighborhood). Go inside and ask for the Don's Hot Dogs (come in 10# minimums. Go home and grill them up and you will taste the best hot dog of your life.

        Jfood brings them back to CT.

        1. re: Eric in NJ

          I love the foot-long dogs with mustard, kraut and yes - ketchup! Sometimes I will just add thousand Island dressing and shredded lettuce.

        2. I steam Oscar Meyer bun-length beef franks and place them on a non-toasted bun, top with minced pickled hot yellow peppers, mustard (ballpark or spicy brown) and celery salt.

          And, of course, chili cheese dawgs are a national treasure. Same as above, but with Wolf Brand (hot, no-bean) Chili, shredded extra-sharp cheddar, and minced yellow onion.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Perilagu Khan

            Take your chili cheese dog and make it a chili/cheese/slaw dog and now you're talkin'.

            May have to bring home some Jersey dawgs our next trip to NYC. Along with our two dozen bagels, ten pounds of dogs sounds like the makings for a nice midflight lunch.

            1. re: c oliver

              I lived in Jersey two years and not once did I have a Jersey dawg. I'll rue this oversight to the grave.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                You are aware, are you not, that there's a major airport in Newark?!? Sounds like a trip is in order. Or, hey, maybe they'd ship you 10#. It's not even close to lunch time here and I'm hungry.

                1. re: c oliver

                  Roundtrip fare from Lubbock to Newark is a bit steep for some dawgs. Even Jersey dawgs. That said, the Khantessa and I love Cape May and will visit there again one of these days. When that happens I'll make certain to dawg out like it's 1999.

                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                    here is the website for Bests


                    Jfood is not sure what the minimum for shipment. Call and find out and then ask which are the Don's dogs which are 4/lb. ANother choice is the Syds dog which are 8/lb.



                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        NJ should be proud of their dogs, glad to help.


          2. You've not had a Chicago-style dog? Otherwise, you'd say a proper dog has diced onions, day-glo green relish, sport peppers, yellow mustard, pickle spear, fresh tomato wedges, a sprinkling of celery salt, all on a steamed poppy seed bun. No ketchup -- ever.


            5 Replies
            1. re: Channa

              No cucumber?? I like it with all of the above, plus cucumber.

              1. re: Channa

                I freakin' love these...all the way in Massachusetts!

                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                      They do. The neo-green relish, tomatoes and onions are the veggies and the frankfurter is the dog. :-)

              2. A friend of mine made me a memorable hot dog - banh mi style. Boiled Dog in a toasted bun, topped with pickled daikon & carrot, thinly sliced raw jalapeno, and cilantro. Interesting, but I suppose it was really more of a sandwich at that point.

                Personally, I love my hot dogs pan-fried until a little crispy and then topped with pickled jalapenos, onions and mustard...okay, and ketchup. But don't tell anyone.