There are almost as many ways to cook hot dogs as there are toppings to put on them. Cooking pork weenies is no different from cooking turkey weenies or kosher beef weenies. Weenies contain a lot of water, so they generally plump up when you cook them, and then settle back down as they cool. Puncturing them can help keep them from splitting, but it also drains out their juices, which can make them dry. Weenies are generally sold already cooked, so making certain that they have reached a certain internal temperature to be safe is not necessary.
Baking weenies is an efficient way to cook a lot of them at once with no mess. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and line the weenies up side by side. Bake them for 10 minutes.
Boiling weenies is one of the quickest and most common ways of cooking them. The plus side is that it heats them through without splitting the skins. On the minus side, it does leach out some of the flavor, and can make them oddly rubbery. Fill a pot two-thirds with water. Bring it to a rolling boil and add the weenies. Let the water return to a rolling boil and take it off of the heat. Cover the pot and let the weenies sit for 7 to 10 minutes.
Broiling hot dogs heats them through without leaching out any of their color or flavor, the way boiling can. Turn the broiler on and leave the oven door open a bit so that the automatic sensor doesn’t turn it back off. Lay the weenies out on the rack of a broiler pan and place them under the flame. Let them broil for 2 to 3 minutes, and then turn them with tongs. Continue broiling for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are hot in the center.
Grilling hot dogs over an open flame gives them a slightly charred aspect that brings out their natural flavor. Place hot dogs on a medium grill and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, turning them occasionally with tongs. Move them a little farther form the flame if they start to char too soon.
Microwaving hot dogs can be tricky because of their water content. If they get too hot too fast, they can explode. Poke a few holes in your hot dogs to let the steam escape, and microwave them on a paper towel, o, cover them with waxed paper. Heat them for no more than 2 to 3 minutes at 75-percent power.
Pan-frying weenies gives them a slightly crisper skin than most other methods except for grilling. The trick is not to heat them too quickly or cook them on too hot a burner. Set a nonstick skillet on the stove. If you're using a skillet that doesn't have a nonstick coating, give it a spritz of nonstick cooking spray. Put the hot dogs in the cold skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook the hot dogs, turning them occasionally with tongs or by shaking the skillet, for 10 minutes or until they are hot through.
Steaming is the method used by the majority of hot dog street vendors. It offers the convenience and ease of boiling, but without the loss of color and flavor caused by over-boiling. Either purchase a home hot dog steamer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, or steam them in a pot. Place a steamer basket in a pot with a lid. Add enough water to just come up to the underside of the steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil. Add the hot dogs, cover the pot tightly and let the hot dogs steam for 10 minutes.
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