How to Cook Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

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Bacon-wrapped hot dogs are a traditional Mexican street food that has hit the carts of American vendors, much to the delight of meat-lovers. Recreating the salty, juicy treat at home puts an exciting spin on your typical grill fare. Spice up the basic recipe to suit your preferences for sweet, tangy or spicy, and you'll have a customized meal your family will devour.

Grilling And Broiling

Whether you opt to grill outdoors on your deck or broil in your oven, high-heat cooking methods result in crispy, flavorful bacon and juicy hot dogs with a bit of snap to the skin. Holding the bacon around the hot dog pieces in a spiral can be tricky, especially when you're turning the dogs to cook them evenly. Wooden toothpicks will burn in high heat cooking, so soak them in water before piercing the hot dogs to hold the bacon in place. An outdoor grill on medium-high heat or your oven broiler will crisp up and thoroughly cook your bacon after about five minutes on each side.

Skillet Method

If you don't want to fire up your grill or heat up the kitchen with your broiler, bacon-wrapped hot dogs will also cook well in a stove top skillet. Even if you opt for a non-stick skillet, spray your pan with cooking spray or coat it with melted butter -- if the bacon sticks to the pan, it will unravel from the hot dog and you'll have to rewrap. Hot dogs are precooked, so your goal over a skillet is to thoroughly cook the bacon. However, if you are pregnant, you are at greater risk for getting listeriosis. To ensure that your hot dog is safe, cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. For the bacon, twelve minutes on medium heat is usually enough time, but if you opt for extra-thick cuts, aim for 15 minutes instead.

Make-Ahead Meal

If you want a meal you can fix and forget, cooking your bacon-wrapped hot dogs in a slow cooker is an easy option. The slow cooker method is especially useful if you'll be serving up the wrapped dogs as appetizers for a party. Instead of wrapping whole hot dogs, purchase cocktail hot dogs or cut your regular hot dogs into thirds. A third of a hot dog fits about a half a slice of bacon. Keep the bacon in place with toothpicks and heat the wrapped hot dogs on low heat for at least five hours to ensure that the bacon is cooked through. For extra flavor, throw in a half cup of ketchup with a spoonful of brown sugar and you'll have a sticky sweet sauce for your miniature hot dogs.

Toppings and Condiments

After you've settled on a cooking method, you can start thinking about how you'd like to customize your flavors. The simplest way is to experiment with different types of bacon. Try pancetta for an Italian twist or maple-cured bacon to satisfy your sweet side. If you'll be grilling or skillet cooking, slip a slice of cheese in between the bacon and the hot dog for a flavor surprise. If you're cooking in the oven, wrap the bacon with thin ribbons of refrigerated crescent roll dough for a bun-inspired addition. Traditional condiments like ketchup, mustard and ranch dressing are still options for bacon hot dogs, but spicier options like jalapenos or creamy chipotle dressing or lighter fair like sliced avocado are more unexpected choices.