Wieners are as versatile as the names used to describe them. Whether you like your franks grilled, fried, boiled, baked or nuked, the humble hot dog can be prepared every way imaginable, and it has been paired with every condiment that ever entered the mind of man. Break out the ketchup and mustard -- and the coleslaw, onions, or even the mango chutney. There are a million different ways to cook and serve wieners, and nearly all put a smile on a child's face.
The BBQ Pit Boys recommend grilling natural-casing hot dogs over charcoal. Grill the dogs over indirect heat, or the half of the grill opposite the charcoal. Cook them at 400 to 500 degrees for about 10 minutes, turning every few minutes until they begin to split open. If using a gas grill, use only one side of the grill and put the dogs on the unused side to achieve indirect heating. Low, slow heat will help ensure that your dogs are crisp and juicy, rather than burned.
Some like their dogs butterflied and pan-fried in butter or bacon grease. This method is often used for dishes that combine bratwurst and fried sauerkraut. Others skewer wieners them on craft sticks, then dip them in cornmeal batter and deep fry them in oil to make corn dogs. Alternative recipes add ingredients such as potato slices, onions and cheese to pan-fried hot dogs for a quick stove-top supper to serve alongside a crispy green salad with creamy dressing.
Hot dogs can be boiled in water or beer; five minutes or so is usually enough. The Hillbilly Housewife website suggests that hot dogs may also be placed on a steamer insert and steamed like vegetables, and calls the result juicier than with boiling, though the dogs will need to steam for seven to 10 minutes.
The Chowhound website suggests placing a hot dog inside a bun, wrapping it in a paper towel and microwaving it for 60 seconds. Readers report that the dog automatically steams the bun and the paper towel prevents a mess. Some readers say that 30 seconds will do the trick.
Hot dogs are often chopped up and added to a baked-bean casserole. The Hillbilly Housewife website suggests cutting a slit in hot dogs, stuffing them with leftover mashed potatoes, topping them with cheese and baking them on a cookie sheet. Hot dogs can also be added to a mac-and-cheese casserole, or you can combine them with corn, tomatoes, green peppers, cheese and onions and a Southwest-seasoned dip mix for a Mexican casserole. Hot dogs also work as a complement to a green bean casserole.
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