Photo by Matthew Benson.
Hot dogs are the first food most of us grilled, and you don’t need a cookbook to show you how. What special technique could I possibly bring to a food that’s essentially ready to eat when it comes out of the package?
Hedgehogging dramatically increases the ratio of crisp, smoky crust to center meat. Tip o’ the hat to Russ Faulk of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet for this singular scoring technique, and the idea of grilling the hot dog buns with mayonnaise and remoulade sauce. He calls his version a “Po’ Dog.”
Yield: 8 hot dogs.
Method: Direct grilling.
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Grilling time: 8 to 10 minutes.
Grill/gear: Hot dogs can be grilled over charcoal, wood, or gas.
Insider tip: These hot dogs use a technique called “hedgehogging,” in which you score the surface of the hot dogs in a crosshatch pattern. The edges puff and char during grilling, giving you an exceptionally crusty exterior and adding more smoke flavor. They also look cool as all get-out, and they may be the best hot dogs you’ve ever tasted.
- 8 high-quality all-beef hot dogs
- 8 hot dog rolls
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Creole Mustard Sauce (recipe follows)
- Baby arugula or other micro-greens
- 2 ripe tomatoes or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
For Creole mustard sauce:
Yield: 1 cup.
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Creole mustard
- 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons minced celery
- 3 tablespoons minced green olives
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
1. Using a paring knife, make a series of crosshatch cuts on the surface of each hot dog, about 1/8 inch deep and 1/8 inch apart, on all sides. (This will expose more of the hot dog to the grill’s direct heat.)
2. Slather the cut insides of the rolls with mayonnaise.
3. Set up your grill for direct grilling, and heat to high. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean, and oil it well with vegetable oil.
4. Arrange the hot dogs on the grate. Grill until the exterior is sizzling, crisp, and browned, about 2 minutes per side, 6 to 8 minutes in all. While you’re at it, grill the mayonnaise-slathered rolls until toasted, 1 minute per side.
5. For Creole Mustard Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and whisk to blend. Any leftover sauce will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
6. Slather the rolls with Creole Mustard Sauce. Add the hot dogs, baby arugula, and tomato slices, and any other condiment you fancy.
Photo by Getty Images/bhofack2.
Direct vs. Indirect
Direct grilling. Spread hot coals in a single layer, and place the meat directly above them.
Indirect grilling. Arrange coals around outside of grill, and place meat in the center, away from heat.