If you’re wondering what to grill tonight and you’re coming up with a big old blank, then you’re in luck, because that just so happens to be the area where the team at Mighty Flame excels! We pride ourselves on offering our readers a number of great grill recipes, but if you’re looking for easy grilling ideas, then today’s post is for you. Whether you’re looking for something quick, something easy, or both, the lowly hot dog just might be the answer you’ve been looking for.
“Are you kidding me? You want me to make…a hot dog?” We can hear it now. Even if you’re a skeptic, today’s blog is for you, because we’ll be taking a deeper look at a pretty divisive food. If you’re on the fence, keep reading to learn more about an easy food to grill that happens to taste great when done right.
The Humble Hot Dog, An Incredibly Easy Food to Grill
Burgers, brats, and steaks are often the go-to foods when it comes time to throw something on the grill, and for good reason! After all, it’s hard to beat the simple deliciousness of a great steak. It’s never a bad idea to fire up the grill for a burger. Pretty much everyone in the world loves a good bratwurst.
And yet there will inevitably come a time when you want something that’s fast, easy, and cheap. That’s where the hot dog comes in. As we mentioned above, for many people, the gut reaction to a hot dog is one of unacceptance. Sure, they’re okay when you’re at a friend’s barbecue and there’s nothing else to eat; they get the job done when you want something at the ballpark.
When you’re making a meal for yourself, on the other hand…well, that’s sometimes a different story.
Quality Is Key
Hot dogs have a reputation for being packed with fillers that no one wants to eat. To tell you the truth, this is still the case–but that truth comes with a big caveat; not all hot dogs are created equally.
As a matter of fact, the team at Thrillist recently put together their rankings for the best grocery store hot dogs. Yes, that’s right. As it turns out, a hot dog can actually be a wonderful thing. You can take a look at their full list for yourself to see what catches your eye, but their top selections include Safeway Signature Select Beef Franks, Hebrew National Bun Length Beef Franks, Niman Ranch Fearless Uncured Beef Franks, and Nathan’s Famous Skinless Beef Franks.
They even go so far as to note that Nathan’s Famous Skinless Beef Franks contain “alternating layers of smoke, sweetness, and salt captured in a magically skinless package that chars up perfectly every time” and that “this is all anyone could ever possibly want in a hot dog.” If you get your mind in the right place, a great hot dog is a really wonderful thing.
Things to Remember When Grilling Hot Dogs
It is our opinion that hot dogs have an undeservedly bad reputation. We’ll admit that there are some brands out there that aren’t really doing them justice, but isn’t that true of just about everything these days? Don’t let the bad apples ruin everything for you. Instead, seek out the items that are high quality, the ones that are made with good ingredients, and the ones that others recommend. Do your research and you (probably) won’t be let down.
As for how to go about grilling a hot dog, as you likely imagined, we have a bit of advice.
First and foremost, stay away from the ones that are stuffed with other foods. If you really want a hot dog that has cheese that badly, melt a bit of cheese over the top of a hot dog that you know to be good rather than settling for the cheese flavored substance that is put inside for you.
Once it comes time to actually throw the hot dog on a grill, we tend to follow the advice given by the crew over at Serious Eats:
“Because hot dogs are sold fully cooked, it may seem like all you need to do is put them over a hot fire until they’re sufficiently heated through. That certainly works, but it also creates a suboptimal end product.”
Because hot dogs are, indeed, already cooked when you buy them, the main goal is to get them hot enough to taste great, but not so hot that they turn into a burned stick of ash. Our suggestion is to go with a grill temperature of medium or medium-high and grill and turn your hot dogs frequently. If you’re starting to get grill marks, you’re most definitely on the right track. Just like with burgers and steaks, grill marks–when done right–are a true thing of beauty, and they enhance the taste of your food.
Another key component to a good hot dog is a bun that’s been appropriately toasted. It doesn’t need much, but trust us when we say this little bit of effort goes a long way. Finally, top your hot dog with the high quality ingredients of your choice and smile as you realize that you’ve been oh so wrong about hot dogs for so many years. As it turns out, all you needed was a reminder that a simple food made the right way elevates it above its peers.
Find a Propane Tank Exchange Location Near You
We hope that we’ve answered the question of what to grill tonight in such a way that it challenges you to make the best darned hot dog you’ve ever had in your life. Of course you’ll need good hot dogs, good toppings, and good buns. You’ll also need the best fuel source around when it comes to grilling, so be sure to swing by a Mighty Flame location near you to make sure you’re ready for a night full of easy food to grill. It doesn’t get much better than that!