As summer makes its way into town, backyard cookouts are always soon to follow. Once the sun is out and the grill is fired up, your family is ready for a barbecue of epic proportions. The only question remaining is what to serve them! Hot dogs are a staple of summer, and many would venture to say that no cookout is complete without them. So get your grill ready and bust out the buns: it’s time to serve up some franks with a side of fun in the sun.
Grilling and Chilling
Grill masters love wieners on the grill for their simplicity and straightforward prep. However, there are a number of factors to consider when grilling your dogs that may not have crossed your mind. Here are a few hot tips for grilling the juiciest dogs on the block.
Time Is of the Essence
Your top grilling priority should be to avoid overcooking. After all, no one wants a shriveled frank on their plate. Franks should be cooked at a medium temperature and watched over carefully to prevent the pitfalls of overcooking.
Prior to grilling, slash or spiral small cuts in the meat. Not only will this ensure even cooking, the unique cuts will allow you to fill in as many condiments as your heart desires. Relish infused hot dogs? Yes, please!
Continuously rotate your franks as they cook. A perfectly grilled dog will have evenly spaced grill marks to show that each side has been cooked to perfection. For guaranteed assurance that your franks are cooked through, use a meat thermometer. The ideal temperature is 74°C.
Bun in the Sun
While the meat may seem like the main attraction of your cookout, the importance of the bun it’s served in shouldn’t be overlooked. When preparing to host a hot dog party, be sure to provide a wide variety of buns for your guests to pick from.
A good selection of buns should include traditional white, whole wheat, and gluten-free options. Once your guests have made their selections, encourage them to relax in the shade of your pergola covers while you focus on toasting up their perfect hot dog holders.
Tossing the buns on your grill’s upper warming shelf for a few minutes can turn basic bread into a perfectly toasted bun that will pair perfectly with a grilled dog. Taking this simple step is what separates a mediocre backyard chef from a grill master.
Similar to its barbecue counterpart the burger, hot dogs have endless options when it comes to the wide world of condiments. While there’s always the classic standby of catsup and mustard, don’t be afraid to think outside the condiment holder.
Unique condiments are the secret to transforming a basic hot dog into an exciting barbecue dish. If you’re in need of some topping inspiration, here are just a few of the many condiment possibilities you can use for topping your fire grilled franks:
- Baked beans
- Pineapple & mango salsa
- Korean BBQ sauce
- Caramelized onions
- Sriracha mayo
- Bacon jam
Set up a toppings bar in the yard so your guests can personalize their dogs to their heart’s content. Be sure to label each condiment, including possible allergens. The last thing you want is for one of your guests to have a bad reaction to a condiment.
Picture Perfect Presentation
A summer kick-off barbecue deserves a little more prestige than disposable plates and paper towel napkins. You don’t have to bring out your finest china, but taking the time to provide quality flatware goes a long way in making a backyard barbecue a little more special.
Put on some colourful table covers and hang up some outdoor string lights to create a warm environment for your guests to relax in while they indulge in their decked out franks. Remove the garden furniture covers and add outdoor pillows and blankets to your seating area for extra comfort.
You can even DIY some Hot Dog Day decorations for a full theme party experience. Be sure to incorporate colours such as red, yellow, and white, and opt for classic checkerboard picnic patterns on your table covers and custom tarps.
Staying safe while grilling up some delicious franks is crucial. The grill is a beloved staple of summer, but it can pose some safety threats if not used properly. This means taking simple safety steps, such as keeping a fire extinguisher nearby and keeping an eye on the grill.
Always ensure that the flames are completely extinguished before closing the grill lid, and double check that all the knobs are turned to the off position.
Worried about smoke or ash damaging your backyard accessories? Custom tarps can be hung to cordon off your grill area and keep everything smoke free.