I could’ve fired up my gas grill to cook a batch of hot dogs. Or lit some charcoal. That’s when I had a ‘duh’ moment. The Big Easy! It cooks everything great, so why not use it! So that’s what I did and wow, I have to say it cooks up hot dogs about as quick and as easy as you could possibly get. Just fire it up, load it up and wait. Read a book, watch some TV, play a game, because there’s no turning, no worrying, no burning. Done in no time and roasted perfectly! Say hello to the new way to cook up hot dogs! For something totally different, try marinating your hot dogs first.
What fun these smoked spiral hot dogs were to make and devour! I’ve made spiral dogs before, but this technique is much better than my old way. The key is inserting a skewer thru the dogs to keep them together after slicing. And of course, the skewer keeps you from slicing in too far. I smoked my spiral dogs, but you could just as easily grill them. Anita and I recently ran across The Mustard Man at an event at the Jungle Jim’s market in Fairfield, OH. After sampling each of mustard I instantly picked up a bottle of each one. They are truly fantastic. I squeezed a bit of the Simple Pepper and Simply Maple on each of our spiral dogs. The mustard runs down into the spirals, filling each bite with mustardy goodness. We cannot recommend The Mustard Man’s mustard enough!
Fire up your smoker for 225 F. You can also make these hot dogs on a grill
Carefully guide the skewer through the center of the hot dogs. If you get the skewer crooked at it pokes out of the side of the dog just pull it back and try again. I found that laying the hot dogs down on a flat surface and sliding the skewer in from the side, parallel to the counter top, worked best.
Lay the skewered dog down onto a cutting board or flat surface.
Holding a knife at a 45 degree angle, starting at one end of the dog, cut into the dog down to the skewer. Start rolling the hot dog, keeping the knife inserted into the hot dog, making cuts that are about 1/2" apart. Continue rolling and cutting until you reach the other end of the hot dog.
Gently pull the dog apart, separating the cuts. Be careful, you don't want to break it.
Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning.
Place dogs onto the smoker and smoke for 2 hours. If grilling grill until done as desired.
A few years ago the Big 10 basketball tournament was held here in Indianapolis. As part of the event, the Levy restaurant group in Chicago produced unique hot dogs that highlight each of the Big 10 teams. I came across a copy of the list of the dogs recently, and just had to make each of them.
I’ve put onions on a hot dog before, sure. And I’ve even put steak sauce on a hot dog before. Why did it never occur to me until now to add tomatoes? Well, by golly, as simple as they are, these steakhouse burgers are downright delicious! Perfect for a picnic or family get-together. Not boring. Different. And really good. That great all-beef dog taste with steak sauce is awesome as is, but add the crunch of some onions and the cool tomato slices, and you’ve got a darned good dog. Grab two, and some chips. It’s possible that I might have slipped a few drops of hot sauce into the steak sauce. All I’m saying is that it’s possible. Use your own discretion on that one.
I love cooking on my Char-Broil Big Easy. So much that I even put together a free eCookbook containing some of my favorite Big Easy recipes. Like most people, I bought my Big Easy for cooking turkey at Thanksgiving. I quickly realized that I can cook just about anything in it. Even jumbo hot dogs! Yep! Jumbo hot dogs are crazy easy, and crazy good. The dogs get a great crispy crunchy casing that just pops in your mouth. The meat is tasty, moist and perfect! Don’t be shy with your Big Easy. Add some sweet onions and peppers along with the jumbo dogs and let them roast along with the dogs. Chop and add them to buns to make a great dog even better. You can also cook up a big batch of regular-sized hot dogs in your Big Easy, enough for a crowd!
What? Hot dogs in a fresh tomato salad? Well, that’s how my mom got me to eat tomatoes when I was a kid. I didn’t really like tomatoes then, but I was more than happy to sit down with a bowl of this hot dog tomato salad.
The key for me was to eat everything BUT the hot dogs first. This left the best part, hot dogs sitting in a great vinegary and oniony dressing. The dogs would soak up a bit of the vinegar and taste unlike any hot dog I’d ever had. Add strangely enough, I would drink up the remaining dressing. Odd, huh? As much as it might sound a little odd, this is a great salad. You can leave out the hot dogs if you like, but I highly recommend adding them.
These Islander hot dogs are another example of a great dog that doesn’t take a lot of work to put together. Think hot dog. Think salad. Put them together. That’s it! Anita proclaimed these one of the best dogs I’ve ever made, even though they are definitely one of the easiest. There’s a great contrast between the grilled beefy dogs, crispy cold lettuce, tomato, and pickle, and tartness from the salad dressing.
You could add more of your favorite salad toppings, like crumbled cooked bacon. Or chopped onions. Or even croutons!