Introduction: Perfect Hotdogs: the Spiral Cut Dog

Do you enjoy grilled hotdogs but bemoan the fact that only the outside is crispy? Well lament no more, for there is a way to grill your dogs and have them crispy(er) too. Popularized about a year ago (at least that's when I noticed it on my radar) this method for cooking hotdogs exposes more surface area to be crisped and caramelized during cooking. So read on to discover how to turn the mundane hotdog into something exciting.

Step 1: Materials

  • Hotdogs - Beef, chicken, pork, mystery meat. Ballpark, fancy, plain, Polish. There are so many styles and any will work.
  • Skewers - Wooden or metal it doesn't matter as long as they are longer than the dogs.
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Hotdog Fixings

Step 2: Cutting

Grab a dog and a skewer. Slowly push the skewer through the center as best you can. They tend to be a bit wobbly so you may have to back it out a little and recenter a couple of times.

When you have the meat skewered, place it on the cutting board and grab your knife. Starting with the blade resting on the skewer, just above the top of the hotdog, begin making an angled cut all the way through to the skewer. Continue down the length, turning the dog as you go, cutting to the skewer. Finish the cut completely out of the end.

Remove the skewer* and set aside the hotdog. You can use the same skewer to cut all of the dogs.

*See Step 4 for an alternate method.

Step 3: Fire Up the Grill

You should cook the hotdogs normally, just be aware that they will probably take less time since there is more exposed surface area. Also they are weaker due to the cuts so take care while turning them. Also watch for flames to spring up due to grease and juices from the cuts dripping onto the grill. Not necessarily a bad thing but it will significantly decrease the cook time. To help get the insides crispier, try to carefully expand the coils to expose the cuts.
I used a funny little hotdog holder we found somewhere. It actually worked pretty well, although the ends cooked faster then the middle, probably due as much to my grill as the holder.

Step 4: Alternate Method

This is essentially the same except when you finish cutting each hotdog leave it on the skewer. Then, simply grill them on the skewers, remembering to stretch the coils at least a little.
This is a good method if you are trying to cook a number of dogs at once and don't have a little holder contraption as they are easier to turn and won't fall apart as easily compared to putting them straight on the grill..

Step 5: Enjoy!

One other bonus of the spiral cuts is that they hold condiments and toppings well so load 'em up, or just go simple and really enjoy the crispiness and caramelization. Also because of lost grease drippings a spiral cut dog will be marginally healthier.

P.S. It may or may not be worth it to post a picture(s) of your favorite way to eat spiral dogs. ;)
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