Summer's here so it's time to fire up the grills! Don't be basic and stick to the ole' ketchup mustard routine. Instead, try adding fun and unusual toppings to your repertoire to make exciting new creations like these creative looking dogs right here. Whether you go East with our Vietnamese inspired banh mi footlong or stick to your roots with an all-American bacon wrapped dog topped with coleslaw and freshly pickled jalapeños, our summer grilling guide is chalked full of tasty tips to help you create the perfect frankfurter to fit your style.
Here’s what you’ll need for the basics of your cookout:
- When you’re buying ingredients, keep in mind that you’ll need to get at least 2 hot dogs per person and more if you are drinking or if you're inviting friends with big appetites!
- And although it may be obvious, but with that being said, you’ll also need at least 2 buns per person.
- Want to get even more creative with your dogs? Try hitting up your local butcher or farmers market for unexpected dogs. Just recently, we got our hands on some gator sausages, crawfish sausages, and venison sausages. They were a fun addition to our spread and people loved trying all of the different varieties.
- Got vegetarian friends coming over? Don't leave them out! Make sure to buy veggie or soy dogs. Honestly they might not be the best tasting things on the planet, but your vegetarian friends will love it if they're not left out!
- If you’re working with bacon, 1 slice is enough to wrap each dog. so 1 lb of medium sliced bacon is plenty for a party of 5-6. As always, everyone loves bacon, so the more the merrier.
- Don't forget about the importance of buns! First off, get a few varieties. Try regular, potato, hawaiian and more depending on what's available. And don't let the buns miss out on that delicious char grill! Before serving, lightly toast your hot dog buns until the bread begins to crisp up and turn golden brown.
- As for cooking the hotdogs, charcoal grills are my personal favorite as it gives the dogs a crispy charred crust and the perfect “snap”. If you don’t have a charcoal grill but would still would like grill marks, try using a panini press or pan fry them and top them with a grated sandwich press.
- As for toppings, it’s all about creating a spread - which is why I came up with two different menus - one that screams modern Americana and the other an asian-fusion blend that’s sure to please. And if you’re confused about how much ingredients you need, simply get more than you expect as it’s always better to send people home with leftovers rather than run out of supplies mid party.
- As for sides, fresh fruit always works great for a healthy option, potato chips are great for convenience, and a pickle bar is always a fun way to get your guests creative juices flowing.
- So now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s begin with some bittman-esque super fun hot dog ideas to get your party started!
Now, If you’re more into the traditional approach, check out these 7 All American Style Hot Dogs:
- Wake Up Dog - bacon, 7 minute egg, everything bagel seasoning + scallions
- Make a bunch of soft boiled eggs by boiling them for 7 minutes, shocking in ice water, and peeling immediately. Figure one soft boiled egg per person. Wrap one slice of bacon around a hot dog and pin it in place with two water-soaked toothpicks. Grill hot dog until bacon is crispy and then move the bacon wrapped dog to the side of the grill and top with american cheese. Once the cheese starts to melt, put it in a warm bun and top with the sliced soft boiled egg, everything bagel seeds and chopped scallions.
- BLT Dog - bacon, lettuce, tomato + mayo
- Combine crispy bacon, chopped cherry tomatoes, and chopped romaine lettuce to a small bowl and toss with salt and pepper. Add mayonnaise to a grilled bun and then add grilled hot dog. Finish by topping dog with BLT mixture.
- The Redneck Dog - INSPIRED BY CRIFF DOGS - bacon-wrapped dog, coleslaw + pickled jalapeños.
- Make your coleslaw and set aside. Wrap 1 slice of bacon around hot dog and pin in place with two water-soaked toothpicks. Grill hotdog until bacon is crispy. Add bacon wrapped hot dog to a toasted bun and top with creamy coleslaw, more cooked bacon, and thinly sliced pickled jalapeños.
- Mac n Cheese Dog - macaroni and cheese + bread crumbs
- Make macaroni and cheese and set aside. Add grilled hotdog to a toasted bun and top with two spoonfuls of mac n cheese. Top with toasted bread crumbs and scallions before serving.
- Coney Frito Dog - vegetarian chili, cheese, onion, fritos + sour cream
- Heat up vegetarian bean chili and set aside. Add grilled hot dog to a toasted bun and top with hot chili, shredded cheddar, chopped onion, crushed fritos and sour cream.
- Pizza Dog - pepperoni, mozzarella, parmesan basil + marinara sauce
- Butter hot dog bun and sprinkle with garlic salt. Broil hot dog bun until bread is golden brown. Remove from broiler and top with hot dog, a spoonful of marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella, basil, and pepperoni. Add pizza topped hotdog back into the broiler and cook until cheese is bubbling. Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
- The Ball Dog - potato chips, sweet pickle relish, ketchup + mustard
- Add grilled hot dog to a toasted bun, top with ketchup, mustard, sweet pickle relish and finish by crumbling potato chips on top.
And if you want a little something more exotic? Then try these 7 Asian Fusion Style Hot Dogs:
- Spicy Peanut Dog - red cabbage, cucumbers, cilantro, peanuts + peanut sauce
- Add grilled hotdog to a toasted bun and top with spicy peanut sauce, shredded red cabbage, chopped cucumbers, cilantro, and chopped peanuts.
- The Banh Mi Dog - pickled carrots, radish, cilantro, crushed peanuts + kewpie mayo
- Toss shredded carrots and radish in a little bit of sugar and rice wine vinegar, set aside. Add kewpie mayo to a toasted bun, add grilled hot dog, top with quick-pickled carrots and radish and top with fresh cilantro leaves, crushed peanuts and sriracha if desired
- Crispy Korean Pineapple Bacon Dog - kimchi, cream cheese, pineapple + cilantro
- Wrap hotdog with one slice of bacon and pin in place with water soaked toothpick. Grill hotdogs until bacon is crispy on all sides and remove from heat. Smear a little bit of cream cheese onto a toasted bun and add the bacon wrapped hot dog. Top with chopped kimchi and fresh cilantro.
- Asian Slaw Dog - mango and cabbage slaw, lime + red chiles
- Add thinly sliced mango and chopped red cabbage to a small bowl and toss with rice wine vinegar, lime juice, and a little bit of sugar and set aside. Add grilled hot dog to toasted bun, top with mango slaw, and thinly sliced red chiles.
- Sweet Chili Avocado Dog - sweet chili glazed dog, avocado, white and black sesame seeds
- Grill hotdog and glaze with sweet chili sauce. Place sweet chili glazed dog in a toasted bun and top with 1/4 of a sliced avocado. Add toasted black and white sesame seeds and course sea salt.
- Gochujang Smashed Cucumber Dog - gochujang spiced cucumbers + kewpie mayo
- Chop cucumber into thick coins, and smash with the side of the knife. Whisk together gochujang, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and a little bit of sugar. Toss cucumbers in sauce and set aside. Toast bun, add kewpie mayonnaise and then add the grilled hotdog. Finish by topping with gojuchang marinated cucumbers.
- Teriyaki Dog - teriyaki sauce glazed dog, coconut rice + scallions
- Grill hot dog and glaze with teriyaki sauce. Top with coconut rice and chopped scallions.
Not into hot dogs but still want to have a super fun grilling party? Don't sweat anymore than you already have to! Head to the store, buy some beef and try your hand at a few of these tasty creations! From early morning starters loaded with sausage beef patties, egg and avocado to the more upscale fig goat cheese burgers, click the links below to get the full recipe for these creative cheese and hamburgers:
- Breakfast Sausage and Egg Burger - sausage and beef burger patty, tomato jam, cheese, egg, bacon and avocado on a toasted everything bagel
- Fig and Goat Cheese Burger - burger patty, goat cheese, fig jam + bacon on an english muffin
- Southern Pimento Burger - beef patty topped with pimento cheese, pickled okra and pimento cheese on brioche
- French Onion Soup Burger - beef patty, gruyere cheese, caramelized onions
- Juicy Lucy Burger - cheddar stuffed beef patty, iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion on a brioche bun
- New Mexican Burger - beef burger patty, pepper jack cheese, green chile and tomato on a toasted bun
- The Luther Burger - aka the Donut Cheeseburger - glazed donut, bacon, american cheese and beef patty
- Frisco Melt - Two beef patties, swiss cheese, american cheese + special sauce on buttery grilled bread
- Beer Cheese Burger - beef patty, beer cheese sauce, red onion, heirloom tomatoes + spicy mayo.