The Best Grilled Hot Dogs Recipe

There are a few key tricks for making the perfect grilled hot dog. Joshua Bousel

It doesn't take much to grill a decent hot dog: Just put it on the grill until heated through. But making a truly great hot dog requires knowing a few key tricks. Here's the recipe.

Why this recipe works:

  • By poaching the hot dogs first until warmed through, and then finishing them on a hot grill, they stay moist and juicy while getting just the right amount of char.
  • Using a poaching liquid of beer and hot-dog onions or sauerkraut infuses the franks with lots of extra flavor.

Recipe Facts

Active: 25 mins
Total: 40 mins
Serves: 8 servings

Rate & Comment


  • 4 cups stewed hot-dog onions or 1 (1-pound) package sauerkraut
  • 2 (12-ounce) bottles lager or light ale
  • 2 pounds (about 16) natural casing all-beef hot dogs (such as Boar's Head or Dietz & Watson)
  • Hot dog buns, for serving
  • Mustard, for serving
  • Type of fire: two-zone indirect
  • Grill heat: medium-high


  1. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

  2. Place stewed onions and juices in a 10-inch square disposable aluminum pan and add beer. Nestle hot dogs into sauerkraut.

  3. Place tray on hot side of grill and cook until simmering, about 7 minutes. Slide to cooler side of grill. Cover grill with vents over the hot dogs. Cook with all vents open until hot dogs are heated through, about 10 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.

  4. Remove lid. Using tongs, remove hot dogs from onions and place directly on cooking grates over hot side of grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until well browned and crisp, about 3 minutes total. Return to onions. Toast buns over hot side of grill if desired. Serve hot dogs with buns, mustard, and onions.

Special equipment

Grill, 10-inch square disposable aluminum pan

This Recipe Appears In