Grilled Hot Dogs With Sauerkraut Recipe

Grilled hot dogs are perfect for a backyard cookout. Start with great links, and don't mess 'em up.


Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Nestling the hot dogs in a bath of sauerkraut, then slowly cooking them over the cooler side of the grill, ensures they're evenly heated through on the inside.
  • A quick final cook over the hot side of the grill gets the links browned and crisp.

For better grilled hot dogs that don't end up burst, shriveled, or woefully undercooked in the center and blackened on the outside, slow-cook them in a moist bath of flavorful toppings, then let them crisp and char on the hot side of the grate. Here, we apply the method to a classic, plain-and-simple combo of hot dogs and sauerkraut. For best results, look for hot dogs with natural casings.


How to Grill Sausages and Hot Dogs the Right Way

May 2012

Recipe Facts

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Active: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • 1 (1-pound; 450g) package sauerkraut, with juices

  • 2 pounds (900g) natural-casing all-beef hot dogs (such as Boar's Head or Dietz & Watson)

  • Buns and brown mustard, for serving


  1. Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of 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 grilling grate.

  2. Place sauerkraut and juices in a 10-inch-square disposable aluminum pan. (Alternatively, construct a tray out of a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, 10 inches square, with sides about 2 inches high.) Nestle hot dogs into sauerkraut.

  3. Place tray on hot side of grill and cook until simmering, about 4 minutes. Slide to cooler side of grill. Cover grill, with vents over sausages. Cook with all vents open until hot dogs are heated through, about 10 minutes, turning once halfway through.

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

Special Equipment

Grill, 10-inch square disposable aluminum pan, instant-read thermometer


If you're from New York, you could also simmer the dogs in a jar of stewed onions. Sabrett makes a good street-cart-style jar.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
618 Calories
46g Fat
29g Carbs
22g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 618
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 46g 59%
Saturated Fat 18g 89%
Cholesterol 87mg 29%
Sodium 1990mg 87%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 12mg 58%
Calcium 114mg 9%
Iron 4mg 25%
Potassium 561mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)