I grew up going to the Jersey Shore. My grandparents owned rental properties in Wildwood, NJ and every year we would take our vacation there. My father was the oldest of nine kids so there was always something going on at the house.
One of my fondest summer time memories were the outdoor barbecues. We had a lot of musicians in our family so the barbecues would turn into full-on parties with live music and great food. To an eight-year-old kid these parties seem to go on all night.
During one of these barbecues my Uncle Tom taught me a trick to making a great hot dog that forty years later, I’ve passed down to my kids.
How can I make my grilled hot dogs taste better?
The trick is to slice the dogs before putting them on the grill. He would take the hot dog and add some slices along the length of the dog and then he would split the ends like the picture below. Then, while they were on the grill, he would finish them with barbecue sauce. I don’t know why these taste better. Maybe it creates more surface area for the Maillard reaction? What’s the Maillard reaction? It’s that crazy chemical process that makes browned food taste delicious. It doesn’t really matter, what matters is they taste delicious.
You can see some fresh dogs I just grilled below.
I’ve grilled hot dogs the same way ever since and each one reminds me of my childhood.
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