How Long to Grill Hot Dogs: Temperature, Time, and How Often to Turn
Is it really a barbecue without hot dogs?
There is simply nothing more satisfying than biting into a juicy grilled hot dog on a summer day. Hot dogs are as much a part of July 4th and Memorial Day celebrations, summer vacation, and neighborhood parties as sunglasses and lemonade.
Fortunately, hot dogs are as easy to prepare as they are festive and can be prepared year round. They can be fried in a skillet, boiled, or even microwaved for tasty results, but grilled hot dogs are delicious, as well as a popular choice for feeding your family or a crowd! Next time you’re on grill duty, knowing how to cook hot dogs to perfection can bring this classic sausage from good to great.
Read our hot dog grilling tips to take your backyard grilling game to the next level this season.
Ideal Temperature for Hot Dogs
Hot dogs are already cooked and smoked, so they don’t need to spend as long on the grill as a raw protein like pork chops, steak, or ribs. And because they don’t need to be grilled long, it’s important to nail your cooking temperature when grilling hot dogs, so that you don’t burn them.
Preheat your grill to lower than you normally would think. All-beef hot dogs do best in medium-low heat, or between 250° and 325°F. Remember that you’re really just warming your hot dogs and giving them some golden brown color. Too hot and they may burst or char; too cool and they’ll just steam without developing color.
Setting your grill to a low temperature is a good start, but you still need to make sure you’re not overexposing your hot dogs to the flame. Place your hot dogs away from direct heat, avoiding hot spots for most of their cooking.
How to Find Hot Spots On Your Grill
You can find your grill’s hot spots with the time-tested toast technique: Simply heat your grill to medium and cover its surface in slices of bread. As the bread toasts, you will be able to see which parts of your grill tend to run the hottest (the very dark or burnt slices), and which parts are cooler and ideal for hot dogs (the light brown slices).
How Long Should You Cook Hot Dogs?
Hot dogs are done grilling in a matter of minutes. It generally takes no longer than 10 minutes for a hot dog to heat through, and may take less than five.
The leaner your hot dogs, the less grill time they require. Most standard-sized beef franks need between four and eight minutes on the grill. Some people choose to keep their hot dogs on the grill for only a couple of minutes before moving them up to a warming rack to continue heating.
Hot dogs are ready when they reach an internal temperature of at least 140°F. It’s always a good idea to keep an instant-read thermometer close by when grilling. This is a good way to avoid the dreaded cold-in-the-middle hot dogs.
To Turn or Not to Turn
Though you are often told not to turn items too much when grilling, hot dogs are an exception. Standard grilling procedure for smoked sausages like hot dogs, Polish kielbasa, and bratwurst is to keep them moving. You do this to prevent burning or bursting and keep the meat as moist and tender as possible.
Look to ballpark hot dog rollers for inspiration and rotate your hot dogs every couple of minutes when grilling. You can get the classic grill marks on your hot dogs by placing them briefly over a hotter spot on the grill, then returning them to the cooler area to finish heating through.
Getting the grilling temperature, cooking time, and turning technique down is critical for hot dog grilling, but none of this matters if your sausages are low quality. Another important part of grilling the perfect hot dogs is purchasing the perfect hot dogs.
Choose Coleman Natural Beef Hot Dogs
Coleman Natural uses ingredients you can feel good about in all of our products. Our uncured all-beef hot dogs are made of high quality beef smoked to perfection. There are no artificial ingredients or preservatives, so you can feel good about what you’re feeding your family and friends.
All of our beef is sourced from American family farms that raise their animals humanely and naturally, never using antibiotics or added hormones. You won’t have to question what our hot dogs are made of because we tell you right there on the package.
Starting with the best products is a great way to make certain that your hot dogs are mouth-watering and scrumptious. Choosing Coleman Natural Foods is a no-brainer. This grilling season, find out for yourself what makes our beef hot dogs the best.
Need hot dog grilling inspiration? Try our Banh Mi Hot Dog recipe!