The Flawless Two-Step Method For Juicy, Crispy Hot Dogs On Memorial Day

Memorial Day Weekend is when many bring their grills out of winter hibernation. And while steaks, chicken, and even burgers tend to hog the limelight, the hot dog is the real star. This umami-rich, traditionally American delight combines smoky crispness on the outside and a juicy interior that's nearly impossible to get elsewhere. Yet, there is a way to improve upon it — and it's a fairly simple change.


The ticket to even better hot dogs is poaching — yes, poaching, that cooking technique you may most associate with eggs or salmon. In this case, you'll be following a two-step process: Poaching your franks for about 10 minutes before throwing them on the grill on high heat for a very short time. This method not only results in a juicy dog with lots of snap and char, but it should also help alleviate the temperature mistake that causes hot dog splits when the grill is too hot. When poaching hot dogs, you want to grill at high heat because the cooking time is short, but you still want that perfectly crisp outside.

Poach the hot dogs

The poaching process involves hot water, but don't think you're simply boiling the hot dogs. Poaching is a technique in which you slowly cook food in liquid, heating the liquid to just lower than boiling point. To poach hot dogs, heat the water to 155 degrees Fahrenheit — this is below a low simmer (185 degrees Fahrenheit), so you'll need a thermometer to pinpoint the temp — then turn it down to low and add the hot dogs.


Heat the hot dogs until they reach 155 degrees Fahrenheit, an optimal internal temperature. Below this temperature, the insides can be mushy, and above this temperature, the dogs can begin to dry out. Once the hot dogs reach around 155 degrees Fahrenheit, again using a thermometer to test them, they're ready for the grill. The key here is to get the franks on the grill as soon as possible so they maintain their perfect internal temperature.

The hot dogs only need a short time on the grill

Before you get down to throwing those poached dogs on the fire, be sure you've cleaned and greased your grill so you'll be ready to grill like a master. The poached franks only need a few seconds on high heat to give them a good charred crispiness on the outside. Be sure to keep turning them for an even char. Because you don't need to cook the hot dogs very long, this method means you can free up space on the grill for other things like hamburgers, chicken, or veggies. This may involve a bit of planning since different foods require various heat levels and cooking times.


At least with this easy two-part hot dog grilling system, you'll have the juiciest, crispiest franks this Memorial Day with very little stress. You're bound to want to use this cooking trick throughout grilling season. Now that you've mastered the tastiest grilled hot dog ever, elevate your summery side dishes, starting with jazzing up your potato salad with ingredients like fresh herbs, bacon, and a touch of vinegar as the perfect accompaniment.