Toast Hot Dog Buns Better With A Wet Rag

Hot dogs are good any time of year, but they truly shine during grilling season. They're arguably the easiest of all the grilled meats; you can buy your hot dogs fully cooked at the grocery store, and they just need those signature grill marks before they're ready to be nestled into some buns. But in building your perfect hot dog, don't forget to show those buns some love. While it's not necessary to toast the buns, the char imparts a whole new flavor — and it's as easy as tossing them on the grill for a few minutes. But the secret to getting those buns fluffy and crunchy is actually toasting them next to a wet rag.


The best buns have some variation in texture, and the wet rag helps to steam the buns while the sides that touch the grill get crispy. This gives them a slight crunch on the outside while keeping them fluffy on the inside — the easiest secret to the best buns.

The wet rag is the key for perfect hot dog buns

If you're toasting the buns on the grill, then place a damp rag right near the buns, and close the grill's lid (make sure the rag is fully wet so that it won't burn or catch on fire). While the underside of the buns toast, steam will build up on the inside of the grill thanks to water evaporating quickly from the rag. The buns should only need a minute or two, and the wet rag method not only makes them fluffy but also prevents them from drying out. While it's important to cook the hot dogs properly, the buns matter too.


If you're only cooking the buns on one part of the grill, place a metal bowl over them to help create the steam bubble (be careful removing the bowl because it could be hot). And if you don't have a grill but want the same effect, try placing the buns in a pan on the stove, then adding a few spoonfuls of water around the buns before covering them with a lid. The water should evaporate immediately and won't make the underside soggy but will still create that steam bath you're looking for.