Spiral-cut? Boiled in beer? Microwaved? Columnist Ella Quittner sets out to find the ultimate warm dog.

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In Absolute ideal Tests, writer Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity that her house kitchen in the surname of truth. She"s mashed dozens that potatoes, seared much more porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall, and also tasted enough species of bacon to problem a cardiologist. Today, she tackles hot dogs.

One Sunday in February 2014, at Seattle’s Fremont Market, six customers invested $169 apiece top top a warm dog unlike any other.

The bunned-up sausage, proffered by the now-defunct Seattle food truck Tokyo Dog, holds the Guinness title because that World’s most Expensive warm Dog come this day. According to records, the Juuni ban was a Bavarian sausage “infused through cheddar” and also served top top buttered, toasted brioche, topped with seared maitakes, foie gras, Wagyu beef, black color truffles, onions, and caviar. (Tokyo Dog’s signature offering—the exact same dog with a much more humble garnish—was a paltry $8, through comparison.)

I stumbled upon the hulking Juuni Ban seven years later while researching the best way to cook a hot dog because that Absolute ideal Tests. While i wasn’t may be to reach Tokyo Dog’s owners, Eugene Woo and Samson Kwong, come talk cook methods, I was able to unearth a 28-minute video clip from august 2014, in i m sorry cheerful organize Asha Leo access time the truck for a complete procedural run-through.

In the video, the dog-slinging duo notes the they invested three months developing the Juuni Ban, which occasionally spurts melted cheese in ~ its handler. Your cook technique was simple but effective: They very first warmed the cheddar-suffused specimen in steel containers of warm water—likely to decrease the danger of a cheese explosion—before carrying it come a warm grill, where they rotated it end an open flame until it got to an inner temperature of 160°F.

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though I had no plans to offload my very own wares for numerous dollars, i took solace in the Tokyo Dog method because that affirmed a hunch: When cooking a hot dog, simplicity is key. No special tools was employed, no tik hacks dubbed in, and also still, a dog that great global import to be produced. Offered that my very own trials would certainly be cheddar-free, i figured I might skip the water-warming step, though i did add a dramatic double-underline to “Grill” on my list of methods.

Toward the finish of the Tokyo Dog segment, the organize lifts the infant-sized frank to her mouth, heralding gleefully, “Oh, the memes that space going come come native this!” after ~ a couple of moments’ consideration, she take away a small bite when the dog’s creators hymn “chew, chew, chew.” number of tense secs pass as she masticates, prior to she declares the World’s most Expensive hot Dog both “incredible” and “amazing.”

With that as my benchmark—and after ~ confirming that there was absolutely nobody in the vicinity to chant “chew, chew, chew”—I collection out to check nine methods of hot dog cookery.

I supplied all-beef hot dogs because that every trial. For the sanctity of results, ns did initial tasting ring sans condiments, however I would prefer the document to show that my wanted toppings space ketchup, yellow mustard, and raw diced onion, and that if you’re going to serve me a warm dog top top anything but an untoasted Martin’s potato bun, you may also not invite me.


The Findings

for the juiciest hot dog, execute not slice it. This walk invite risk, as warm dogs through no vent for vapor may to explode in certain conditions—but ns think the a risk worth taking. (Especially if, choose me, friend are food preparation hot dogs the contain no molten cheese.)

The No Cut hot dogs developed by my ring One trials to be noticeably juicier (and larger, having retained much more liquid) 보다 the Spiral-Cut and Slashed hot dogs, with the Slashed warm dogs in second place.

If juiciness is less of a priority 보다 aesthetic appeal, you may consider embracing the Spiral-Cut, which elicited a not-immaterial lot of glee. And if toppings space your biggest priority, rotate to the Slashed, which offers a moat for ketchup and mustard come act as glue for tiny chopped toppings favor onion, herbs, pickled radish, or crushed potato chips.

The Methods

No Cut

when the butter has foamed and the foam has actually subsided, include 1 hot dog come the skillet.Sear, shifting every minute or so, until plumped and also beginning come brown on each side, 3 to 4 minutes.


place a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Include 1 tablespoon that butter.Meanwhile, slice one next of a warm dog lengthwise, around 1/3-inch deep.Once the butter has foamed and the foam has subsided, add 1 warm dog come the skillet.Sear, moving every minute or so, until plumped and also beginning to brown on each side, 3 come 4 minutes.


ar a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter.Meanwhile, part a hot dog crosswise in a spiral pattern, about 1/3-inch deep.Once the butter has actually foamed and also the foam has actually subsided, add 1 warm dog to the skillet. Sear, moving every minute or so, until plumped and beginning come brown on each side, 3 come 4 minutes.

The Findings

for a well-browned hot dog with notes the campfire, think about the Roast over Flame or Grill methods. Both created tender specimens v well-seared casings that lugged extra scorchy flavors, beyond the standard salty, meaty ones. (For a well-browned dog v notes just of browned butter, just Stovetop Sear.)

For the juiciest, many flavorful dog, Boil in Beer, and you’ll end up with a plump contender that tastes an ext like a hot dog than any type of other hot dog. Because that an exceptionally juicy dog v muted flavor—for once you’d prefer condiments to really shine—Boil in Water. Regardless of the stigma, both methods brought about plump hot dogs with specifically plush interiors, closer in texture to a good Weisswurst than to the rubbery dog of childhood cafeterias.

For a hot dog that finest impersonates one you’d get at a ballpark or indigenous those mesmerizing rotating racks in ~ a convenience store, think about using your Slow Cooker, if you’ve obtained 4 hrs to spare. (Note: This is apparently comparable to the an approach employed by Nathan’s, the morning the their yearly hot-dog-eating contest.)

You deserve to skip the Microwave, i m sorry yielded an uncommonly tough casing and also caused the hot dog come burst, and also the Stovetop steam & Sear, which resulted in less browning top top the outside, and also an internal that to be no juicier than the Stovetop Sear.

The Methods

Stovetop Sear

once the butter has actually foamed and also the foam has subsided, include 1 warm dog to the skillet.Sear, moving every minute or so, till plumped and beginning come brown on every side, 3 to 4 minutes.

Stovetop steam & Sear

include water to a cast-iron skillet till it rises about 1/2 inch up the sides.Place the skillet over medium-high heat and cook till the water starts to boil.Add 1 hot dog come the pan together with 1 tablespoon the butter. Sear on each side till the water has actually boiled off and the hot dog is plump and also beginning come brown.


adjusted from lasignoralaura.com.

carry a little pot of water come a boil.Add 1 hot dog. Cook uncovered for 4 to 6 minutes, until the warm dog has plumped up on every sides.Remove through tongs and drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.

Boil in Beer

Adapted from mine Gourmet Connection.

include 1 hot dog. Boil uncovered for 4 to 6 minutes, till the warm dog has plumped increase on all sides.Remove v tongs and drain top top a paper-towel-lined plate.


add 1 warm dog to the grill, rolling ~ above a new side every minute or so, till evenly browned and also cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes total.

Oven Roast

warm the stove to 400°F.Roast the hot dog for around 15 minutes, until plumped and beginning to brown.


Microwave ~ above high for 45 secs to 1 minute, till the center of the hot dog is warm to the touch.

Slow Cook

Adapted native Boulder Locavore.

chef on low setup for 4 hours.

Roast end Flame

hold it end an open flame, together as one of your burners set on high, or a campfire.Rotate the hot dog every 30 secs or so, till browned and also cooked through, 2 to 3 minute total.

What should Ella check next? allow us know in the comments, or send her a post here.

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written by: Ella Quittner

Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute ideal Tests columnist at lasignoralaura.com. She consists food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and also internet-famous sandwiches. You deserve to follow she on Instagram
ellaquittner. She also develops recipes because that lasignoralaura.com, and has a soft clues for every pasta, anything spicy, and also salty cacao things.

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Stephen J. July 23, 2021
Cooking advice native a human being using ketchup and also mustard ~ above a hot dog. No thanks. Absolute indication that wretched taste! Learned come eat at Mcdonald"s hamburger stand. Standard hot dog is dressed through mustard only. Other approved dressings are saurkraut or chilie.
maria B. July 5, 2021
You left out the an extremely best!! Charcoal broiled!! with mustard and also pickle, Western brand-new York style!
pancrates June 29, 2021
When I provided to make turkey sausages often and also now beyond brats, i place links in casserole dish and also fill with water and put in range at 350F because that an hour or two. Food is completely cooked, no burned, part fat and salt room leeched right into the water. Let the criticism ensue.
Nancy June 2, 2021
Instead the deep fry, air fry functions also, however the cuts and slashes make the difference.
Nancy June 2, 2021
Best hot dog in the world—Cut an X in both ends, reduced three slashes across two sides and deep fry. Delicious!
So I evaluate the attention to the cooking masterpiece the the art of hotdog but I must allude out one technique that was missed… and also I feel should be revisited. Slow-moving smoked… obviously there room lots of variety in wood chips and smoke methods, ns stumbled throughout this when I very first got my smoker, it come early and also I hadn’t expected it, so ns of food fired that up and went to grab part meat.. The only thing I had was hotdogs… so i shrugged and threw a bunch in. Smoked castle for about 45minutes and WOW, the entirety family agree they space the ideal hotdogs ever and also now the only way we ever make them. So… I an obstacle you come revisit this and also see if it any type of of the other approaches are truly is the best, or perhaps just maybe they’ll more than thrown.
It"s been stated a few times, but there room a lot of comments for this reason I"m certain you to let go them. I"ll likewise do brats over pecan at 195 levels for 4 hours.
I expect this no a repeat. End the food of around 60 year I have actually cooked warm dogs each of the means that Ella has tested, and concur totally with her findings. One method she didn’t check is my now existing “go to” that i think yields results superior to every others: sous vide. I sous vide warm dogs and also Brats etc. At 165° because that 90 minutes and the results are fabulous the skins maintain their “snap” and the internal is firm and also quite moist. Ns don’t uncover it essential to end up them top top a grill etc. Since they room perfect together they are.
I totally agree! Sous Vide is such a superior method to go! i go one action further and after 70 minute at 165° F in the sous vide bath, I execute an apple timber smoke for 20 minute at 150-175° F in the huge Green Egg v a exhilaration Chief cold smoker. One other comment: there was no cite of of warm dog brand. I"d favor to put in a shameless plug because that Cloverdale Beef Franks. I"ve tried every other brand that I might find (in Eugene, OR), and also I will say that, IMAO, Cloverdale is the best! just to be fair, the Cloverdale mixed-meat franks, not so much. Got to be all beef.
If you acquire up come Portland, in my watch Edelweiss is exceptional and well priced. Best German deli I have actually been come in countless years. 1 block past Milwaukie heading east on Powell (26). Well worth the trip.
Oh, also, while ns agree through not toasting buns... Ns think they taste much better warmed up. Different them, and also put lock in the stove at 350 for at the very least 5 minutes (up come 10, depending on your preference.) A small heat will lug out a moist and also pillowy interior, if making the exterior late a little, well, an ext like a crust. It yes, really brings a bun up a notch, and makes store-bought packages favor Martin"s taste and feel prefer they"re fresh baked.
I"d choose to humbly suggest a cooking an approach that could change your mind about sliced dogs: indirect grilling with steam. The work best with a charcoal grill - simply financial institution the coals top top one side, placed a pan through boiling-hot water for vapor over them, and change the vents because that moderate warmth on the indirect next (I"d aim for 325, yet you have plenty of liberty here.) Optionally, include a small amount that a gentle smoke wood, like applewood... Hot dogs regularly come with some exhilaration flavor currently in the meat, and charcoal will certainly also add a mild smoky flavor on that is own, so girlfriend really need very small extra. Much less is more.Let lock absorb the heat and smoke for a little while with the smoke, and then an extremely BRIEFLY sear over the warm side before serving. The reduced portions will crisp a little, all exposed surfaces will lightly brown, and the vapor will aid retain moisture. It"s usually combining the benefits of several cooking methods at once, and also the odor is incredible.You can also put them in a pan v pre-heated water or beer, half-submerged, and also let the grill keep it warmth while they cook. Works with various other sausages too. If you"re grilling other foodstuffs too, it can be a nice way to gain your dog heated through and also keep them hot (and moist) with minimal babysitting. They"ll even pick up some "grill flavor" when they"re in there!
The writer has invalidated she argument around the pure best way to chef a warm dog by the sordid join that she puts ketchup ~ above her hot dog. Ella, it"s apparent that you have never had a Chicago dog. Ketchup top top a warm dog indeed. Not only is it sacrilegious to a hot dog (for those that follow the faith of the dog), it"s most likely downright immoral to put ketchup ~ above a dog. Please start again, only this time do NOT use KETCHUP bad. Poor bad. ;-)
All these arguments over the best way to chef it, bread etc. No one is right.IngredientsPan de marraqueta, rather hollowed to produce a pocketFrankfurtersChopped tomatoes, previously offered a dash that salt and also olive oil and mixedMashed avocado, equally provided a dash of salt and olive oil.Mayonnaise, right out that the jar, squeezy bottles room cheating.Boil the hotdog, properly drainpipe it. Put it into the marraqueta, add the tomatoes, host it along with a hefty addition of avocado, peak with a little too lot mayonnaise. Gain a nationwide dish.Viva Chile.
Very arrogant of you. What is finest for one, may not be finest for another. This comments are all relatively subjective. Ns personally think the your ready is disgusting. Someone may think the what I choose is not to your liking. But to say the an pinion is dorn is, well, WRONG
Wow, Steve, girlfriend sound prefer a barrel of funny .Dude, that is exorbitant when world express your passions. The mjfarrow44 chap to who you responded clearly loves hotdogs and also is excited about a particular means he enjoys eat them. I am happy he shared, as I am going to try it. I can find nothing in what he stated that sound the slightest little offensive. In ~ all. Probably you haven"t figured it out yet, however every human on planet thinks that what castle think is right. I beg your pardon makes good sense, due to the fact that if you thought what friend think is wrong, you probably wouldn"t think it, would you? therefore it comes off as a little bigoted and also small-minded to have actually a go at someone that is passionate around their approaches in any situation. For this reason please, stop.
If you carefully understood mine posting, you would check out that the comment thrust was no one is wrong as the writer claimed. Everyone is simply different. Calm you yourself down, please
My grandmother to be opposed to warm dogs and also told united state that they to be made of rats and also other things from the sewer. Ns don"t think ns ever believed her, and also she"s to be gone because that a long time so I will certainly eat everything I want give thanks to you an extremely much. Ns tried a hot dog in the air fryer last night and I think it essential a reduced temperature and an ext time, for this reason I"m going to try again tonight. Ns don"t choose the bun to be toasted - soft and also squishy is the method to walk in mine opinion. Cheese, yellow mustard and also relish. Yum.

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No warm dog is finish without the Detroit Coney Island makings. A beef dog, chili, chopped onions, sweet relish, mustard all on a warm bun.
Dogs? large dogs! Lately, Sam"s society beef house dogs. Pretty an excellent boiled in beer when microwaved. Hint: preheat the beer. Sliced wheat bread, diced red onions, sweet relish, and also spicy brown mustard. Walk well through cold, refrigerated pork and beans outta the can. Not royalty, no a connoisseur, just a commoner. What"s not to love? Ketchup would certainly be a crime.