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Grill More Delicious Hot Dogs!

Few foods are more associated with the barbecue grill than the amazing hot dog! Sure, it’s simple, but it’s also delicious. And its simplicity is likely what makes it a favorite, too. 

Still, it’s possible to screw up this staple of outdoor cooking. Even more likely, though, you might not know the secret to get the most out of these delicious treats! So we thought it would be good to give some pointers on getting the most out of your hot dog grilling experience.

Avoid Sticky Situations

Any food can get stuck to the grill as you cook, but since hot dogs are so small, it’s easier to notice if small chunks get torn off and remain behind. It affects how the weiner looks but also means you have a tiny bit less to eat!

To help prevent sticking, use a grill cooking spray ahead of time. It just takes a moment and makes it easier to turn and remove all your food!

For even better results, spray the “business end” of your tongs and other cooking tools, too.

Wait what? Need a grill to make your tasty hot dogs on? Get started with our guide to types of grills!

The Warmup

For any cooking routine, it’s important to preheat the grill. Get the coals (or gas) started and allow it to reach the desired temperature before trying to cook! That way, you’ll have a more evenly-cooked meal and be better able to judge when it’s ready.

With a grill, it’s a great idea to have a “hot zone” for direct cooking; that’s where you’ll cook your dogs. Another part of the grill should be a “cool zone” – still warm, but better for indirect cooking, or, for hot dogs, a great place to keep them warm after they’re cooked.

The Right Alignment

Ok, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. But placing your hot dogs the “right” way on the grill can make a bit of difference! 

We suggest laying the dogs across the cooking grate rather than letting them rest in the space between bars. That will leave them with nice-looking sear marks. It will also make them easier to maneuver!

place your hot dogs perpendicular to the bars on your grill to get a better look and more even heating

Take Your Time

Hot dogs don’t take long to cook. Actually, they’re pre-cooked and really only need to be heated! Still, don’t rush it. 

To get your hot dogs cooked all the way through, it’s important to take your time. Slow and steady makes for a dog that’s the right temperature all the way through. 

And how much time is that? It usually takes about six minutes to grill a hot dog correctly!

Roll, Roll, Roll Your Dog

Of course, you want all sides of your hot dog to look great and to get exposure to the heat. That means you’ll have to turn it. 

But rather than flipping it completely over one time, rotate it about one-third of a turn every 2 minutes. This will allow the heat to reach all parts of the frankfurter more thoroughly. It’ll also provide a better, more consistent seared look all the way around!

Warm Your Buns

Your hot dog buns, that is! Warming the bread you’ll place your hot dogs on just seems to make them taste better!

You can opt to toast them right on the grill. Just open up the bun and place it inside-down on the grate. It can take only a few seconds – a minute at most – to have a nice, toasted bun!

If you prefer to just warm them, wrap them in aluminum foil first. Place the tightly-wrapped package on the cool side of the grill for 3-5 minutes. That way they’ll stay moist but reach a delicious temperature!

mustard is just one favorite hot dog topping

Great Sides With Hot Dogs

Of course, there are also so many awesome condiments to add to your hotdogs. Some you may love, some you may abhor, but here are the most popular choices – be sure to pack your choices!

  • Ketchup 
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chopped or sliced onion
  • Relish
  • Pickles
  • Cheese
  • Sauerkraut 

Yes, we know there are many others! Let us know in the comments below what your favorite hot dog toppings are!

What are your other favorites from the barbecue grill? Check out our guides for these awesome cookout foods!


Hot dogs are a delicious part of a cookout! They’re easy to prepare, but these few simple tips can help you get the most out of them. Enjoy them as part of gatherings large and small whenever you want to break out the grill.

About Us

Tom and Sarah Greenwood are the dynamic duo behind “Yards Improved,” dedicated to the joys and challenges of gardening, pool maintenance, and lawn and patio care. With Tom’s passion for landscape design and Sarah’s enthusiastic approach to gardening, they share their journey of transforming their backyard into a thriving retreat. We strive to offer practical advice aimed at helping you enhance your outdoor space.