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5 Ways to Hit Your Hot Dogs out of the Park

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Today: Take your dogs from hot to haute. 

We're not trying to dethrone ketchup and mustard here, but hot dogs could use a little revamping. The cheap eat is no longer relegated to ballpark fare: Hot dogs are worthy of any backyard barbecue or dinner party, so here are 5 ways to add a little haute to your dogs:

1. Get your toppings grilling. 

If you're already grilling hot dogs, it's only logical to grill the toppings, too; it adds a superior smoky depth that standard condiments just can't reach. Try grilling slices of avocado and onions, or grill ears of corn and then make this salad to use as a relish. Or use pineapple for a combination that channels Hawaiian pizza.

2. Wrap em' in bacon. 

There's that saying, "Everything's better with bacon." And hot dogs are no exception. Wrap each hot dog in a strip of bacon, secure both ends with toothpicks, and grill—rotating for even cooking—until the bacon is crisp and cooked and the hot dog is heated through (don't forget to remove the toothpicks before eating!). 

3. Fried eggs are your friend. 

There aren't many things a fried egg doesn't go well with. The yolk is a self-saucing condiment—break it open, bite it open, do whatever you will. Bonus points for drizzling some hot sauce on there, too.  

4. Toast for better buns. 
Let's just get it out there: Hot dog buns are a little "eh." This doesn't have to be the case, though. Just grilling the buns adds texture—giving you toasty insides and soft outsides.  

More: For truly exceptional buns, make your own.

5. Put yourself in a pickle. 

Pickled onions add a hit of acidity and brightness that hot dogs need—no, beg for. Slice onions and follow the instructions here for pickles that will be ready the next day. You could also make a simple pickled slaw that's both briny and herbaceous. 

What's your favorite hot dog topping? Tell us in the comments below!

First and last photos by Bobbi Lin, second photo by James Ransom, and third photo by Mark Weinberg 

We teamed up with Applegate to find the best ways to upgrade your hot dog game. 

Tags: Meat, Summer, Grill/Barbecue, Lists