Hello, Summer

Spiralized Hot Dogs Are the Only Way Anyone Should Ever Grill Hot Dogs

June 22, 2018

It's summer! In honor of all the BBQing, sprinkler-hopping, and ice cream truck-chasing to come, we give you Hello, Summer, a picnic basket full of easy-breezy recipes and tips to help you make the most of every minute this season.

Photo by Julia Gartland

When I initially stumbled across the idea of a “spiralized” hot dog, I was, admittedly, tickled. I decided to try it out for myself. And—plot twist!—after giving it a go, I’m not sure I’ll ever grill a hot dog the old-fashioned way again.

There are a few reasons why I’m really into this quirky concept. First, the spiral-cut score increases the “crisp” factor, creating a snappy, caramelized char down and around the dog. And the perfectly grilled grooves become condiment canals for ketchup and mustard. The hot dogs also lengthen a bit after they’re grilled (since they're less constricted by their casing), making them bun-length for an equal meat-to-bun ratio, for a change. Lastly, and most importantly, they’re very, very fun to make.

Or try this

I find the best way to spiralize a hot dog is to put the sausage on a skewer and then, using a paring knife, cut it from tip to tip while giving the skewer a twirl. When you remove the hot dog from the skewer, you end up with something that looks like a corkscrew of big meaty fusilli that grills up in no time.

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After they’re grilled, how you dress your dog is totally up to you. I sometimes like to baste them with BBQ sauce as they cook and then top with coleslaw, pickles, and crushed potato chips. Other times I keep it classic with just a simple slather of spicy brown mustard. But one of my favorite recipes is a Buffalo-style “firecracker” dog that’s basted with hot sauce and then topped with celery, carrot, red onion, blue cheese, and a creamy, spicy mayo.

How do you take your hot dog? Let us know in the comments below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • NOLA in SF
    NOLA in SF
  • Anne Gilliland
    Anne Gilliland
  • beejay45
  • BerryBaby
  • tgchi13
Grant Melton is an Emmy Award-Winning producer, recipe developer and food writer. His favorite food is chocolate chip cookies (with salt.)


NOLA I. August 8, 2018
Need some help pinning this - the website won't let me for some reason, and there's a Pinterest button! I cannot forget about this one!
Anne G. June 25, 2018
If anyone lives in the DC area, you must try track down a Swizzler hot dog truck. They are gourmet spiralized hot dogs!
beejay45 June 24, 2018
I love this method for the bigger sausages. You can really stretch them out as they cook until they firm up and don't spring back, really filling the roll, and, as you say, more room for condiments.

My favorite is some kind of garlic sausage or some serious Louisiana Hot Links, stretched and crisped, the bun lathered with a good mustard-mayo mix/ketchup (your call) and a pile of pineapple salsa to fill in all the newly opened sausage real estate. My bff and I make one of these and split it (because it's huge done this way).

Also, another plus, those dogs that tend to be greasy? They render a lot of their fat this way so it isn't all soaked up by the bun/roll.
BerryBaby June 23, 2018
Happy it's making a comeback! We did this in the 50's. Very few people used a barbeque grill, that was for the 'rich'. Mom would make them many ways...boiled, browned in a fry pan and, ready for this?...using a fork to hold the dog over the gas stove burner flame! Same method for toasted marshmellows that would always catch on fire! She would calmly blow out the flames...I was so scared!
tgchi13 June 22, 2018
How successful would this be with veggie dogs?