The BEST Grilled Hot Dogs (How to Grill Hot Dogs Perfectly, Plus an ALDI Hot Dog Bar!)

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The best way to make summer's most iconic meal: the hot dog! The secret to The BEST Grilled Hot Dogs is a spiral cut hot dog: slicing hot dogs with a spiral cut creates more surface area as they grill, resulting in perfectly crisp & charred grilled hot dogs that are still super tender & juicy throughout. Make a build-your-own hot dog bar to load 'em up with your fave classic toppings or take things up a notch with specialty grilled hot dog creations. Quick, easy, & always a classic  perfect for summer entertaining, backyard BBQs, game day, & more!

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A parchment lined baking sheet rests atop a creamy white textured surface with a blue and white striped linen napkin and two clear glass jars filled with ketchup and mustard rest along

Endlessly Versatile Grilled Hot Dogs to Enjoy All Summer Long!

While my love of grilled brats & grilled sausages is long documented here on PWWB, I simply can’t resist a good ol’ summer hot dog. Super affordable, infinitely customizable, & always delicious, iconic grilled hot dogs are always a crowd-pleaser. So, this one is for my fellow hot dog lovers out there. 🤗

Learning how to grill hot dogs perfectly comes down to one game-changing trick: spiral cut hot dogs. A spiral cut gives grilled hot dogs the kind of extra charred & crispy edges you crave from the grill. Wayyy better than classic boiled hot dogs!

Plus, the nooks & crannies of a spiral hot dog are perfect for trapping whatever toppings you love most. Load grilled hot dogs up with classic ketchup & mustard or get inspired with specialty Chicago-style, teriyaki-style, or BBQ-style dogs. Toppings are the best part of any hot dog bar, especially if you’re shopping at ALDI – my favorite one-stop shop for any summer gathering!

ALDI has all the best grilled hot dog essentials (plus everything else you need to enjoy grilling season!), all at the most affordable prices. There’s summer BBQ inspiration around every turn at ALDI: seasonal veggies, spreads, meats, cheeses, & amazing ready-to-serve options! Plus, shopping at ALDI makes it easy to build epic grilled hot dogs all summer long without much added effort. The options are truly endless!

Grilled Hot Dog Recipe Highlights

You’ll love hosting an ALDI hot dog bar this summer because these grilled hot dogs are…

  • SIMPLY THE BEST. Every summer BBQ calls for grilled hot dogs! A spiral hot dog takes classic BBQ flavors & textures to a whole new level of deliciousness!
  • SUPER VERSATILE. Make the ultimate grilled hot dog bar with convenient & flavorful toppings from ALDI. Every bun is a beautiful blank canvas, so have fun with it!
  • AFFORDABLE SUMMER ENTERTAINING. A spiral hot dog bar easily feeds a crowd & allows guests to customize their meal. Plus when you shop at ALDI, there are always endless high-quality ingredients to choose from – all at amazing prices, too!

A grilling season classic made even better thanks to ALDI! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make The BEST Grilled Hot Dogs, or jump straight to the recipe & get grilling!

Key Ingredients for Epic Grilled Hot Dogs

Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.

The beauty of making grilled hot dogs is they couldn’t be simpler. You need 2 main ingredients & whatever add-ons you love…

  • Hot dogs – Of course! You can make grilled hot dogs using whatever franks you love most. I absolutely love Simply Nature Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dogs, available at ALDI. Plus! The spiral cut method works well on any fully-cooked sausage, like Never Any! Chicken Sausage or Parkview Cheddar Brats (my fave!). If you’re vegetarian or vegan, grab a pack of Earth Grown Meatless Hot Dogs at ALDI, which are plant-based, protein-packed, & grill up beautifully!
  • Hot dog buns – A hot dog bun needs to have the perfect balance of soft & sturdy. Specially Selected Brioche Hot Dog Buns are my all-time favorite. They’re split-top brioche buns that toast up beautifully & stay pillowy soft, all while holding plenty of hot dog toppings!
  • Condiments & toppings of choice – There are SO many options to choose from here. Keep reading for some more hot dog topping inspiration!

The Secret to Perfect Grilled Hot Dogs? Spiral Cut Hot Dogs!

Taking the time to slice hot dogs with a spiral cut is always worth it. This is the secret to the best-ever grilled hot dogs – it’s a small bit of prep that makes a huge difference!

A spiral hot dog is the best because…

The hot dog gets extra crispy & charred with a larger surface area. Think about it – a normal grilled hot dog has a pretty limited surface area to come into contact with grill grates, while a spiral cut spreads the hot dog out over the grill grates, creating more surface area to stretch over the flames. The result is deliciously crisp & charred grilled hot dogs that are still perfectly tender & juicy throughout. 🤤 So good!

The nooks & crannies of a spiral cut hot dog love to hug your toppings. 🤗  Ever load up a hot dog & get a big bite of plain hot dog on the bottom & loads of messy toppings on top? With a spiral hot dog, the nooks & crannies hold the toppings nicely & create a well-balanced bite. You can load up on tons of condiments, spreads, pickles, & veggies because the spiral shape holds the toppings perfectly!

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

How to spiral cut a hot dog.

Slicing a spiral hot dog is really simple & only takes a few extra minutes of prep. Here’s what you’ll do…

1

Skewer the hot dog. Pierce a wooden or metal skewer through the center of a hot dog lengthwise. This trick makes spiral slicing a lot easier & virtually foolproof!

2

Grab a paring knife & position your hot dog. A small paring knife offers the precision you need when cutting a spiral hot dog. After you have your knife, place the skewered hot dog on a cutting board on a work surface in front of you.

3

Gently slice by running the knife down the length of the hot dog as you use the skewer to rotate. Be sure to let the blade of the knife sink all the way into the hot dog, until it hits the skewer. For a perfectly coiled frank, aim for about a 1/4-inch spiral cut. No rush here – take your time until you’ve sliced in a spiral down to the bottom of the hot dog.

4

Remove the hot dog from the skewer. If it has a beautiful coiled shape, then you’ve nailed it! If your first attempt isn’t perfect, that’s totally okay – just keep practicing!

Grilling Hot Dogs 101: How to Grill Hot Dogs Perfectly Every Single Time!

My favorite place to be at a backyard summer BBQ is cooking over the grill. If grilling is still new to you, learning how to grill hot dogs is definitely the best place to start! Hot dogs are super easy to grill & they’re ready after just a few minutes of cooking – the best kind of backyard grilling!

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

1

Lightly spritz the hot dogs with cooking spray. I like to use grapeseed oil spray because it has a high smoke point perfect for hot grill temps. Simply give each spiral hot dog a light spritz right before you transfer it to the grill. Why? ⇢ The cooking spray helps promote browning, another trick for getting the beautiful char we’re after here!

2

Place hot dogs on the grill. Place the spiral cut hot dogs on the grill grates. Stretch them out a little as you set them down & arrange them perpendicular to the grill grates or at a slight angle so they don’t fall through as they cook. Then close the lid. Why? ⇢ A closed lid helps the hot air circulate & warm the grilled hot dogs through as they take on plenty of char.

3

Grill the spiral hot dogs. Grilling hot dogs only takes about 5-7 minutes. Since they’re already fully cooked, the goal here is to warm them through & get them nice & crispy. Grab a cold beer or glass of wine for this step & hang close to the grill. Every few minutes, you’ll want to open the lid & rotate the hot dogs for even charring on each side.

Tip: Don’t forget to toast the buns! ⇢ I LOVE a lightly toasted hot dog bun. Once the grilled hot dogs are done, it’s time to toast the hot dog buns! Lightly spritz the inside of each bun with cooking spray, then place them directly on the grill grates. Keep a close eye on them – they’ll be nice & toasty in under a minute.

*More Grilling Tips & Tricks

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Let’s make this your best grilling season yet! 🙌🏼 🔥

What Goes Well With Grilled Hot Dogs? Classic Toppings from ALDI!

A build-your-own hot dog bar is perfect for summer backyard cookouts, holiday gatherings like Father’s Day, or an easy evening with friends. Thanks to ALDI, loading up a spiral hot dog bar with your favorite toppings couldn’t be easier. (Plus, it’s SO affordable!)

Set up a Build-Your-Own Spiral Hot Dog Bar with…

  • Condiments like classic ketchup & mustard – are always a winning combination! ALDI also carries several varieties of sweet relish, BBQ sauce, & hot sauce for fun twists on the classics.
  • Pickled goodness like giardiniera, banana peppers, & dill pickle spears adds a tangy crunch to the classic grilled hot dog.
  • Grilled vegetables like red onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, & sweet corn all fit perfectly on a grilled hot dog. Grilled asparagus, sweet potatoes, & eggplant may be too big for the bun, but they are great served on the side! Check out our A-Z Grilled Vegetable Guide for veggie-specific grilling tips.
  • Dips & spreads add an extra punch of flavor & texture to any grilled hot dog. I think of them as next-level condiments. Let ALDI do all the work & grab a bottle of Burman’s Chipotle Aioli Spread, Simply Nature Organic Chipotle Ranch Dressing, or Park Street Deli Street Corn Dip!

Take It Up a Notch with Specialty Grilled Hot Dogs!

The beauty of a spiral hot dog is you can turn it into whatever you’re craving most that day. Every bun is a blank slate to get creative & load up on all the good stuff! A few themed ingredients can create an insanely delicious specialty spiral hot dog that your guests will remember all summer long.

I encourage you to get creative & have fun making your own spiral hot dog combinations. It’s also a great way to involve your friends & family if you’re hosting! Lay out a bunch of different ALDI hot dog toppings & let people mix & match to create their own flavors. It’s so fun to see what delicious combos people come up with!

Here are some specialty grilled hot dog topping ideas to get you started…

Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

Nestle sliced tomato & a full dill pickle spear into the toasty bun alongside the spiral hot dog, then top with yellow mustard, sweet relish, & diced onion. A Windy City classic!

Teriyaki-Style Grilled Hot Dogs

Glaze the spiral cut hot dogs with teriyaki sauce, then top with grilled pineapple, thinly sliced red onions, thinly sliced jalapeño peppers, fresh cilantro leaves. A little sweet, spicy & savory!

Tip! Check the ALDI produce section for whole or fresh-cut pineapple!

BBQ-Style Grilled Hot Dogs

Glaze the spiral cut hot dogs with go-to BBQ sauce, then top with grated cheddar cheese, crispy bits of bacon, & thinly sliced green onions. These hot dogs scream summertime!

Tip! Keep an eye out for Burman’s Regional BBQ Sauces at ALDI during the summer months. Inspired by the 4 major BBQ regions here in the U.S., each of these sauces burst with flavor. My go-to is sweet & rich Burman’s Memphis Style BBQ Sauce. 😋

Buffalo-Style Grilled Hot Dogs

Glaze the spiral cut hot dogs with a little buffalo sauce (mix Burman’s Hot Sauce with a little melted butter & garlic powder), then top with crumbled blue cheese, green onions, & ranch dressing. Feel free to grab a bottle of Tuscan Garden Simply Ranch Dressing at ALDI, or whip up your own – our homemade Herby Ranch Yogurt Drizzle works great here!

Elote Grilled Hot Dogs

Spread Park Street Deli Street Corn Dip into your toasted bun, nestle a spiral cut grilled hot dog over top. Finish with grilled sweet corn, a dash of paprika, cotija cheese (Pueblo Lindo Grated Cotija Cheese at ALDI is fantastic!), fresh cilantro, & a squeeze of fresh lime.

Tip! Grill the corn right alongside your hot dogs. To serve, simply slice the charred kernels right off the cob – so good!

Banh Mi Hot Dogs

My personal favorite! 🤗 Top a spiral cut hot dog with quick pickled carrots, thinly sliced cucumber, thinly sliced jalapeno, freshly chopped cilantro, & a generous drizzle of Burman’s Sriracha Aioli. Fresh, crunchy, smoky, & sweet – SO good!

I can’t wait for you to try the BEST Grilled Hot Dogs at your next summer cookout! They’re so much fun & truly so simple to make. If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!

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How to grill hot dogs step, 4: Serve the spirl hot dog. This grilled hot dog sits atop a iight grey ceramic plate that sits on a creamy white textured surface. The hot dog has been garnished with sweet relish, mustard, and ketchup. Wavy potato chips are served alongside the hot dog, while a clear glass filled with beer, two clear glasses filled with ketchup and yellow mustard.

The BEST Grilled Hot Dogs (How to Grill Hot Dogs Perfectly!)

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5 hot dogs 1x
  • Category: Sandwiches & Burgers, Main Dishes
  • Method: Grilling & Smoking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

It’s impossible to resist a good ol’ summer hot dog – they’re super affordable, infinitely customizable, & always delicious, always a crowd-pleaser. This one is for my fellow hot dog lovers out there! 

Learning how to grill hot dogs perfectly comes down to one game-changing trick: spiral cut hot dogs. Slicing with a spiral cut results in a crispy & charred grilled hot dog that’s tender & juicy throughout – wayyy better than classic boiled hot dogs! – & the nooks & crannies of a spiral hot dog cradle whatever toppings you love most, making each bite even more delicious. 

Quick, easy, & perfect for summer entertaining, backyard BBQs, game day, & more!

Be sure to refer to the blog post, above, for everything you need to know about how to grill hot dogs, plus inspiration for a build-your-own hot dog bar (complete with classic hot dog toppings ideas & specialty grilled hot dog inspiration!). Happy grilling! ♡


Ingredients

Scale
  • wooden skewers
  • 5 Simply Nature Uncured Beef Hot Dogs (see Recipe Notes, below)
  • Simply Nature Grapeseed Oil Spray
  • for serving, as desired: toasted Specially Selected Brioche Hot Dog Buns or L’oven Fresh Hot Dog Buns, condiments of choice (ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, sweet relish, dill pickles, giardiniera, pickled peppers, hot sauce, etc.), grilled vegetables, dips & spreads of choice, etc.

Instructions

  1. Prepare the grill: Prepare the grill for medium direct heat grilling, about 400-450 degrees F. Once preheated, clean the cooking surface by firmly brushing a wire brush over the grates. (If you do not have access to an outdoor grill, you can also preheat a grill pan over medium heat.)A Weber Genesis II stainless steel grill sits atop an outdoor deck. The grill preheats to prepare grilled hot dogs.
  2. Spiral cut the hot dogs: Pierce a skewer through the center of a hot dog lengthwise, pushing the skewer all the way through the frank. Place the skewered hot dog on a work surface in front of you. While holding the skewer in one hand, use your other hand to press a paring knife into the tip of the hot dog at a slight angle off of perpendicular to the hot dog & skewer. Press the blade of the knife through the hot dog, until it hits the skewer. While rotating the skewer, run the paring knife down the length of the hot dog, slicing the hot dog in a thin spiral pattern. (This motion can take some getting used to, but the presence of the skewer makes it virtually fool-proof – just take your time!) Carefully remove the hot dog from the skewer – it should have a beautiful coiled shape. Transfer to a large plate or quarter sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs.

    A spiral hot dog sits atop a pink plastic cutting board. A small pairing knife rests just below the hot dog.

  3. Grill the hot dogs: Just before grilling, lightly spritz the hot dogs with cooking spray – I like grapeseed oil spray. Place the hot dogs on the preheated grill, gently stretching them as you set them down & arranging them such that they are perpendicular to the grill grates or at a slight angle. Close the lid. Grill for 5-7 minutes, rotating 4-5 times as they cook, until the hot dogs are warmed through & as golden & charred as desired. Transfer to a clean plate or platter. (For perfectly toasty buns, lightly spritz the inside of a hot dog bun with cooking spray & place on the grill about 30 seconds – 1 minute. Keep a close eye on the buns as they toast to prevent burning.)A slightly overhead shot of spiralized hot dogs being grilled atop gas grill grates.
  4. Serve: Nestle the grilled hot dogs in a toasted bun & load on all of your favorite toppings. See the blog post, above, for some festive ideas – classic & creative – for the ultimate hot dog bar. Enjoy!A variety of specialty grilled hot dogs are arranged atop a crumbled piece of parchment paper that lines an aluminum baking sheet, including: a Banh Mi hot dog, a Chicago-Style grilled hot dog, a Teriyaki-Style spiral hot dog, a BBQ-Style hot dog, a Buffalo-Style grilled hot dog, and an Elote spiral hot dog. The baking sheet sits atop a creamy white textured surface and a blue and white striped linen napkin rests alongside.

Notes

  • Hot dogs: Use whatever hot dogs you love most for your grilled hot dogs – the spiral cut method detailed above works beautifully with any fully cooked sausage. I love the Simply Nature Uncured Beef Hot Dogs available at ALDI. They’re certified USDA organic & made with 100% grass-fed beef. For a vegan & vegetarian option, try the Earth Grown Meatless Hot Dogs available at ALDI, which are made with soy protein (each frank has 13 grams of protein!) & grill up beautifully.

Keywords: grilled hot dogs recipe, easy grilled hot dogs, best beef hot dogs, how to grill hot dogs

Recipe & Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.

Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest for more easy, modern recipes & fun!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Comments

  1. 6.14.22
    DeVona O Eastman said:

    Just so you know, you can’t call it a Chicago style hot dog if it doesn’t have the “sport” peppers!
    Small hot vinegar peppers.

    • 6.15.22
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Hi DeVona! Great call-out – we find “sport” peppers can be a little hard to source depending on where you live but love this assortment of jarred peppers for a tangy/spicy alternative! 🔥

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Jess of Plays Well With Butter stands on a deck behind a stainless steel Weber Genesis II propane grill. In the background, a blossoming tree & a house with beige siding.