How to Grill Hot Dogs Perfectly

Calling all hot dog purists and frankfurter fanatics! This is your time to shine. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans will likely indulge in 7 billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day. You read that right. Billion, with a “b.”

Relish the season by taking the first step toward becoming a grill master. Take one whiff of the seriously smokin’ BBQs that surround you and you’ll see—or should we say smell—that the title is yours for the taking. Say “no more” to burnt beef frank casings and meat blisters. Those mistakes are overdone. Today, become one with your grill and learn how to cook hot dogs perfectly.

Assess the grill situation

Cleaning a Grill

Whether you’re working on a gas or charcoal grill, the first step to grilling the perfect beef frank is to make sure your grill is ready to get cooking. Confirm that it’s free from remnants of last season’s grub—and if it isn’t, find a grill brush and start scrubbing. Once you have a clean slate, you’ll want to ensure there’s plenty of propane or charcoal on hand. Call your tongs and your beef franks on deck. It’s game time!

Spray the grates

Spraying Grill Grates with PAM

Before you fire up the grill, spray the grates with a non-stick grill spray like PAM® Grilling. Treat it like you would any other cooking surface, with a couple quick blasts. Your franks will have a hard time sticking to the surface, which means they’ll be easier to turn and your grill will be easier to clean.

Spraying Skewers with PAM

Pro tip: Making Glazed Frank Kabobs? Spray your skewers with grill spray before layering on your juicy franks, sweet corn, red onion, and bell peppers. This will make your kabobs easier to eat.

Bring the heat

Preheating a Gas Grill

Like a well-seasoned athlete, your grill needs a proper warm-up to deliver its peak performance. Before you throw the franks on, preheat the grill. For gas, preheat on high for 10 to 15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, preheat until the charcoal is covered with a white ash. Once the grill is heated, reduce the heat to medium for standard beef franks and to medium-low for beef franks with lower fat content.

Fix 'em up

Hot Dogs with Condiments

Your franks are going to look awfully naked coming off the grill. Dress them up with some tasty toppings. You can prepare your tray of Hunt’s® Ketchup, Gulden’s® Mustard, relish, and chopped onion while your grill is heating up. 

Pro tip: Take a bite on the wild side and spice up your condiment bar with unexpected additions like mango salsa and Sriracha mayonnaise.

Grill marks the spot

Hot Dogs Grilling

The best way to grill hot dogs like Hebrew National® Beef Franks is to place them onto the grill perpendicular to your grill grates. This will ensure that your franks get the best grill marks possible. Be sure you use tongs to position them perfectly and to protect your fingers.

Roll around

Turning Hot Dogs on the Grill

Using grill tongs, roll your beef frank over and grill each side of your frank until the ends of the frank start to split. Because outside elements, grill type, and size determine how long it takes to grill the perfect frank, there’s no magic number. That’s why you should use a time range of 5 to 7 minutes for standard beef franks, 7 to 10 minutes for jumbo franks, and 15 minutes for quarter-pound franks. Trial and error will help you determine your sweet spot.

Get toasted

Spreading Butter on Hot Dog Bun

Two to 3 minutes before your beef franks are fully heated, use a pastry brush to spread melted butter onto your hot dog bun. Place your bun face down on the grill and heat for 1 minute. Be sure to remove the bun as soon as your minute is up. Keeping the bun on the grill for too long will dry out the bread.

Pro tip: Elevate the flavor of your hot dog bun by using melted garlic butter.

Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer

How to Grill Hot Dogs

Place your perfectly grilled beef frank in its bun, and then top the dog with condiments of your choice. Now you’re ready to enjoy a 100% beef frank—and a relaxing day.