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How to Grill Hot Dogs Eric's Cooking Corner
Never ever cook with Pine.
There are two types of sap. One who cries at movies and one who pays for the Brooklyn Bridge. Oh oops poopsy I forgot I was writing about wood. Pine sap is righteously called pine tar. Do not you dare use that for cooking directly onto food. Dutch oven or Ben Franklin stoves ok. But not grilling.
Mesquite trees are just about ugly as can be. They make me look as handsome as the Mona Lisa, and baby that is saying a lot. Back in the day after WWII ranchers would fasten a chain to two D9 Cats (those are huge tractor graders, I mean big). They would straighten it out drive, "chain cutting" everything in their path -- which mostly included uprooting and killing Mesquite trees. So we used not to worry about killing poor trees so as to barbeque. Times have changed.
If you are going to gather mesquite yourself, there are two rules: Leave the chainsaw at home, the wood is so hard that all you will do is burn up your chainsaw. You use a 12 pound sledge hammer to bust it apart; and like I said above to not cook on it until you turn it into charcoal. That just means burning it for a bit. Then poor water over and let it sun dry.
Hot Dogs, summertime, grilling, county fairs, corn on the cob, Oh Boy!
Do not let me ever catch you cooking a hot dog on a grill without some kind of funny hat. Hot dogs deserve the respect and propriety of looking silly. Also if you do not have children handy go borrow the neighbor kids. And within sight of your grill, you must have a "kiddy pool". And one last piece of ambiance, get a cheap tinny sounding radio, crank it up and play Mariachi Music.
Now the stage is set.
First thing is a road trip to get supplies. You absolutely need to find a place that sells authentic and real (redundancy is key here) Mesquite charcoal. Notice I did not say "easy light, brickettes."
These things I speak of are real charcoal. It is already burnt wood. It is the dirtiest thing this side of Texas. It is what the Vietnamese and the Mexican workers use. If you have seen pictures of them with a little kind of grill on the side of wherever they are working. (maybe not Mesquite but something close and charcoaled already) I am going to tell you this again so it is clear ---- do not burn wood the first time to cook on. That is bad ju ju. It creates a green wood taste that will destroy your hot dogs.
Let us take a break with a picture -- then I will get back to Mesquite and some cool history.
Do not waste the privilege of burning wood.
Can you have fun making these?
Hot Dogs and the bad wrap they get.
A turkey, pork and chicken hot dog is made up of not delectable portions of each critter. How gross we say. That is not true in the sense that they are good for men with a risk of colon cancer. Yes in fact that combo of basic roughage from white meat things are good for a man once a week. Look for ones lowest in sodium. Get really expensive ones with better stuff, if you can. Remember in the summer months if you have an active family outside, they actually may need the sodium. Especially tykes.
And this gets us to preparation and cooking. The best thing you can do is to set your grill up, to basically slow roast over the mesquite. Bad juices will leave and the taste of the mesquite permeate. Juices in a dog are really not like a steak. It is added water and tripe fat. Let it "evaporate" naturally.
Then blister the dog. Really get it down into the heat so close it almost burns. Keep turning it like nobodies business. When you get your dogs skin bubbling, get it off.