Summer Grill: In Praise of the Hot Dog

Hot dogs haven't quite had the gourmet make-over that hamburgers have undergone in recent years - and that's just fine with us! A good summer hot dog is simply an all-beef frank, a squishy bun, and a few basic condiments. Nothing more. Nothing less. How do you like your hot dog?Let's break it down into parts:

The Frank: Brats and sausages are well and good, but for a real cook-out hot dog, we've got to go with an all-beef frank. The skinny, pinkish-red kind that bursts slightly when you bite into it. That's just the best!

The Bun: We'll argue here that soft white buns are really the only option. You can make them at home or buy them at the store or add some whole wheat of you must, but they've definitely got to be soft, pillowy, and not much bigger than the frank itself. In fact, if the frank is hanging out the ends a little, even better! Other kinds of hoagies, gourmet rolls, or baguettes are just too much bread and the hot dog gets lost.

The Condiments: And here's where we can really have some fun! Growing up, we were all about the ketchup and eschewed anything else. Now we've done an about face and like ketchup on one side, mustard on the other, and some relish down the middle.

What's your idea of a perfect hot dog?

Related: The Good, Bad, and Ugly: Nitrates and Their Role in Preserving Meats

(Image: Flickr member TheBusyBrain licensed under Creative Commons)

31 Comments