How to Make Hot Dogs Taste Better

Hot Dogs and French fries

Hot dogs are a staple in American fare. You can find them at almost every barbecue and baseball game; just about every child loves them. And although they satisfy the pallets of elementary-age students, many adults are not quite as taken with the food.

It’s very understandable. At first glance, they’re not super appetizing, but they have long gotten a bad rap and are a good protein source for an inexpensive price. And if you don’t love the taste or texture of hot dogs, there are plenty of ways to make them taste delicious. Here’s how to make hot dogs taste better.


How to Make Hot Dogs Taste Better

package of hot dogs

Grill Them

We are willing to bet that if you’ve had a bad experience with hot dogs, it just wasn’t cooked properly. Cooking methods make all the difference in the taste, texture, and overall experience with many foods, especially with hot dogs.

Hot dogs can be very unappetizing if they are served boiled. To vastly improve the taste of a hot dog, we suggest grilling it. The grill will give your hot dog some much-needed charring on the outside for a more appetizing texture and add some smokiness that will give it a flavor worth tasting.

It is a little extra work to start up your grill if you’re only making hot dogs, but the result will be worth it. After about 10 minutes on the grill, they’ll be ready.


Air Fry Them

Grilling isn’t the only cooking method that will give you a good texture for your hot dog. If it’s too cold to grill, or you simply don’t want to go to the trouble, air fry them. Though you won’t get the same char from an air fryer as you will from grill grates, you will get a nice, solid texture, and the taste will be much better than boiled hot dogs. Air frying is also a quick process. In a matter of minutes, you’ll have a stellar hot dog ready to eat.


Add Cheese

hot dog with chili and cheese

Hot dogs are also made infinitely better when smothered in cheese. You can make a cheese sauce to go over your dog, which is the top recommendation, but if you don’t have any ready and available, a bit of shredded cheese over a dog will suffice.

You can also serve your hot dog with different types of cheese. A huge slice of cheddar or pepper jack will be fantastic. But if spicy isn’t your thing, plenty of other mild cheeses will add intrigue to your hot dog.


Use a Unique Bun

hot dog pretzel buns

Hot dogs are only as good as the bun they’re served on. if you’re bored of your hot dog and want something new and interesting, there are loads of better buns out there than your standard white.

A Hawaiian roll will taste great, as will a pretzel bun or a sesame bun. You might even like to try a poppyseed bun. Each of these will add some good flavor while maintaining the familiarity you expect from a hot dog. It’s a great compromise for those who like tradition but are a little bored with their current hot dog bun options.


Add Spices

bottle of crushed red pepper

Spices can make anything taste better, and you can add many spices to a hot dog to improve its flavor by leaps and bounds. A standard addition of salt and pepper will instantly add flavor, but so will other spices, like celery salt or red pepper flakes.

Now, you may be worried that the spices will just fall off the hot dog, which is a valid concern. But there are ways to remedy it. Instead of adding spices directly onto the hot dog, sprinkle them on your condiments. This will provide an adherence for the spices so that they do not fall off, and you actually get to taste them.

You can also add spices to the bun by swiping a little mayonnaise or butter so they have something to stick to.


Don’t Forget Condiments

condiments for hotdogs

Condiments are one of the most obvious ways to make a hot dog taste better but don’t think that ketchup and mustard are the only sauces you can add. Additions like barbecue sauce, ranch, Sriracha, and more can really add flavor to your dog.

Whether you’re a dipper or you like to add it on top, a condiment will be a fabulous addition to this summertime favorite.


Top with Veggies

If you’ve ever had a hot dog from a stand in a big city, you know one of the reasons they’re so famous is because they are loaded with toppings. Vegetables make hot dogs infinitely better. Onions, peppers, pickles, tomatoes, and more all add delicious taste and texture to hot dogs. Most of the time, the veggies are sautéed, but they can be grilled, too.


Wrap in Bacon

A hot dog is also delicious when wrapped in bacon. Bacon makes everything better, and this is a really quick fix. Simply wrap a strip of bacon around your hot dog and place it on the grill. If you need to, secure the bacon strip with toothpicks to prevent any slippage.

Glaze your bacon-wrapped hot dog with barbecue sauce for an even more decadent dog. It will make the bacon crispier and the flavor richer.


Try a Cheese-Stuffed Dog

If you don’t like cheese on top of your dog, perhaps you’ll like it inside of it. A cheese-stuffed hot dog is a fun way to improve the summertime food because it not only adds that wonderful cheesy flavor we all know and love but it’s also got a fun texture as a burst of melted cheese comes from the inside of the dog.

You can still cook your hot dog the same way you would a non-stuffed hot dog and dress it the same way. The cheese inside will make your hot dog taste better and make your barbecue the talk of the town.


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Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.