Effortlessly Turn Hot Dogs On The Grill With One Brilliant Hack

A grilled hot dog is a universally beloved food. With its slight char on the outside and juicy, savory meat on the inside, a hot dog is a delicious canvas for you to unleash your creativity with toppings, seasonings, and even presentation.

However, hot dogs can be hard to handle while being cooked. Already slippery with fat and juices, hot dogs have a tendency to roll around the cooking surface, and wrangling them one by one with tongs to hold them in place is time-consuming and troublesome. Their tendency to roll also leaves one side exposed to heat more than the other, leaving you with unevenly cooked hot dogs that are burnt on one side but barely charred on the other. 

But not all is lost. With some prep work and a simple packet of skewers, you can save your hot dogs and other tasty-but-finicky ingredients from being ruined on the grill.

Skewers to the rescue

First, get a pack of skewers. They are widely available in supermarkets, and you might have some left over from hosting your last cocktail party. If they are made of wood or bamboo, soak them like Alton Brown for at least thirty minutes, but preferably overnight. This will prevent the skewers from burning on the grill. If you are using metal skewers, you do not need to soak them.

Next, prepare your hot dogs. Line up the hot dogs in a row on a flat surface, and push the skewer sideways about an inch from the end of the sausage. Push it through as many hot dogs can you can, until there is about an inch of skewer left. The amount of hot dogs you can fit on the skewer depends on its length, but you should at least fit three to four of them. Repeat the procedure with the other end of the hot dog, and you will have several hot dogs securely held with two skewers. With the skewers holding them in place, you can now keep these hot dogs from rolling, guaranteeing that they will cook evenly on both sides.

The many uses of skewers

This skewer hack is suitable for a lot of things that would otherwise be difficult to grill over direct flame. For example, with the same method, you can hold rows of asparagus or thinly sliced eggplant in place without losing the thinner pieces in the grate. You can skewer thick slices of onions together so their rings do not break apart while cooking. Chunks of mushroom can now be grilled without creating a foil packet, so the direct flame gives them a delicious char. You can even skewer and grill foods that would normally be too small for the grill, like cherry tomatoes or garlic cloves, which will have your guests saying, "Garlic confit, who?"

You can even use the skewer method to make elegant and fresh desserts on the grill. Grill skewered peaches for a delicious topping for ice cream, enhancing the fruit's sweetness by caramelizing the natural sugars. For something that brings a Brazilian steakhouse flair, skewer pineapple spears on both ends, dust them with sugar and cinnamon, and grill them for a sweet, caramelly treat. Serve the chargrilled pineapple with yogurt mousse for a refreshing and light dessert.