Wrap Hot Dogs In Bacon For A Boost Of Smoky Flavor

From baking a hot dog encased in bagel dough or dipping it in batter to make a corndog to deep-frying the tubular meat, there are plenty of ways to make an amazing hot dog. But perhaps one of the most satisfying ways to cook up a smoky version of this cookout staple is to wrap it in bacon.

All you need to do is spiral the bacon around the hot dogs and secure it by pressing toothpicks through the ends before tossing them on the grill to get hot and juicy. Or, if you're more of an indoorsy cook, simply fry them in a pan, bake them in an oven or toaster oven, or air fry them.

The benefits of wrapping your hot dogs with bacon extend beyond just imparting them with smoky flavor. The fat from the bacon will also help to keep the hot dogs perfectly juicy while the crispiness of those strips of goodness creates an irresistible contrast with the chewy, toothsome texture of the hot dog. It's the perfect way to take any cookout, tailgate, or even an easy weeknight dinner to the next level.

Tips for the best bacon-wrapped hot dogs

Focusing on the bacon is the number one key to making show-stopping smoky hot dogs. First, choose a center-cut variety that isn't too thick. Since hot dogs are already cooked, they do not need a tremendous amount of time on the grill (or your chosen method of cooking) so choosing thinner slices will help your bacon to become crispy in a similar timeframe as your hot dogs will take to heat up. But if you only have thicker slices, you can still make these — just cook the bacon partially before wrapping it around the hot dog. Either way, when you're wrapping, be sure to leave the bacon strip loose enough so that it doesn't rip as it contracts during cooking.

As for the hot dogs, you can choose any variety you like. The most important part of the prep that's specific to the hot dogs is to be sure to score them. Scoring will allow the savory grease from the bacon to seep in and will prevent it from bursting. If you're short on time, though, you can also pierce the casings of each hot dog several times with toothpicks before wrapping them.

Want to make these ahead of time for a party? Simply pop them in the fridge for up to five days or the freezer for three months, then just reheat them in the oven or on the stove when you're ready to serve.