If you build a beautiful hot dog bar, they will come! Here are OP founder and salumist Eli Cairo’s five top tips for setting out a sausage spread to remember. Add cold beer and rosé, Eli’s favorite tried-and-true side dishes, and a box of sparklers or two, and you’ve got a serious 4th of July hootenanny in the works.
Tips & Tricks
1) What's the #1 key to roasting a perfect hot dog? The grill doesn't need to be that hot! Franks are pre-cooked, so you're just re-heating and crisping the skin, not searing a steak. Keep the heat at medium to low.
2) Cooking for a crowd? Heat your dogs in a pot of beer. A light lager—something American, obviously!—works best here. Finish the franks on the grill (preferably with another beer in hand...are you sensing a theme here?).
3) Buns in the sun! My secret to heating hot dog buns is super easy: simply place your buns, still bagged, in direct sunlight until warm, soft, and ready to stuff.
4) You're not a short order cook, and the 4th is for drinking beer and watching fireworks, so make this easy on yourself. Prep a hot dog toppings bar ahead of time, and let your guests make their own creations.
5) Speaking of toppings, you gotta have the classics: mustard, ketchup, relish, and onions. Beyond that, the sky's the limit! There are regional variations (think chili cheese Frito dog, Chicago dogs with Sport peppers and celery salt, Sonoran dogs wrapped in bacon), or if you want to go really crazy, we've found that people LOVE a fresh Caesar salad piled right on top of a dog. Plus, it’s healthy, right? ;)