Spiral-Cut Hot Dogs

About a week ago while stumbling my way around the internet I came across a website that introduced me to a new concept.  Chow.com had an article and a video (seen below) on what they called “Spiral-cut hot dogs” 

I was completely mesmerized!  It’s all I thought about for the rest of the day. 

As I looked at my calendar I was saddened to see that dinner plans (including the fourth of July) had all but booked up our meal planning options on all my days off.  So I decided to experiment on these little culinary delicacies at lunchtime before heading back to work on my “Monday” (which was actually a Friday).

I cleaned the kitchen and as morning turned to afternoon I gathered the necessary equipment and got myself ready for the main event!!

spiral cut hot dogs - required supplies spiral cut hot dogs - "after the cut"

Cutting a spiral cut hot dog is a little trickier than the chow.com video would have you believe, but like the video says, hot dog meat is quite forgiving – so after a few dogs were cut, I started getting the hang of it.

Tip – if you choose to do this yourself – be sure to cut all the way down to the skewer – it seems a little weird at first but if you don’t the dog does not open up enough.  This also requires you to do your best skewering the dog as close to the center as you can. 

Also, the thickness of each spiral is crucial.  If you cut too thin there is not enough meat to hold the spiral together (see the upper most spiral cut hot dog in the photo above.  Just a little more than half way through you can see where the cuts were getting a little to thin – but if you cut it too thick you expose less of the dog innards to direct heat of the BBQ, negating the reason you are spiral cutting the dog to begin with.

Handling the dogs is also a little tricky.  I used BBQ tongs.  The dogs were quite floppy, and quite “frank-ly” (pun intended) I was afraid that the weight of the dog would “rip” the links apart when I tried to pick them up.  I chose to pick up the dogs using a “parallel” method instead of the typical “perpendicular” grab.  Fortunately, there were no “casualties”. 

spiral cut hot dogs - on the grill spiral cut hot dogs - after the grillin

As you can see, the (aesthetic) results were quite interesting.  Much like the Chow.com article states, they certainly are conversational pieces.

I was also pleased to see how well they fit in the bun.  I am used to hot dogs not fitting in the bun properly.  I have always found that I had to choose one of three options.  

a.) Have one bite of without any dog in it on each end of the hotdog – making for a bite of ketchup / mustard / onion soaked bun without any dog for the first and last bites or…

b.) Having perfect dog:bun ratio at the beginning of the dog eating experience with a large wad of ketchup / mustard / onion soaked bun at the end, or…

c.) Having a large wad of ketchup / mustard / onion soaked bun at the beginning, and ending the experience with a perfect dog:bun ratio

The spiral cut dog allows you to adjust the dog to fit whatever sized bun you have!  Also, as the video states with all those spirals cut into the dog, there are crevices all up and down the dog for your condiments to fill and/or drip through!  

This actually worked pretty well.  Typically I pile my condiments on top of my dog (in the bun) and then “turn” the dog while in the bun to spread the condiments around.  With the spiral cut dog, the ketchup and mustard (I was out of onions) found their way in and through the spirals. 

Overall, I was pretty impressed.  I am not a fan of “bologna dogs” (Oscar Meyer, Ballpark, etc) – I like my dogs a little a lot more “coarse ground”.  Coarse ground, natural casing.  Basically, the more bits of fur, teeth and bone in the dog, the better it is! 

Since more of the dog was directly exposed to the heat of the BBQ, more of it was seared.  This process made the Oscar Meyer dogs I had on hand taste much less like “bologna dogs” and (at least a little bit) more like the hot dogs I like.  In other words (at least for me) this improved the taste of the hot dogs we were eating.  I also found them a little less “messy” to eat.  The condiments really did stay in the bun and in the crevices of the dog!!

The results with the kids were mixed.  #2 of 5, #3 of 5 (and a friend he had spend the night) did not seem to care too much one way or the other (but it would take nothing less than a full alien invasion to “impress” these boys).  #4 of 5 and #5 of 5 found it quite interesting but I overheard them say that it was not worth the extra work (Work?  What work??  They were playing on the slip and slide while I cooked these things up!)  But, in the end they were quite excited to give them a try.   Unfortunately I suspect my (over the top) enthusiasm for the spiral cut dogs may have left the kids a little let down.

In the end I’d suggest anyone (especially with kids) give it a try – if for no other reason than to add a little variety to their lives!  I am not disappointed in the results, and to be honest with you -  my curiosity has been piqued! 

I am looking forward to some continued “spiral cut” experiments…  I want to see how it works on coarse ground hot dogs, bratwurst, polish sausage, kielbasa, and various other versions of “tube steaks” and with other condiments (like onions) and others that I don’t typically do not add (like relish, and sauerkraut). 

4 comments:

  1. This is slightly more involved than what my son-in-law does. He scores the dogs (or has my sons do it) and marinates them in ketchup before grilling.

    Spiral cut does look like a bit of work if you are grilling for very many people.

    As far as the hot dog not fitting the bun dilemma,when I do not just eat my dog naked (the dog, not me), I give the excess bun to my canine dog who is only too willing to help.

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  2. I think before I try this, I'll get two packs of dogs on hand. One to practice with and the other for the real-deal. But thanks for Guinnea pigging this for the rest of us.

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  3. Really Spiral-Cut Hot Dogs is my favorite breakfast. I am impressed to read this little impression,pal. Thanks for input such a talented exposed!
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  4. You've inspired me! Definitely gonna give this a go. Thanks for sharing.

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