On the 4th of July, I watched the annual Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest. At the end, I didn't think I ever wanted to eat another hot dog again. I watched as the ten time champion, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, devoured 74 hot dogs (and their buns) in 10 minutes, which beat his personal record. In comparison, the other day, my nine-year-old son ate three hot dogs at a kid's birthday party and promptly came over to me to boast about it. Like any real dad, I challenged him to go eat a 4th. My wife didn't appreciate the extra "push" that I applied, but I just witnessed a grown man eat 74 hot dogs, so I thought the kid could handle four. I was wrong and he only made it halfway through to achieve 3.5 for the day. FYI - nothing gross happened, he was just very done with eating hot dogs for the afternoon.
Nevertheless, I'm pleased to say that the unsettling visual of Mr. Chestnut shoving two dogs in at a time has passed and I am back to eating them again with no problem. However, the new way that I like my dog is with the spiral cut. I realize that it's been around, so I am a little late to the party. But - I don't care because - what a difference it makes. I just want everybody in on this grilling delight. The proper terminology is caramelization and with this cut, there's more surface area for it to happen as well as more flavor. Nowadays, I turn every hot dog into a Slinky dog for grilling.
Steps to get it done right:
1) Get a cutting board preferably from Wood & Brew. Be sure to place the dog at the very bottom.
2) Next, you'll need a good knife. Begin at the left end of the dog, but I'm right handed. So, if you're left handed, I guess you need to begin at the right end. You then diagonally cut while rolling the hot dog up the board. Some people suggest putting a skewer down the center of the dog and then cutting it down to the skewer. I'm sorry to bring up my stomach again; but, if you try the skewering trick yourself, you'll see for yourself the uneasiness that it can deliver. Anyway, I just say, "Be careful" and obviously don't cut the whole way through the dog.
3) Then, grill them Slinky dogs! Takes about 7 to 9 minutes over medium high. Every couple of minutes roll them back and forth on the grill.
Let the caramel magic begin!
4) I didn't create a fancy topping, but instead, I used a Ketchup from a sponsor of ours in the past, Sir Kensington. For my dog, I added Sir Kensington's Ketchup Spicy (Jalepeno Heat). Delish!
We'll definitely revisit this later in the year for an actual Pigskin show. However, we'll be sure to create various dipping sauces and toppings for your Slinky Dog. AND - I promise to practice more and attempt to get more spirals which means more caramelization! Mmmmmmmmmmmm!