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Dining In — Recipe of the Week: Hot dogs on the grill

The Fourth of July is almost here, so it’s time to break out the hot dogs and grill, set aside our nation’s troubles for a little while and celebrate its 244th birthday.
Whether you choose top-of-the line, bargain brands, kosher, poultry or vegetarian hot dogs, the one you eat on Independence Day will be among the 150 million expected to be consumed in the United States on the holiday. If you laid them end-to-end that would be enough to stretch from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles more than five times, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.
Annually, Americans consume about 7 billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
How they eat them comes down to personal preference and location. In Pennsylvania we like them topped with chili and cheese, relish and mustard, or sauerkraut. But that’s just here; each region of the country has a favorite.
New Yorkers eat more hot dogs than any other group in the country. They’re served with steamed onions and a pale, deli-style yellow mustard. In New Jersey, the Italian dog is king, topped with peppers, onions, and fried potatoes and served on an Italian roll. Chicago dogs include fresh tomato, pickles, hot peppers, sweet onion, and green relish, plus whatever other toppings the diner likes. In the Southwest, corn dogs reign supreme, while in Atlanta residents typically top their hot dogs with cole slaw.
Americans love their hot dogs, so it’s no surprise that July is National Hog Dog Month, and on July 22 we will celebrate National Hot Dog Day.
So fire up the grill, and if you are looking for something different, try this recipe from and eat your dogs like a Southerner.
Perfect Corn Dogs
12 hot dogs
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup cornmeal
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
Vegetable oil
Ketchup, for serving
Mustard, for serving
1. Pat hot dogs completely dry with paper towels, then skewer with long wooden skewers. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, black pepper, and cayenne.
2. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and eggs, then pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour batter into a tall glass and let sit while oil heats.
3. In a large pot over medium heat, add enough oil to come halfway up the sides and heat to 375°F. Dip hot dogs into batter and coat evenly. Fry hot dogs, 4 to 5 at a time, until golden, 5 minutes, turning as necessary. Use tongs to remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Fry remaining hot dogs, letting oil come back to temperature between batches.
4. Serve with ketchup and mustard.