16. December 2015 · Comments Off on How to Warm Your Wiener · Categories: Cooking, Food, Quick Tips · Tags: , , ,

hotdog1How you heat your hots dogs should be determined by what kind they are.

Most franks you buy at the grocery store are casing-free, and all are pre-cooked. Casing-less wieners are well suited to high-speed production lines. The sausages are actually formed and cooked in a plastic casing which is stripped off after cooling and before packing. The result is a dog with a soft exterior and an easy “bite” with little to no resistance. These are better off grilled or griddled. High heat cooking crisps up the outside a touch for some textural interest.

Now, your boutique dog with a natural casing (often lamb intestine) is a different beast. For one, they’re in a tube that you eat, which has a bit of “snap” or “crunch” when you bite into your wiener. Second, deli and boutique dogs tend to be seasoned a bit more assertively than their bland supermarket cousins. High heat does these guys few favors. Before the inside is hot, the intense temps have dried out and toughened the casing which most people find unpleasant. So, the best way to handle a natural-casing frank is to simmer it in water. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, drop in your dogs, then lower the heat to maintain a steady but not vigorous simmer. Heat for 5 minutes and then serve.

Optionally, with casing-on franks you can griddle them for a minute or two to give some color once they’ve come out of the water. But don’t get too crazy – overcook them and you’ll lose the right texture and dry out your dog.

As for serving – straight up white bun, and yellow or spicy mustard. Pickle if you want it, or maybe sauerkraut. Avoid sugary ketchup – you want tomatoes, dice some up and put ’em on top. A little diced raw onion’s OK, too.