Celebrating the 4th of July typically includes the all-American tradition of heating up the grill and cooking burgers and hot dogs with friends and family. Everyone enjoys a good old-fashioned picnic, then cuddling up under the skies to enjoy the fireworks.
When it comes to the hot dog, we’ve compiled a few unique twists to spruce up this holiday staple. Nothing wrong with a simple dog and bun, it’s a classic for a reason. But if you’re feeling a little adventurous, here are five options to try.
Fried onion straws
Chopped raw onions are a traditional hot dog topping. It’s never a surprise to see them mixed in with the condiment options. But take the onions a step farther and slice them up long and thin, then deep fry them. Not only will the dog retain that sweet onion flavor, but add a bit of crunch and texture as well from the fried outer coating.
Bacon wrapped dogs
We all know bacon makes everything better. Before dropping that dog on the grill, wrap it up in a bacon blanket. Twist a strip of bacon around the dog, then grill as usual. As the bacon cooks, the fat will baste the dog for even more extra bacon-flavored goodness. Once done, that bacon-wrapped dog can go straight into a bun.
Cheese dogs have been around for a while. Even slathering a layer of nacho cheese over a dog isn’t anything super new. But what about topping a dog with mac-n-cheese? That takes the love of all things cheese just one step farther when it comes to completing the perfect hot dog bite.
Pork and bean dogs
This harkens back to the childhoods of the 1970’s and 80’s. Mom would whip up a can of “pork and beans,” cook up a few hot dogs, cut them up, and then mix it all together for a simple dinner. Revisit this nostalgic dish with this year’s menu. Similar to the chili dog, except instead of ladling chili and cheese, spoon on a serving of the pork and beans over your dogs.
Let’s be honest, this is just simplifying the meal. Bags of potato chips are another picnic staple at an Independence Day cook-out. Take a few and purposely crush them up to sprinkle over the top. Instead of eating the hot dog and chips as two separate dishes, they combine into one delicious bite. The crushed chips add another layer of crunch, and the saltiness brightens and enhances the flavor of the dog.