When it comes to barbecues, people are always trying to build a better burger and mix up the best rubs for ribs, roasts, and more.

When it comes to naming King of the Barbecue though, there can only be one. We're going back to basics this Fourth, and nothing says America like a hot dog. If you're thinking, "Everyone knows how to make a hot dog...", you need to keep reading.

How to make the perfect dog

You gotta start with the best: I'm sorry, say what you want, there is no hot dog better than Boar's Head all-beef franks.

Yes, they are pricier than other brands, but there is a reason...they are flippin' delicious. Salty, juicy, awesome flavor. Normally plain hot dogs are unappealing at best, but these have such a great flavor on their own, I'd be cool with this just on a bun.

But we have work to do.

  • First of all, you have to grill a hot dog. No boiling and NO MICROWAVING (Dad, I'm looking at you).
  • I don't know how you judge temperature on a grill with charcoal, but you want it pretty hot. Gas grills up to high.

This is where some debate comes in. I like my dogs on the almost-but-not-quite-burnt side. Mama C likes them to look like sticks of tar. Some people want them barely browned.

I'm telling you, go for a dark caramel-ly brown on the outside. Thank me later. With the grill up that high and the dogs sitting for that long, they will split, but trust me, it's fine.

  • Next must-have is a potato bread hot dog roll. Warm it slightly on the grill. (You don't want to toast it completely, because that just makes it hard to eat.)
  • When it comes to toppings, I'm all about the line of spicy brown mustard and cold sauerkraut. (I know, cold sauerkraut is weird, but I love the combo of the hot...dog and cold topping.)

Totally acceptable: Heinz ketchup (let's be serious, it's the only one that's good), pickle relish, or those weird onions in sauce that everyone in my family likes but me.

You combine all of these things and you're in for an AWESOME MEAL. It is the ultimate 4th of July food.


What's your must-have barbecue food? Tell us below!