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5 Hot dog hacks your summer cookouts desperately need

Karen Miner is the Food & Home Editor for SheKnows. She is a freelance writer, recipe developer and is also the cook, author and photographer behind the food blog, Tasty Trials, a collection of original recipes and stories. She and her h...

How to spiral-cut a hot dog, plus more genius ways to make them even tastier

If you're not cooking hot dogs like this, you're doing it wrong.

Hot dogs and summer go hand in hand. From Memorial Day on, every backyard barbecue, picnic and potluck will have hot dogs happening in some form. But if you want your cookout to rise above the rest, you're going to need to do more than throw some franks on the grill and squirt a little ketchup on top. Take notes: This is how to up your hot dog game this summer.

1. Spiral-cut them


Hands down, my favorite part of the hot dog is that crisp, slightly charred outside. Spiral-cut your dog, and you've got more crisp edges than you know what to do with.

2. Cook them in a Pringles can

Say you're at the beach and you don't have a grill but you do have a Pringles can and you need to cook up some dogs. That happens all the time, right? If you find yourself in this situation, you're in luck: Pringles can solar cooker to the rescue. Yes, really.

3. Stuff them with cheese, and wrap them in bacon

How to spiral-cut a hot dog, plus more genius ways to make them even tastier

Image: Barbara Bakes

Perhaps my favorite pick — it doesn't get much better than a hot dog stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon and then grilled to crispy perfection.

4. Make them out of hamburger

How to spiral-cut a hot dog, plus more genius ways to make them even tastier

Image: Amazon

OK, this is cheating a little. But this is for those of you who want to get in on the hot dog action but really prefer burgers. It's called a Ham Dogger, obviously.

5. Make them taste like pizza

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Especially after Pizza Hut's recent unveiling of the Hot Dog Bites pizza, this makes total sense. There's no reason you couldn't throw these bad boys onto a piece of foil and cook them on the grill.

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