(CBS News) Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs each year, including seven billion during Hot Dog Season (from July 4th through Labor Day), according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council.
But there is perhaps nothing more disappointing than an improperly cooked hot dog.
"Sunday Morning" asked Josh Sharkey, owner of Bark Hot Dogs in Brooklyn, for his advice on preparing the ideal frank. He writes:
There are lots of ways to cook hot dogs, and depending on the casing, they deserve different treatments.
For our dogs, we use an all-natural sheep casing (most great hot dogs are made with a natural sheep casing). We like to cook them slowly on a griddle at first to break down the casing and tenderize it; then we finish it on the hotter side of the griddle to crisp it up and give that nice snap that everyone loves in a hot dog.
If you are outdoors and use a charcoal or gas grill, start the hot dogs on the top rack or to the side, where it is not as hot, to warm them up; then, flash them on the hottest part of the griddle just before you serve them.
We love to toast our buns, too. This helps prevent the "soggy bun" scenario, and also gives a nice textural element to the whole experience.
Just before we put it on the bun, we baste our hot dogs with "Bark butter" -- a mixture of house smoked fat back whipped with butter and sea salt. At home, simply save all your bacon drippings for a week or two (assuming you eat bacon!), and mix the drippings with equal amount of butter and a healthy dash of salt. Use this to baste your hot dogs, or spread it on some toasted bread if you're feeling adventurous.
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