Marinating Hot Dogs Isn't So Crazy After All


hot dogs on grill

I know what you're thinking: Why in the world would you marinate a hot dog before grilling it? Doesn't the simple fact that it's a hot dog in the first place guarantee that you don't have to do anything -- save squirting it with a bit of ketchup and mustard -- and it tastes like perfection? Maaaaaybe. But hear me out on this one.

Some people believe that marinating hot dogs before they hit the grill can actually intensify the flavor experience and improve the taste of your dog. But how does the meat absorb the marinade through the thick casing? Let's take a look ...

According to Good. Food. Stories, scoring high quality beef hot dogs with tiny crosshatches and soaking them overnight in a marinade of ketchup, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, Worcester sauce, and chili oil (click link for recipe) gives ordinarily tasty dogs a more intense charred-spicy-sweet flavor. Mmmm.

Still skeptical? You can go simpler, too. In fact, some grill masters recommend making small cuts (as described above) and marinating them in teriyaki sauce or sauerkraut to amp up the flavor before grilling. Of course, there's debate as to whether the mixture actually soaks into the meat or simply clings to the outside as a glaze (in which case, it wouldn't be a true "marinade"). But is anyone really keeping score?

Another popular hot dog marinade recipe is this one for Beer Marinated Chili Dogs: Simmer dogs in a savory concoction of onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, chilies, and beer, then finish them on a scorching hot grill.

And, finally, here's a classic recipe for Sweet-and-Spicy Grilled Hot Dogs:


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12-16 hot dogs


1. Heat first five ingredients in large saucepan.

2. Add hot dogs and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Grill hot dogs until they're blistered with good char.

Have you ever marinated hot dogs?


Image via stevendepolo/Flickr

barbecue, food, grilling


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Krist... KristinRox

I have never marinated a hotdog. I dont think I will ever do it either. I try to limit the amount of hot dogs that come into our house.

Leele... Leelee1008

Never thought of doing that

_Tam_ _Tam_

Very interesting idea.  I've never thought of marinating hot dogs!

frysh... fryshannon34

No  I havent and it sounds like alot of effort for a hot dog


bether89 bether89

I have never done it before, but would be willing to try it.

iam4you2 iam4you2

I have never heard of this before. 

nonmember avatar Andrew

My family roast weenies often on the back yard pit we will score them around lunch and soak till 6. You can use coke/dr pepper both give a unique taste or many other ideas my fav is raspberry vinergerette and chalula hot sause, sweet savory

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