Hotdogs: A journey through summer cooking, friendship and near housefires


Mitchell Velikan, Design Editor

With summer rapidly approaching, students and teachers alike are looking for a way to spice up their out-of-school lunches. Classic summer foods like burgers, chicken and salads all pale in comparison to the ease and readiness that hotdogs bring to the plate. So how can one take this age-old food and shake it up? After copious amounts of research, the BHS Paw Print staff has gathered recipes from far and wide to put to the test.

The recipe test was meant to be a quick and fun thing to do with my friends. We were going to go to the grocery, fire up the grill and have some laughs in the process. Little did any of us realize that we were about to embark on the most memorable and scarring high school experience of my four years at BHS.

The day started like normal: I woke up, went to work and prepared for my friends to arrive. Once they did, we drove to Target. We started with a list of pretty tame hot dogs. Ideas like two in one bun, the bun on the inside of the dog and macaroni on top were all ideas we knew we wanted to do, but we knew that we wanted to add some strange hot dogs. The simple idea of macaroni on the dog evolved into what if we put hot Cheetos on the hotdog? This then transitioned into other snack foods. What if we put the dog on a graham cracker? What if it had chocolate and marshmallows on it? This led to the question of what if we put magic shell chocolate syrup on it? The list of hotdogs kept growing.

Now not all of these hotdogs were jokes. The idea of a garlic bread hotdog was one that my fellow graders Jase Stone and Oliver Cooksey were extremely excited for. Even those that we thought would be good, similar to the garlic dog, led to bigger and less appealing ideas. Walking down the freezer aisle to get the bread made us notice frozen waffles: what if we made a breakfast dog? The list goes on.

We had finally come to the point where we needed to be cut off. We rang up the groceries and went on our way. On the car ride home, we started to realize the consequences of our actions. This small news article on different ways to make hotdogs, such a simple food, had turned into an all-day project in which we were subjected to some of the strangest food combinations.

As well as sorting our feelings on the proposed hotdogs, we came up with the scoring criteria on the drive home. There would be five categories to grad on: taste, texture, eatability, presentation and smell. My two friends and I were each going to have two points per category. The dog would get a two if it was perfect in the category, a one if it was alright and a zero if it was unbearable. The total of our points would be out of 30 for each dog.

We arrived home and laid out all of the ingredients. The nerves were taking over. The joking decision to buy s’mores ingredients was now becoming a reality that we had to face. I fired up the grill and put the first two dogs on. It was just going to start off simple with the normal everyday grilled hotdog. The other hotdog that I put on was going to become “The Chardog,” a hotdog that had been burnt to the maximum capability of the grill. We tested the normal hotdog, and it scored a 27/30. The reason that it wasn’t perfect was that the presentation was bland. It wasn’t going to garner any surprise or laughs, so it received a one from all of us in that category.

With the Chardog still burning on the grill, we started making “The DotHog,” a hotdog that had been cut down the middle with the bread inserted to make an inverted hotdog, hence the name. This one was one of my favorites, and I do genuinely recommend it for cookouts. It tastes almost exactly like the normal hotdog, just with less bread, and it is definitely eye-catching. We gave this one a 26/30. It gained presentation points over the normal dog but lost points due to the unexpected texture.

Another hotdog joined the Chardog on the grill while our mac n’ cheese finished up. Once prepared, “The Mac n’ Cheese Dog” became the most visually appealing yet. The taste was good because it had a great compatibility with the hotdog. The texture was similar to a chili dog. This caused a bit of disagreement depending on the grader’s taste. It scored a 25/30.

The next hotdog was the one I was the most unsure of: “The Spaghetti Dog.” This was cut up hotdogs with spaghetti noodles threaded through and cooked in boiling water. I feel like I should issue a formal apology to the creator of spaghetti: this is not what their creation was meant for. The spaghetti hotdog was absolutely disgusting. The salty taste of hotdog water tainted the taste of the noodles and the texture was completely thrown off when each hotdog section hit. This garnered the dog an 11/30.

While we finished up that noodled abomination, we prepared for another. “The Spaghettios Dog” is prepared exactly as the name describes. While Jase loved this dog, Oliver and I absolutely did not enjoy it. This recipe is divisive to say the least. If you really like hotdogs and Spaghettios, you’ll probably like this, but if you don’t like either one of the two, you should steer clear.

While the Chardog still sat on the grill, we added garlic bread and a new dog to be cooked. The next was the “Hotdog Italiano.” This was a hotdog on garlic bread with marinara and mozzarella on top. Jase’s hopes for this had led him through the past dogs, and now was his chance to try it. On the first bite, he and Oliver both were blown away. They loved it. Scoring a 28/30, the dog only lost two points due to the odd texture. This is one that they strongly recommend that any reader try. It is quick and easy to make, and the taste works surprisingly well.

The next dog came off the grill and in a spontaneous decision, Jase decided to hollow the meat out of the dog and fill it with ketchup creating “The Gusher Dog.” Done well, this can look almost exactly like a normal hotdog. I got the first bite out of this, and if I had not been expecting it, the surprise would have been huge. It’s a very strange experience biting into what you think will be solid and having it be filled with liquid tomato. I recommend this one as a prank, but it is rather difficult to make it look regular. It scored a 26/30.

It was finally time: The Chardog was complete. With a completely black exterior on the bun and meat, this hot dog was something that my body instantly knew it should not consume. The initial crunch went down, and I looked at the hotdog’s remnants. The only pink that remained was smaller than the size of an eraser head. I sat looking at my friends, all of our mouths filled with charcoal. My tongue was black and dry, but it was still better than the spaghettidog. 17/30.

There was one hotdog that we could not make however. The fried hotdog was one that we really thought would taste good. While Jase ran to the bathroom, we began the oil on the stove. Oliver and I had never fried anything before, so we put the oil on high. DON’T DO THIS. The oil wasn’t popping, so we thought it needed longer. Maybe it needed to be stirred, I thought. I stuck the wooden spoon in the oil and after two stirs, I pulled it out. It was burnt black. The oil began to create clouds of smoke. I yelled at Oliver to open the windows. Smoke barreled under the bathroom door, and Jase was confused on what we were doing while he was gone. I lifted the cover from the pan and badly burnt my wrist. I grabbed the pan as the smoke alarms screeched and walked it to the patio. I dumped the 500+ degree oil into the grass and the foliage turned black. Do not try to fry hotdogs unless you are a professional. 0/30, tasted and smelled like smoke.

It was time for some sweets. I prepared waffles as the hotdogs cooked. After applying the dog to the waffle, I drenched them in syrup. Oliver said going into this that he was excited because it was going to be like a sausage breakfast. He was wrong. The dog conflicted with the texture of the waffles and the sweet-salty combination wrecked my palette. We gave this a 13/30.

Going back to summer camp routes, we combined the normal hotdog and a s’more. This was probably the strangest texture of all. We would get a short duration of dog and then full marshmallow. While it confused my tongue and brain, it still was not as bad as some. 17/30.

When we had bought the magic shell, we assumed that it was just going to make a chocolate dog, but what we had not realized was that it requires the base to be frozen before the magic shell can harden. We froze a cooked hotdog and allowed for the shell to complete its process. The initial bite into this was nothing like I had ever experienced. It was cold, stiff and meaty; a combination I would never like to experience again. I could not swallow this. Was it the texture? The taste? Maybe it was just the thought of a frozen hotdog, but my brain was not going to let me consume this crime on chocolate. This was by far the worst hotdog we had tried. I would rather eat 100 Chardogs before eating one magic shell hotdog. 9/30.

Jase Stone struggles to finish the “Pepto Bismol Dog.”

The final dog that we ate was a conscious effort to correct the indigestion that the previous had caused. “The Pepto Bismol Dog” follows exactly as the name implies. The minty taste of the medicine combined with the salty hotdog was strange enough that I could not swallow it. Maybe it was the PTSD from the chocolate dog, or maybe I just couldn’t stand the Pepto Bismol. Oliver on the other hand didn’t mind this hotdog. 17/30.

Through this experience, we had a lot of missteps. I do feel as though this brought my friends and I closer together with an experience that we will never forget. I don’t recommend almost burning your house down in an attempt to fry hotdogs, but it sure does give a story to tell.