The Viral Hot Dogs That We'll Be Making on Repeat All Summer Long

Grilled hot dogs

Summer feels like it’s here in most parts of the country, which means outdoor cooking is in full swing. One of the best things about summer (for me, that is), is the chance to try new recipes for all the holidays, birthday celebrations and weekend cookouts with friends. And just in time for summer cooking, there’s a viral hot dog recipe blowing up on social media that’s inspired by another outdoor food favorite–BBQ.

These remixed hot dogs mimic burnt ends, which are those caramelized (not actually burnt) tips of smoked beef brisket. Because the ends of the cut of meat are thinner, they get charred a bit more, giving them a darker hue.

Restaurants frequently sell crispy, smoky, savory burnt ends alone or on a sandwich. They're too labor-intensive for your average home cook, but this new hot dog version is a fun alternative for folks without a professional-grade smoker and/or the time to babysit brisket around the clock. We tested both a baked and grilled hot dog burnt ends recipe to see which method was the best. If you’re looking for new BBQ menu ideas, these are a must-try!

Related: The 47-Second Trick for Infinitely Better Hot Dogs

<p>Kellye Fox</p>

Kellye Fox

How Do You Make Hot Dog Burnt Ends in the Oven?

First up is Roscoe Hall’s hot dog BBQ burnt ends recipe that was posted on All Recipe’s TikTok page. Start by combining 2 packages of beef hot dogs, 1 cup of yellow mustard, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon each of onion powder and cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper in a resealable gallon bag.

Thoroughly toss the hot dogs in the mixture, then spread them out on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Remove the hot dogs from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400°. When the hot dogs are done (they'll be wrinkled and very very browned), cut them into thirds before serving.

With the dogs cut into thirds, toss them in 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. I chose Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue Sauce. Then, return them to the high-heat oven for another 10 minutes.

The result is hot dogs that are sticky, savory and a quite charred. I will say that when I removed mine from the oven, I was scared that they were actually burnt because my foil was completely black in some spots. What was noticeable was the bark-like casing that was formed, courtesy of the spices and mustard. The hot dogs are relatively dry on the outside but still juicy on the inside. They also have a mild spicy kick from the cayenne. I would love to try this method out with chicken sausage or Italian sausage links.

Related: 40 Easy Hot Dog Recipes You Have to Try Before Summer's Over



How Do You Make Hot Dog Burnt Ends on the Grill?

For this method, I used a charcoal grill, although macy.blackwell’s BBQ Hot Dog Burnt Ends recipe used a gas grill. I think you’re safe with either approach. Begin by combining 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard and 2 tablespoons of sweet rub. (Side note: I couldn’t locate the sweet rub, so I didn’t include it.) Toss the mustard mixture with 16 hot dogs until they're well coated.

Grill the hot dogs on low heat (my grill was at 300°) for 10-15 minutes. Remove them and cut them into thirds. Add the sliced dogs, 4 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce to a foil pan. Grill in the pan, uncovered, for about 30 minutes on medium-high heat (mine was between 360° and 375°).

The grilled burnt ends hot dogs were visibly juicier with beautiful grill marks. I loved seeing the bursts of burnt areas and the natural hot dog color. As for taste, the beef flavor hit my tongue first, then the BBQ sauce and other seasonings. It wasn’t overly sweet (that sweet rub likely would have resulted in a sweeter, darker dog), but not bad at all!

Related: Air Fryer Hot Dogs Are Here to Save Every Summer BBQ So You Can Get Back to the Party

What I Thought of Hot Dog Burnt Ends

When I reviewed these two recipes, I wondered if the hot dogs needed to be raw or pre-cooked. I opted for my go-to favorite beef hot dog brand, Hebrew National, which is pre-cooked. Buying pre-cooked meat makes this process easier for busy households (less worry about reaching a safe temperature).

The baked version really gives you that bark, unlike the grilled version. However, the grilled method was saucier. I didn’t get the burnt ends on the grill. Perhaps the second temperature was too low or maybe they could have cooked for longer than 10-15 minutes.

Each recipe is a bit different. One is drier and the other saucier, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Both hot dogs are delicious, and I think I ate the equivalent of three full hot dogs, so beware. For the baked dogs, I even made a quick dipping with mayo, stone ground mustard and ketchup. I’m definitely adding these to my summer lineup.

Up next: 60 Easy Grilling Ideas to Make This Summer Your Most Delicious Yet