This Is Why You Should Deep Fry Your Hot Dogs

There's more than one way to cook a hot dog, but there's only one way if you want to get the most out of that processed meat-tube flavor. Hot dogs contain, chicken, turkey, pork, and/or beef, inside an animal casing or not, with water, milk or cereal for binding, and sometimes soy protein (via USDA). The meat is already cooked, so all you're really doing when you're "cooking" a hot dog is reheating it. A microwave will do the job, as will a pot of boiling water. Tossing them onto the backyard grill in the summertime is about as American as it gets. Air fryers supposedly do a good job with hot dogs (via The Spruce Eats), but how many of us own air fryers, really? And you won't find an air fryer in classic hot dog joints such as Nathan's Famous on Coney Island or Rutt's Hut in Clifton, New Jersey.

To get the best flavor experience from your hot dog, invest in a good, old-fashioned deep fryer that actually uses oil instead of air to do the frying. Or, if you happen to be in New Jersey, then any number of hot dog restaurants will serve up deep-fried dog deliciousness for you (via Food & Wine). (Fried hot dogs are a thing in Connecticut, too, according to USA Today).

Fry hot dogs with casings at 350 degrees for best results

When it comes to deep-fried hot dogs, maybe nobody does them better than Rutt's Hut. The Daily Meal thinks so, anyway, naming Rutt's "Ripper" the best hot dog in America. Frying crisps the casing nicely and causes it to split, or rip, giving Rutt's dogs their name and their classic look. How long should the hot dog be submerged in hot oil? That's up to you. Rutt's serves everything from the quickly dipped In-And-Outer to the blackened Cremator (via The Food Dictator). The standard Ripper is a happy medium.

If Rutt's Hut is out of your way, then you can deep-dry hot dogs at home with your handy-dandy fryer or a pan filled with oil. (Safety tip: Never leave hot pans full of oil unattended!) Delish has some tips for getting the most from your fried dog. They recommend getting hot dogs with the casing, for the proper popping texture and the highly sought-after "rip." Make sure the oil temperature is 350 degrees. Any colder, and the hot dog can taste like oil. Hotter, and it may burn. Finally, if full flavor is what you're going for, then wrap those links with a strip of bacon before dipping them in the oil. After cooking, drop into a toasted bun and throw on your favorite toppings. You might never go back to grilled.