Grilled Marinated Hot Dogs

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Oh, the marvelous hot dog!  You can grill ’em, bake ’em, broil ’em, boil ’em, or saute ’em. The great thing about hot dogs is there’s really no way to go wrong. But my friend Nancy LeMay says there is one way to cook a hot dog.  Her recipe for marinated grilled hot dogs was inspired by some sausages she ordered when she was having dim sum in Chinatown.  The sausages were covered with a series of small cuts that gave them a crosshatched look and allowed them to soak up the flavor of the marinade and to open up like a pine cone once it was thrown on the grill.

The crosshatching allows the ketchup/soy-based marinade to seep into the insides of the dog and glazes it with a sugary-spicy flavor.  The crosshatching also provides more opportunity for the surface to come in contact with a searing-hot grill and gives the hot dog lots of little charred and crispy bits that taste wonderful.


1/2 cup Heinz ketchup
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil (don’t skip this ingredient, it adds a wonderful earthy, smokiness to the marinade and hot dogs)
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 dozen hot dogs


In a one gallon plastic bag, mix together the ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, oil, and Worcestershire sauce.

Using a sharp pairing knife, score each hot dog by making four rows of angled cuts down it’s length, on each side.  Then flip the dog over and do the same down each side of each hot dog. You can also spiral cut them if you prefer.  To spiral cut a hot dog, place in on the counter.   Insert a skewer from one end to the other through the middle of the dog.  Use your pairing knife to cut at a 45 degree angle across the hot dog down to the skewer.  Then holding your knife stationary, gentle twist the hot dog while you cut a spiral down the length of the hog dog.  Here’s a video on how to do this.

Put the hot dogs in the plastic bag with the marinade and move them around until they’re completely coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When you’re ready, preheat your gas or charcoal grill, and toss those dogs on the grill.  Cook them until the skin is starting to char slightly and blister.

Serve with the condiments of your choice—although there’s already ketchup on the dog, the ketchup flavor is very subtle so I like to add a little extra, along with yellow Chinese mustard.  Enjoy!

Related Recipes:
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    Danish Hot Dog aka Copenhagen Hot Dog

  • Christmas Themed Hot Dog Recipes

  • Texas Road House Hot Dog Recipe

  • Kyoto Fire Hot Dog Recipe

Recipe Comments

Comment (1)

  1. posted by Joey on January 21, 2015

    Not sure what all the fuss is about. I tried this recipe hoping it would be awesome, but it was pretty bland. I did like the extra char that the dogs get from being spiral cut, but that was about it. The marinade didn’t add much flavor in my opinion.


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