Watch Party Newsletter Apple cider vinegar Is Pilates for you? 'Ambient gaslighting'
Cooking tips

How to grill hot dogs: A guide on cook time for your next BBQ

Hot dogs are a staple throughout the year, but during the summer, they really get their spot in the limelight. "Hot dog season" spans from Memorial Day to Labor Day. An average of 38% of total annual hot dog sales take place in that time frame, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

A majority of annual sales (around 10%) occur in July, giving it the title of "National Hot Dog Month," the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council reports. On the Fourth of July alone, around 150 million hot dogs will be eaten.

So, in preparation for your next cookout, here's a guide on grill time for hot dogs.

How long to grill hot dogs

Grilled hot dogs must reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Kingsford, a charcoal brand under The Clorox Company. Cook time ranges from five to seven minutes, depending on the hot dog's size.

Coleman Natural Foods recommends grilling all-beef hot dogs at a low-medium heat, between 250 degrees and 325 degrees Fahrenheit. A cooked hot dog will be golden-brown.

When prepping your grill, never leave uncooked hot dogs out for more than two hours, the Department of Agriculture recommends. If the outside temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, do not leave them for more than one hour.

Are hot dogs bad for you?Here's how to choose the best one for the BBQ.

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Time to squash the beef, a hot dog is not a sandwich. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council declared the frankfurter to be in "a category unto its own."

"Perhaps at one time its importance could be limited by forcing it into a larger sandwich category (no disrespect to Reubens and others), but that time has passed," said National Hot Dog and Sausage Council president Janet Riley in 2015.

What are hot dogs made of?

Hot dogs are composed of meat, such as beef, pork or poultry, (such as turkey or chicken), according to the Department of Agriculture.

In most cases, the meat includes trimmings. Trimmings are "those little bits and pieces that are accumulated" from cut meat, Davey Griffin, professor and meat specialist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, previously told USA TODAY. "It's the same thing we would use for ground beef or ground pork, it is just chopped to a much finer texture," he explained.

The USDA outlines that hot dogs may contain no less than 15% of "one or more kinds of raw skeletal muscle meat with raw meat byproducts." Hot dogs will not contain bone fragments from the separation process. The machinery cannot crush or grind the bones; they must be removed basically intact, the USDA reports.

A hot dog may not contain more than 30% fat or no more than 10% water, or a combination of 40% fat and added water, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Just Curious for more? We've got you covered

USA TODAY is exploring the questions you and others ask every day. From "How long to boil corn on the cob?" to "When was the Declaration of Independence signed?" to "Does sunscreen expire?" − we're striving to find answers to the most common questions you ask every day. Head to our Just Curious section to see what else we can answer.

Featured Weekly Ad