Since childhood, I’ve held just as strong of an association between 4th of July and hot dogs as I do with fireworks. I didn’t care for hamburgers as a child, so hot dogs became my de facto meal during barbecue season. And, of course, the 4th was the one day of the year we were guaranteed to barbecue.
So, it was a delight to experience a genuine why-didn’t-I-ever-think-of-that moment last week when a CHOW.com video revolutionized my concept of hot dog grilling in just 49 seconds by introducing me to the spiral-cut dog.
I would explain the concept, but the video already does it quite succinctly:
I’ll be test-running the spiral-cut technique this Independence Day, and what better way to do it than with some classic regional hot dog recipes? Here are a few must-tries:
Sweet onion, thinly sliced
Cream cheese on a hot dog? The thought repulsed me the first time I heard of such a thing, but now hot dogs without cream cheese feel like they’re missing an essential element. Of course, industrious dog chefs around the country have uncovered plenty of satisfying alternatives, as we’ll see as we continue:
Sweet green pickle relish
It’s a lot to fit in a bun, but the spiral-cut will free up extra space, which I’d like to refer to from here on out as Condiment Canyon
Monte Cristo Dog
I’ve actually never tried this, but I’m more than intrigued. Slice the dog open length-wise to stuff it with cheese and spread the jam on the bun. Kalí óreksi!
Sonorans (Phoenix/Tuscan Dog)
I don’t even know what to say about this one. Wrap the dogs with bacon and grill. You probably shouldn’t spiral-cut the bacon.
Coneys (Midwest Dog)
Minced meat chili
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chili makes everything better, especially Condiment Canyons.