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The first thing I noticed about these Nathan’s franks was the shape. They were actually flat on four sides with rounded edges. I would guess that this would make them easy to turn on the grill to cook all four sides. Another difference I noticed this year was my grill technique. I knew to fill the baskets up only part way with charcoal. The amount I picked was perfect as the temps were beginning to drop off at the end of the cook. Also I was able to use my SFB & chimney vents to get the Chargriller up to temperature 15 minutes after adding the lit charcoal from the charcoal chimney, instead of the 45 minutes last year. Lastly knowing the heat distribution in the Chargriller I moved the hot dogs midway through the cook. The row of dogs on the left took the place of the row on the right.
Last Year: Little Change After an Hour
This year: Dark & Plump
When I swapped the position of the dogs I could already see the difference. Last year the hot dogs did not change shape or color very much at all. The Nathan’s hot dogs were deepening in color telling me they were absorbing the smoke. Plus they were starting to plump. One hour total and they were plump and dark and ready to eat. In a word smoked hot dogs were: GREAT! You can see it in the pictures from this year and last year.
Last Year: Boiled Hot Dog Taste w/ No Smoke Flavor
This Year: Great Smoky Flavor
People who know me know I’m not a one word kind of guy. So a few more comments: First I’ll probably use a bit more wood. I used 3 chunks of Cherry that were between golf ball and tennis ball size. Second: I may also try Hickory instead. Lastly: These dogs have such a powerful and different taste I’m not sure I could do them as a steady diet. They would be too much of a good thing. I suspect that maybe once a month when I have something else on the smoker, I may toss on some hot dogs.
Moral of the story: I’m glad I revisited this failure. In my mind I knew that Smoke & Spice had a reputation as a good BBQ book. The problem had to be on my end. I was very glad I was able to ask some questions and get pointed in the right direction. If something doesn’t work out for you, seek out others who have mastered your problem meal. They are usually most willing to share.
Here is the link to the Pictures Page for SMOKED HOT DOGS
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