Really I'm just getting too lazy.
I know, I know, what's the big deal? I get some 100+ calls a day. I love it, don't mind a bit, but this question keeps coming via email or by phone;
How do ya and how long do ya cook them hot dogs?
First we need some details. I could throw out a number, but we need to know, what size dogs, how your cooking them, steaming, boiling or grilling. (more on that here) We need to know if they are frozen or thawed as well.
So let's break it down. I know everyone may do things a little different but heres some basics. I use frozen dogs, they keep longer and my leftovers go back into the big freezer each day – still frozen. I also boil my hot dogs but these numbers will work on steamed or boiled for the most part.
I use a 1/2 pan usually to boil. It comfortably holds about 30 standard 6″ hot dogs. I have my pan over direct heat, remember, I'm boiling. I bring about 3 to 4 inches of water to a boil, I then throw in about 30 hot dogs. 7 minutes later…wa laaa I turn the fire off under that pan and let them sit – awaiting their fate. (lots of tips and tricks to help with blanching and cooking in my course book here)
Now depending on your burners and their BTU's – you may have to cook longer. Mine really heats up fast and will get water to boiling fast.
Rapid steaming does the same thing. It's where you have a small amount of water in the bottom of a pan and then have a false bottom with holes (perforated) and as the water boils it steams allowing the steam to rise through the holes and cooking the dogs. About the same amount of time. But when I steam I never put in such large quantities of dogs as they don't hold as long under steam.
You can boil easily in smaller quantities inside of a 1/3rd size pan or go big and use a full size pan and boil tons at a time.
So about every 7 to 8 minutes I could boil about 30 dogs which would be over 200 an hour and that's just in one pan. Much more than I normally serve an hour. But at an event with help I can operate 2, 3 or even 4 pans at a time doing the same thing.
If you use larger dogs or you use thawed dogs, you will need to adjust the cooking times. Too much boiling and pow – they split and look horrible. Ok, not horrible, but they certainly aren't as attractive. The best way to get a handle on cooking times is to practice. Take your cart out back and give it a go. Feed the neighbors or the entire block, have fun and get used to your cart.
I've never had a problem with keeping up even with our Cash Cow cart which has a standard size steam table. It will still crank out more hot dogs every minute than I can serve.
Now grilling is an entirely different deal, there are many variables, how big is your grill, what BTU is the burner(s), what size dog, frozen, thawed. My advice, grill only thawed foods from your cart. I often take out my hot dogs that have already boiled and throw them on the grill for a minute – just for looks. Lil' black marks and the smell carries thru the air.
No matter what set of variables you are working with, practice is the best way to know for sure.
Have a great tip or idea you would like to share….? Post it below or email me and I will get it up on the blog for you.
Have a fantastic day and keep the questions coming.