Charcoal Grill Hot Dogs

EASY Simple Ways to Charcoal Grill Hot Dogs

This is how to cook charcoal grill hot dogs. This will cover all the steps and several options you can change. This is listed in our Grilling on Charcoal article and also, is a part of our Grilling Main Courses Recipes Category and All Main Courses Category

This is a hot dogs on a Charcoal Grill recipe. This recipe also serves a reminder for different kinds of toppings and condiments that serve well for a grilled hot dog.
Hot Dogs on Grill Recipe Main

Introduction of Hot Dogs on a Charcoal Grill

There are a lot of people that are either just beginning to grill hot dogs or others who are wanting to learn more about charcoal grilling hot dogs.

Also, there are a lot of big and little tips to save you time, steps, and improve your hot dogs quality.

Charcoal Grill Hot Dogs with Mustard
Charcoal Grill Hot Dogs with Mustard

Hot Dogs How to Cook on a Charcoal Grill

Here are some expanded details regarding the Hot Dogs on a BBQ Grill Recipe.

Preparations for Grilling Hot Dogs

  • Start to preheat the grill.
  • While grill is preheating, prepare all the desired toppings and condiments you’re wanting to have available and place them covered in the fridge.
  • When grill is preheated to medium high heat (375-500°F), bring these items outside. Bring out the unpackaged hot dogs, the long-handled grilling tongs, and an empty platter or plate.

Cooking Hot Dogs Charcoal Grill

  • Add the hot dogs to the grill on direct heat. Use tongs (or other long handled utensil) to turn each dog about once every minute. I usually roll each hot dog over 2 rods for representing a turn. Because of heat and grill differences, increase or decrease turning to prevent extreme burning. It is desired to have a small amount of black areas or stripes. Too much blackened areas impact the flavor to go from charbroiled to charred to burnt. People have a varied level of acceptance on this for their individual grilled hot dogs. It’s just something to be aware of.
  • Grilling hot dogs require mostly routine to nearly constant attention. To get thoroughly hot in the center, it takes about 5 to 10 minutes on a reasonably medium-hot grill. If the grill is too hot for this amount of time and would burn the dogs, just move them to the side. You can finish the desired cook time on indirect heat (not directly over coals but still on grill) and close the grill lid (like your baking). Then, just check them for doneness in about 5 minutes. If still not looking done enough for you, turn them once and cook an additional 3-5 minutes with lid closed. Always consider to put them back on direct heat to finish them out if you want.

Serving Charcoal Grill Hot Dogs

  • Remove dogs from grill when ready and put them on something for serving. This can be a regular dinner plate, a platter, or even a bowl or baking sheet with sides.
  • Pull out condiments and toppings for serving, as needed.
  • Optionally, warm the hot dog buns (removed from plastic bag) in microwave by wrapping them (as a bundle of 4) in 2 connected, full sheets of paper towels for about 20-30 seconds.

FAQ on Charcoal Grill Hot Dogs

What Temperature to Cook Charcoal Grill Hot Dogs

As long as the internal temperature of the hot dogs reach 145⁰F, you’re good to go. Hot dogs are nearly always precooked when you buy them from the grocery store so, in effect, you’re just heating them up. The added flavor comes from the grilling method, toppings added, and the bun itself. But, they’re still a meat byproduct so, hot dogs do require refrigeration like other meats for food safety.

How Long do you Cook Charcoal Grill Hot Dogs?

The average time for how long to grill hot dogs on charcoal grills is about 8 minutes. Usually similar times for any kind of grill but, because charcoal has less heat control, hot dogs will often cook faster with a lot more attention required.

Cook hot dogs on a charcoal grill for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on their size. If it’s the larger, thicker hot dogs like quarter pounders, take about 1/3 longer time. Consider how hot the grill is. Typically, cook them on the charcoal grill on only indirect heat. Just put them on the preheated grill on the side, so they’re not right over any coals.

Or, you can put them on the warming shelf, if your grill has that. Then you put the lid on and check them every 5 minutes until done. On my grill, they take about 10-15 minutes using this method but I have to partially close some of the vents to keep the coals from building up the interior temp too high.

Grilling Hot Dogs on Charcoal
Grilling Hot Dogs on Charcoal

How to Tell When Charcoal Grill Hot dogs are Done

This is how to tell when hot dogs are done on the charcoal grill. Technically, the majority of purchased grocery store hot dogs are already cooked and you’re just heating them up on the grill. So, their “doneness” is actually “when they’re ready to serve” status. And that is a combination of these things:

  • Hot dog centers are hot enough
  • Grilling long enough to acquire the smoky, grilled flavor you like
  • Obtaining the desired grilled appearance on the hot dogs
  • The level of “stripes” and its associated charring appeal and texture it provides
  • Some might just start to split a little.
Hot Dogs Ready for Removal for Being Done
Hot Dogs Ready for Removal for Being Done

Most generally, they’re ready when they just start to split or tear, usually on the ends first. However, there are times when a hot dog will split wide open in the center, almost as if it exploded. You may have a small number of them that will be splitting wide open and that’s okay. If you have all of them doing that, they’re cooking a bit too long. If they only just start to expand on the ends or just begin to split down the middle, that’s how to tell when hotdogs are done on the grill.

How can you grill the perfect hot dog?

There are those who desire very little charring or striping, if any, on the grilled hot dog. To get closer to achieving this, you’ll need to keep the grilling temperature down between 250-300°F. This will take longer to grill as it needs 10-15 minutes usually. However, some say that the all beef hot dogs do better at this temperature.

Hot Dogs with Relish Onions Mustard and Fried Mushrooms Meal
Hot Dogs with Relish Onions Mustard and Fried Mushrooms Meal

Cooking Hot Dogs over an Open Fire or Fire Pit

In the movies of the old days, cowboys or families would be shown having a hot dog supported on a stick that had a perfect set of 2 prongs on the end. From my early days of remembrance from camping, I rarely found a stick that had that perfect 2-prong approach. However, I did find some that you could break apart where the 2nd prong of this natural “fork” might be a tad thinner than the main prong. You use a knife to remove the bark and to form 2 points as prongs to stab into the hot dog.

You basically push the hot dog through each of the 2 prongs, like using it as a long-handled fork. Then, you hold it just above the flames of an open fire. You don’t hold either the stick nor the hot dog directly in the flames of the fire. As children, we kids would inevitably learn this cooking requirement. I remember watching my handcrafted long-handled stick fork burn away and drop off as the hot dog also fell into the fire and was consumed by it.

You just have to have some patience and after about 6-8 minutes, your dog is done. You then use the open bun like an oven mitt to pull the hot dog from the prongs of the stick. These days though, to prevent health risks from nature, they make the perfect long-handled forks for us.

What Hot Dogs Are Made Out Of

Hot Dogs are made out of a mixture of various sources of emulsified meat trimmings. That is combined in with spices, preservatives, colorings, and other ingredients. That meaty batter is then pushed into collagen-based casings and finalized into the hot dog shape we are familiar with. Here’s a more scientific explanation of what hot dogs made out of.

Other Related Grilled Recipes

Hot Dog Grilling Experience and Conclusion

This grilling hot dogs article summarizes how you can save steps, save money, and expand learning new ways of preparing and serving hot dogs. I covered fast with direct attention and slower with less focus. In the end, all of this came from my management experience in 3 fast food hot dog restaurants.

In addition, if you’ve got a Weber charcoal grill, look at how to grill burgers the best way on a Weber charcoal grill. I hope you enjoyed it. Share your experiences with me by leaving a comment!

Hot Dogs on Grill Recipe Main

Hot Dogs on Charcoal Grill Recipe

This is a hot dogs on a Charcoal Grill recipe. This recipe also serves a reminder for different kinds of toppings and condiments that serve well for a grilled hot dog.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 244kcal

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Sandwich Key Items

  • 4 servings hot dogs or franks or weiners
  • 4 servings hot dog buns
  • 4 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 4 tsp ketchup

Hot Dogs Toppings (in order of popularity)

  • 4 tsp sweet pickle relish
  • 4 tsp sweet onions diced fine
  • 2 slices American cheese or shredded Cheddar
  • 8 tbsp Chili

Less Common Optional Condiments and Hot Dogs Toppings

  • 4 tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 4 tsp mayo
  • 12 slices dill pickle slices
  • 16 slices jalapeno
  • 8 drops hot sauce


  • Start to preheat the grill. Prepare any toppings and condiments and place covered in fridge.
  • When grill is preheated to medium high heat (375-500°F), add the hot dogs to the grill on direct heat. Using tongs (or other long handled utensil), turn each dog (by rolling) about once every minute. Change the frequency of turning to prevent extreme burning. If grill is too hot for cooking dogs for 5 to 10 minutes, move them to side (not over direct heat but still on grill) and cover lid to grill to finish cooking them. Check them for desired doneness in about 5 minutes. If still not ready, turn them over and cook an additional 3-5 minutes with lid closed.
  • Remove dogs from grill when ready for serving. Pull out condiments and toppings from fridge. Optionally, warm the hot dog buns.


The nutritional values are based on the “Sandwich Key Items” per hot dog sandwich.


Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 728mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 37IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 3mg
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