In an earlier post, we talked about creative twists on one of summer’s fireside staples: s’mores. But s’mores aren’t the only fare you might be cooking up with your high-quality roasting forks this season. For many fire pit enthusiasts, hot dogs and sausages are often just as important to a summer menu as s’mores. After all, it can be fun to chat with friend and family when you’re sitting around the fire pit, but it’s also nice to be able to have something to do with your hands while you talk–like slowly rotating a hot dog or a sausage over the flame for your dinner or a late night snack. But if you’re finding that the standard combo of ketchup and mustard is starting to get boring as the season wears on, you might be looking for summery ways to boost the quality of your wieners. Here are a few ideas that you might want to consider trying:
- Adding a fruit-based salsa. Mix up a homemade salsa that combines peach or mango chunks, and spread it over your bunch before adding your well-roasted hot dog or sausage. The sweet, fruity result is bound to taste like summer. Plus, if you’ve been burning a kiln-dried firewood with a sweet aroma, like kiln-dried hickory, to fuel your fire, the meat will already have taken on a sweet flavor that will only augment the sweet-and-spicy contrast of the salsa.
- Integrating the flavors of a summer barbecue. Hot dogs and sausage are ubiquitous at summer barbecues–so why not pair them with other favorites that you’ll always find at the picnic table? Squeeze some barbecue sauce onto your bun or top your hot dog with coleslaw to get a full-on backyard summer barbecue experience in a single bite.
- Using up summer garden vegetables. For a more refined palate, serve up your hot dog with flavorful vegetables from your garden like arugula, beets, zucchini, or yellow squash. You might worry that these flavors could be too bland for a hot dog, but when you use aromatic oak or hickory firewood, they can add just the right level of nuance to your garden-based hot dog or sausage. You can even try roasting your zucchini or squash slices over the fire pit for a few seconds, which can further enhance the firewood-reminiscent flavor of your final concoction.
- Making it a pizza dog. When it comes to summer comfort foods, pizza is right on par with hot dogs, sausages, and s’mores. For a particularly summery pizza-flavored wiener, top your well-roasted hot dog or sausage with tomato sauce, and then add fresh slices of mozzarella cheese, which will melt on top of the wiener. Top it off with fresh basil leaves from your garden.
Making the Best Hot Dogs and Sausages on the Block
While it’s true that creative condiments and add-ons can make your hot dogs and sausages stand out, the reality is that it all starts with a basic, well-cooked wiener. And in order to cook up the best hot dogs and sausages on the block, there are two factors that can truly make a difference: the tool you use for roasting the meat and the type of firewood that’s fueling your flame.
When you were a kid, you might have roasted hot dogs around the fire pit using sticks you found in the woods on your annual camping trip. But as many a boy scout has learned, a stick with even the slightest curve can leave you with a hot dog that is blackened on one side and raw on the other–and no amount of creative condiments can truly resolve that problem. Plus, with a standard stick, you’ll end up with a large hole (and often a bit of dirt) in the middle of your hot dog, which can further detract from any exciting summery flavors you’ve added to your bun. Today, you can look to high-quality roasting forks to resolve these problems. Not only are they perfectly straight (and thin enough that they don’t make big holes in small hot dogs), but you can also use them to cook up two wieners at a time, which is great for the nights when you’re extra hungry.
The type of firewood you use for your hot dogs and sausages can also make a big difference. Put simply, when you use low-quality firewood like store-bought or seasoned firewood, the typically unpleasant aroma of the smoke will negatively impact the quality of the cooked meat. Moreover, as mentioned above, the enticing aroma of kiln-dried firewood can actually complement the flavors you’re embracing to spice up your summer hot dogs and sausages.
At Cutting Edge Firewood, we love roasting comfort food as much as you do–so don’t forget to tag us on Instagram when you serve up your most innovative recipes this summer. And to order your high-quality roasting forks and the kiln-dried firewood you need, go to our order page now!