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Smoked Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are good, but smoked hot dogs are even better. If you’ve never had one, now is the time to change that because you’re doing yourself a disservice.

I have a great appreciation for hot dogs especially smoked hot dogs. They’re already fully cooked; therefore, the sole focus is infusing them with wood-fired flavor, which leaves room to play with toppings and condiments! Some days, I crave nothing more than a classic dog. On other days, I enjoy switching things up with toppings like Mexican street corn, the irresistible combination of queso and pickled jalapenos, or a special sauce. Regardless of your choice, you’ll be serving perfectly smoked hot dogs that can be customized to your liking.

Smoked Hot Dogs
Smoked Beef Franks

Why You’ll Love Smoked Hot Dogs

Unforgettable flavor – Smoking hot dogs adds a depth of flavor that is hard to beat. The specific flavor notes vary depending on the type of wood used, but the smoky taste and aroma are genuinely transformative.

Unique texture – Smoking hot dogs gives them a distinct texture that differentiates them from traditionally cooked ones. The smoking process imparts a slight crispness to the exterior while keeping the inside juicy and tender. Overall, it’s an incredibly satisfying combination of textures.

Versatility – Smoked hot dogs are versatile and, as mentioned earlier, can be served in various ways. Feel free to experiment with different toppings, slice and add them to salads or pasta dishes, roll them in a tortilla, or even incorporate them into breakfast recipes like hash. The possibilities are endless.

Easy – If you’re new to smoking meats, smoked hot dogs are an excellent starting point. Since they’re already cooked, you don’t have to ensure they reach a certain internal temperature for food safety. Instead, the focus is on developing their delicious flavor and ensuring that they are heated through.

Smoked Hot Dogs Ingredients Notes

  • Hot Dogs: Whether it’s all beef, beef and pork, turkey, chicken, or vegan. Choose the one you love the most and proceed from there. 100% all-beef beef franks are my favorite but sometimes I opt for healthier smoked turkey hot dogs. Use any brand you like.
  • Smoking wood: Smoking wood is not an ingredient per se, but it is essential for this recipe. The best smoking woods for smoked hot dogs are apple, cherry, oak, and hickory. Apple and cherry woods provide a light, fruity smoke flavor, while oak offers a deeper flavor profile with a subtle sweetness. Hickory, on the other hand, delivers a sweet yet strong bacon flavor.
  • Hot dog buns: You can use your favorite store-bought brand of hot dog buns, or if you prefer, you can bake them from scratch. Also, make sure to have melted butter available for toasting.
  • Toppings and condiments: Feel free to get creative with your choice of toppings and condiments. Options include ketchup, mustard, relish, hot sauce, chopped onions, jalapenos, corn, and more. Have fun and make the hot dogs your own!

Find the complete ingredients list with amounts in the recipe card below!

How to Make Smoked Hot Dogs

  1. Prepare your smoker: Preheat your smoker or prepare your charcoal or gas grill for smoking using an indirect setup with a water pan.
  2. Score the hot dogs: While optional, scoring the dogs is recommended as it allows the smoke to permeate the hot dogs easily, enhances their presentation, and helps prevent splitting during cooking, which can result in the loss of flavorful juices. To score or cross-hatch, cut parallel lines in opposite directions which will form X’s.
  3. Smoke: Transfer the hot dogs to the grates, do not place them too close together to allow proper smoke circulation, and smoke the hot dogs for approximately one hour.
  4. Serve: Serve the smoked hot dogs as desired.
Smoked Turkey Dogs
Smoked Turkey Hot Dogs

Variations, Substitutions, and Cooking Tips

Check the grill temperature periodically if you use a charcoal or gas grill instead of a smoker or pellet grill. You want to maintain a steady temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit. For a charcoal grill, open the vents to increase the temperature and close them to decrease it. With a gas grill, you can adjust the temperature by adjusting the burners.

What to Serve with Smoked Hot Dogs

There are numerous delicious accompaniments to serve alongside smoked hot dogs. Options include mac and cheese, fries, homemade potato chips, macaroni salad, smoked baked beans, bacon wrapped tater tots, and grilled vegetable salad. Feel free to choose your favorite side dishes to complete the meal.

Storage and Freezer Tips

To store smoked hot dogs, place them in a single layer in a shallow, airtight container and refrigerate. They will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days. Alternatively, you can freeze them by placing them in a freezer bag. Smoked hot dogs can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months without losing flavor. This means you can prepare a larger batch and have smoked hot dogs on hand whenever you desire.

How to Reheat

When it comes to reheating smoked hot dogs, you have a few options. You can use the microwave – heat them for 45 seconds to a minute. Another method is to place the hot dogs in a hot skillet with a splash of water if you prefer the stovetop. As for the oven, arrange the hot dogs on a baking sheet and heat them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-7 minutes. If the hot dogs are frozen, thaw them before reheating.

Smoked Hot Dogs

Smoked Hot Dogs

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 5 minutes

Hot dogs are good, but smoked hot dogs are even better. If you’ve never had one, now is the time to change that because you’re doing yourself a disservice.


  • 6 hot dogs, beef, beef and pork, turkey, chicken, or vegan
  • 6 hot dog buns
  • Toppings of choice
  • Condiments of choice


    1. Preheat a smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit or prepare a grill for smoking. If using a pellet grill, load the grill with the desired pellets and preheat with the lid closed. As for a charcoal grill, set up a two-zone fire and arrange wood chips on top of the lit coals. For gas, create a two-zone setup by adjusting the burners accordingly, then add wood to the designated smoker box or DIY with a foil pouch. Also, use a water pan if using a charcoal or gas grill.
    2. Use a sharp knife to score an “X” pattern (cut parallel lines in opposite directions) into each hot dog.
    3. Transfer the beef franks to the grates, close the lid, and smoke for 1 hour. The smoked hot dogs are ready to remove from the grates when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
    4. Remove the hot dogs from the grates and serve as desired.


The best smoking woods for smoked hot dogs are apple, cherry, oak, and hickory.

Whether it's all beef, beef and pork, turkey, chicken, or vegan. Choose the type of hot dog and brand that you prefer.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 480Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 743mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 31g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

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Monique McArthur
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