Scripps News Life

Should you boil your hot dogs in beer or water?

Google trends found some of the more interesting regional differences in hot dogs across the U.S.
Hot dogs at Nationals Park before an exhibition baseball game
Posted at 4:58 PM, Jul 04, 2024

Today, many are celebrating the Fourth of July hanging out with family and friends, setting off fireworks and — most importantly — grilling hot dogs.

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest kicked off today, hosting the world’s top competitive eaters. So, what is the best way to cook a hot dog?

As millions of people are preparing hot dogs for the grill today, you might do something else. Maybe you boil them; if you choose that option, you can boil beer instead of water and it can give it more of a mellow flavor and tender texture compared to most of the other 150 million hot dogs that will be eaten today alone.

A 65-foot-long sculpture titled "Hot Dog in the City."
A 65-foot-long sculpture titled "Hot Dog in the City" by artists Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw in Times Square in New York.

The Washington Post dug deep to determine the best-tasting beef franks, and some people may have beef about the No. 1 spot: The Post says the $1.50 Kirkland hot dog from Costco really cuts the mustard. Nathan's Famous Angus Beef Franks took second place, and Oscar Mayer, Trader Joe's and Wellshire Farms Sugar Free Uncured Beef finished the top 5.

Even more debatable is how you relish your hot dog. Google Trends found some of the more interesting regional differences across the U.S.

In Alaska, reindeer hot dogs were highly searched ahead of the holiday. Oklahomans looked up meatless hot dogs and in Maine, it's the traditional red snapper dog, which has a bright red color. Hawaii has the "dirty water" hot dog boiled in spices, and six states are fans of Korean hot dogs.