Taste the energy savingsIt’s official. I’ve retired my stove top and oven recipes and traded in my pots and pans for my trusty grill, spatula and tongs. There’s much to be said for the sweet simplicity of getting outside after a day at work and firing up the grill. It’s one of my favorite ways to save energy. Yes, that’s right — grilling is energy-efficient!

As promised, Taste the Energy Savings posts will feature grilling suggestions to help inspire you. I’ve decided to start with an all-American classic: hot dogs. Whether you’re a purist or like to add your own “twist,” this menu satisfies the fussiest of palates, young and old. Having a picky youngster myself, I speak from experience. Here are some ways to take that tried-and-true hot dog and make it sizzle.

1. Mix things up with a topping bar.

Choose what inspires you:

  • Yellow, brown or spicy mustard
  • Pickle relish
  • Chopped onion
  • Tomato slices
  • Dill pickle spears
  • Sport or other assorted hot peppers
  • Celery salt
  • Sauerkraut
  • Thousand Island dressing
  • Ketchup
  • Coleslaw
  • Chili
  • Bacon
  • Assorted cheeses

2. The “twist”

And for the kiddos, what could be cooler than a spiral hot dog? All you need is a skewer, a knife and a hot dog. Before grilling, simply place the hot dog on the skewer, angle your knife and start slicing at the top. Carefully roll the hot dog away from you as you continue the spiral cut from end-to-end. I’ve included the step-by-step below. (You can also buy a handy gadget that does this as well. Simply do a web search for “spiral hot dog slicer.”)

spiral hot dog step-by-step

Keep rolling (carefully)…

Spiral hot dog step-by-step

Repeat.

The Wire, Recipes, taste the energy savings

Grill

 Grilled spiral hot dog instructions

Add your toppings and enjoy!

hot dog with a twist

Give these a try and let me know if they’re a hit with your family. Share your favorite hot dog recipes and toppings in the comments and maybe we’ll give them a try. Stay tuned for more. #TasteTheEnergySavings