Hotdog Burnt Ends and High Voltage Hamburgers: Your July 4th Cookout Just Got Better
The Fourth of July is one of the most popular times of year to host or attend a cookout. Backyard cookouts are about two things: the people you hang out with and the food you eat. If you are like me, you probably want to impress your guests with the food when hosting a cookout. I’m often asked how many grills I use to cook all the food. Whether you are cooking with one or six grills, you can prepare a delicious spread for your friends and family.
There are two classic items that are on the menu when attending a cookout: hamburgers and hotdogs. I think you can have lots of fun with how you dress them up. Feel free to keep it simple, but if you are looking for creative ways to prepare hamburgers and hotdogs, check out my previous blog posts—“Battle Of the Grilled Beef Burgers” and “Battle of the Grilled Hotdogs.”
I was recently sent a supply of beef hamburgers and hotdogs from the Holy Grail Steak company. I received their “Ultimate Carrot-Finished and Grass-Fed plus Wagyu Grilling Pack.” The pack included eight uncured grass-fed beef hotdogs (4 ounces each), four Tajima American Wagyu and grass-fed prime burgers (8 ounces each), four Santa Carota Carrot-Finished burgers (8 ounces each), and one package of Tajima American Wagyu ground beef (2 pounds).
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I realized it would be difficult to prepare hamburgers and hotdogs multiple ways like I did for a big crowd. So, pick one or two of your favorites from below and fire up the grill. Here is how I utilized all the items in the grill pack from Holy Grail Steak.
Your July 4th Cookout
I decided to prepare two appetizers as well as grilling hamburgers and hotdogs. The appetizers were not necessary but gave me a reason to fire up the smoker.
I made hotdog burnt ends and smoked meatballs. To prepare the hotdogs, I lightly coated them with yellow mustard and then seasoned them with my homemade barbecue rub. I smoked the hotdogs at 225 degrees for about an hour. The hot dogs were then sliced into one-inch pieces and topped with brown sugar, honey, butter, and barbeque sauce. I turned the temperature up to 350 and smoked the hotdogs for an additional 30 minutes.
To make the meatballs, I used the Tajima American Wagyu ground beef (the 2 pound package) and mixed in sautéed onions and mushrooms, egg, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, and pepper. I cooked a tester patty to check the seasoning. I used an ice cream scoop to portion out the meatballs so they would all be the same size. The meatballs smoked with the hotdogs at 225 degrees for 30 minutes. I basted the meatballs with barbecue sauce, and they smoked at 350 degrees until they reached 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
Now for the main event. I set up my Big Green Egg XL (BGE) for direct grilling. To create a safety zone, I left one of the half-moon diffuser plates in the BGE. I inserted the cast-iron grates into the Egg. I like how the cast-iron grates create a crusty exterior on hamburgers. I seasoned the hamburgers with kosher salt and black pepper. Once the cast-iron grates were hot, I placed the hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. The hotdogs cooked quickly, about a minute a side. The hamburgers cooked 90 seconds and then I gave them a quarter turn and cooked for another 90 seconds. I flipped the burgers and repeated the process. I topped the hamburgers with smoked Gouda cheese and then moved them to the safe zone while the cheese melted. I toasted the brioche buns, and it was time to put it altogether.
I went with a classic preparation for the hotdogs and served them with Dijon mustard, relish, and celery seeds. The hamburgers were prepared with my wife’s and my favorite toppings. For my wife’s hamburger, lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced avocado, and ranch dressing. My toppings included lettuce, tomato, bacon, pickles, and ketchup.
The hotdogs had a great beef flavor. The was a nice snap when I took a bite of the hotdog. The spice of the mustard and sweet relish paired well with the hotdog. The hamburgers were juicy on the inside due to the marbling. The seasoning and the high heat of the cast-iron grates created a crusty exterior. The charcoal fire added a smoky aroma. The lettuce, tomato, and pickle add a fresh flavor to the hamburger. The smoked Gouda cheese and bacon boost the smoky flavor of the burger.
The hotdog burnt ends were sweet, crusty, and the beef flavor came through. They will not be confused with true brisket burnt ends, but they were tasty and took less time to cook. The smoked meatballs were moist, and the onions and mushrooms complemented the flavor of the beef. The barbecue sauce created a flavor profile I’m not used to on a meatball but was delicious.
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