Hot Dog Burnt Ends

  • By: Jack Mancuso

Hot Dog Burnt Ends - Cuso Cuts

When your budget looks skimpy, but you’re desperate for barbecue, these Hot Dog Burnt ends fill two functions. They don’t break the bank and they’re inexpensive to make. Sure, they’re not burnt ends in the traditional form. Nonetheless, they come out smoky, sticky, caramelized, and sweet and are the perfect bite, particularly as a snack or appetizer. Better still, the whole process takes about 90 minutes, rather than 12-18 hours for a brisket

Hot Dog Choice

Hot dog with hot honey rub

If you want good-quality burnt ends, you want a decent brand of hot dogs. Some favorites include

  • Hebrew National Beef Franks
  • Red Snappers
  • Nathans
  • Uncured, grass-fed
  • BarS Beef Franks
  • Applegate Farms
  • Sabrett Frankfurters
  • Wardynskis Hot Dogs
  • White Hots

Certainly, there are many other hot dog brands that will do the trick. If you have a favorite, use it! Especially if they provide that oh-so-satisfying snap. 

BBQ hot dogs

Hot Dog Burnt Ends Ingredients

Hot honey rub Hot dog burnt ends


  • ½ cup honey barbecue sauce
  • 1 stick of butter
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbs more of Hot Honey Rub
  • Other optional ingredients: hot sauce, teriyaki sauce

Dirt rub Hot dog burnt ends


  1. Bring your smoker up to 225F.
  2. Put the hot dogs into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Toss them with olive oil until they are coated on all sides.
  4. Sprinkle the barbecue rub into the bowl and mix again. Make sure there’s seasoning on all sides.
  5. Place the hot dogs (whole) on a wire rack in the smoker for 1 hour. 
  6. Remove the hot dogs from the smoker.
  7. Using a Chef’s Knife, chop the hot dogs into pieces about 1 ½ inches long. 
  8. Transfer the hot dog pieces into the sauce mixture. Coat thoroughly.
  9. Place the hot dogs and all the sauce into an aluminum pan (use the disposable ones for easy clean-up). 
  10. Increase the smoker’s temperature to 350 F.
  11. Back the hot dog ends go into the smoker.
  12. Leave them be for 25 minutes. Test to make sure your sauce is caramelized and sticky. If not, leave them in a little longer.
  13. Transfer to a serving tray with toothpicks. 

TIP: Offer bowls of dipping sauce like mustard, horseradish sauce, ketchup, salsa, buffalo dipping sauce, etc. 

Hot dog on a tooth pic

PitMaster’s Memo

Some claim that the hot dog originated in Frankfurt, Germany (frankfurter), but that concept has been disputed, saying it was a sausage. Another claim comes front the people of Vienna (Wien), Austria, saying they developed hot dogs in 1487, thus we get the wiener. 

Across the pond, hot dogs derived from sausage recipes. It was 1871 when a German baker by the name of Charles Feltman opened the first hot dog stand in Coney island. He sold an impressive 3684 dachshund sausages with a roll in that first year. 

By 1893, these were the common fare at baseball games. In 1894, Yale had “dog wagons” at the dorms. Since that time, the hot dog has developed into having various flavors, casing types, and sizes. The rest, as they say, is history. 


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