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Spiral Cut Hotdogs
Serves: All kids 3'2" to 6'4".
|1||ea||Plump Juicy hotdog|
When you spiral cut a hotdog you boost the surface area so you get more of that nice grilled flavor (see: Maillard Reaction), and once it's on the bun there are plenty of nooks and crannies for relish and other toppings, making every bite tastier. And as an added bonus, they lend themselves well to basting with sauce! As if hotdogs didn't already have enough on them.
Watch them plump, expand and develop about four times the carmelization. Feeling adventurous? Spiral cut a 6", 4/1 sausage. It will stretch out to fill the length of a large hotdog bun, and even though it's 1½" girth pushes the limits of the bun, there is plenty of room for condiments in the crevices to top off your ¼-pounder!
'Tis dogs' delight to bark and bite,
Thus does the adage run.
But I delight to bite the dog
When placed inside a bun.
- Yale Record, 1895
Another "twist" on hotdogs . . . the Pinwheel Cut Hotdog for Beans & Frankfurters. Simply slice down the length of the hotdog with a knife as many times as you feel you are skillful enough to cut straight and close. Five to seven slices is the practical range, with six being visually optimal. Then cook them and slice into medallions as usual.
Why are there 10 hotdogs per pack and eight buns per bag?
Ah, one of the great mysteries of the universe. Basically, butchers and bakers packaged their products in whatever way was most efficient for their product without any real concern for the incongruity. That, coupled with the lack of unrest in the huddled masses to effect a change, until late.
Not until 1940 were hotdogs packaged the way we currently see them in the grocery store. When manufacturers began packaging hotdogs, they chose 10 to a pack because ten hotdogs weighed a pound. Today hotdogs are sold in many different sizes, shapes and quantities.
Sandwich rolls, or hotdog buns, most often come eight to the pack because the buns are baked in pans that were designed to hold eight rolls (two rows of four). While baking pans now come in configurations that allow baking 10 and even 12 at a time, the eight roll pan remains the industry standard.
Note: This technique is only useful for hotdogs that are grilled or broiled. Cooking them in a pan, on a griddle or on steam rollers won't produce the additional maillard flavor because none of the extra surface is exposed to the heat source. It will still be fun for the kids, but no extra flavor.