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Smoked Hot Dogs

5 from 5 votes
Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
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Calling all hot dog lovers! These Smoked Hot Dogs are juicy and bursting with smoky flavor. They require minimal prep, can be topped with all your favorite toppings, and are perfect for summer entertaining.

These Smoked Baked Beans go perfect with hot dogs! You gotta try them!

Smoked Hot Dogs in a basket ready to be topped with toppings and more hot dogs on the side.

This Is Your New GO TO Way to Make Hot Dogs

Bold statement, right?! Well I am not kidding and let me tell you why:

  • THE BEST SMOKE FLAVOR- We don’t just smoke the hot dogs here, we also use the smoker to slightly warm up our buns.
  • MADE FOR SUMMER- Everyone will love to see these Smoked Hot Dogs at your next backyard BBQ, Memorial Day party, game day, Labor Day celebration, or pool party.
  • EASY TO MAKE- This recipe is not only minimal prep time, but you can throw these in the smoker and party on for an hour. What I mean is they do not requiring babysitting like grilling does.
  • SO MANY FLAVOR VARIATIONS- Make these into Coney dogs or top with classic mustard and ketchup. I have a ton of other suggestions below.

If you love smoking proteins like I do, try my Smoked Pork Butt or this Smoked Turkey Breast by my friend over at Hilda’s Kitchen.

Watch Me Make Them In My Pit Boss Vertical Smoker

Best Kind of Hot Dogs for Smoking

If you live in the Midwest you know we only grill with Koegel’s around here (especially if you live in Michigan). Koegel’s makes and sells Frankfurters made from 100% beef and pork (they come in a skinless variety too). You can buy them online, at some Meijer’s and Kroger’s locations, as well as Amazon.

If Koegel’s is not available where you live I recommend finding 100% all beef hot dogs without unnecessary fillers and preservatives. A few high quality beef franks brands include Nathan’s Famous, Hebrew National, and Ball Park.

Smoked Hot Dogs Ingredients

  • Hot Dogs: I recommend Koegel’s skinless Frankfurters which are 100% beef and pork. You can use your favorite brand, just make sure they are 100% meat without fillers and preservatives.
  • Hot Dog Buns: Feel free to use your favorite brand. I used brioche buns from Aldi’s.
Hot dogs, hot dog buns, chips, mustard, ketchup, red onion, relish, and dill pickles.

Equipment Needed

  • Pellet Smoker: I use both a vertical pellet smoker by Pit Boss and the smoker grill. But any wood pellet smoker or pellet grill will work. You can also use your gas grill or charcoal grill with a smoker box and wood chips for the same result.
  • Wood Pellets: I used Competition Blend pellets by Pit Boss, it is a combination of maple, hickory, and cherry wood. Other great options include oak and pecan wood. I do not recommend using mesquite or hickory because they are a tad too strong for hot dogs.
  • Cast Iron Grill Topper: I love using this one from Lodge because it means I don’t have to worry about dirty grill grates or transferring hot dogs one by one.
  • Instant Read Meat Thermometer: I use a ThermoPro and absolutely love it. You can even plug the probe right into your smoker and monitor the temperature of food as it smokes.
  • BBQ Tongs: These make it easier to place your hot dogs on the grates and remove them without burning yourself.

How to Make Smoked Hot Dogs

This is a short summary of the steps, the recipe card below will have more details.

1. PRE SMOKING TASKS: Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F, add water to the water pan, and fill the hopper with wood pellets.

2. SCORE THE HOT DOGS with a sharp knife lengthwise and without cutting through them (I like to score mine a quarter of the way into the dog). Doing this creates more opportunity for smoke to make it into the hot dogs.

3. SMOKE THE HOT DOGS on the smoker’s rack from 60 to 90 minutes. The hot dogs should be warmed through and the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F with an instant read meat thermometer.

4. WARM THE HOT DOG BUNS on the smoker’s rack facing downward for the last 5 to 10 minutes of smoking time.

5. REMOVE smoked hot dogs and buns from the smoker using BBQ tongs.

6. SERVE with your favorite condiments and side dishes (recommendations below).

Serving Suggestions

With hot dogs the possibilities are endless. Here are a few suggestions to get the ideas flowing!

Fun Condiments and Toppings:

  • Keep it simple with basic condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, onion, Quick Pickled Jalapenos, and cheese slices.
  • Coney Dogs topped with chili and liquid cheese/ queso.
  • Porky Dogs with smoked pulled pork, your favorite BBQ sauce, and crunchy red onion. I love using my Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce or Apple Butter BBQ Sauce.
  • Kraut Dogs with spicy mustard and sauerkraut.
  • Italian style dog with caramelized onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms.

Side Dishes:

Two hot dogs in a basket topped with toppings and chips on the side.

Storing Information

Store any leftover hot dogs in an airtight container or airtight reusable gallon bag. In the refrigerator they will last up to 7 days and in the freezer up to 3 months.

Reheat smoked hot dogs in the microwave or on the stove top until warmed through. They are also great eaten cold and right out of the refrigerator.

3 Tips For The BEST Smoked Hot Dogs

1. USE ROOM TEMPERATURE HOT DOGS. This ensures they will not only cook evenly but smoke evenly. It will also cut down on the smoking time.

2. PREHEAT YOUR SMOKER 20 to 30 minutes before smoking the hot dogs. This ensures the entire smoker is at the optimal temperature, and it will give you best results.

3. DON’T FORGET TO FILL THE WATER PAN. Because we are smoking the hot dogs and buns right on the smoker grates, juices will fall to the bottom of the smoker. If there is no filled water pan the juices could start a fire within your smoker.

Half eaten hot dog with a basket of hot dogs on the side and chips too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Are Smoked Hot Dogs good?

Smoked Hot Dogs have epic flavor! They are juicy, lightly charred, and full of meaty smokey flavor.

How many hot dogs do I need?

If you are serving Smoked Hot Dogs for dinner with 1 to 2 sides, I recommend 2 hot dogs per person. If you are making them for a party with 3 or more sides, I recommend 1.5 hot dogs per person. I do recommend making more than what is needed (leftovers store well in the refrigerator and freezer).

More Smoker Recipes You Might Enjoy:


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Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth
Smoked Hot Dogs in a basket ready to be topped with toppings and more hot dogs in buns on the side.

Smoked Hot Dogs

Elizabeth Swoish
These Smoked Hot Dogs are juicy, lightly charred, and have the best smoky flavor. They require minimal prep, are great for backyard BBQ's, and can be topped however you like.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 12 hot dogs
Calories 220 kcal

EQUIPMENT

INGREDIENTS
  

  • 12 hot dogs - I use Koegels which are 100% beef and pork franks.
  • 12 hot dog buns
  • condiments*

INSTRUCTIONS
 

  • Remove the hot dogs from the refrigerator and allow them to sit at room temperature for an hour.
  • Preheat smoker to 250 °F, fill hopper with wood pellets, and add water to the water pan.
  • Using a sharp knife, score the hot dogs lengthwise and at 1/4 depth of the hot dog. Be careful to not cut all the way through the hot dog.
  • Place the hot dogs sliced side down on the smoker's rack and smoke for 60 to 90 minutes. The hot dogs reach an internal temperature of 155 °F.
    OPTIONAL: Place hot dog buns in the smoker for 5 to 10 minutes to slightly warm them.
  • Remove the smoked hot dogs and buns from the smoker.
  • Place hot dogs in buns and serve with desired condiments.

VIDEO

RECIPE NOTES

Storing Information

  • Refrigerated, in an airtight container or reusable gallon bag, for up to 7 days.
  • Frozen, in an airtight container or reusable gallon bag, for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top until warmed through. They are also great eaten cold and right out of the refrigerator.
 

Condiments and Toppings:

  • Basic condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, onion, and cheese slices.
  • Coney Dogs with chili and liquid cheese/ queso.
  • Porky Dogs with smoked pulled pork, BBQ sauce, and red onion. Try my Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce or Apple Butter BBQ Sauce.
  • Kraut Dogs with spicy mustard and sauerkraut.
  • Italian style dog with caramelized onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
 

3 Tips:

  1. Use room temperature hot dogs for a more even cook/smoke.
  2. Preheat smoker for 20 to 30 minutes before smoking the hot dogs.
  3. Don’t forget to fill the water pan. Falling juices can start a fire within your smoker. 

Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

Tried this recipe?Feel free to share a rating and comment below. Don’t forget to tag me on social media, or use the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth – I would love to see what you’ve made!
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By Elizabeth Swoish on May 15th, 2023
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About Elizabeth Swoish

Elizabeth Swoish is the founder and CEO of Entirely Elizabeth. She is a self-taught foodie and mocktail enthusiast with a business degree in data analysis. Read Elizabeth's food journey or connect on your favorite social media channels.

5 thoughts on “Smoked Hot Dogs”

  1. 5 stars
    As someone who spends all their free time smoking meats, I can’t believe I have never smoked a hot dog until I tried this recipe. I can’t believe how much following this recipe transformed ordinary hot dogs into something delicious!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    I recently prepared these smoked hotdogs for my kids, and they were an absolute hit! The hotdogs turned out incredibly juicy and delicious that had my children asking for seconds. They enjoyed it so much that they’ve already put in a request to have it again on weekends. 

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    These are the juiciest hot dogs I’ve ever had! They’re so juicy that it’s almost like eating a juicy steak.

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    I made these Smoked Hot Dogs for my son’s birthday party, and the boys loved them. They were easy to make and serve.

    Reply

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