This ingenious way of cooking hot dogs has incredible flavor and will delight your guests. Smoked Hot Dogs are the best possible way to make this iconic American meat on a bun.
🍽️ Why This Works
Hands-off. Once you get the dogs on the smoker, you can walk away and enjoy time with your guests — or just finish up the party prep. Grab some Grilled Apples to nibble on while you continue your prep.
Unexpectedly good. Everyone knows the classic grilled hotdog or the steamed dog, but give someone a smoked hot dog and you will knock their socks off! This is an elevated hotdog with class and crazy flavor. Hands down one of the best ways to cook a hot dog.
Inexpensive. One of the things that make hot dogs the perfect party food is the fact that you can feed a crowd without breaking the bank.
Ball Park Beef Franks – A high-quality, 100% all-beef frank makes my favorite smoked hot dog. However, you can use turkey dogs as long as you go with quality as listed below. There are plenty of quality brands you can purchase and the superior taste is worth the price.
Dry Rub – We used an all-purpose rub from Meat Church called The Gospel for our smoked hot dogs, but any all-purpose rub you have will work.
Buns and Condiments – Here you get to pick what you like! Grab top-loading buns, regular hot dog buns, or gluten-free buns. Make sure you have your family’s favorite condiments ready to go.
Hot Dog Brands
|Hot Dog Brand
|Hebrew All Natural
|Uncured, grass-fed, no added nitrates
|Uncured, grass-fed, no antibiotics, no added nitrates, gluten free
|Applegate Natural Stadium
|Oscar Meyer Classic Uncured (chicken, turkey, and pork)
|No added nitrates, no antibiotics, no fillers, gluten-free
|No by-products, phosphates, fillers, or artificial colors.
|Applegate Naturals Turkey Dog
|Uncured, grass-fed, no antibiotics, no added nitrates, gluten-free
|Kirkland Brand (Costco)
|No by-products, phosphates, fillers, or artificial colors.
|Oscar Meyer Turkey Uncured
|No added nitrates, no artificial preservatives, no by-products
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
Smoker | Our family favorite is the Big Green Egg or the Traeger. These work perfectly on the Masterbuilt, Camp Chef, Costco Smoker, or Char Broil. If you have a smoker, it will work. If you don’t have a smoker, a gas grill, charcoal grill, or pellet grill with a smoker box to achieve the same results.
Sharp Knife | To score the hot dogs.
Instant Read Thermometer | A meat thermometer is a must-have if you want to get the perfect doneness every time.
Slot Dog | This is an optional (but VERY cool) tool to speed up making slot dogs. You stick your frank in the tool and press down. It creates evenly spaced cross-hatches with less effort than slicing with a knife. I’ll show you how to do it with a knife, but this tool will certainly do it faster!
🌳What kind of wood chips should I use to smoke hot dogs?
I recommend oak, pecan, apple, or cherry wood. You can use any type of wood your heart desires. Some people find hickory smoke too harsh for scored hot dogs, but others love it. Consult our free wood smoking chart, pick your favorite smoke flavor and enjoy!
Step One: Score the hot dogs. I like to do criss-cross scoring. This is called cross-hatching and will speed up the cooking process. It also allows the smoke flavor to be infused throughout the meat.
Step Two: Place the scored hot dogs on a pan with edges.
Step Three: Season with your favorite all-purpose rub by pouring the dry rub into the pan and then rolling the hot dogs for even coverage. We used the all-purpose dry rub for grilling, which I usually make in bulk to have it ready at all times.
Step Four: Place the hot dogs on a grill grate in your smoker and smoke for 60-90 minutes at 250º F.
Step Five: Your hot dogs are finished when they reach an internal temp of 155º F. Test them with an Instant Read Thermometer. You might think 60 minutes is too long to spend on a hotdog, but remember this process is completely hands-off!
Note: You’ll notice them open up along the score marks and that increased surface area will take on more of the smoky flavor.
Step Six: Serve hot.
❗ Recipe Tips and Tricks
Preheat your smoker for ten to twenty minutes so that it is 250ºF before you begin for best results.
If you’re smoking the hot dogs directly on the grill grates and your grill or smoker has a water pan, fill it up before preheating. It will catch all the drippings making clean-up so much easier!
For pellet smokers or grills make sure to choose pellets made from wood with no added flavor oils. The best wood is always all natural!
Scale the smoked hot dog recipe as needed. You can smoke as many hotdogs as will fit in your smoker.
🧑🍳 Storage and Reheating
You might be wondering how long do hot dogs last in the fridge?
If you have leftover smoked hot dogs they can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat them for a few seconds in the microwave or in a skillet.
Cut up leftover hot dogs to mix into mac-n-cheese, casserole dishes, or scrambled eggs.
Note: These freeze amazingly! Use the whole pack on the grill and place any leftovers in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Label and stick it in the freezer. They defrost and reheat in the microwave nicely. It is great for busy days!
If you know you will be in a rush when it’s time to get the dogs in the smoker, score them ahead of time to get that step out of the way.
Mix up a dry rub seasoning for them if you don’t have some on hand. You can mix the rub and keep it in a sealed jar for quite a long time and this is something that can definitely be made ahead of time.
✔️Additions and Substitutions
The all-purpose dry rub we used is simple and effective. It uses pantry staples like brown sugar, sweet paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt or kosher salt, black pepper, and celery seed. It’s okay if you don’t have some of them or you want to add other ingredients. This rub is easy to customize!
Use a barbecue sauce for a sweet and savory hot dog instead of a dry rub. Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a ready-made option.
Want to make your own? Hot dogs pair nicely with this whiskey BBQ sauce, sweet and spicy BBQ sauce, and our delicious smoked pumpking bourbon BBQ sauce. These are easy and much more exciting than store-bought ketchup.
Scoring the hot dog means it will grab more of the sauce. Wait to add the BBQ sauce until about thirty minutes into the smoking process so that it has time to caramelize without burning.
Wrap your hot dogs in bacon while they cook. Bacon dogs! Everything is better with bacon, right?
Try coating your hot dog in a thick liquid condiment such as Dijon mustard, honey mustard, or honey sriracha sauce before adding the dry rub for an interesting twist.
Hot Dog Toppings
|Mac & Cheese
🍴What To Serve With Smoked Hot Dogs
Hot dogs pair well with most BBQ sides, just like grilled and smoked meats.
Try making a smoked side dish at the same time. For instance, you can make smoked potato salad in thirty to fifty minutes. Both of these dishes are hands-off, so you can set it and forget it until it’s time to eat.
Feeling adventurous? Here are more sides for hot dogs I’m sure you’ll love!
♨️More Sausage & Hot Dog Recipes
Instead of using brisket or another beef cut, make hot dog burnt ends.
These smoked shotgun shells make a delicious snack or appetizer no one will be able to pass up.
Straight on the grill, a hotdog will be ready in under ten minutes. But if you have the time, smoked hot dogs are much better.
For beautiful results, smoke hot dogs for 60 – 90 minutes at 250ºF. If you score the hot dogs first it will take less time.
Most hot dogs will be ready in under ten minutes on a hot grill or in 60-90 minutes on the smoker.
Yes! Our smoked hamburger recipe uses the same temperature as this one and takes about the same amount of time, meaning you can do both at once if your smoker will fit all the meat. I say go for it!
You can refreeze them as long as they didn’t get below 40 degrees and were kept in the fridge for no longer than 4 days. If you thaw the hotdogs out on the counter or leave them out for 2 hours, they are no longer safe to eat at all.
Unopened, they store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Once the packaging is opened, it is best to cook the dogs in 7 days.
For pellet grills such as the Traeger you can smoke hot dogs at 225-250ºF on indirect heat until their internal temperature reaches 155ºF. If you’re smoking them directly on the grill grates, add foil or a water pan underneath to catch the drippings.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Smoked Hot Dogs
- 12 Hot Dogs all beef
- ¼ cup Dry Rub
- Remove the hot dogs from their packaging. Use a knife to lightly crosshatch the skin of the hot dogs. As they cook, these crosshatches will open up and that allows them to cook a bit faster, but it also increases the surface area for the smoke.
- Place the scored hot dogs on a pan with edges.
- While they are still wet, sprinkle them liberally with your favorite dry rub. Make sure to cover all sides.
- Heat your smoker or grill to 250°F and get a nice billowing smoke. I recommend using a fruit wood.
- Add the hot dogs to the smoker and let them smoke for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 155°F.
- Remove and serve warm.
Jason’s been firing up the grill for over 30 years after graduating from the US Coast Guard Academy. His love of finely-grilled steak and chicken led him to buy his first Weber grill to put on his apartment patio in 1992. Each military move led to a new grill (a mixture of gas and charcoal) until he fell in love with the Big Green Egg in 2008. Since then, he has added another 4 grills to the collection. Yes, he has a problem. Jason loves smoking in the ceramic BGE with exotic woods including olive wood from Egypt and hard to find varieties such as sassafras and orange wood. Jason takes the term “foodie” to a whole new level, jumping at the chance to take food tours and cooking classes during foreign travels. These have provided inspiration to incorporate new ideas into recipes when he gets back home. He has been featured in Fox News, Parade, Yahoo News, Kansas City Living and more. After retiring from the military and moving to southwest Florida, he has focused grilling and smoking locally sourced meats and fish (read: he likes to catch his own fish!)