Best way to keep dogs hot

Junior Burger
Flagged as Spam (1)
2011/05/22 18:28:17
Been lurking a while but joined to ask a question an get some much needed answers. You folks seem to have great advice. I opened a hot dog restaurant a month ago and it's going very well. However, it's a learning process and I am learning a LOT! But I am concerned about the process of heating my hot dogs. First we thought we'd get a roller, but space is an issue and my business partner thinks the crock pot is fine. Let me back up.....We heated them in the microwave, then put them in water in the crock pot. If a few were left at the end of the day they were used again the next day, but we quickly realized the water was not a good idea - the franks (Nathan's) lost all color and flavor. So we decided to line the crock with foil and let them steam in their owns juices. The problem is the ends get dried and overcooked. My partner wants to microwave on HIGH to get them heated - but she doesn't realize she is cooking them - not heating - and they are getting overcooked on the ends. Which brings me back to the roller. I want to get one, so my questions are a follows: How long does it take to heat up the rollers? How long for a hot dog to be heated --from the refrigerator to ready for the bun? Can  the hot dog get dried out on the rollers? Since we sell nothing but hot dogs, we can sell 200 on a good day - can the hot dog roller keep up? Thanks :)
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/22 19:08:16
Welcome to Roadfood. I suggest that you repost your message in one of the professionals sections.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/22 19:55:45
If you are interested in serving a quality hot dog let me suggest first of all that you do away with the roller grill. These things are for movie theatres, gas stations, and convenience stores. Not places looking to serve a quality hot dog. The use of a microwave is an even worse offense. And by all means, do not reuse hot dogs that have been sitting in water! Throw them out.
If you can't get a griddle or grill (a real grill not a roller grill), at least get a pot and fill it with water. Bring to a boil, cut off the heat and put the dogs in for 5-10 minutes. And use a natural casing dog. Nathan's is a good hot dog. Some franchises use the skinless version and prepare it on the roller grill. Either too greasy, dried out and/or not hot enough. No extra flavor or char imparted from a well heated griddle. Compare this with a natural casing Nathan's prepared on a hot griddle like they do at Coney Island. A world of difference.
If you are pressed for space you can always get a small griddle or at the very least a pot or comparments for water. I would never eat a hot dog prepared in a microwave. I have eaten a hot dog from a roller grill but that's only as a last resort such as grabbing something from 7-11 at 2 AM when I didn't feel like driving the extra miles to White Castle.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/22 19:58:31
How can you have what you call a "hot dog restaurant" and not have room for at least a small grill or griddle? There are small hot dog trucks that have them.
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/22 20:34:32
Wow! You say your business is going well and you're serving 200 Hot Dogs a DAY?????????????????????? Preparing your hot dogs the way you do I would guess you'd be serving ZERO to One a day! Who in God's name is eating those???
THE MAJOR QUESTION IS-------are you getting return customers? Are people coming back for those Abominate Wieners?. That's the true test to see if your business will survive. I might eat 1/2 of one and never come back! What brand wiener are you using? How much do you charge for one of these?
You say you lurked on here for a while. I would have thought you would have learned more about preparing GOOD Hot Dogs from reading all there is to read and learn about on here.
Oh, by the way, Welcome to Roadfood!
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/22 20:35:14
Now that you mention it, John, I have to wonder about a restaurant, hot dog or otherwise,  that has just a microwave and a crock pot.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/22 21:42:54
Is that really you, Kerry and Shannon?
If you are using the Nathan's Natural Casing franks, you will find several threads on this site explaining how to slowly heat the franks on a flat griddle just like they do at Coney Island.
Waring Commercial makes an inexpensive, nice small flat grill, the WGR140. Just make sure it can handle your needs at peak time.
post edited by David_NYC - 2011/05/22 22:24:22
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/22 21:42:55
Given a choice between having a hot dog cooked in a microwave, in a crock pot, or under a really high watt light bulb, my culinary sense would simply be overwhelmed with confusion. 
  The Bear
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/22 22:12:45
For holding the hot dogs, we have a warming draw made by Roundup that has a humidity draw and has a preforated full pan. We use a roller grill that does the dogs in about 20-25 minutes for 5/1 class beef dogs. The kids prefer the roller to when we used to do them in a pot hands down. We went with a chinese made knockoff roller by Avantco to keep within our cost allowance.
 The steamers look like the best way to go as you can do volume and then use it for holding. If we had to have bought a warming draw new, this would have been cheaper even with the inexpensive grill. Our maximum hold is around 1 hr. Just enough to build a stock of dogs for serving the first kids after they get out of activites and build up another for the next group.
I've read there are lots of folks that swear the rotisserie/impaler grills make the best dogs when we were first considering going with some sort of hot dog machine. I've had one time to time from a concession and they didn't really make that much of an impression over rollers. Maybe it's a nostolgia thing to some people.
Junior Burger
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/23 08:06:13

...We heated them in the microwave, then put them in water in the crock pot. If a few were left at the end of the day they were used again the next day... Thanks :)

-First I like to welcome you.
-Next I'd like to tell you that my family has been in the hot dog business for over 50 years. If we cooked our dogs like that we would not be in business for 50 days (but your learning).
-Solution get yourself an electric deep frier (gas is better though) with 2 baskets and put oil in it. Set the temperature to about 350 degrees F. Cook in one basket about 20 seconds and keep the dogs warm in the other (but not long because the fat will cook out). Obviously this is only a guide (you'll have to determine the optimum method).
- Lastly, good luck in your business venture!  

post edited by JerseyJoe - 2011/05/23 08:59:38
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/30 21:32:48
I have yet to eat a deep fried, Im sure it's good. When I go to a HOT DOG shop, I expect excellence. I went in one place, they threw it on the grill for a short period, and I might have done thevsame thing holding it in my hand.. Then the girl asks if I want ketchup, and I start telling her. NEVER PUT KETCHUP ON A DOG. Well I never went back. You can make a good dog on a grill but it's got to be brown and maybe a little black. I like em split.
AAt home my preference is my turbo Oven. From cold start, 7 minutes comes out blackned and split. My oven has both radiant and fan heating. Without the radiant feature it does not work. Rollers don't cook them fast enough, and it's either under done, or lousy anyway.
Hey, I can eat dogs steamed at times or boiled, but it hardly the altimeter experience, unless it also has crout. McDonalds learned Wien you keep things setting around, they suck. If you do microwave a dog, put it in a ceramic butter dish with cover. That insures it all heats up to temp. Most places I have seen serving a lot of dogs, have them lined up on the grill of various degrees of done, ready to go. If it's not fresh, don't sell it.

I was just thinking of my old cafeteria. They would grill them pretty decent, then put them over at steamer warmer. I would get one. Looked OK. But I would end up throwing it in their microwave so it was a HOT DOG. It worked out, maybe the best way to reheat a dog, instead of keeping it warm drying out.

post edited by gregys - 2011/05/30 21:49:03
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/30 22:17:45
I just noticed the OP was flagged as spam. Hope I didn't do that,!!!

About my turbo oven, many like to use the term convection for some reason. There are no radiation in many ovens, I also have one of those. Takes forever to cook meat.

My Toastmaster Ultravection, quick heater, is just like a small toaster oven with fan induced draft. They don't make it anymore and the only thin similar are larger unit which you can't get good radiation to top and bottom at the same time. The other feature, I never have to reach into the oven. A basket just pulls out. I can load it with fries, pizza, hamburger, dogs, push it in. What a treat, but I have to repair it myself to keep it going. Someday someone will get smart again and make something similar. It could even be made faster by slimming it down. Don't need huge space for hogs. Commercial unit could have more watts.

Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/30 22:43:50
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/31 03:24:51
Until Ron Popeil comes up with a better idea, here's my solution:
Back in the early 60's all the kids on the block had a hotdog cooker.
It consisted of 2, 6" nails, a piece of wood and a length of electrical cord with a plug.
You beat the 2 nails through the wood to the length of a hot dog and wrapped the stripped ends of the cord around the nails.
Then you placed the hot dog on the nails and plugged it in. In a short time you had a perfectly cooked dog. Make sure you pull the plug before you try to remove the dog!!![woot]
Some kids even put a switch on it but that cost money.
Most of the other items could be found in the basement or in the alley for free.
This also makes a great 5th grade science or Cub Scout/Brownie project for your kids or Grandkids.!
Want to impress your Grandkids? Build one of these and watch their eyes light up!
It ranks right up there with teaching them how to make fart sounds using your hand and underarm!
Know why Grandkids and Grandparents get along so well?? They have a common enemy!
post edited by Foodbme - 2011/05/31 03:30:26
Re:Best way to keep dogs hot 2011/05/31 06:02:53
Seriously, if your topic is for real, you need to get out of the dog business and maybe start a lawn care business with a weed wacker.  Troll if I ever saw one...