Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Cleo's Summer Comfort: Tips for Making Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs on your Grill or Stovetop

From Cleo Coyle: During the height of New York City’s pandemic lockdown, my husband Marc and I noticed that quick and easy comfort foods were continually out of stock at our local markets. Boxed mac & cheese and frozen pizzas became as scarce as pearls in oysters, and hamburger and hot dog buns were nearly impossible to find. 

True, we're not out of the Covid woods yet, but at least the buns are back in stock. (Gotta be grateful for the small stuff. :)) And one of the first things we did to celebrate the return of the buns was make some comfort food favorites: big fat burgers and danger dogs. 

"What are danger dogs?" 

I'm glad you asked because the answer is the subject of this recipe post!

Behold two "Danger Dogs,"
deep-fried, bacon-wrapped hot dogs. 
Frighteningly delicious.

Marc and I first heard about the "Danger Dog" via a friend in Los Angeles, where the recipe has made its way north from the street food of Tijuana, Mexico. 

Esquire magazine actually put the "bacon-wrapped hot dog" on its list of "Sixty Things Worth Shortening Your Life For." What number was the bacon dog? Hard to believe it but #1. (To see the entire list, click here.)

Where the Danger Dogs Roam

  • Down Mexico way, the original Danger Dog (aka Tijuana Bacon Dog) is topped with grilled onions and hot chili. North of the border, this same barker is often topped with mayonnaise, and in Los Angeles, California, it’s known as a street dog.
  • The Jersey Breakfast Dog is a bacon-wrapped hot dog that is deep fried until it’s curled or falling apart. Also called rippers, they're served with fried or scrambled eggs.
  • A Chicago variation is the Francheezie, a jumbo hot dog split and stuffed with cheddar or Velveeta cheese before it’s wrapped in bacon and (oh, yes) fried.
The truth is, when my dear Marc fries up these babies (and he doesn't do it often, thank goodness), he always prepares one for me. It may be disgusting, but it’s also to die foran unfortunate phrase since too many of these puppies would ensure it, as Esquire pointed out!

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
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A Recipe Note from Cleo

Because we don’t own a deep fryer, my husband was forced to adapt and overcome—to borrow a motto from the Marines, a few of whom would probably enjoy this recipe, too, with a few good beers. And since summer and hot dogs go together so well, you can make these on your grill or your stovetop...

To download this recipe in a
Free PDF that you can print,
save, or share, click here.

Cleo Coyle's 
Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

*Optional Grilling instructions below...

Makes 6 servings 

6 hot dogs 
6 slices bacon 
1 cup vegetable oil (we use canola oil) 
6 hot dog buns 
12 wooden toothpicks 

(Additional optional topping suggestions: grilled or raw onions, mayo, mustard, relish, chopped tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, etc.) 

Step 1—Slice the hot dogs (important)Slit each dog lengthwise. Don’t split the dogs in two, simply cut a deep slice. This cut will help the hot dog cook at the same fast pace as the bacon. It also will prevent the dog from bursting when it hits the hot oil.

Step 2—Wrap with bacon: Take one slice of bacon, regular or thick cut, and tuck the end of the slice into the cut at the tip of the hot dog. Wrap the bacon around the hot dog, being careful to completely cover the hot dog with the bacon. When finished wrapping, tuck the opposite end of the bacon into the hot dog's slit. Secure both ends with dry toothpicks. See my photos below.

(If grilling over charcoal, gas, or an open flame, be sure to soak the toothpicks in water for at least an hour before inserting into the dogs. This will prevent the toothpicks from burning. See more grilling notes below.)

Step 3—Fry the dogs (*see grilling option below)Place about one inch of oil at the bottom of a skillet and heat at medium until the oil is shimmering and ready to smoke, about five minutes. (If using a deep fryer, set to 375° F.) When the oil is hot enough, quickly place 2 to 4 hot dogs into the oil. For best results, do not fry too many at one time. If pan frying, cook about three minutes on one side, then turn and fry for an additional four minutes. If using a deep fryer cook the hot dogs for about seven minutes. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel. Serve warm on a bun and add your favorite condiments.

*GRILLING OPTION: To grill bacon-wrapped hot dogs, keep these notes in mind: (1) Soak the toothpicks in water for a good hour before inserting or they may burn up on your grill. Or use metal skewers instead of toothpicks and you won't have to worry. (2) The cooking time will be longer on the grill, about 6 to 8 minutes per side. You're watching for the bacon to cook through without burning.

F o o d i e
P h o t o s

Click for free recipe PDF.

Eat with comfort and joy!

New York Times bestselling author
The Coffeehouse Mysteries &
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

This is us >> Alice and Marc.
Together we write as Cleo Coyle

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  1. Replies
    1. Hi, Dru - Glad to know it. And (of course) "Danger Dogs" are the perfect menu item for a crime-writer's cookout. :) Cheers for dropping by today. Be well, stay safe, and Marc and I hope you are finding a way to keep cool during this sweltering NYC heat wave. xoxo

      ~ Cleo
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  2. Danger dogs and deep fried Snickers bars are worth shorting your life for. It is your first taste of heaven.

    1. Charlene - I'll have to take your word for it on the deep fried Snickers bars. I've never tried them, though I suspect they should be on that Esquire list, too!

  3. I'm not fond of hot dogs. Cheese sausage is another matter.
    So, these dogs with some cheddar in the cut? Oh my yes!
    And your onions etc look pefect.

    1. Hi, Libby - Yes, cheese would be awesome in these dogs. We've never tried it, given the deep frying. If the bacon is able to shield the cheese from overcooking and leaking out, that would be the win. Kitchen experiments full speed ahead. Cheers for dropping by today. It's always, always a pleasure to see you in the Kitchen! xoxo

      ~ Cleo

  4. Unfortunately, I have never met a hot dog (or sausage or hot link or Polish or . . . ) that I didn't like, so these are definitely going on the list. Yes, glad buns are back, too!

    1. We are sausage lovers, too, Grandma C., especially sweet Italian sausage. And we're glad you are also appreciating the return of the buns. Little things make a big difference when they're hard to come by. (And, yes, we felt that way about TP and paper towels, too. :)) Thanks for stopping by today. Be well, stay safe, and that goes for everyone. xoxo

      ~ Cleo
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  5. My husband is firing up the grill to make this right now. Thanks for the great recipe, Cleo.

    1. You're welcome. Needless to say (but I will, anyway)...eat with joy. xoxo

      ~ Cleo

  6. I love your books and your recipes Cleo, and this one is amazing. Talk about doubling up on the delicious!

    1. Thanks, Connie, glad to know you're enjoying our books and recipes. If you keep reading and eating, we'll keep writing and cooking. xoxo

      ~ Cleo