It’s been a while since I’ve willingly eaten any hot dog other than at a ballpark. (I miss the St. Paul Saints now that I’m in Atlanta!) Due to the generosity of others, we’ve found ourselves with an abundance of hot dogs. Most of the kids like them as is, of course, but as an adult, I needed a little incentive. I decided to revive a childhood fave: Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Hot Dogs.
My parents use to make these in rotation during the summer. Mom would stuff and wrap and Dad would cook on his old Weber kettle grill. I don’t know if I truly appreciated them; certainly not enough to make them ever for my kids.
About Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Hot Dogs:
I think it’s probably been 50 years since I’ve tasted a Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Hot Dog and I was pretty much blown away. The melty cheese, the crispy bacon, and the beautiful smoky flavor from the grill all played together. As a matter of fact, I can really see this fitting right into “today” with all the cheesy bacon concoctions people make these days.
What really took these over the top was my Old Fashioned Vinegar Slaw and plain old yellow ballpark mustard. I actually was going to serve the slaw on the side but thinking my hot dogs looked lonely nestled in the bun, I added the slaw inside the bun. Now, I know slaw on hot dogs is a thing in some places but I have never felt the desire.
I’m not one to put slaw on this or that (and I usually dress my hot dogs with mustard relish, onion, and sauerkraut if available) but as I ate mine I couldn’t help raving about it to my daughter. I think she thought I was a little nuts the way I went on. Admittedly, though, most of the kids were rather unappreciative of the idea.
Making Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Hot Dogs:
These hot dogs are so much easier to assemble than you’d think and take very little in the way of ingredients. Just cut them down the middle but leave them attached on one side, then stuff with cheese – and only a small amount of cheese will fit in.
I went with halved mozzarella cheese sticks for the kiddos and white Cheddar for the adults, but choose your fave cheese(s). As I wrapped, I used three toothpicks in the cheese stick hot dogs and two for the cheddar so I could tell them apart. Honestly, though, when they were all cooked, I really couldn’t taste any difference. We did lose some cheese during grilling but the taste was still left behind.
You’re going to want to use your cheap grocery store bacon for these – they take a good long time on the grill for that bacon to crisp up and a strip of thicker bacon would just prolong that process. I’m not gonna lie – the grilling was long and tedious, partly because they’re a little fussy and maybe partly because I was using a cheapo charcoal grill and I’m more used to the even cooking on a gas grill. Kudos to my Da, who always did a marvelous job. A precooked bacon or a partially cooked bacon would speed this process along.
These could be made in the oven instead of on the grill. About 375 degrees F. for around 30 minutes on a rack over a foil-lined tray to catch the drips should do. I have not tested, so watch them closely. If you’d like, assemble them ahead a day; the colder cheese will actually take a little longer to melt and will be less likely to ooze out.
Saving Money on Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Hot Dogs:
There are really no items to make these hot dogs that can’t be bought on sale. And the big bonus is that the cheaper thicker hot dogs work better and your basic grocery store bacon (16 slices to a pound) is fabulous here. Bacon, hot dogs & buns are regularly on sale around any summer holiday.
If you’d like to see 18 brands of hot dogs rated, check out this link to Pure Wow. And if you’re wondering why you always have odd amounts of hot dogs or buns left over, you might want to get on board with the Heinz Pact, a petition calling for equal numbers of buns and hot dogs in packages! Me, I use extra buns for our family’s Parmesan Toasts. They’re delish!
If you’re thinking of upgrading the cheese, with all the other flavors, it doesn’t seem to matter. Just choose any melty cheese for these. I would hazard a guess that American or Velveeta might be a little too melty, drippy to stay inside.
Use your freezer to stock up on ingredients at a low when they’re on sale and it will make a significant difference in the price of any ingredient. Both hot dogs and bacon freeze beautifully. Cheese can be frozen but will always be crumbly after; better to use it for things like casseroles.
I hope you’re all having a fabulous 4th. We’re doing a few fireworks at home and keeping things low key. Well, with six kids from 12 to 1, an outing is an adventure to say the least! Keep this recipe in mind for anytime you want to BBQ on the cheap and are tired of the same ol’ boxed burgers and plain hot dogs! These are delish anytime!
Happy Independence Day, all!
Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Hot Dogs
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: varies
- Category: main dish
This recipe can be made in any quantity.
Per hot dog:
- 1 hot dog
- 1/2 ounce cheese
- 1 slice of bacon
- 1 bun
- toothpicks to hold together
Preheat grill or preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Slit hot dogs lengthwise down the middle leaving one side attached. Add cheese to the slit. Wrap with a slice of bacon and secure with toothpicks.
Grill, turning each and arranging as each side is done (about 30 minutes) or bake on a rack over a tray to catch the drips, about 30 minutes, turning as necessary. Dont’ forget to remove the toothpicks before serving.
Note: precooked or partially cooked bacon will speed up the cooking considerably.
Keywords: Bacon, Bargain Meal of the Week, Beef, Cheese, hot dogs, white cheddar