Easy Eats

Dogs and Tots

I have a small confession to make. Even though I can cook a lot of pretty decent meals, my girlfriend’s absolute favorite meal that I make is hot dogs and tater tots. I actually think that she wanted to start seriously dating me because of this:

I think there are two real secrets to making fantastic hot dogs at home: First, use good dogs. I’m sorry Oscar Meyer, but you just don’t have my heart when it comes to hot dogs (although you do when it comes to jingles!) I always go with either Nathan’s or Hebrew National.

 

Hot Dogs and Tater Tots

Just a moment please...

Yield
Serves 4-6.
Prep Time
Total Time

A walkthrough on how to bake hot dogs so they are super-delicious and almost better than on the grill! Plus, my secret tater tot seasoning recipe!

Ingredients

8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
6-8 ounces cheese (blue cheese, cheddar, etc)
Ranch Dressing
Blue cheese dressing
Ketchup
Mustard

Tater Tot Seasoning:

2 parts seasoned salt
2 parts paprika
1 part dried oregano
1 part chili powder
1 part Kosher salt
Print Recipe     Pin Recipe

Directions

For tator tots: 1) Start cooking frozen tater tots at 425 degrees F. They will need to bake for 35-40 minutes to get very crispy which is longer than most of the products will recommend but leads to a crispier tot.

2) Mix up spice mix and and add a good pinch of spice to the tots halfway through baking and then again at the end.

3) For hot dogs, start them off in a frying pan on medium high heat. If they are dry, add just a bit of olive oil to the party. After about 10 minutes, they will look delicious.

4) Once dogs are seared, cut up some cheese. Any cheese will do. I prefer cheddar or blue cheese.

5) Put your preferred cheese in your bun, then put your dog in the bun, then put the whole package in the oven for 5 minutes. The cheese will melt and the bun will get crispy. It will be fantastic.

You can top dogs with whatever toppings you like. I prefer mustard or even blue cheese dressing. Serve with the tots on the side!

The second tip involves method. The best part of these dogs is that they are cooked on the stove until they are crispy, then baked for a few minutes in the bun which melts the cheese, crisps the bun, and brings the whole dog together.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before we can even start with the dogs, we need to get the tater tots started.

I use normal frozen tater tots for this, but I don’t really follow the recipe. I cook them at the same temperature that most frozen tots recommend (425), but I cook them longer (40 minutes or more depending on your oven) and I spice them up A LOT.

They look pretty bland out of the bag.

Do not follow instructions bag. Unless you like bad food.

Do not follow instructions bag. Unless you like bad food.

For the tots: I cook them for 20 minutes, take them out and shake them, put on about half of my spices, return to the oven for 20 more minutes, and then season with the rest of the spices.

I’ve tinkered with a bunch of seasonings over the years, and I would encourage you to play around. This is my favorite currently though.

The secret to good tater tots.

The secret to good tater tots.

If you like your tots super crispy you may even want to cook them for another 10 minutes bringing the total cooking time to 50 minutes.

Back to the hot dogs. Start them off in a frying pan on medium high heat.

A humble start.

A humble start.

If they look dry, add just a bit of olive oil to the party. After about 10 minutes, they will look delicious.

Phase one. Done.

Phase one. Done.

Once your dogs are done, this is what you should do. Cut up some cheese. Any cheese will do. I prefer these:

Give people a variety. Or don't.

Give people a variety. Or don’t.

Sorry, I didn’t have time to take a lot of photos at this point, but I think you can handle it. Put your preferred cheese in your bun, then put your dog in the bun, then put the whole package in the oven for 5 minutes. The cheese will melt and the bun will get crispy. It will be fantastic.

Let’s check in on our tots.

Beautiful babies.

Beautiful babies.

They still need probably 15 minutes.

What about those dogs?

This is how you finish off hot dogs.

This is how you finish off hot dogs.

You can top them with whatever toppings you like. I prefer mustard or even blue cheese dressing. Again, I wasn’t able to take too many photos of the whole deal because they were eaten in like 30 seconds.

I promise if you make your dogs and tots like this from now on, you will have a bunch of new friends.

If you didn’t know, you can get Macheesmo updates via E-mail or RSS. That way you don’t have to keep typing in www.macheesmo.com every time.

11 comments on “Dogs and Tots

  1. I never would have thought of putting hot dogs in the oven–cool idea. And congrats on managing to make hot dogs and tater tots look so delicious and special. The pic of the dogs cooked in the pan (the fifth one) is especially appetizing.

  2. I was a little skeptical about the tater tots the other night because I have never been a fan. Even in elementary school. I always passed on the tots. Your recipe has converted me… and now I am thinking that this is what I want to eat tonight!

  3. Wow, I never thought to do that. My family's always just boiled them and over the years I've almost lost my taste for them. But actually pan cooking them? That sounds incredible, definitely something to try! :D:

Leave a Comment