Hot dogs are almost as receptive to sauces and recipes as chicken wings. Most any sauce tastes good on a hot dog, and they're a great vessel for condiments like mustard, ketchup and relish.

When a shipment of all-natural, grass-fed beef hot dogs from Burn Ayr, a local farm in Delhi, NY, showed up at the office, it was a great opportunity to test out my grandmother's "barbecued dogs" recipe.

This is an easy recipe that packs a lot of barbecue flavor. Essentially, you make a homemade barbecue sauce and cook the hot dogs in it. The secret ingredient is lemonade, and you can experiment with the amount used to get the right sweet-tart notes in the sauce. I used 1/4 cup, which wasn't much, but enough to sweeten the sauce.

I especially liked the sauce, and with a couple tweaks to cater specifically to your taste, could be cooked and bottled on its own.

These are perfect for a tailgate or game night. They are pretty easy to make and taste great. I give these a 7 out of 10 -- another winner!

Big Chuck Tries It

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Here's what you need:

3 Tablespoons shortening
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1/4 cup lemonade
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire
2 teaspoons mustard
12 hot dogs
12 hot dog rolls
Shredded cheddar cheese, to taste


1. Sautee Celery, Onions

In a large skillet, melt shortening under medium heat. Sautee onion and celery until translucent (about 7 minutes).

2. Make BBQ Sauce

While the onions and celery are cooking, combine ketchup, water, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, lemonade, Worcesteshire and mustard in a mixing bowl and whisk together.

3. Combine sauce and veggies

Pour sauce into skillet with onions and celery and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Prepare hot dogs

While the sauce is simmering, prepare the hot dogs by piercing the casing with a fork. This will allow the sauce to seep into the meat once you begin cooking the hot dogs.

5. Cook dogs

Place hot dogs into simmering sauce and cook for 8 minutes per side, or about 15 minutes in total.

6. Plate

I added shredded cheddar cheese to mine and spooned some leftover sauce onto the hot dog.

7. Take a bite shot