I had a hard time deciding what to call this recipe because this style of hot dog goes by a number of names—Danger dogs, Mexican hot dogs, Tijuana dogs, etc. The major defining trait of this hot dog is that it's bacon-wrapped, and more often than not, deep fried. It's then topped with any number of Mexican-influenced toppings, so can take many unique forms from there. My lockdown on the name and topping combination ended up being decided by an illustration by Hawk Krall that labeled a Tijuana dog with an array of add-ons that sounded perfect in my mind—pico, jalapeños, pineapple, avocado, and crema. In the end, this led me down a very delicious path.
The only topping that really required any time in prep was the pico. I decided to take this opportunity to change up my pico de gallo method by starting with salting my diced tomatoes before assembling the final salsa. This step draws out liquid from the tomatoes and concentrates their flavor. I thought a less watery and more intensely flavored pico here would be the right choice for a hot dog condiment and I wasn't left regretting the minimal extra time this took.
Moving on to the hot dog, bacon-wrapping is a requirement. Grilling is not. Actually, I worried grilling would be an unfitting choice here because the time it takes to grill bacon and hot dogs varies by a good five to ten minutes, plus if I tried to grill them over direct heat, I'd be faced with the prospect of constant flare-ups from rendering bacon fat that would easily become a headache. Still, this is a grilling blog, so I ventured on using a live fire.
Before those glorious franks hit the grill, I roasted a couple of jalapeños. In a normal pepper roasting scenario, I'm usually trying to char the skin completely for later removal, but not this time—I wanted some blackening of the skin, but not total char. So roasting didn't take as long I'm used to, but the jalapeños were still rendered very soft from their time spent over the flames.
After the jalapeños were done, I transferred them to a cutting board and sliced them into thin strips lengthwise. Then the hot dogs went on the grill, where I placed them over indirect heat. Having them not directly over the fire was primarily to avoid that flare-up situation, but I did still have concerns about the long cooking time that might be required for the bacon.
And those fears weren't completely unfounded since, by the time the bacon cooked fully and was well browned, the hot dogs were a bit shriveled and charred in spots. They still looked mighty tasty though, so I wasted no time in toasting some buns and then assembling the final products.
And I'll admit, deep frying is probably a better avenue for more a perfect bacon-wrapped hot dog, but boy were these some tasty creations. I'm guessing you can imagine what these tasted like already, but if you can't, just think "taco" with an extra hearty and meaty filling along with a soft, toasty bun instead of corn tortilla. There was so much going on here with everything playing so well together—pineapple adding a sweetness against the spicy peppers, crema adding a cooling touch, pico delivering a freshness, and that hot dog with its added layer of smoked pork serving as the center point of the entire experience. It doesn't matter what name you want to give this, or how you choose to top it, this Mexican-inspired variation on the hot dog is worthy of your attention.
- Yield 8 servings
- Prep 20 Minutes
- Inactive 10 Minutes
- Cook 10 Minutes
- Total 40 Minutes
- For the Pico de Gallo
- 3/4 cup diced roma tomatoes (about 2 medium)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/3 cup finely diced white onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon finely diced seeded jalapeño (about 1 small)
- 2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice from 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic (about 1 medium clove)
- For the Hot Dogs
- 2 large jalapeños
- 8 all-beef hot dogs
- 8 strips of bacon
- 8 hot dog buns
- 3/4 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
- 1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced
- 1/3 cup crema or sour cream
- To make the pico de gallo: Place tomatoes in a fine-mesh strainer set in a bowl, season with salt, and toss to combine. Let tomatoes sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Discard liquid, transfer tomatoes to bowl, and add in onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and garlic; toss to combine. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
- To make the hot dogs: Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place jalapeños on hot side of grill and cook until lightly charred on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to cutting board, let cool slightly, then slice jalapeños into thin strips lengthwise.
- Wrap a slice of bacon around each hot dog, spiraling the bacon down length of frank. Place hot dogs on cool side of grill, cover, and cook until bacon has fully cooked and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Place hot dog buns on hot side of grill, cut side down, and cook until lightly toasted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving platter, place a hot dog in each bun, and top with jalapeño strips, pico de gallo, pineapple, avocado slices, and crema. Serve immediately.