Hot Dog Burnt Ends

Last Updated on June 19, 2023

Hot Dog Burnt Ends are a fun and delicious spin on the classic hot dog. Smoked in only 90 minutes, they’re easy to make whenever you need a quick party appetizer that everyone will love.

An aluminum tray full of bite sized hot dog burnt ends
Sweet, smoky and delicious!

What Are Hot Dog Burnt Ends?

Hot dog burnt ends are made by applying a dry rub to hot dogs and smoking them at a low temperature, then slicing them into bite sized pieces and grilling them at a higher temp in a pan with butter, brown sugar, and barbecue sauce. The result is a smoky, sweet, and sticky masterpiece of flavor no one can resist.

Traditionally, burnt ends are made with the point end of a brisket. You can also use pork belly, a chuck roast, or in this case…hot dogs!

Hot dogs are a cheap and easy alternative to those more expensive cuts, and they cook up in no time. They’re a perfect option when you’re just learning to use a smoker, and they’re also great for seasoned smokers who want an easy appetizer or side dish.

How To Smoke Hot Dog Burnt Ends

This recipe is super easy but it’s broken up into two separate parts. First, you slowly smoke the hot dogs at a low temperature so they warm up and absorb flavor from the smoke and rub. Then you crank up the temperature and finish the hot dogs off in a bath of butter, barbecue sauce, and brown sugar until they’re sweet and caramelized.

Prep Your Hot Dogs – Open up a package your favorite hot dogs, slather them with spicy brown or yellow mustard, and sprinkle on a generous amount of your favorite barbecue rub (I’m a Meat Church fan myself). The mustard acts as a binder and helps the rub stick to the hot dogs, but you can use a little olive oil if you prefer.

A tray of hot dogs rubbed with BBQ rub and a canister of Meat Church rub.
The Gospel according to Meat Church

Smoke Your Dogs – Fire up your smoker and smoke the hot dogs for about an hour. Keep the temperature low, around 225 F is perfect. Remember, hot dogs are already cooked so you’re really just warming them up and letting them absorb the flavor and smokiness.

If you’re using an electric smoker or pellet grill you can just set the temperature to 225 F and a one hour timer. If you’re smoking with charcoal on something like a Weber Smokey Mountain, you’ll have to monitor the temperature to make sure it doesn’t get too hot and dry out your dogs.

Phase 2: Making Burnt Ends – After about an hour you can remove the hot dogs from the smoker and slice them into bite sized pieces about an inch to 1.5 inches long. Toss the sliced wieners into a disposable aluminum pan. You might want to double up the pan to make sure it is sturdy enough.

Add butter, brown sugar, and barbecue sauce and mix well so all of the hot dogs are evenly coated. If you don’t have any brown sugar on hand you can use honey, maple syrup, or molasses instead.

A tray of smoked hot dogs sliced into bite sized pieces with butter, brown sugar, and barbecue sauce on top.
Back on the grill!

Crank up the heat on your smoker or place them on a grill at medium high heat (around 350 F to 375 F). The higher heat will help the sauce thicken and caramelize. Let the burnt ends cook for another 15 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the sauce is caramelized and sticky, the burnt ends are ready to come off the grill. You can serve them right in the aluminum tray or transfer to a bowl for serving.

A tray of hot dog burnt ends ready to come off the grill.
Time to eat!

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of hot dogs to use for burnt ends?

When you’re making hot dog burnt ends, you should use good quality hot dogs that you’d enjoy eating plain on a bun. Thumanns hot dogs are my favorite, and I used Kirkland brand dogs from Costco in the pictures in this post.

If you use cheap, low quality hot dogs that you don’t really like, you can’t expect your burnt ends to come out very good.

What’s the best wood for smoking hot dogs?

You can smoke hot dogs with any kind of mild hardwood. I recommend using either apple, cherry, or oak and sometimes I like to blend different varieties of wood chips. Stay away from very strong wood flavors like mesquite because they can easily overpower the natural taste of the hot dogs.

Can you make hot dog burnt ends without a smoker?

It is possible to make hot dog burnt ends without a smoker. Just place some wood chips in a smoker box and you can smoke your hot dogs on a Kettle Grill or any propane grill.

Yield: Serves 12

Hot Dog Burnt Ends

Hot Dog Burnt Ends

Hot Dog Burnt Ends are a fun and delicious spin on the classic hot dog. Smoked in only 90 minutes, they're easy to make whenever you need a quick party appetizer that everyone will love.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes


  • 12 hot dogs
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown or yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons barbecue rub
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat your smoker to 225 F
  2. Slather your hot dogs with mustard and then sprinkle on the barbecue rub.
  3. Place the hot dogs on the smoker and let them smoke for about an hour.
  4. Remove the hot dogs and slice them into pieces about 1 to 1.5 inch pieces. Place the hot dog pieces in a disposable aluminum pan and top with the butter, brown sugar, and barbecue sauce. Mix well to coat the hot dogs.
  5. Finish them off by placing back on your smoker or on a grill at a higher temperature (350 F to 375 F) and cooking for another 15 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. When the sauce has come together and started to thicken and caramelize, remove the hot dog burnet ends from the smoker, transfer to a serving bowl, and serve while warm.


Try swap out the brown sugar for honey, maple syrup, or molasses.

Insert toothpicks into a few of the burnt ends to make it east for guests to serve themselves.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 601mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 6g
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