Food: Shape
Hot Dog Art   (+2)  [vote for, against]
Not sure what it is until you cook it

I’ve been eating a lot of hot dogs lately. In doing so, I have realized a hidden talent of mine – the ability to carve designs into the uncooked dog with a knife. While they are very difficult to see in raw form, the cooking process transforms them into beautiful pieces of art. As they blossom, the cuts open to reveal the pink insides of the dog, which stand out in contrast to the brown casing. Different effects can be realized by varying the depth of the cut, as a deep cut will open much wider than a shallow one. I started with simple patterns on the dog (checkers, squiggly lines, polka dots…), from there moved on to writing messages (HOT DOG !, LUECKE…), and finally I attempted a drawing (a dog next to a tree)… yes, I have been eating a LOT of hot dogs lately.

But if carving these creations has taught me anything, it is this – it takes a long time to do this by hand. So I propose that hot dogs be manufactured with designs already cut into them. I imagine that it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to do. As the dogs come off the line, but before they are packaged, they are simply stamped with (or rolled over) a shaped-knife pattern (cookie cutter technology). Then they could be sold in packages with an assortment of designs. There could be basic designs such as patterns or sports drawings, seasonal patterns, and even marketing related patterns (Shrek dogs would be popular right now). The real fun in these would be that the kids are relatively clueless as to what picture their food is going to have on it until it is cooked.

PS. I suppose that this idea is pretty similar to the “Laserfurterator” (see link), but thought it deserved its own posting based on the “element of surprise” and the fact that it is a bit more practical.
-- luecke, Jun 14 2004

Laserfurterator http://www.halfbake...dea/Laserfurterator
burn designs onto hot dogs with a laser [luecke, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

"deserved its own posting"
I concur.

"have realized a hidden talent of mine"
I wish I could find a talent of some sort. I've looked everywhere, they seem to be quite well hidden.

A home cutting stencil set might sell (keep out of reach of children). Small steel rule dies could be used in a simple press.

How well does the pattern exposure fair if the dog is cooked on the grill instead of heated in water?
-- half, Jun 14 2004

If you could just figure out how to holow one out to fit a birthday candle you could make frank-o-lanterns.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 14 2004

Perhaps just ribbing.
-- bristolz, Jun 14 2004

No, I think he was serious.
-- half, Jun 14 2004

[bristolz] - Who is ribbing? Not me. Although it doesn't serve much (or any at all…) of a purpose to society, I think it is actually one of my more realistically bake-able ideas.

[half] – Glad to see you harbor no ill will for idea-similarities, and I like the home stencil set idea. As for grilling vs. boiling… I have no idea. I actually have just been popping them in the microwave (need to save some time after all that carving effort). I would imagine that the result is pretty similar though.
-- luecke, Jun 14 2004

-- bristolz, Jun 14 2004

Perhaps include a small, stinging whip to flagellate a frankfurter.
-- FarmerJohn, Jun 14 2004

Flagellation . . . imagining religious practices and you think of sex. Tsk.
-- FarmerJohn, Jun 14 2004

"Waiter, there's a flagellate in my primordial soup!"
"It's not my species table."
-- FarmerJohn, Jun 15 2004

[contracts] - Depending on size and number of dogs, I would usually let them have 30-45 seconds of the tiny waves. It's best to use trial and error really. Of course you should keep your eye on them, as they are prone to splitting open if you leave them in too long. That is actually where this idea comes from. I have always cut a single scar down the length of my dogs before microwaving so as to allow for a controlled split - much less messy that way.

If you want to get real fancy, you can cook the dog halfway on its own, then place it in the bun, wrap the whole thing in a lightly dampened paper towel, and finish cooking it like that. It kind of gives a steamed effect to the bun and dog... tastes like the ones at the ball park if you do it right.

Crap, now I've turned my own idea into a recipe and doomed it for deletion...
-- luecke, Jun 15 2004

"Waiter, what's this flagellate doing in my primordial soup?"
"Looks like the bacterial stroke."
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 15 2004

Not worse than the joke that your previous anno reminded me of and that I won't tell.

There's a street vendor around here called "Ed The Hotdogger". Maybe Hot Dog Art's his competitor?
-- half, Jun 15 2004

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