We needed an expert. Luckily, Tim Milojevich, 37, the owner of Barrio restaurant and a longtime San Francisco chef, was on hand to help. Milojevich worked as a professional sausage and pastrami maker for several years, and he knew a hell of a lot more than most of us. Let’s just say he added the word “snap” (the pleasing resistance of a good sausage casing) and “emulsification” (how well the liquids and fat bind to lock in juiciness) to our hot dog vocabulary.
And what’s a cookout without the kids’ opinion? Our neighbors Kaylee, 12, and Genisse, 11, assured me 14 hot dogs was no challenge as they helped lay pickles on the table. Mix in hungry friends and family, and we were good to go.