What Makes a Good Hot Dog?

Cheap, quick and worthy enough to be the gold standard of eating competitions.  A staple of ball games and backyard Summer cookouts, the hot dog has been on our plates for many years.  The butt of many jokes that include references of hot dogs containing everything from raccoon parts to who knows what, sometimes the simple hot dog gets a bad rap.  The bottom line is that hot dogs are a simple pleasure for me and I tend to look past it’s shortcomings.

Hot Dog

I’m far from a food snob and I guess that’s obvious from being somewhat of a connoisseur of the quick-serve industry.  I really love a good hot dog and the way I top it depends on my mood at the moment.  Whether it be topped with chili and diced onions or a simple stripe of spicy mustard, there aren’t really any surprises that lay ahead for me.  A tasty hot dog can fill a craving that brews through the Winter months.  So in your opinion, what makes a good hot dog?

29 comments on “What Makes a Good Hot Dog?

  1. Adam says:

    Char-broiled. See: Ted’s, Buffalo, New York

  2. Francois says:

    I’m a fan of many types of hot dogs (Chicago-style, coney-style, Sonoran-style, those “ripped” dogs in Jersey where they deep-fry them until they literally rip, etc.) and the only thing I vehemently disagree with is ketchup on a hot dog.

    Ketchup has no place on a hot dog.

    • carrie in nj says:

      I like ketchup on my hot dog, who the hell died and made you god of hot dog condiments?? I live at the Jersey Shore, are u one of the guidos (as seen on MTV’s Jersey Shore) that come down and litter our beaches ever summer and make feeble attempts at telling other people what’s right and what’s wrong?

  3. SkippyMom says:

    You posted a pic’ of my all time favorite way to eat a hotdog! Except I put the mustard under the onions – that is the perfect hot dog for me [now I am so hungry]

    I too also like them fried – saw a show on TV once and tried it – OH. Yum!

    I also like them grilled on a flat top [split in half] served with a slice of crispy bacon, onion and mustard.

    Okay, I admit it. I am Skippy. And I am a hotdog addict. 🙂

  4. Tish says:

    An all beef frank, boiled then put in a frying pan with a little crisp on the outside. Onions. Mustard. Wolf Chilli (no beans) and red onions. Toasted bun. A little bit of pepper.

  5. Connie M Morrison says:

    Anything … I love them with kraut, onions, mustard; with chili and onions and with slaw … anything. I love hot dogs and now I am needing to go make one. Haven’t tried ripped ones yet but want to.

  6. Alex says:

    Up here, Hoffman hotdogs are king. They have that snap when you bite into them that just lets you know it’s a high quality dog.

  7. All beef hot dog, frankfurter bun (not hot dog bun), chili, chopped onions, cheddar cheese.

  8. Adam Bomb says:

    I’ll admit, I’m kind of an undiscerning hot dog slut. It’s mildly embarassing, yeah, but I’ll just eat any kind of hot dog. Except completely fat-free ones. Those are awful!

  9. AK says:

    The only fat free hot dog that’s half decent is the Hebrew National one…the others are awful.

  10. RossS says:

    The one’s that are in my belly are the best ones!

  11. Al says:

    All beef frank (boiled), warm bun, grey poupon dijon mustard, diced onions, and kraut.

  12. Bill says:

    No matter what else you put on the dog, celery salt is a must!

  13. Raiders757 says:

    – It has to be all beef. Anything else is just nasty.
    – Cooked on a grill or cast iron skillet until the casing starts display burn marks. Split open works as well.
    – It can’t have that nasty snappy casing. I don’t care what people try to claim, I don’t like my hot dogs to snap when I bite into them.
    – It can’t be longer than the bun. There has to be a good bun to dog ratio.
    – It can’t be super huge and fat. I like skinny hot dogs. Once again, perfect bun to dog ratio comes into play.
    – It can’t be buried in a mound of toppings. Like hamburgers and Pizza, a minimalist approach provides better results. Chicago dogs are just out of hand and not for me.
    – It can’t be died red. Those dogs they serve at the track in Martinsville Virginia are just nasty. Same with Red Hots.

    Personally, I like my dogs one of two ways. Plain or with mustard and onions. I am with the ketchup shouldn’t be on a hot dog crowd.

  14. Natalie says:

    All beef, preferably Hebrew National brand if I’m at home. Topped with either just mustard or no bean chili.

  15. Ian says:

    Any kind of hot dog really whether nuked or grilled…as long as the bun is fresh and ill be the first to say it – KETCHUP on a dog is awesome dont hate also there needs to be stadium mustard

  16. As sir mix alot said…”I like them real big and juicy”..LOVE all beef franks with onions, chili, and CHEESEEE…maybe tatertots on top…MMMM.

  17. willrun4food says:

    Vienna Beef, steamed poppy seed bun, spicy brown mustard, diced onion…the other Chicago-style toppings, while nice, are not necessary. Ideally, I’d be getting the dog from Gene and Judes, which means it gets topped with some of the best firies Chi-town has to offer. Bam, happiness on a bun.

  18. chuck in chicago says:

    What makes a good hot dog? Let me be frank (pun intended): it all starts with the hot dog itself. In my opinion, the only hot dogs worth their name are the all-beef kosher ones that manufacturers like Hebrew National, Nathan’s Famous, and Vienna Beef sell. If you compare an all-beef hot dog from, say, Oscar Mayer to one from the previously-mentioned companies, you’ll find that the all-beef non-kosher hot dog bears a strong resemblance to bologna in taste and texture. As for the bun and condiments, I’m not a purist: the bun should be sturdy enough to hold the dog and the condiments can be whatever you’d like. My preference is for the Chicago-style poppyseed bun and French’s yellow mustard, Heinz relish, and chopped onion. Although I live in Chicago, I have to agree with Raiders757’s minimalist approach to toppings–the typical Chicago-style hot dog is indeed overkill.

  19. The best kind of hot dog is moderately burnt on the grill (I like the taste of that black “skin”) with some kind of brown mustard, lots of sauerkraut, and onions.

  20. Jessica J. says:

    I live in North Carolina, and here, when you order “all the way” you get the BEST hot dog – chili, slaw, mayo, mustard, onions – YUM!!!!

  21. Michael says:

    Plain old Yellow Mustard (French’s) Thats it for me.

  22. Jim says:

    The Varsity makes a good dog or four.

  23. Swampfox says:

    hummus, over easy egg, onion.

  24. Adam Bomb says:

    ^^^Now THERE’S a hot dog you don’t hear about every day….I’ll admit it’s intriguing, and I wouldn’t rule it out.

  25. James says:

    I like chili and cheese on mine. And I lol @ the people who take ketchup on hotdogs so seriously, buncha loonies.

  26. Johnny "The Grubber" says:

    soft non-dry bun with a wiener that snaps and NO KETHCUP!!

  27. Jon says:

    Ketchup shouldn’t be on YOUR hotdog, but I’ll put a bunch on mine. Don’t act like you’re some type of connoisseur because you disagree with it.

  28. Ryan says:

    Smother the dog with Fry Sauce and then coat it in crushed potato chips. The best.

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