During the summer you have one very important question: Hot dog or hamburger? I won't go as far as saying that your answer determines your personality (though I want to), but I will say that I'll probably judge you if I see you passing up a patty for a dog. Here's why I don't think you ever lay your hands on one:
1. THEY CONTAIN GROSS SH*T.
Don't believe me? In a brilliant, bold move, TIME submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to learn what foreign objects people had reported finding in the diggity dogs. The ones that should make you want to hurl most (and never order another dog again)? A clump of hair (maybe eyelashes) and a silverfish (yes, the insect).
2. THEY'RE BASICALLY SALTY DOGS.
One link sets you back a whopping 600 milligrams, which is nearly half of what the Dietary Guidelines of America recommends for a mindful daily salt intake.
3. THEY MAY CAUSE CANCER.
Yeah, yeah, you're no stranger to the negative press that hot dogs get, but the findings are real: Diets high in processed meats have been linked directly to cancer, particularly colon cancer. You're likely familiar with the naughty "N" word in hot dogs, too. Nitrates are the real enemy, which can have a reaction in the stomach that forms cancer-causing compounds.
4. THEY'RE MADE OF TRIMMINGS...
That juicy dog meat isn't made up of anything worthy of a single bite. After a pork production plant carves steaks and chops, the trimmings—which make up the dogs—are scraped into a stainless steel vat. YUM.
5....WHICH ARE MEAT SMOOTHIES.
Mmm, how delicious does that sound? Before the hot dogs are baked, they're a thick, smooth mixture that resembles a liver mousse, but is so not that.
6. JOEY CHESTNUT. PERIOD.
Sorry, Joey, we do respect your dog-eating..err..talent, but we just can't watch it anymore! It's too painful to see the sweat and near-choking that goes on as you drown the competition. The Internet has officially seen enough images of you—though it's damn near impossible to unsee any of them.
7. THAT WATER IS JUST TOO MUCH.
It might be because I live in NYC, where I see tubs of warm dirty hot dog water sitting in street carts, but I 'm not overlooking the salty liquid that's in the bottom of the package.
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A sizzling grill with plenty of hot dogs on it might be one of our favorite scents and sounds of ALL TIME. Why? Because they start so simple (just a dog and its bun), hot dogs actually have so much potential for greatness. From toppings to bun alternatives to fun twists on pigs in a blanket (c'mon, we couldn't forget the best hot dog app of all), these wild-slash-brilliant ways to eat a hot dog will keep your grill feeling fresh all season long. Try all of these cleverly delicious hot dog recipes for the best summer eating ever!
It's a question for the ages—Why are there never enough hot dog buns? You can always make your own homemade hot dog buns, or use a variety of different ingredients to mimic a bun. We're now total converts to weaving hot dogs into pigs in a quilt, pressing them into our hot dog Cubans, or rolling them into our garlic bread hot dogs. No bun doesn't have to mean no hot dogs, not on our watch.
Ketchup, mustard, and relish are great, but don't stop there. Literally anything can take your hot dogs from good to incredible. Start slow by topping your dogs with classic summer sides, then branch out. For inspiration, check out the pineapple salsa on our Hawaiian hot dogs, the refried pinto beans on our Sonoran hot dogs, the Big Mac sauce on our Big Mac hot dogs, and more for proof that the sky really is the limit.
Corn Dogs & Pigs In
A Blanket Whatever We Want:
We can't talk hot dogs without talking about our two other favorite dishes to make with them: corn dogs and pigs in a blanket. The classics are great, but you know we like to take things to the next level, so we've included a number of OTT recipes here for inspiration. Check out our Chicago-style pull-apart pigs in a blanket, our Flamin' Hot corn dogs, our pretzel dog beer cheese dip, or our Korean corn dogs for ideas, then get creative!
Hot Dog Cubans
Get the Hot Dog Cubans recipe.
Chicago-Style Hot Dogs
Chicago is as picky about hot dogs as New York is about pan pizza. The specific toppings are as important as the order in which they get layered. It's been "dragged through the garden," as the locals say, and we know you'll love it so very much.
Get the Chicago-Style Hot Dogs recipe.
Big Mac Hot Dogs
Get the Big Mac Hot Dogs recipe.
Korean Corn Dog
With toppings like fries, puffed rice, and crushed ramen, and with a finishing sprinkling of sugar, South Korean corn dogs have become one of the most popular street foods in the world. Whether you're making corn dogs or just regular hot dogs, they're sure to be a topping inspiration.
Get the Korean Corn Dogs recipe.
How To Make A Hot Dog Board
At this point, a beautiful charcuterie board is old news. We've tried our hand at a s'mores board for summer cookouts and a mini pie board for Thanksgiving, and now we've moved on to a new obsession: a hot dog board! Untraditional? Sure, but imagine all of the fun toppings you can include!
Get the How To Make A Hot Dog Board recipe.
Sonoran Hot Dog
Our take on this Mexican-inspired hot dog is based off of versions made in Arizona where it's a standard—warm pinto beans, fresh jalapeño salsa, onion, tomato, mustard, and mayo. The split-top bun is essential to the look, but the hot dogs can be prepared on regular buns; you can simply split the tops yourself and load 'em up!
Get the Sonoran Hot Dog recipe.
Pigs In A Blanket
Get the Pigs In A Blanket recipe.
Turns out, everyone's favorite diner sandwich—the BLT—is also perfect as a hot dog. Hot tip: To ensure the bacon stays wrapped while the dogs cook, secure ends with toothpicks. (Just remember to remove them before serving!)
Get the BLT Dogs recipe.
Curry Sausage Corn Dog
Get the Curry Sausage Corn Dog recipe.
Vegan Chili Dogs
We have to be honest, this meatless version might be better than meat-full chili dogs. Sure it's hard to replicate the snap of a true hot dog with plant-based ingredients, but this complex chili is world changing. You're going to want to put it on way more than just veggie dogs. We see chili mac, tamale pie, and plenty of chili fries in your future.
Get the Vegan Chili Dogs recipe.
Hawaiian Hot Dogs
Half the fun of eating a hot dog is loading it up with all kinds of toppings, and this time we took a tropical approach. The pineapple salsa combats the spice from sriracha, creating a perfect balance of flavor and texture, especially atop a sweet Hawaiian roll bun.
Get the Hawaiian Hot Dogs recipe.
Garlic Bread Hot Dogs
Feeling fancy? These hot dogs are for you. Rather than top them with garlic, we're enveloping them in a toasty, crunchy baguette that becomes the perfect, garlic-bread-inspired bun. Dip them or drizzle them in marinara for the full Italian restaurant experience.
Get the Garlic Bread Hot Dogs recipe.
Hot Dog Skewers
This simple skewer twist is great for low-carb dieters, or anyone trying to integrate more veggies into their diet. The tangy BBQ glaze is killer too (so try it on your grilled chicken or burgers too).
Get the Hot Dog Skewers recipe.
Air Fryer Hot Dogs
Your air fryer and hot dogs were simply meant to be. It gives you grill quality without the hassle of cleaning the grates and waiting for the grill to preheat. Hungry for more air fryer summer fare? Try our air fryer hamburgers next.
Get the Air Fryer Hot Dogs recipe.
Everything Bagel Dogs
Get the Everything Bagel Dogs recipe.
Pigs in a Quilt
Get the Pigs in a Quilt recipe.
Perfect Corn Dogs
No one can deny the crispy, slightly sweet, perfectly fried lure of a corn dog. Surprisingly, they are super easy to make at home. The batter fries up quickly and super crispy. These will transport you right back to being a kid at the local state fair 0r carnival.
Get the Perfect Corn Dogs recipe.
Hot Dog Chili
From chili cheese dog enchiladas to chili cheese dog egg rolls, there's no cuisine we won't corrupt with hot dogs and canned chili. Sometimes, though, we like to make things from scratch, and when we want a classic chili dog, this is the chili recipe we turn to.
Get the Hot Dog Chili recipe.
Chili Cheese Dog Casserole
Canned chili and crescent dough makes this recipe ridiculously easy. For a more traditional Cincinnati-style chili cheese dog, we recommend using bean-less chili. Got time to make a homemade chili? Fancy it up by making our ultimate beef chili.
Get the Chili Cheese Dog Casserole recipe.
Mini Corn Dogs
Get the Mini Corn Dogs recipe.
Grilled Cheese Dogs
Can't choose between a hot dog and a grilled cheese sandwich? Why not both? 😈 Now you don't have to debate over whether "Is a hot dog a sandwich?" especially when it means perfectly seared hot dogs and melty cheese.
Get the Grilled Cheese Dogs recipe.
Chili Cheese Dog Cups
Get the Chili Cheese Dog Cups recipe.
Campfire Pigs In A Blanket
Get the Campfire Pigs In A Blanket recipe.
Flamin' Hot Corn Dogs
We love thinking outside the bag to create all kinds of recipes with spicy, tangy Flamin' Hot Cheetos, from Flamin' Hot wings to Flamin' Hot Mac and cheese. For these corn dogs, Cheetos get blended down into dust and mixed into our batter and the result is actually an extremely crispy, slightly hot, really good corn dog.
Get the Flamin' Hot Corn Dogs recipe.
Jalapeño Popper Dogs
We took our jalapeño poppers and adapted them to combine with the beloved hot dog. Try these, and you might never eat a hot dog without jalapeños again!
Get the Jalapeño Popper Dogs recipe.
Grilled Chili Cheese Dogs
It just wasn't enough to mix a grilled cheese with a hot dog for our grilled cheese hot dogs, so we went to the next level and created our newest favorite hybrid. These make grilled cheese look positively boring.
Get the Grilled Chili Cheese Dogs recipe.
Get the Quesadogas recipe.
Jalapeño Popper Pigs in a Blanket
Hot Dog Hash
Bacon or corned beef are typically what we love with our potatoes, but we might be converted to a new tradition with this unexpected, but totally brilliant breakfast hash. Crack an egg on top, and breakfast is ready.
Get the Hot Dog Hash recipe.
Mac & Cheese Dogs
As kids (and even now), we loved whenever hot dogs were mixed with mac & cheese. So we thought, how about the other way around? Here your favorite comfort foods are rolled into an even more amazing combination.
Get the Mac & Cheese Dogs recipe.
Sometimes, you just run out of hot dog buns, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on a great hot dog. Enter: your new favorite "bun." Yes we went there, and yes, it's delicious.
Get the Pickle Dogs recipe.
Grilled Hot Dog Panini
Made with sliced fried hot dogs and melty American cheese, this twist on a classic panini is a total summer crowd pleaser. Load ’em up with a ketchup-mustard combo, and press on. Hot tip: if you don’t have a panini press, grilling them in a sauté pan works great too.
Get the Grilled Hot Dog Panini recipe.
Pretzel Dog Beer Cheese Dip
Get the Pretzel Dog Beer Cheese Dip recipe.
Pull-Apart Pigs In A Blanket
The first time we made this recipe, we packed in about 60 mini hot dogs; the second time, 30; the third, 45. Lesson learned: It depends on who is cutting the pizza dough! If you cut bigger pieces of pizza dough, you'll need less hot dogs, and the dough will puff more.
Get the Pull-Apart Pigs In A Blanket recipe.
Grilled Beer Brats
These beer brats are inspired by the Italian-American classic combination of sausage, peppers, and onions. Though usually made on the stove, we love this grilled version for easy cleanup and a simple process. Don't have the right skillet? Make your dogs in a foil pack, à la our sausage & peppers foil packs.
Get the Grilled Beer Brats recipe.
Chicago Style Pull-Apart Pigs In A Blanket
Chicago-style hot dogs are the most decorated hot dogs of all time. Loaded with pickles, peppers, tomatoes, and relish these pigs in a blanket are like their little brother. Bake them in a springform pan for a fun presentation that allows everyone to dive in and pull off a piece one by one.
Get the Hot Docos recipe.
Chili Cheese Dog Bread
Get the Chili Cheese Dog Bread recipe.
Hot Dog Fried Rice
This might seem like just another kid-friendly dinner, but it's truly better than the sum of its parts. Trust us, it's a classic for a reason, and is better than it sounds!
Get the Hot Dog Fried Rice recipe.
Spiral Hot Dogs
Get the Spiral Hot Dogs recipe.
Hot Dog-Stuffed Cornbread
Get the Hot Dog Stuffed Cornbread recipe.
Get the Pickleback Dogs recipe.
Pizza Hot Dogs
Pizza and hot dogs? A no-brainer. Two of the best foods ever, now together in a buttery hot dog bun.
Get the Pizza Hot Dogs recipe.
Waffle Corn Dogs
Get the Waffle Corn Dogs recipe.
Slow-Cooker Hot Dogs
Get the Slow Cooker Hot Dogs recipe.
Mummy Hot Dogs
For a Halloween appetizer, not much beats a mummy dog, but ours is the best for a couple of big reasons: First, they're stuffed with melty American cheese. Second, each mummy is brushed with melted butter before baking. They're spooky good.
Get the Mummy Hot Dogs recipe.
Pigs In A Pretzel
Get the Pigs In A Pretzel recipe.
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