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What Is a Chicago Hot Dog?

What Is a Chicago Hot Dog?

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This frank isn’t the standard American hot dog

Eating this hot dog could get pretty messy.

We all know the standard hot dog. It’s a requirement for baseball games, barbecues, and camping trips. Some of us like to top our dogs with ketchup, or cheese, or even more meat like bacon. But the people of Chicago have been embracing a unique array of toppings on their hot dogs for over eighty years.

The Chicago style hot dog first appeared in street carts during the Great Depression. It was a hearty and cheap meal for people who were working long days. The standard Chicago hot dog has a specific set of ingredients, but there are a few variations. The only thing that’s not negotiable is ketchup. Chicago style hot dogs never have ketchup on them. If you ask for ketchup on your Chicago dogs, some restaurants will kick you out.

The base for this delicious dog is a steamed poppy seed bun, and then you add an all-beef frank. A standard Chicago style dog has a lot of toppings. A thin dill pickle spear is placed just to the side of the wiener. Bright green relish is spread across the dog and topped with a generous drizzle of yellow mustard. The final touches are a few tomato slices, chopped white onions and some sport peppers. After all the toppings are on, a dash of celery salt tops it all off.

A Chicago dog is a wonderland of flavors, combining sweet and salty, spicy and mild. It’s a beloved food with a rich history. We suggest you try one next time you’re in Chicago.

Chicago-style hot dog

A Chicago-style hot dog, Chicago Dog, or Chicago Red Hot is an all-beef frankfurter [1] [3] on a poppy seed bun, [4] [5] originating from the city of Chicago, Illinois. [6] [7] The hot dog is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. [1] [8] [9] [10] [11] The complete assembly of a Chicago hot dog is said to be "dragged through the garden" due to the many toppings. [12] [13] The method for cooking the hot dog itself varies depending on the vendor's preference. Most often they are steamed, water-simmered, or less often grilled over charcoal (in which case they are referred to as "char-dogs").

The canonical recipe [1] does not include ketchup, and there is a widely shared, strong opinion among many Chicagoans and aficionados that ketchup is unacceptable. [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] A number of Chicago hot dog vendors do not offer ketchup as a condiment. [19]


For the spicy pickle and poppy seed relish:

In a medium bowl, combine all the relish ingredients and toss together with a spoon. Set aside.

For the hot dogs:

In a heavy bottomed cast-iron skillet over a medium heat, add 1 tablespoon neutral oil. Once hot, add hot dogs, cut-side down, and cook 2-3 minutes per side until warmed through and the exterior begins to brown.

Spread mustard and relish on both slices of bread. Place hot dogs down on one slice of bread, followed by sliced tomato and sliced onion. Season with celery salt. Close the sandwich and serve immediately.

The Works Chicago-Style Dog

While the exact toppings may vary – some recipes call for lettuce, cucumbers or even cheese sauce – one thing that Chicagoans agree on? Absolutely no ketchup. Ever.

Naturally, we didn’t try to reinvent the culinary wheel here. Our recipe calls for all the classics. Pickles, tomatoes, onions, relish, yellow mustard and a dash of magic dust: celery salt. The only difference? The addition of 100% all-beef Nathan’s beef franks, of course!


Chopped yellow onions and beefsteak tomatoes

Optional: pepperoncini peppers


Step 1

Cook your hot dogs your favorite way. We suggest pan-fried with butter! See how to cook the perfect hot dog.

Step 2

Finely chop the onions, and dice up the tomatoes or cut them into wedges.

Famous Tip: For richer, deeper flavor, marinate the tomatoes and onions in red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic for 1-2 hours.

Step 3

Assemble your dog! Nestle dog into the bun. Generously drizzle or spoon mustard over the entire dog. Top with tomatoes and onions mix, then add a heaping spoon of relish.

Nestle pickle spear on one side of dog, pepperoncini (if using) on the other. Sprinkle celery salt over all to finish.

Chicago-Style Hot Dog

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bar S Foods. All opinions are entirely my own.

Grilled hot dogs topped with sweet relish, chopped onions, tomatoes, spicy peppers, mustard, celery salt and a dill pickle. This hot dog hails from Chicago and features a poppy seed bun.

Depending on what region of the country you live, your hot dog topping could vary a lot. However, the Windy City dog starts the same as many other city’s dogs. It’s all about the dog. I like to use Bar S dogs and steam or grill them on the stove top.

The sweet pickled relish may sound odd on top of a hot dog, but the onions, mustard and dill pickle truly tie all the ingredients together in one amazing bite! With just a few extra steps, an otherwise ordinary hot dog can be turned into a timeless classic dish that’s enjoyed all throughout the Midwest.

Steaming or grilling hot dogs is perfect for quick lunch or dinner idea. Boiling hot dogs seal in the juices and keeps the inside moist and flavorful while grilled hot dogs add an additional layer of flavor. I’ve visiting Chicago throughout most of my life, having lived just 2 hour away. One of my favorite things to eat in the city besides their famous deep dish pizza is the Chicago style hot dog. It’s a must every time I visit!

With the Wisconsin Badgers playing basketball tomorrow and family and friends visiting in town, I’ll be serving up this classic dish for the game.

Bar S Foods is hosting a fun game all throughout March Madness. Get in on the fun and vote for your favorite hot dog toppings that hail from different regions throughout the US. Be sure to participate in the “Bar-S Bracket Challenge” sweepstakes from March 16 – April 2 , for the chance to win $5,000. To enter & submit your vote, visit the Bar S Foods website link here. The winner will be notified on April 6th . Read the full Term & Conditions here:

What’s your favorite hot dog toppings?

Will you vote to keep the ever-famous Windy City hot dog at the number one spot?

Regional Hot Dogs – NYC vs. Chicago Recipes

Janet Riley: Hi, I am Janet riley and I am President of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. You know New Yorkers and Chicagoans have a great rivalry on many levels, whether its baseball or hotdogs. They are passionate, in their view, that their city has the better hotdog. Today I am going to teach you how to make a New York Dog and a Chicago style Hot Dog and I am going to let you be the judge which is better.

You'll need Sliced steamed onions, steamed buns, Deli style Yellow Mustard, all beef Hot Dogs, a steamed Poppy Seed Bun, bright cream relish, chopped raw onion, sport peppers, Dill pickles, fresh tomato slices, and a dash of Celery Salt and some people like a little Sauerkraut.

To make a New York Dog you need boiled Hot Dogs, they are often called Water Dogs so we're going to place some Hot Dogs in some boiling water that we've got here. New York Dogs also feature steamed onions. So we've sliced up some onions, we've got some water boiling in a double boiler and we are going to let those steam for a few minutes. I've moistened a paper towel, and I am just going to take one of my buns here and wrap it up and then I am going to put it in the microwave for about 10 seconds. So now we've got our nice steaming hot bun, and I am going to add a nice hot beef Hot Dog and then we're going to top it with some Mustard and then we'll add the onions that are freshly steamed. And there we go, a New York Hot Dog.

Now I am going to teach you how to make a classic Chicago Dog. Chicago Dogs have a rich history, traced all the back to the depression when very competitive vendors kept adding toppings to compete with the next guy. Eventually, a signature Chicago hotdog evolved, it's the standard today in the city and it has more toppings than any other Hot Dog in America.

Now we're going to start by steaming our Poppy Seed Bun, I've moistened the paper towel and we're just going to wrap one of these buns up and put it in the microwave for about 10 seconds. So now that we have our steamed bun I am going to add a nice grilled Chicago style all beef Hot Dog and then we're going to top it with some Yellow Mustard and then we're going to move to our chunky condiments like fresh chopped onion, some special Chicago style relish extra green, some sport peppers -- you got to have the sport peppers -- some tomato slices and sliced Dill Pickle spear and then, the final, the special ingredient, the celery salt -- and notice what's missing on here? Ketchup, in Chicago you never ever put ketchup on a Hot Dog. There you have it, the Chicago Hot Dog.

So now you can appreciate the rivalry between the New York Hot Dog and the Chicago style Hot Dog. So whichever you pick, whether it's the simple elegance of the New York Dog or the loaded Chicago style Dog, enjoy.

The 5 Commandments of Building an Authentic Chicago-Style Hot Dog

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It’s a warm day in early fall, and you’re tailgating at the first home football game of the season. You skipped lunch so your stomach is grumbling, but not for long. A row of pink, meaty hot dogs sizzle on the George Foreman grill next to you, and you bend down to grab one.

You cradle the blazing dog in a flaky bun, and it’s time to add condiments. You remind yourself that with great power comes great responsibility, and you don’t want to mess this up. Follow the guidelines below to create the quintessential Chicago-style hot dog and you will never be dissatisfied by your dog again.

1. Absolutely No Ketchup

Gif courtesy of WiffleGif

There are a few unspoken rules about Chicago-style hot dogs, perhaps the most important being the lack of ketchup. In recent years, people have started to associate the tomato-based product with hot dog consumption and often lump the two together as husband and wife.

What people fail to realize, however, is that ketchup has never been and should never be put on a hot dog. In the words of Huffington Post blogger Meathead, “If you are over 18, never, ever, no how, no way, allow ketchup anywhere near a hot dog.”

2. Seedless Bun? Fuggedaboutit

Pop culture has given people the false perception that a bun should be seedless, when in fact the opposite is true. A true Chicago dog is made on a poppy seed bun. While the origin of this tradition is unknown, it has since become a signature part of the authentic Chicago dog. Unfortunately, if you attempt to make a Chicago dog without the crucial poppy seeds, you are considered an imposter.

3. Vienna Beef Only!

Any native Midwesterner knows that Chicago dogs taste the best when they are Vienna Beef — made by one of the top USDA-approved sausage distributors in the world. Vienna Beef debuted their first hot dog at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and they’ve been cooking a mean dog ever since. With this baseline covered, the Chicago dog begins to take form and it comes time for “the works.”

4. “The Works”

Here is when it gets good.

The first ingredient is yellow mustard. The trick is to swirl the mustard in a zig zag motion along the length of the hot dog, leaving half inch gaps between each zig and zag.

Next up: relish. The preferred Chicago-dog kind is lime green relish, which is rich in flavor and perfectly diced.

After the relish, comes a sprinkling of onions. Heavy on the relish, light on the onions.

5. The “Salad”

The “salad” portion of the hot dog — tomatoes, pickles and sport peppers — is crucial. This is where some people get lazy, but keep pushing, it will be worth it. The tomatoes have to be strategically placed in the crease of the bun, and the pickle spear must be placed opposite the tomatoes. This crunchy fella adds the perfect complement to the sweet relish.

Next, two sport peppers are placed atop the pile of goodies — facing the same direction as the tomatoes, obviously. The final piece of the puzzle — the celery salt — is lightly sprinkled over the entire hot dog. With a perfectly made Chicago dog in hand, the next logical step is to eat it.

6. 5-Bite Rule

If your Chicago-style dog has been made properly, you will taste every ingredient in each bite. There are two final important things to remember when eating a Chicago dog.

The first is to leave everything on the hot dog. Some patrons become overwhelmed at the rainbow of ingredients before them and feel the need to remove the pickle spear or rearrange the tomatoes — but I assure you, you will ruin the experience.

The second caveat is the 5-bite rule. Your hot dog should be consumed in no less/no more than 5 bites. A rule often forgotten, the 5-bite rule is a good way to pace yourself when devouring a delicious hot dog.

The History of Vienna Beef

Vienna® Beef was founded in 1893. Austrian-Hungarian immigrants Emil Reichel and Sam Ladany introduced their family frankfurter recipe at the legendary Columbian Exposition. The hot dog was a hit, and Vienna® Beef was born. More than 124 years later, we’re still making our sausages the old-fashioned way, with premium domestic beef and our original recipe, made to the highest of quality standards and hickory-smoked for authentic flavor.

8 all-beef hot dogs
2 pounds potatoes, unpeeled and cut in 3 x 1/2-inch thick planks
8 hot dog buns
1 cup minced onions
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1 cup yellow mustard
1 cup sweet pickle relish
sport peppers, to taste (or pepperoncini peppers if you can't get sport peppers)
celery salt, to taste

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer or 1-inch deep in a deep, heavy skillet.

Fill a pan with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the hot dogs and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and let the hot dogs cook for 6-8 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, add the potatoes to the deep fryer and cook for 4-6 minutes, turning as needed, until browned on all sides. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper toweling. Sprinkle the fries with salt and pepper.

Remove the hot dogs from the water and place one hot dog in each hot dog bun. Top each hot dog with 2 tablespoons of the onions, 2 tablespoons of the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the mustard, and 2 tablespoons of the relish. Add sport peppers and celery salt as desired.

To serve Chicago-style, place one of the dressed hot dogs in the center of a piece of brown paper or deli wrap. Add a serving of fries next to the bun. Wrap the hot dog and fries in the paper and serve immediately.

Watch the video: Greektown3 (July 2022).


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