With summer slowly coming to a close, we are attempting to find ways to keep the joyous times of summer going. When we think of summer, we think of BBQ’s and lots of days spent outside. This also leads to us thinking of the many hot dogs that we tried this summer to avoid getting bored of the plain old hot dog. Keep summer alive all year long with MommyMatter‘s overview of hot dog types, buns and toppings.
First, decide on your dog.
Any sausage served on a bun is considered a hot dog, so there’s plenty of room for personalization. When it comes to flavor, 5 types top our list:
- Franks: The classic dog. Cured all-beef sausage, typically flavored with garlic and paprika.
- Turkey/Chicken: The leaner alternative to franks. Cured varieties taste like traditional dogs, while fresh sausages can contain other ingredients, like jalapeño, cheddar and apple.
- Kielbasa: Polish smoked sausage traditionally made from ground pork, salt, pepper, garlic and marjoram.
- Bratwurst: Fresh, uncured pork sausage, sometimes with beef or veal added. Seasoned generously with spices like cardamom, coriander and caraway.
- Veggie: Meat-free franks, usually soy-based.
Tip: For the juiciest bite, grill hot dogs over direct heat. During the off-season, pop them in a 190°C (375°F) oven for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until hot and golden brown. Or fry in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked throughout, about 5 minutes. Fresh, uncured sausages like Bratwurst may require longer cooking times.
Second, pick the bun.
Nestle hot dogs in the soft, pre-sliced buns from the bread aisle, or try:
- Poppy-seed: Chewy yeast rolls dusted with crunchy poppy seeds.
- Pretzel: Soft, salty and rustic—mustard’s best friend!
- Brioche: Rich and buttery French egg bread, perfect for spicy kielbasa sausage.
Tip: Toast buns on the grill or under the broiler so they don’t get soggy.
Third, top it off.
Dish up themed hot dogs:
Drag your dog through the garden: Top sausages—try using chicken, turkey or veggie varieties—with heaps of tomato, onion and green pepper salsa, add a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, and garnish with crispy tortilla strips.
Chili Cheese Coney
Bring the ballpark classic to your table: Top all-beef franks with spoonfuls of chili, add chopped onion and yellow mustard, and finish with mounds of finely shredded cheddar cheese. For added crunch, sprinkle your coneys with crumbled oyster crackers.
Pay homage to the hot dog’s humble beginnings: Tuck bratwursts into pretzels buns, pile on sauerkraut or braised onions, and round it out with a squeeze of Dijon mustard. For an extra layer of flavor, mix the mustard with applesauce.
Or build your ideal dog from an assortment of:
- Produce: Try chopped onion, sautéed bell pepper, diced tomato, sliced avocado or cubed mango, or opt for creamy cabbage slaw.
- Condiments: Spin standbys like ketchup and mustard into something special—read Spice Up Your Condiments for 11 unexpected ideas.
- Garnishes: Add a final burst of flavor and satisfying crunch with crumbled potato chips, or opt for fresh herbs or shredded cheese.
Tip: For cookouts big or small, please all sorts of tastes by serving hot dogs, buns and toppings buffet-style.
How do you prefer hot dogs, with classic condiments or built around a theme? Tell us about your favorite toppings.