Fourth of July Hot Dog Spread


Fourth of July Hot Dog Spread

July 4th is the time of year when we think of fireworks, stifling heat and humidity, parades, bomb pops, and maybe the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, held ever year in New York City. Speaking of hot dogs, they are a food that is just about synonymous with the Fourth. So we picked out a couple that are dude-friendly favorites, and also one we created from scratch that you’re bound to love. One thing I will say, though: Choose a good dog, preferably one that is all-beef and with as few fillers as possible. Hebrew National or Nathan’s are good brands, or if you live in a food mecca as I do (Madison, WI), you can get them from a local farmer. Also make sure you use a nice, soft bun that’s big enough to hold extra ingredients.

All recipes make four hot dogs, so multiply out if you have a crowd, or if you’re trying to compete with those professional eaters. That’s about it…so enjoy your dogs and enjoy your holiday weekend!

Basic Chili Dog

If done right, nothing beats a good chili dog. But if you use the wrong kind of chili, or cheese or even dog, it can easily get messed up. So here is our take on a classic….

4 all-beef hot dogs
4 hot dog buns
Yellow mustard
1 small can Hormel chili without beans (avoid so-called “hot dog sauce,” which is all mashed up beans and fillers)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded


Chili DogCook the dogs, either boiling them on the stovetop for 10 minutes, or grilling on a preheated medium heat grill for about 5 minutes, turning frequently to avoid burning. Meanwhile, put chili in a microwave safe bowl and nuke for about 45 seconds on high. Assemble dogs by putting each in a bun and topping evenly with a squirt of mustard, the chili and the cheese.

Basic Chicago Dog

True hot dog fans have tasted Chicago-style dogs and not wanted to ever have them another way. Trust me, they are that good. Here is our take, and it may or may not be authentic, but it’s close enough.

4 all-beef hot dogs
4 hot dog buns
Yellow mustard
1/4 cup sweet relish (bonus points if you can find that neon green stuff they use in the Windy City)
1 small dill pickle, chopped
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 small tomato, seeded and chopped
Pickled jalapenos or skinny pickled chili peppers
Sprinkle of celery salt


Grill dogs on medium high heat, and about 2 minutes into the cooking time, carefully (and by that, I mean without burning your hands off) cut a sliver down the center of each dog, about halfway through it. Turn every minute or so to avoid burning, then assemble by placing a dog in a bun and topping evenly with remaining ingredients.

hot dogs

Mikey’s Buffalo Dog

I know, it seems like I have a buffalo chicken theme for just about every recipe. But that’s because I’m positively addicted to wing sauce, and the flavors that go along with wings — the sauce, blue cheese and celery. And I know many of you are too! So it stands to reason that we just have to have a buffalo hot dog, right? Right. So here it is….

4 all-beef hot dogs
4 hot dog buns
1 cup Buffalo chicken hot sauce (I like Buffalo Wild Wings medium sauce)
1 cup cole slaw mix
2 small celery stalks, cut into match sticks
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup blue cheese
Juice of half a lemon
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste


Place dogs in a pot of boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain, and then add wing sauce to pot, and let dogs sit off heat in the wing sauce for a few minutes. Meanwhile, make the slaw. Combine cole slaw mix, celery, mayo, blue cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and stir to combine. To assemble, place dogs in buns and top evenly with the slaw. Drizzle with a little more wing sauce.


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