June 8, 2024

Hot Dog Etiquette: What You Should and Shouldn’t Put In It

4 min read

Hot dogs are a true classic American food, but they are now something that everyone around the world loves and enjoys. It’s the perfect food to serve at a backyard BBQ, during football games, or to grab from a hot dog stand on your lunch break. It might seem like a simple treat, but there’s a whole hot dog etiquette out there with what you should and shouldn’t put in it. Let’s check some of it out.

1. Ketchup

If you don’t know about the ongoing battle about whether  ketchup on hot dogs is a yes or no, then you’re missing out on an amusing internet argument. It’s similar to the one about putting pineapple on pizza, and they both have the same answer: to each their own! Yes, some people think it’s a crime to put ketchup on hot dogs or that it’s only acceptable for children. However, some people just prefer it over mustard or like to mix both together. Our ruling is to go with whatever tastes better to you!

2. Mustard

Mustard is considered the king of hot dog toppings and the classic choice to go with. It can work by itself, it goes with different types of hot dogs,  and it can be mixed with other wet or chunky condiments, making it a versatile choice. The sour taste of it goes perfectly with the salty meat of the hot dog, and surveys show that 70% of hot dog lovers prefer it to ketchup. If you want to take it to the next level, add some sauerkraut with brown mustard for an extra kick.

3. Relish

Another topping that receives some controversy is relish; some think it’s absolutely gross, while others believe it’s a perfect pairing with hot dogs. However, don’t be too quick to make a call on relish before trying it in all its shapes. That’s right, relish can either be sweet, sour, spicy, or cut into large chunks. So try it all out before you decide whether it’s a pairing you’d go for or not.

4. Mayonnaise and Chili

This one is definitely a condiment that should not be on a hot dog! Okay, that’s just how we feel, but in fact, many people like to pair it with their franks. It’s not very common, however, and we still think it should only be allowed if you run out of ketchup and mustard! It does, however, become acceptable if you’re going to mix it in with another condiment, say chili, perhaps? You definitely have our blessing to whip up some sweet or spicy chili mayo and add it to your franks!

5. Peppers, Onions, and Cheese

This combination is famous as the Philadelphian go-to when it comes to hot dogs. You might even notice that these are the standard toppings for a classic Philly cheesesteak. We highly recommend trying it out on your hot dogs. Just sauté some colored peppers and onions, then add a dash of delicious melted cheese. Speaking of cheese, that’s another condiment you definitely should put on your hot dog mixed with fries, for example. Try different kinds of cheese, like blue cheese mixed with buffalo sauce or pickled jalapeños with pimento cheese.

Other Hot Dog Etiquette Rules You Should Follow

Hot Dog Etiquette

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, yes, there is such a thing, has put some dos and don’ts for eating this classic all-American food that you should know. For example, it should not take you more than five bites to finish a hot dog! You also shouldn’t leave bits of the bun behind and add fresh herbs to the same plate. Another no-no is pairing hot dogs with anything but beer or soda, like wine, even lemonade, and iced tea. There’s also the golden rule of how to prepare a hot dog: you should always start by applying the wet condiments first (ketchup or mustard, etc.), followed by the chunky ones like relish or onions.

We could talk about hot dogs all day, really, and we can keep telling you what you should or shouldn’t put in them. However, you are free to experiment with all sorts of things to pair with a hot dog; just try to keep it reasonable. Some things will just ruin the whole concept and enjoyment of a good-old hot dog. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your own preferences and the way you most enjoy this tasty sandwich. It would be a great idea if you throw a hot dog tasting party with all the different condiments you want to test and invite your friends to make a game out of it.

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