Whether you prefer a traditional beef hot dog nestled in a soft bun, a spicy sausage with a kick, or a vegetarian option, there are various types of hot dogs. And I’ve had my fair share of them.
I’ve even replicated those hot dogs with steamed onions, as you find in downtown Manhattan in my backyard cookouts. Now, I must say they have evolved far beyond the basic ketchup and mustard combo you probably knew.
Nowadays, I find them with an array of toppings. These can range from sauerkraut, onions, and relish or more unconventional choices like avocado, chili, and even mac and cheese. Creativity knows no bounds. So, together in this article, we’ll discover all the popular hot dog types; from the classics to regional specialties and even international variations.
It doesn’t matter what tickles your taste buds or fits your dietary needs; there’s a frank for you. From the classics to the specialty Franks. Let’s check them out:
Classic beef franks are made from (you guessed it right!) high-quality beef. So, they have a rich and savory meaty flavor.
They’re made from 100% beef. But that’s not all. They typically don’t have added nitrates or nitrites. You won’t find artificial preservatives and by-products either. That means you can have every bite with a clear conscience.
Examples of all-beef frank you can find are:
More folks are embracing plant-based diets these days. So, it’s little wonder vegetarian and vegan franks are becoming all the rage. These are made from plant-based ingredients like soy, tofu, or veggies.
The franks are here to satisfy your cravings while keeping them animal-friendly. A good brand that sells vegan hot dogs is Loma Linda. And one of my favorites is the Loma Linda Plant-Based Big Franks.
There’s a whole world of hot dogs out there waiting to be discovered. International Franks bring a whole new level of flavor and regional flair. Check out these examples:
Here I’m talking about the smoky hot dog all the way from Poland! Often made from pork, beef, or a mix of both, this flavorful sausage is a hit in Polish cuisine.
As the name suggests, this contains Kielbasa, a Polish sausage. The kielbasa is then accompanied by spices, other flavors, hot sauce, and possibly a layer of french fries.
Brat is originally a small pork sausage that comes straight outta Germany. Although it’s typically a pork sausage dish, you can also make it from beef or veal.
It’s usually seasoned with a delightful mix of herbs and spices like marjoram, nutmeg, and ginger. It’s a classic that never disappoints.
The Icelandic Hot Dog is a beloved street food in Iceland. This hot dog features a lamb-based sausage blended with beef and pork.
It’s then adorned with a mouthwatering array of ketchup, mustard, remoulade, raw onions, and crispy fried onions. It’s an explosion of flavors!
The Italian comes straight outta New Jersey. This hot dog brings the flavors of Italy to the table.
The Italian is all about fried hot dogs topped with a delicious medley of deep-fried potatoes, peppers, and onions. Then you could have them all wrapped up in delectable pizza bread. Bellissimo!
You could also venture into the Arctic with the Reindeer Hot Dog. This is made from lean reindeer meat. It’s a hot dog served with traditional Nordic accompaniments.
These can be lingonberry sauce, pickles, and fried onions. The reindeer hot dog offers a unique and adventurous culinary experience that’ll take you to the wilderness.
Now we’re talking Southwest vibes! The Sonoran hot dog is a mouthwatering delight made out of juicy and crispy bacon-wrapped hot dogs.
It’s all snuggled up in a fluffy bread roll (bolillo, preferably). Then we top it off with tomato slices, jalapeno sauce, pinto beans, onions, mustard, and a generous sprinkle of onion.
This fiesta of flavors will transport you straight to the vibrant streets of Mexico.
The Dagwood dog is a delightful treat that originates from Australia. It’s named after the iconic comic strip character Dagwood Bumstead, known for his gigantic sandwiches. This dog is a beloved fairground and carnival food.
Just imagine a juicy, plump hot dog coated in a thick layer of batter, deep-fried to golden perfection. The result is a crispy exterior that gives way to a deliciously moist and flavorful hot dog on the inside.
Every major city in the US of A has its own unique hot dog style. It’s like every originator took the classic and jazzed it up with their own special twist. And here we are!
If you crave a slice of the Big Apple, the New Yorker hot dog is your ticket to that. This hot dog bun is the creme de la creme of hot dogs.
What’s unique about this is it’s got a kick of spicy brown mustard. Then it’s snuggled up with a juicy all-beef frank.
As for me, I like to top it off with sauerkraut and sizzling sautéed onions. And let’s not forget the cozy embrace of a steamed or toasted bun. It’s a mouthwatering experience you won’t want to miss!
Another type of hot dog is the one from Idaho. With the Idaho hot dog style, you’re embracing the potato-rich state in a spectacular hot dog recipe.
This treat features a special bun made from potato dough. The hot dog is all dressed up with mashed potatoes, crispy onions, and a drizzle of tangy mustard.
Hailing from the Carolinas, this hot dog marries flavors like no other.
A grilled or steamed frankfurter is crowned with chili, coleslaw, diced onions, and mustard. What you get is a delightful combination of sweet, tangy, and savory hot dogs that’ll have you wanting more.
Reflecting the Pacific Northwest’s culinary identity, the Seattle Hot Dog features a deep-fried hot dog or grilled frankfurter nestled in a toasted bun. It’s then topped with cream cheese, grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, and a sprinkle of celery salt.
This is an unconventional and delicious combination that captures the essence of Seattle.
Chicagoans are absolutely wild about their iconic hot dogs. And it’s no wonder why! It’s like a work of art in a bun. It’s a juicy frankfurter made from beef and snuggled up in a poppy seed bun.
Aside from the poppy seed bun, I like to pile on the good stuff: tomato slices, a squeeze of mustard, sport peppers (they bring the heat!), sweet relish, dill pickle spears, and a sprinkle of celery salt. It’s the kind of hot dog bun that screams “Chicago” and captures the essence of the Windy City.
The Cincinnati coney dog is all about keeping it simple but oh-so-satisfying. We start with a grilled frank made, again, from all beef that’s begging to be devoured.
But here’s where the magic happens—we drench it in a Cincinnati chili, slather on some mustard, and wrap it all in a soft, steamed bun. Trust me, one bite of this classic steamed hot dog will transport you straight to the boardwalks of Coney Island.
The Dodger Dog is for all you LA Dodgers fans out there! It’s a whopping 10-inch pork wiener. It’s drenched in beer, grilled to perfection, and wrapped in a bun.
And when they top it off with some yellow mustard, ketchup, onions, and sweet relish, it’s a flavor explosion that hits it out of the park!
Hey, you Ohio folks, this one’s for you! The Cleveland Polish Boy is a sausage sandwich that’s as Ohio as it gets. It includes a kielbasa link resting in a soft bun. But it doesn’t stop there!
They go all out by piling on a mountain of french fries, slathering it with some hot sauce or tangy barbecue sauce, and topping it off with some lip-smacking coleslaw. It’s a flavor-packed creation that satisfies every single craving you’ve got.
Now, let’s take a walk down memory lane with this whimsical favorite — corn dog! The origin is much disputed. Some say Oregon, others say Texas.
The corn dog is a crispy, crunchy delight that combines the best of both worlds. It’s a kind of stick Weiner. But there’s a little twist. They often coat it with thick cornmeal batter until it goes golden brown. It’s then deep-fried.
It’s got that savory hot dog goodness inside and on the outside, a sweet and satisfying cornmeal coating. It’s a match made in fairground heaven.
So the next time you’re at a state fair or feeling a bit nostalgic, grab yourself a corn dog. Let the flavors take you on a delicious
What are hot dogs made of, you ask? Well, hot dogs are a blend of meat, fat, seasonings, and a few extra ingredients to keep things interesting. Here’s the lowdown:
You can make hot dogs from all sorts of meats. These can be beef, pork, veal, chicken, or even a mix of these.
They are finely ground or mechanically separated meat. In the end, what you’re getting is a smooth juicy protein wrapped in a bun.
Hot dogs also include some fat which helps to amp up the deliciousness and keep things moist. You can find fat from the same animal used for the meat, like pork or beef fat.
Sometimes, they even mix it up and use a combo of both to hit that perfect flavor balance. But note that hot dogs are known for their high fat and sodium content.
A traditional 1.5-ounce hot dog typically contains 572 mg of sodium and six grams of saturated fats. But that’s not to say you can’t find hot dogs with more than half of this bad stuff. You could also make it healthier by adding plenty of fresh veggies as a topping.
Hot dogs get their mouthwatering taste from a killer combo of spices and seasonings.
These can be a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and other secret ingredients. It’s this medley of flavors that gives hot dogs that unmistakable and addictive taste.
To add even more flavor and promote browning, you may even add some sugar and corn syrup to the seasoning. This combination serves as sweeteners.
Sometimes, additives are used to make sure those hot dogs are on point every time. They enhance texture, extend shelf life, and maintain consistency. When talking about additives, we’re talking about preservatives, like sodium erythorbate or sodium nitrites.
They help to keep bacteria at bay and give the dogs that lovely pink hue. You might also find binders, fillers, and stabilizers hanging out in there. But are all these healthy? Well, it depends on how much addicted you actually are.
For once-in-a-week consumption, these won’t harm you. But too much hot dogs with the bad kinds of stuff like sodium, saturated fats, and additives like nitrites, then I’d say it’s detrimental to your health. Remember that with a 50-gram daily consumption of processed meats like hot dogs, you may increase your chance of colorectal cancer. So, again, moderation!!
In the olden days, hot dogs were all wrapped up in natural casings made from animal intestines. But times have changed. Nowadays, you’ll find many hot dogs rockin’ artificial casings made from materials like collagen or cellulose.
These casings give our franks that classic look and bite without using the natural stuff. But if you see a hot dog advertised or described as “natural,” it’s probably made from natural animal intestines. But be rest assured. They are expected to have gone through hygiene processes.
Remember? The New Yorker Hot Dogs is a classic street food originating from New York. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making it.
To begin, gather the following ingredients:
Peel and finely chop the large onion. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat.
Add the chopped onion to the skillet and sauté until it turns golden brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally.
Remove the caramelized onions from the skillet and set them aside.
Fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring it to a boil.
Carefully add the beef hot dogs to the boiling water and cook them for about 5-7 minutes or until heated through.
Once cooked, remove the hot dogs from the pot and set them aside.
Preheat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat.
Lightly brush the inside of the hot dog buns with the remaining vegetable oil.
Place the buns, oiled side down, on the heated grill pan or skillet.
Toast the buns for about 1-2 minutes or until they turn golden brown and slightly crispy.
Remove the toasted buns from the heat.
Place one cooked hot dog into each toasted bun.
Spread a tablespoon of ketchup and yellow mustard on each hot dog.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt and black pepper on each hot dog.
Add a generous amount of caramelized onions on top of the condiments.
Spoon some sweet pickle relish over the onions.
Finally, you’d need to arrange the prepared hot dogs on a serving platter.
You should serve them immediately while still warm.
Your New Yorker goes with additional condiments. These can be ketchup, mustard, or relish. You can also customize your hot dogs with other toppings like sauerkraut, chopped tomatoes, or chopped jalapeños.
As I’ve shown you, hot dogs come in various types. Each has its distinct characteristics and flavors. From the all-beef hot dog to bacon-wrapped hot dog to chicken, turkey, or even vegetarian options, there is a hot dog for everyone and even most regions. Whether you like the classic simplicity of a plain hot dog with mustard or prefer the toppings and condiments that define regional variations like the New Yorker, hot dogs are versatile and fully customizable.
The sad news, however, is this isn’t something you can get addicted to since it’s classed as processed meat. So, keep things moderate, and add a lot of veggies and possibly other sides to it. And if you’re buying one at the ballpark or the supermarket, make sure you read the labels, opt for reputable brands, and explore healthier alternatives.
Before you go...