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Hot Dog! Secret Chicago Style Recipe

Updated on November 21, 2015

Chicago Style Hot Dog

Tradition Rules
Tradition Rules | Source

Hey! What about peppers? Special Addendum

You know what? I didn't include peppers as something that goes on a Chicago style hot dog. That's because the vendors always ask if you want peppers. It is a choice. They don't go on the dog automatically. If you want some zing to your dog, you can add a sport or jalapeno pepper.

I don't like having peppers on my dogs anymore as they kill the taste. But, if you are drinking beer, you may as well put peppers on your hot dogs. Why? Simply because the beer also kills the taste of the hot dog. So eat a pepper, burn your mouth, get thirsty and drink a lot of beer. And don't forget what happens the next morning!

Stay hungry my friends!

It's More Than Just a Hot Dog!

Colorful but even more flavorful
Colorful but even more flavorful | Source

Old Recipe Still The Best!

Remember the 'Soup Nazi' on TV's "Seinfeld"? Well, if you don't like this recipe for Chicago Style hot dogs, I'll be the "hot dog nazi" and shout "NO HOT DOG FOR YOU!".

This recipe goes way, way back before I was born. Actually it goes back even further. Enough of the history lesson! Keep this recipe in a secret place and don't divulge it to the enemy.

Man, am I getting hungry for a mighty fine tastin' dog. Well, there are 3 main components to this American tradition.

  1. The bun
  2. The dressing
  3. The dog

The bun MUST be a poppy seed bun. No poppy seed, not Chicago style. AND the bun MUST be steamed. Do not toast it, or you ruin the whole darn thing.

Next, ahhh, the dressing. You need SWEET relish. It has to be sweet, Do not argue with me. Then you need mustard. Plochmans is good. Don't use anything but good old fashioned YELLOW mustard. No brown stuff. No funny French named concoction. And don't use Frenches mustard either.

The dressing continues: Chopped onions. White or sweet onions. Don't use yellow onions as they are too slimey for the dog. And don't use red onions, they are for HAMBURGERS!

Now I know some places in Chicago that used shredded lettuce. They must be foreigners. Lettuce is for HAMBURGERS! (You should hear me screaming this.)

Now you can use a sliced dill pickle but that messes up my taste buds with the sweet relish and onions. Anyway pickles are a waste. Hot dog stands put them on knowing you're going to throw them on the ground. It's just a decoration. Lately I've had cucumber slices on my hotdogs from some of the vendors. It tastes OK. And they are healthy for you, right. I'll give some leeway on them.

Oh yeah, sliced tomato. Take it or leave it. I don't like it on the dog itself and usually eat the tomato first before sinking my 31 teeth into the hotdog. Or I just give the tomato to my wife. It really doesn't belong on my dog.

The last thing to put on a Chicago style hotdog is a pinch of celery salt. Why? IT'S TRADITION! Don't rock the boat.

That's it. No more dressing. Do not, I repeat, do not kill your beautiful dog with ketchup, catsup or any other piece of crap the government wants you to eat. (BTW Chili is only for chili dogs.) Chicago style hot dogs refuse to be smothered in kethcup. It's like the poor thing is there bleeding to death. Don't do it.

Now for the dog itself. The number one dog is Vienna hot dog. It's all beef and all man. Don't use anything else. If you can't get Vienna beef in your part of the country, then get a kosher all beef hot dog. Don't be a wimp and use a veggie dog or anything that is not dark red. I've seen white, pink and yellowish hot dogs in the grocer. I think I want to throw up!

Back to the dog. It has to be steamed. Don't boil it or all the flavor disappears and you'll be knocking on my door saying "Your recipe for Chicago style hot dogs tastes like mush." Steam it, baby, just like the bun. Don't split it with a knife, don't bar-b-q it, don't grill it, and please don't microwave it. This hot dog thang takes skill. Pay attention and you'll have people begging you to open up a hot dog stand.

Here's how you put it all together.

  1. Mustard on one side of the steamed bun.
  2. Optional cucumber slice on the opposite side of the mustard.
  3. Gently place your beloved steamed hot dog (Vienna) on top of the bun and let it get acquainted with the cucumber and mustard.
  4. Then spoon out some sweet relish on the dog and with a little tenderness, sprinkle some chopped white onions on top. Finally, toss a dash of celery salt on top. Let the hot dog know how proud you are of it. Put the tomato slice on the side somewhere. Don't let it bother your hot dog.

I am drooling now, but remember this. You can make one Chicago style hot dog, why not give him a partner. Make 2. Enjoy. You will be in hot dog heaven.

Vienna VS Coney

Which Dog Is More Delicious?

See results

No Chicago Style In Detroit!

 I'm living in Detroit now and I'm crying my eyes out as they do not sell Chicago style hot dogs here. They push the "Coney Dogs" which taste sub-par. No David Berg here either. I've had to resort to Oscar Meyer all beef hot dogs. But alas! I've discovered a place where you can buy Vienna Beef hot dogs. Go to Johnny Pomodoro's in Farmington Hills. There you can buy the dog that made Chicago famous. Don't foget the celery salt! 

© 2009 Rob Lattin


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