5 Ways to Hit Your Hot Dogs out of the Park

Today: Take your dogs from hot to haute. 

We're not trying to dethrone ketchup and mustard here, but hot dogs could use a little revamping. The cheap eat is no longer relegated to ballpark fare: Hot dogs are worthy of any backyard barbecue or dinner party, so here are 5 ways to add a little haute to your dogs:

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1. Get your toppings grilling. 

If you're already grilling hot dogs, it's only logical to grill the toppings, too; it adds a superior smoky depth that standard condiments just can't reach. Try grilling slices of avocado and onions, or grill ears of corn and then make this salad to use as a relish. Or use pineapple for a combination that channels Hawaiian pizza.

2. Wrap em' in bacon. 

There's that saying, "Everything's better with bacon." And hot dogs are no exception. Wrap each hot dog in a strip of bacon, secure both ends with toothpicks, and grill—rotating for even cooking—until the bacon is crisp and cooked and the hot dog is heated through (don't forget to remove the toothpicks before eating!). 

3. Fried eggs are your friend. 

There aren't many things a fried egg doesn't go well with. The yolk is a self-saucing condiment—break it open, bite it open, do whatever you will. Bonus points for drizzling some hot sauce on there, too.  

4. Toast for better buns. 
Let's just get it out there: Hot dog buns are a little "eh." This doesn't have to be the case, though. Just grilling the buns adds texture—giving you toasty insides and soft outsides.  

More: For truly exceptional buns, make your own.

5. Put yourself in a pickle. 

Pickled onions add a hit of acidity and brightness that hot dogs need—no, beg for. Slice onions and follow the instructions here for pickles that will be ready the next day. You could also make a simple pickled slaw that's both briny and herbaceous. 

What's your favorite hot dog topping? Tell us in the comments below!

First and last photos by Bobbi Lin, second photo by James Ransom, and third photo by Mark Weinberg 

We teamed up with Applegate to find the best ways to upgrade your hot dog game. 

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • JanieMac
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  • amysarah
  • AntoniaJames
  • 702551
I fall in love with every sandwich I ever meet.


JanieMac June 29, 2016
With sauerkraut, German mustard, and mayo, plus fried onions for my Sweetie all stuffed into toasted ciabatta rolls. Icy beer.
creamtea June 14, 2016
I marinate shredded cabbage in freshly-squeezed lemon juice, salt, oil, minced/mashed garlic and dill (if I have it). Can add thinly sliced sweet onions to this mix and serve drained on top or on the side. Kind of a cross between sauerkraut and cole slaw.
amysarah August 1, 2015
Sentimental favorite is sauerkraut and ballpark mustard. But a couple of years ago my daughter put me onto hot dogs with mango chutney - excellent.
JanieMac June 29, 2016
chutney sounds good! Spicy chilli beans would be great too.
AntoniaJames July 29, 2015
Horseradish sauerkraut mustard (As the sailors say, "When you don't know what knot to tie, tie lots of 'em.")
And no "meh" hot dog buns when you make them yourself! This soft Cuban roll recipe is perfect for sausages and hot dogs - we pop them on the grill when we remember. They're great, either way:
And of course, cv is right: homemade sauerkraut. Yes!
702551 July 29, 2015
Homemade sauerkraut: inexpensive, easy, and good.