This post has been sponsored by Kingsford®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Get a true taste of Chicago with this Chicago-style hot dog recipe: char-grilled, all-beef hot dogs topped with mustard, relish, and sport peppers. It’s a true classic.
Spring is here, my friends, and that means I’m ready to bust out the grill and get grilling! Living in the Chicago area makes it tough to grill year-round. You know, crazy Chicago winters and all. So when spring rolls around, I get excited! And I’m excited to share a recipe that’s famous to my part of the world: the Chicago-Style Hot Dog.
Lucky for me, I’m working with Kingsford® Original Charcoal to make them the best they can be—which is char-grilled. What I love about Kingsford Charcoal is that smoky flavor you only get with great charcoal. Kingsford Charcoal gives BBQ lovers the smoky wood-fired flavor they crave.
It’s highly recommended, not just for your char dogs but for any grilling. It’s all about that flavor.
I love grilling out in my backyard that overlooks a pond, with the radio on and listening to the baseball game. Nothing better. I’m hoping this is going to be our year. Kingsford has a partnership with Major League Baseball and has created a unique cookbook representing famous MLB food-fare, with charcoal grilling recipes for all 30 teams.
Learn more about that here: www.kingsford.com/MLB.
What’s in the cookbook for my team? You guessed it—the famous Chicago-Style Hot Dog. I can guarantee it’s authentic. Here it is so you can give it a try at home.
Let’s talk about how we make it, shall we?
What is a Chicago Style Hot Dog?
A Chicago-style hot dog is an all-beef hot dog, typically served on a poppy seed bun. Toppings include yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, tomatoes, pickled sport peppers, a dill pickle spear and celery salt.
Because of so many toppings, it is referred to as being “dragged through the garden.”
The hot dog itself can be prepared in different ways, either simmered, steamed, or you can grill it over charcoal to get a wonderful char. When charred, it’s referred to as a Chicago-style char dog. This is my favorite way, with that smoky charcoal grilled flavor.
Truly hard to beat.
Of course, you can vary up the recipe to your preference by excluding some ingredients or adding others. Just don’t add any ketchup! You might be kicked out of Chicago for putting ketchup on your Chicago-style hot dog.
How to Make a Chicago-Style Hot Dog - on the Grill
First, build a charcoal fire for direct grilling using charcoal and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lightly oil the grates to prevent sticking.
Butterfly the hot dogs by slicing them lengthwise without cutting all the way through.
Open gently so they lay flat on the grill. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until charred in spots and hot throughout.
I like a light char on my hot dogs, but you can char them as much as you’d like to your own personal tastes.
While the grill is heating and the hot dogs are cooking, grill the buns quickly over direct heat until lightly toasted—about 1 minute.
Place one hot dog in each bun, and top with a quarter of the mustard, relish, onions, tomato wedges, and one pickle spear. Add sport peppers, to taste, and dash of celery salt. Repeat with remaining hot dogs and serve immediately. Vienna beef franks are awesome for making Chicago hot dogs.
Pitmaster note: All-beef hot dogs and poppy seed buns make a “true” Chicago hot dog. If you can’t find those, regular all-beef dogs and plain buns will be fine. You can grill the buns rather than steam them to save time.
BOOM! Easy, right? You’ve got yourself a true taste of Chicago right there. Next, you’ll be looking for some Chicago-style pizza.
That’s it, my friends! I hope you like it. Let me know!
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Chicago-Style Hot Dog Recipe
- 4 all-beef hot dogs
- 4 hot dog buns
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup bright green sweet pickle relish
- 1/2 small white onion diced
- 2 small Roma tomatoes cut into thin wedges
- 4 dill pickle spears
- Pickled sport peppers to taste
- Celery salt to taste
- Build a charcoal fire for direct grilling using Kingsford® Original Charcoal and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil the grates to prevent sticking.
- Butterfly hot dogs by slicing them lengthwise without cutting all the way through. Open gently so they lay flat on the grill. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until charred in spots and hot throughout.
- While the grill is heating and the hot dogs are cooking, grill the buns quickly over direct heat until lightly toasted—about 1 minute. Place one hot dog in each bun, and top with a quarter of the mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, and one pickle spear. Add sport peppers, to taste, and sprinkle with celery salt. Repeat with remaining hot dogs and serve immediately.
Sharon R Gouge says
Fo you by chance have a good recipe for canning those sport peppers?
Mike Hultquist says
Sharon, I have some information to start with here: https://www.chilipeppermadness.com/preserving-chili-peppers/canning-or-jarring-chili-peppers/
I had never had the honor of having a Chicago-style hot dog until now, I've been missing out big league! I couldn't find any poppyseed buns here in California, so I did a little egg wash and sprinkled them on myself before toasting on the grill. Absolutely loved this, and hot dog loving hubby had 4 of them he loved them so much. Good thing we can grill here all year anytime. Thank you for this recipe! I'm new to your site and having a great time with it, informative about the great world of peppers too, so many recipes to try. ????
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
That's great, Catherine! Yes a Chicago Dog is something to behold, quite unique! The Char Dog is a variation, totally delicious. Often the hot dogs are just steamed. I love it either way! Glad you are enjoying the site. Thanks!