If you’re from NY, you know a New York Style Hot Dog can’t be beat! Walking around New York City, you can’t help but notice there’s a hot dog vendor on every block. Some call them dirty water dogs, some call them franks, others call them wieners but in New York, hot dogs come topped with spicy mustard and either sauerkraut or spicy onion sauce.
The trick to making these at home? Be sure to invite the friends, family and neighbors, grab some cold drinks, turn up the music and fire up the grill to high! Or just eat them all yourself, we won’t tell on you.
New York Style Hot Dog History
The history of the hot dog in New York City dates back to the late 1800s where Charles Feltman gets credit for opening the first hot dog stand on Coney Island. More than a century later, after the business was no longer in production, Feltman Hot Dog’s was revived by New Yorker Michael Quinn and his brother Joe to pay tribute to the iconic Coney Island brand as well as their brother who was killed on September 11, 2001.
Nathan’s Famous hot dogs are probably the most well known, having made a name for themselves by undercutting the competition on price during the Great Depression.
Whether you’re Team Feltman’s or Team Nathan’s, New York style hot dogs have a reputation for a reason. Hot dogs are part of the Big Lou’s story and tradition. Big Lou grew up in the Bronx and would visit his favorite hot dog stand quite regularly. The onion sauce there was unbeatable and my grandfather begged for the recipe but to no avail. Big Lou decided to make his own onion sauce and crack the code on these sweet and spicy onions that became a favorite at family picnics and parties for decades.
A Healthier Way to Hot Dog
In today’s health conscious and informed world there are a few brands making hot dogs that stand out from the pack. Processed meats can contain tons of dubious chemicals, fillers and unnamed animal parts fit for urban legend.
Our family transitioned to Applegate hot dogs a number of years ago because they were the first to create a healthier product and became easily accessible at retailers like Trader Joe’s. As of today, they make 8 different types of hot dogs from all natural beef hot dogs to organic uncured beef hot dogs, turkey dogs and more! They are 100% grass fed, casein free, sugar free and Whole30 approved. That makes a big difference for a product consumed in mass quantities by families across the United States.
Teton Water’s Ranch is a brand that caught our eye when we first started Big Lou’s Onion Sauce in 2018. We were looking for grass fed hot dogs to serve at an event we were participating in. Their dogs are 100% grass fed, Whole30 approved and contain no nitrates or nitrites. I can also honestly say they are delicious. You can find Teton Waters Ranch products at Costco here in New York.
At the end of the day it comes down to taste and neither of these healthier options sacrifice taste for health.
Between the buns
If you’re aware of the recent shift towards gluten free diets, finding hot dog bun alternatives can be quite the challenge. Udi’s seems to be the leader of the pack and here are 9 choices from Christine at gluten-free-bread.org .
If you’re not gluten free and just looking for a healthier option Food for Life makes a Sprouted Whole Grain or Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns.
Many times, against my father’s wishes, we just go bun-less. Either some roasted potatoes, corn on the cob or sweet potatoes satisfy my carb craving and then I can eat more hot dogs!
New York Style Hot Dog Recipe
Well guys, there’s no big secret to making these, except you’ll want to get a hold of some Big Lou’s Onion Sauce. For these dogs we recommend our spicy onion sauce! Here’s how to assemble them.
- 6 to 8 grass fed hot dogs (we sometimes eat 2 each)
- 1 jar of Big Lou’s Spicy Onion Sauce
- 6 to 8 hot dog buns (unless you’re going bun-less)
- Spicy Mustard
Fire up the grill to medium high. Grab a 2qt sauce pot and heat your Big Lou’s Spicy Onion Sauce on the stove or a side burner of your grill. When the grill reaches 400 degrees, throw the hot dogs on the grill and cover. Rotate every 2 to 3 minutes. We like ours to get a little char on them so we will cook them on the fire for at least 8 minutes.
Once your hot dogs are cooked to your liking, place each one in a hot dog bun. Put spicy mustard down each side of the hot dog or get fancy and make a nice design. With a pair of tongs or spoon, load up your dogs with as much spicy onion sauce as the bun can hold!
Have a suggestion for your favorite hot dog preparation? We’d love to know what types of hot dogs you think are the best. Leave us a comment and we’ll test them out!