Chicago Style Hot Dogs
Chicago Style Hot Dogs
Chicago Style Hot Dogs are a culinary classic. They also happen to cause the most controversy when it comes to my followers. A typical Chicago Style Hot Dog is made with an all beef hot dog, usually from the local Chicago brand Vienna Beef. The hot dog is usually steamed or boiled, served on a S. Rosens Mary Ann, Poppy Seed Bun. Chicago Style Hot Dogs are topped with: yellow mustard, onions, tomatoes, sport peppers, neon relish, celery salt and a pickle. The controversy comes from the people who disagree on the brand of hot dogs as well as if they are steamed, boiled or grilled.
The controversy also comes from the very passionate people who make a huge issue with anyone from Chicago eating a hot dog with ketchup. While you would not ask for a specific Chicago Style Hot Dog with ketchup, you can ask for a hot dog with ketchup within the city limits of Chicago without going to jail. I myself grew up ordering hot dogs from my local hot dog stand, Nicky’s On Archer, with ketchup and onion only. I always say that the only people who pretend this no ketchup thing is a bigger issue than it is, are suburbanites who don’t actually live in Chicago, but this is how they assert themselves as pseudo Chicagoans.
The Chicago Way
That being said, I would agree that you should not ask for ketchup on a specific Chicago Style hot dog, although I don’t think anyone will ask you to leave their establishment if you did. When I posted this hot dog to my Facebook page, I was very surprised that so many people did not know what a Chicago Style Hot Dog was. Therefore, I wrote up a “recipe” for it below that is printable. In the next few paragraphs I will explain each ingredient and link where to buy. I would like to be clear that I am not being paid by any of these brands to share this. I am just letting you know where you can buy the items to make yourself an authentic hot dog.
The Hot Dog
Now most people will tell you that you must have a Vienna Beef Hot Dog for this. I do love Vienna Beef and all their products. But I grew up eating Oscar Meyer All beef hot dogs. therefore this is what I buy. Vienna beef does sell a Hot Dog Kit for $54.95 that you can order by mail. You can find that by clicking here. I also know they sell all over the country. You can find their products by using this retail locator. Fun fact, the Aldi all beef hot dogs are made by Vienna Beef as well, under the Aldi label.
The bun is also important. Most Chicago hot dog stands use the S. Rosens Mary Ann Poppy Seed bun. It is steamed. Here is a cute story about who is Mary Ann. I use a metal, collapsible, veggie steamer to steam my buns at home. You can find these in any kitchen store or on amazon. You can also use any poppy seed bun. I will also link S. Rosens Store Locator and they also sell online.
Chicago Style Relish
In Chicago you will mostly find this neon green relish. There is not much taste difference of this relish from others, in my opinion. Vienna adds blue food coloring to it to make it “neon”. You can check their website for more info about their neon relish. I will say this brand is less sweet then others I have had. It is more cucumber like which I love. Vienna does sell their condiments on their site, as well as amazon. They also have a store locator on their site as to where they sell nationally.
These are a must for me. Sport peppers are small, dense peppers that are tangy and slightly hot, but not burn your mouth hot. To me, they have more of a pickled taste than heat. I like to bite the end off of one of the peppers on my dog, and drip the juices along the dog. I know that Vienna sells a four pack of the peppers, relish, mustard and the celery salt online for mail order that I think is cheaper than amazon.
As if the hot dog wasn’t salty enough. A good sprinkle of celery salt on the tomatoes, pickle and onions is a MUST! I also think celery salt is the most underrated seasoning out there. I use it on everything. Especially tuna salad and egg salad and deviled eggs.
The only pickles I use for my dogs are Claussen. They are in the refrigerator section of the grocery store. They are always crisp and salty and perfect. I cut these in half lengthwise for my hot dogs.
- 1 package of all Beef Hot Dogs, many people use Vienna Beef brand (more information in the blog post, along with links)
- 1 package of Poppy Seed Hot Dog Buns, many people use S. Rosens brand "Mary Ann Buns" (more information in the blog post along with links)
- Yellow Mustard
- Celery Salt
- Sport Peppers (more info in the blog post)
- Chicago "neon" Relish (more info in the blog post)
- Dill Pickle Spear
- Sliced Tomatoes
- Finely Diced White Onions
- Add your hot dogs to a pot with water. They should be just covered with water, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Place the lid on the pot, simmer for about ten minutes.
- In a skillet add about 1 inch of water, a veggie steamer basket (info in blog post) place your hot dog in the basket. Bring the water to a low boil, reduce heat so the water is not rapidly boiling onto the buns, place the lid on and steam about 5 minutes or until the buns are soft.
- Add your hot dogs to the bun, add a squirt of mustard along one side, add the onions and tomatoes and sprinkle those with a little bit of the celery salt.
- Add your green relish along one side of the dog.
- Top with two or three sport peppers. I like to drip a little of the sport pepper juice along the whole top of the dog.
- I slice a dill pickle spear in half, lengthwise and top the dog, add a little tiny bit of celery salt to the pickle.