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These Chicago-Style Hot Dogs Are Loaded with Toppings
2024/04/30

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Whether they're called Chicago Red Hots, Depression Dogs, or just Chicago-style , these franks are said to be "dragged through the garden" due to their seven different toppings. These hearty loaded franks are a meal all on their own, but if you want a full spread, serve with a bowl of , crispy , or . Whatever you do, just put away the ketchup! 

What is different about a Chicago-style hot dog?

In order for it to be considered a Chicago-style hot dog, it must be a snappy natural-casing all-beef hot dog on a soft poppy seed bun. The traditional include yellow mustard, neon green relish, chopped raw onion, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt.

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Outside of Chicago, it might be difficult to find a plain poppy seed bun so this recipe gives some quick instructions to doctor up regular buns with egg wash and poppy seeds. 

Are Chicago-style hot dogs boiled or grilled?

These franks aren't boiled or grilled—they're steamed! Keeping with tradition, this recipe calls for steaming the hot dogs (and buns) in a steamer basket set over simmering water. Not only is this a super simple method, it results in evenly heated, juicy hot dogs every time. 

Why can't you put ketchup on a Chicago-style hot dog?

Chicagoans have strong feelings about their beloved hot dogs, and many believe

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has no place on them. In fact, many hot dog vendors around the city don't even offer the condiment! Dress yours how you want, but for a true Chicago-style frank, consider skipping the ketchup. 

Why is the pickle relish bright green?

The neon green sweet relish is made with regular ol' relish mixed with blue and yellow food coloring for an eye-popping color. This is optional, of course, but is an iconic part of the look. 

What is a sport pepper?

Relatively mild and briny sport peppers are available in most stores in the pickle section but can be substituted with pepperoncinis, pickled banana peppers, pickled jalapeños, or pickled serrano peppers.

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8

hot dog buns

1

large egg, lightly beaten

2 tsp.

poppy seeds

1/3 c.

sweet pickle relish

1 or 2 drops blue and yellow food coloring (optional)

8

natural casing all-beef hot dogs

Yellow mustard

1/2

medium white onion, finely chopped

2

vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick and cut in half

8

dill pickle spears

1/2 c.

sport peppers

Celery salt, for sprinkling

Step  1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Step  2 Space the hot dog buns out on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops evenly with the beaten egg (there will be some left). Sprinkle the buns evenly with the poppy seeds. Step  3 Bake until the buns are shiny and the egg is set, 5 to 7 minutes.

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Step  4 In a small bowl, combine the pickle relish with the food coloring, if you like. Step  5 Fill a large stock pot with 2 cups of water and fit with a steamer basket. Bring to a simmer. Add the hot dogs to the basket, cover, and steam until hot, 5 to 7 minutes. Pile the buns on top of the hot dogs in batches, careful not to let the buns touch the steamer basket, and cover until the buns are soft and warm, about 2 minutes.  Step  6 To assemble, place the hot dogs in the buns and top with mustard, relish, and onion. Nestle 2 tomato halves on one side of the hot dog and a pickle spear on the other. Top with 2 or 3 sport peppers and a sprinkle of celery salt. Serve immediately.
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