How to Build the Perfect Chicago Style Hot Dog
There’s no shortage of resources out there that will tell you exactly what ingredients go on a classic Chicago style hot dog. The only accepted variation is the occasional addition of cucumbers, but never EVER ketchup.
Snap has received a little flack for not serving our Chicago Dog on a poppy seed bun, so let me start by saying, yes, a true Chicago Dog should be presented on a fresh, or slightly steamed, poppy seed bun. Unfortunately here in NYC, poppy seed buns are not a common product, so until we open our own bakery, we’d rather serve our hot dogs on fresh, soft, locally baked Pepperidge Farm hot dog buns. Sans poppy seeds. For now.
In Chicagoland, the big daddy of hot dogs is Vienna Beef. When we set out to make the best Chicago style hot dog in NYC, we were lucky enough to team up with the newly launched Brooklyn Bangers. Together we tweaked their hot dog recipe until it had the perfect balance of salt and smoke to approximate that classic Vienna Beef flavor. They’re made with all-beef brisket and no hormones right here in Brooklyn.
A good Chicago Dog can be steamed or grilled, but we especially love the deliciousness of a juicy hot dog flame-grilled until it snaps!
When it comes to topping a Chicago Dog, the recipe is widely known, but here’s Snap’s well-tested method for the perfect balance of ingredients. The order in which you top the hot dog is key — the mustard helps hold the onions in place, which in turn keep the relish from sliding off the the dog, while the tomatoes and pickle spear nestle the sausage on either side. It’s hot dog feng shui. Balance.
Snap’s Chicago Hot Dog
- Place one flame-grilled, all-beef hot dog with a natural casing onto a fresh hot dog bun (poppy seed bun if available)
- Make a squiggle of yellow mustard down the length of the hot dog
- Sprinkle across one tablespoon of chopped white onions
- Gently top the hot dog with one tablespoon of sweet pickle relish (we make our own or use Rick’s Picks)
- Tuck two tomato wedges end to end along one side of the hot dog
- Place a skinny dill pickle spear alongside the other side of the hot dog (we prefer Rick’s Picks’ Classic Sours)
- Top the creation with exactly two sport peppers (available only in the Midwest, and the internet!) and finish with a dash of celery salt
If you simply cannot track down sport peppers, jalapenos or pepperoncini will do. Now you have a perfectly constructed Chicago Dog! It’s a well-rounded meal on a bun, and our favorite classic American hot dog.
Ooh la la
It’s a sausage party! We have a new catering menu on our website featuring platters of hot dogs, trays of avocado fries, award-winning mac n cheese, party-sized potato salad, and — yes — even kale is invited to this shin-dig! Check out the menu and let us know about your next big event.