HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


killer chili dogs

we're hosting a big crowd for 4th of July, and I'm thinking chili dogs are the way to go.

what's your best chili dog recipe? grilled, steamed, or boiled dogs? ideal accompaniments?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Check out Paula Dean's sons' chili recipe for dogs (search foodnetwork). We made it a few weeks ago and it was supereasy and really good on grilled dogs. Mmmmm, I'm hungry!

    1. Steamed Kasper Dog with crunchy skin, probably a Northern CA thing. They can be purchased at Costco now and some markets.

      I would never turn away good spicy chili and cheese to top it with though!
      Red onion, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, jalapenos, a bit of sour cream.
      Get the good buns that can take the chili.

      1. I enjoy grilled Kosher hot dogs(Best Kosher), on a poppyseed bun.

        I like chili , cheddar cheese, chopped white onions, and sliced jalapenos when I have chili dogs.

        1. Probably blasphemy but for an easy fix, I had the best chili dog I can remember two weeks ago. I used Bush's beanless chili that comes in a glass jar. For the cheese I used some pepper jack I had and the key is to very finely grate it, it will melt easier. Scrumptious. Oh, I and I grilled my dogs. When I worked at a Dairy Dip we sliced our dogs down the middle but not all the way and then placed them face down on the grill. Thats a good way to get all the fixin's in the middle!

          1. I make my own chili using the Lawry's packet, then adding a can of El Pato Jalapeno Salsa. I call it "duck salsa" because there is a duck on the label. :) For chili dogs, I put all of the ingredients (browned ground beef, kidney or pinto beans, canned chopped tomatoes) individually into the food processor until fine. This ensures a smooth "chili dog sauce" and TRUST ME it is so good. For chili dogs I like boiled dogs, but it's really a matter of taste. I put a half slice of American cheese in a Sara Lee hot dog bun (very important... the flavor of these can only be described as "goldenish") put in dog, about two tablespoons of chili then as many raw chopped onions as you can stand. Yum. This recipe is also great for chili billies. (aka walkabouts, frito pie, etc) Enjoy!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Oh Robin

              I wholeheartedly endorse all those steps. When I was a kid my dad would drive us all out to Dog N' Suds and this sort of blender-smooth chili sauce on top of boiled dogs in steamed bun with processed cheese brings back memories.

              1. re: renov8r

                I remember Dog N Suds from Mesa Arizona.......the root beer was amazing! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

            2. This version is absolutely stunning - you know you love hotdogs when you go to this much trouble to make Coney Island chili dogs...I'm going to serve it on Nathan's dogs this weekend...DQ used to many years ago do one that I think this resembles, with a tinge of sweetnes from the cider vinegar & brown sugar...

              2 Replies
              1. re: archangelcat

                I like the A&W coney dog recipe, I think its best.

                1. re: bigjimbray

                  since most chiles were taken off the shelves months ago, Big Lots has not restocked Hartford House chile. Any idea where I can buy this Great chile?

              2. Grilled dogs, if possible, are always best, IMO, and I agree with funholidaygirl that they're esp. good split and grilled.

                Most canned chilis/chili sauces are just plain awful, but here's a No-Beans chili made by Hartford House that with a little tweaking is the best canned chili I ever tasted, and I'm from Texas where canned chili is a hotly-debated subject. (Wolf Brand used to be the consensus Texas favorite; don't know if that's still true.)

                I stumbled on the Hartford House at my first visit to a "Big Lots" store that opened here in Maine 2-3 years ago, and this chili seems to be a regularly-stocked item. I've never seen it anywhere BUT Big Lots. (HH makes a "with beans" variety, too, and it's also quite good.) It's nicely seasoned, not too greasy (any congealed grease that doesn't stick to the can can be lifted off the top), the meat is good and in the small "chili-plate" size chunks that are just the right size for a chili dog. Most important, it's the good thick non-runny consistency needed for a chili dog that isn't impossibly messy to eat.

                With good wieners ( I like natural casing, Kirschner's is a good brand in NE) and good thick chili, all in the world you need to supply is lots of fine-grated med. Longhorn-type cheddar and chopped white or yellow onion, some Mrs. Renfro's Habanero Salsa (I always add it right to the canned chili, but for a party you prob. shouldn't do that) &/or jalapenos for people who need more heat. Mustard on the table always, of course. Anything else is gilding the lily.

                The frankfurter buns that are split at the top are easiest to fill & eat.

                2 Replies
                1. re: PhoebeB

                  Slightly embarrassed P.S. to the above comment re: "Anything else is gilding the lily". It's probably a wise hot dog host who also provides fixings for people who don't like chili dogs: sweet & dill relish, kraut, catsup, etc.

                  And don't serve great big wieners. They can be delicious but half the fun of a hot dog party is trying several different combinations of toppings, and the big ones fill you up too fast.

                  OhRobin mentioned the "Goldenish" Sara Lee rolls. Walmart's bakery makes excellent unsplit golden hot dog rolls, lots of them in a pkg., very reasonable.

                  1. re: PhoebeB

                    Most people don't get it, but just look around at the very best and most popular hot dog stands and see what they do. Well, in Houston you'll be a little pressed, but hot dog and chili joints both are popular in Southern California.
                    The most successful and always crowded ones do NOT put chili on their dogs. They put chili hot dog sauce on them. No meat to upstage the wiener, but all the texture and flavor of chili is there. The perfect condiment for the perfect dog.
                    I did a little research before writing this, and guess what. Even at the Wolf Brand website, where they offer chili recipes, the one they have for hog dogs calls for chili instead of chili hot dog sauce. What? Wolf Brand makes a chili dog sauce too, so why don't they call for that instead of regular chili? Go figure.