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Chilidog question

I was watching the excellent Man Vs Food, and it reminded me of something I've always wanted but never had - a chilidog.

Firstly, what kind of bun do they use? I'm pretty sure the "hot dog rolls" we get in England are completely wrong. They're dry fluffy crumbly things that would probably not stand the steaming showed on the programme.

Second, the chili - it's completely different to the kind of chili I'd normally make (with chopped steak), more saucy and runny, yet didn't look too tomatoey. Does anyone have a recipe?

3rd, the mustard. I'm taking it that it's pretty much the American yellow mustard, because that much English mustard would blow your head off. Not too sure how important this is.

Fourth, the dog. I'm just going to ask if anyone knows a particularly reputable brand that can be found in the UK, as our sausages are possibly too different from the German-style franks used in the states.

Thanks in advance guys!

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  1. rolls..there usually 2 kinds...your standard hot dog roll ..and "new england style"
    dont know availability of those in england tho..

    yes hot dog chili is not the same as standard chili...theres i dont know how many variations of it from cincinnati chili..detroit chili ..new york chili...searching google and Ch would help... as i dont have a particular favorite go to recipe...

    yes the mustard is most often frenchs yellow musard...and then that depends on where u are in the USA ...regions have different preferences...but the frenchs is most common

    as far as brands....again that gets realllly regional here in the USA...
    growing up in CT i liked Muckies ..but i cant get them so much anymore here in florida unless i order them...
    but hebrew national are good...nathans are good..i even like the Publix store brand on occasion...

    brand and taste are very subjective...and there lots and lots of threads and opinions about them as well

    3 Replies
    1. re: srsone

      I don't think I've ever had a chili dog with mustard. Maybe that's a regional thing. The best are always at a ski resort for lunch - aka when you are starving and need food now! It's not gourmet eats, by any means.

      I saw Jamie Oliver make chile con carne on one of his shows that looked like it would be pretty close to the chile used on chile dogs. It uses ground (minced) beef, onions, chile powder and chile peppers, tomatoes, and sometimes beans. This is not authentic Texas chile - you wouldn't waste that on a chile dog. It's more like another sandwichy dish we have called Sloppy Joe, but with a bit of heat.

      The bun is a standard issue hot dog bun. You can toast it, but it's really supposed to get a little soggy.

      1. re: 512window

        he asked which mustard ...just sayin its frenchs yellow....
        if he wants mustard he can put mustard on it...whom am i to judge?

        1. re: srsone

          Chili dogs usually have cheese sauce and/or the famous red onions added, although you never know with some people!

          I help my friend on his hot dog truck sometimes, the other day a guy asks for a "regular" hot dog. I said, what, sauerkraut and mustard, and he looked at me like I was stupid and said, no nothing on it. Like I said, you never know. Because then he said, actually that sounds good, do it that way.

          Oh BTW I would rather do without than have yellow mustard, gotta be German deli style, brown with the grains in it. But that's here so do as you please with that one.

      1. I can't really help you on the hotdog or bun availability for you and the mustard would be the American yellow, but it isn't necessary on a chili dog, it's your personal preference. I can however help you with the chili part. Hotdog chili is not supposed to be too thin nor does it contain beans. Most of the recipes are tomato based but some regions of the U.S. feature a hotdog chili that has very little tomato product. Here is a link to a recipe from Michigan that is authentic, easy to make and quite good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: John E.

          I used to work in downtown Detroit, steps from Greektown. There was a little diner on the side street that served 3 chili dogs with fries for $3!!. As you said, the chili didn't contain beans; just very finely ground beef, onions, and a spicy red sauce. The buns were definitely North American standard - soft, squishy, and absorbent to soak up the juice, but you still had to be careful lest you wear your lunch back to the office.

          That was 12 years ago; I don't think I could eat two dogs at lunch, let alone three with fries, but man, it was tasty!

        2. I use sort of a "texas hots" recipe (no beans) hamburger, onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, ketchup.....or something like this: http://www.justapinch.com/recipe/jenn...
          Then a "snappy frank" is needed ( no soft wieners!) :D
          Then a soft thick bun...top with chopped onion and a squirt of yellow mustard if you love mustard...or skip it because these are powerful all by themselves. Guaranteed to remind you what you ate for dinner for HOURS AND HOURS :)

          6 Replies
          1. re: sedimental

            I don't want to rain on your parade, or embarrass you, but no Texas style chili contains either Worcesthshire Sauce or ketchup.


            I agree with the respondent downthread who said that canned chili works best. For chili dogs, it's what I use every time, and I make chili frequently.

            Canned chili, shredded Cheddar or Colby and fresh, chopped onions. No mustard. That's how I'll take my four please.

            1. re: DoobieWah

              No, not Texas Chili...Texas Hots! Different animal altogether. Meaning the ground beef mixture on a hot dog. There is no "actual recipe" many cooks make up their own concoction. They vary greatly, but all kind of "look the same" - fine, thick, ground beef in a red sauce.

              Here is one using ketchup and Maggi: http://www.grill-share.com/profiles/b...
              Here is one that does not: http://wegottaeat.com/eat.play.live/r... .
              Here is one with cinnamon and cloves: http://www.recipelink.com/mf/0/77236

              There are a million recipes for them.
              I don't eat canned chili on hot dog or otherwise...but I like Texas Hots or the similar Michigan Sauce on my Dogs! Michigan sauce tends to be sweeter than Texas Hots sauce.

              1. re: sedimental

                Sorry for the confusion.

                I've never heard of "Texas hots".

                1. re: sedimental

                  Great Links BTW.

                  The first is for making 5 gallons!

                  The second one appears broken because it is trying to parse the period at the end of the sentence as a part of the link. Delete the period and the link goes to a recipe that is actually not bad except for the cinnamon and cloves. Note that there's no tomato in it however.

                  The third link contains this bit of poetry:

                  "Hi. I live in Houston but grew up eating Texas Hots on Lake Ontario in upstate NY. This is my mom's recipe, allegedly from Rudy's in Oswego, NY. The hot dog (a Hofmann's if you can find 'em) is served with mustard, chopped onions, and the Texas hot sauce only. No cheese!! My wife, a Texas native, thinks this is awful, but I make up a double batch and freeze it in small containers for myself. She can have her Wolf chili. Enjoy."

                  I think I like his wife.

                  Anyway, thanks for the edumication. As stated above, I had never heard of "Texas Hots".

                  1. re: DoobieWah

                    You should try one!

                    I am not vouching for the recipes on those links- they were just to illustrate the various styles of Texas Hots. ..but I never met any type of chili dog I didn't like.....even the ones with (gasp) BEANS! :)

                    1. re: DoobieWah

                      We fixed the second link so it should work now.

              2. I love chili dogs (just had some the other day), and even though I'll labor for hours making a pot of chili from scratch, I've found that for consistency, texture, and that unique chili dog taste, canned chili works better over hot dogs than the finest batch of gourmet homemade chili. Texas Pete is my favorite canned chili brand for hot dogs, but Hormel, Castleberry, and Wolf Brand would all suffice. Echoing everyone who says "No beans!" I doubt those would be available in the UK, but Soop, I'd send you a care package if you were willing to pay for the cost and international shipping!

                4 Replies
                1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                  I understand your point, but we have found the canned chili has a much higher fat and sodium content than we prefer. (I reduce the salt a great deal compared to what the recipe calls for).

                  1. re: John E.

                    As opposed to the hot dog itself? Might as well go all the way once in a while!

                    1. re: coll

                      Go all the way? I'm saying to make homemade coney sauce as opposed to canned, which is better anyway. (At least mine is).

                      1. re: John E.

                        I know, I was just joshing with you. I meant that fat and sodium is what hot dogs are all about!

                2. http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/200...
                  Here is the real thing. I suppose you might want to reduce the amount of chili power but in
                  Texas we put in chili powder until there is too much and that is just right. If you could get the
                  person who offered the care package to send you some Gebhart's chili powder you will get the
                  exact flavor.
                  Good luck

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: paul balbin

                    That looks like a great chili - but not really suitable for a chili dog. Chili dog chili is more like a chili-flavored meat sauce than a proper bowl-of-red chili you'd eat by itself. Googling "chili dog sauce recipe" turns up a lot of hits, many of which seem to be pretty much on point.

                  2. Check out my recipe in the Chowhound recipes section under "Michigan Coney Sauce".

                    1. For the chili sauce, I'd try searching for Greek Coney Island Chili Sauce. This is authentic hot dog sauce, at least in my family. The other key to the sauce is that instead of browning in oil, boil it in water. It makes the ground beef very fine (smooth) in the end product. You don't want big chunks of meat. I personally haven't eaten hot dogs since childhood, but my elderly mother does and she lives with us. I have experimented for years trying to perfect the sauce she remembers eating as a child in our small town. The restaurant was owned by Greeks and she swears that authentic chili sauce for hot dogs *must* be Greek <grin>. We never ate mustard with chili dogs. That's probably a regional or even familial preference, though. We also always just used the type of hot dog buns that are made exactly like hamburger buns, just in a different shape. The hot dog buns they eat on the east coast of the US are also used for lobster rolls, IIRC.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: velochic

                        The Greek chili I'm used to is Cincinnati-style from Skyline Chili parlors (founded by Greek immigrants). It is traditionally served over tiny hot dogs (coneys) or over spaghetti, topped with mounds of bright orange finely-shredded cheddar cheese. But as a warning, the Greek-style chili sauce is made with cinnamon and often cloves too, and some people who aren't used to it (like my wife) think it's gross. It's definitely a love it-or-hate it sort of food, except for me -- I kinda like it as a rare treat, since it's hard to find around here.

                        1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                          I have been researching and experimenting with Greek Coney Island Sauce for more than 5 years now, and I've never seen a recipe nor had one passed along to me (by 2nd and 3rd generation Greek immigrants making the sauce passed on to them) calling for cinnamon or cloves. Not that they don't exist, but I'm just saying that Greek Chili and Greek Coney Island Sauce are different for us. I have more than 50 recipes for Greek Coney Island Sauce and not even one calls for these spices. Also, the sauce I'm talking about would never be a bowl of chili, Cincinnati-style with spaghetti or otherwise. It's a sauce. It is specifically for putting on hot dogs that are nestled in a bun. For us, the sauce makes a chili dog a chili dog and not something where someone made chili soup and decided to mix it with some hot dog.

                          1. re: velochic

                            Okay, I didn't mean to stir up trouble! I just consider Cincinnati-style chili (Skyline, etc.) a Greek recipe, and it's the most famous Greek-related chili I've ever heard of. No offense intended.

                            1. re: velochic

                              Cincinnati-style chili is similar to a typical coney sauce-it does have a cinnamon and clove flavor-and its a bit thicker. Definitely Greek and not soupy.

                        2. I think new enland hotdogs are wrong from a geometry perspective.

                          regular hot dog roll, potato roll also works as well as the one with seseme seeds on top (ala chicago). I really like the all mean chili but don't turn down the bean version . Basically, I have yet to meet a chili dog I didn't like. But the addition of cheese and raw onions really make any chili dog.

                          1. Are there 7/11s in England? If so, and if the hot food offerings are similar to those in the US, every now and again I get a craving for a 7/11 Bahama Mama with the chili and cheese sauce that comes out of the machine topped with chopped raw onions, pickled jalapeƱos, and of course yellow mustard.

                            Making one yourself isn't hard either. For the chili you can go with or without beans, and I personally prefer a chunkier chili. You need a hot dog that has a lot of flavor or else it gets overwhelmed by the chili. Chopped raw onions add a certain freshness and brightness that is nice, and the yellow mustard adds that vinegary kick to cut through the richness. If you can get potato rolls I'd go for those, as they hold up better compared to traditional hot dog buns.

                              1. From Texas, In Texas. Follow DoobieWah's direction, add dill relish, mustard (yellow, ball park style) and if you're brave enough chop a handful of green onions (scalliions, to foodies) and sprinkle them on top of the cheese. Serve with Dr. Pepper, over ice, and some kettle cooked chips (crisps, to the British). That's how I like my two.