Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jul 22, 2011 07:40 AM

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!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  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 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:
          Then a "snappy frank" is needed ( no soft wieners!) :D
          Then a soft thick 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:
              Here is one that does not: .
              Here is one with cinnamon and cloves:

              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!