chicago dog

The Chicago Dog

A completely stuffed hot dog done in the Chicago style. Piled high with tomatoes, pickles, onions, relish, mayo and mustard.


The Chicago Dog

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New Yorkers LOOK AWAY.

This post is a tribute to your windy city competitor when it comes to pizza and hot dogs (and possibly underworld crime).

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good New York street dog. The problem is that I don’t really consider them a meal. I mean, sure, you could eat two or three of them and probably be okay.

Or you could eat one massive Chicago dog and be set for awhile. I’m not exactly sure what the history is behind the dog, but I know that it has all of my favorite things packed on top of a hot dog. What’s not to love?

The Chicago Dog

4 dogs
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A completely stuffed hot dog done in the Chicago style. Piled high with tomatoes, pickles, onions, relish, mayo and mustard.


4 1/4 pound beef franks, boiled
Pickles, sliced
Tomatoes, sliced
White onions, diced
Celery Salt
Quick Cucumber Relish:
1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded, minced
4-5 sweet pickled cherry peppers, seeded and minced
1/3-1/2 Cup vinegar (try it with apple cider vinegar or white or red wine vinegar)
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)


1) To make relish, peel and seed a cucumber.  Dice it small and mix it with the other relish ingredients.  Let it sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before using.

2) To prep dogs, boil them in lightly salted water for 5 minutes.

3) Toast buns.

4) Build dog with mayo and mustard.  Add sliced tomatoes and pickles.

5) Add dog and toppings.

6) Serve with napkins.  You’ll need them.

Relish the relish

A good Chicago dog has to have relish on it, but I quickly ran into a problem. When I was browsing through the store, I couldn’t find a single relish that looked good to me. They all seemed really processed and most had a huge amount of sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup, which seemed a bit unnecessary.

So I figured I’d just make my own. It turned out to be my favorite part of the dog!

Traditionally, relish is made with pickles, but I decided to use cucumbers for a bit more freshness.

Peel, seed, and dice your cucumber and stir it together with the other ingredients. Let this sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes and you’ll be well rewarded. It’s awesome on a dog.

quick relish
Make your own relish…

Other Fixings

A few other necessities for a good Chicago dog include pickles, tomatoes, and white onions. You could not use any of these I guess, but then you best not be calling it a Chicago dog.

Other needs…

As far as the hot dogs go, just toss them in some salted boiling water until they are nice and plump, probably 5 minutes. Then they are ready to go.

Building the Dog

When it comes to hot dog buns, I like mine nice and toasted. I toast them under the broiler for a minute or two to get nice and crispy. Not a necessary step, but I think it holds up to the fillings a bit better if it’s toasted.

Layer on mayo and mustard followed by sliced stuff.

making the dog

Then stick in your dog and top with onions, relish, and a sprinkle of celery salt.

You might think that celery salt is a weird ingredient for hot dogs, but just go with it. It’s awesome.

Bring some napkins to the party. These guys are messy.

These are messy guys.

Here’s my slightly more staged version.

This is about as staged as I get people.

The staged version…

Hopefully, I didn’t just lose my entire New York readership.

Without a doubt, I give New York the pizza badge, but I think I might have to give the hot dog award to Chi-town.

16 Responses to “The Chicago Dog” Leave a comment

    1. A little mayo never hurt anybody! I actually agree though… in general I don't like mayo. This was an exception for me.

  1. Sport peppers! Sesame seed hot dog bun! Honestly, I have no idea if either are available outside Chicago.

  2. Dude, it's seriously starting to freak me out that you post about exactly the thing I'm craving at exactly the moment I'm craving it. First the stuffed poblanos (PS — made those for dinner last night, and it was awesome), and now Chicago dogs?? Get out of my head! Or at least start inviting me over for dinner…
    My recent post Spring- finally

      1. @Tacowalker is right, and I am wrong. (I will likely never type that sentence again.) Poppy seed bun it is. Which outs me as a pretender: I live in Chicago, but I'm really from Milwaukee.

  3. This is an authentic Chicago dog:
    steamed or boiled Vienna beef frank
    steamed poppy seed bun
    sport peppers (2-3)
    yellow mustard
    diced onion
    bright green sweet relish
    dill pickle spear
    celery salt
    NO mayo and certainly NOT catsup
    Anything else, however delicious it may be, is not

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