Hot Dog Sauce

I’ve spent most of my life in a love / hate relationship with hot dogs.
Ok, that’s not entirely true.
I can’t say that I hate them.

I mean, I love them. I really do… But then I go through spurts in which I have no desire to eat them. I bet that I went a good five years at one point without eating one. I don’t know… they just didn’t tickle my fancy. It wasn’t that I hated them…I just didn’t feel like eating them. I have a feeling it was because at that point, we had a gas grill, and they didn’t have that delicious charcoal taste to them. But even more so, I’ve yet to find a hot dog that I can say has the perfect taste, the perfect spiciness, or the perfect ‘snap’ when you bite into one.

Honestly? I think eating a hot dog today is all about your surroundings. I’ve eaten the best hot dogs in my life with my co-workers friends… sitting around a table at a little hot dog stand that sits on a little creek in Niagara Falls…it has a charming little deck that sits out over the water.

Let me take that back…maybe it wasn’t my surroundings that made them delicious… Because the hot dog stand is in the vicinity of Love Canal (Long sad story…you can Google it and find one of the lowest points in the history of Niagara Falls)..

We lovingly and half-jokingly call the hot dog stand “Dysentery Ditch”, so you get the idea. I described that little deck to you as charming, when in reality… it’s on a dirty little creek….there’s an overpass that’s practically above our heads as we’re eating… and there’s baskets with plastic flowers hanging here and there. But it’s clean, the food is good, it’s about five minutes from work, and most of all…I love it there.

So let me start over…. I’ve eaten hot dogs with some of the best people in my life…We’ve spent some really happy times on our lunch at Dysentery Ditch… filled with laughter, some very strong discussions, or just a quiet lunch, the quiet comfort that we’re in the company of people I’ve come to call my family… the people I’ve come to love. So for me, that’s when I can say I’ve eaten the most delicious hot dogs.


And while I do still eat hot dogs at home, the couple of brands that seem to be the best in my simple little world…the ones that I buy, are just “eh”..

I don’t know…maybe you’re thinking… “Prudy, maybe you just don’t like hot dogs”.

That’s truly not the case. I love them. I crave them at times. I just can’t find one that really satisfies….at least one that I don’t have to load up with gobbilty gook.

Maybe I need to create my own version of hot dog.

So, when I eat a hot dog, it always has to be spiced up. Loaded with ketchup, mustard, relish, hot sauce, and onions…. Or LeFrois sauce, which I believe is a Western New York thing..and the it’s the best sauce ever!

….Or I’ll make this hamburger sauce, which is kind of like a Coney Island sauce…a great sauce that definitely makes any hot dog “hot dog worthy” in my book.

While I love the sloppiness that the sauce brings to the hot dog (because I like everything sloppy), it’s the combination of flavors that really get me. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about taking a bite of something savory, but getting that hint of cinnamon in the end. It just works for me every time. Add a line of prepared mustard and some chopped onions, and you’ve got a winner!    …And while I’m talking about it for hot dogs, this sauce is really delicious on hamburgers too! Throw some green pepper in while you’re sautéing the onions, serve it kind of like sloppy joes! I honestly love this sauce. It’s a perfect year round condiment!

Update to this post:   My friend Mr Fitz, from Cooking with Mr Fitz just shared one of his posts with me…and I’d like to share it with you… he seems to sum the hot dog dilemma all up!   I hope you stop by and visit his blog… He’s a great guy, he’s hilarious, and always has awesome recipes up his sleeve!

IMG_2400I’m taking my hot dog sauce to Angie’s Fiesta Friday over at The Novice Gardener, where Saucy from Saucy Gander, and Margot from Gather and Graze are hosting.  It should be a great time! Thanks to Saucy and Margot for hosting this week, I know that they’ll make this party an event to remember! And … Angie… thank you for hosting this party for the 27th week in a row! Time flies…

I hope you stop by the party to see what all of the talented people have shared this week! If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, it’s a great way to meet other bloggers, and to gain exposure. You will love this wonderful blogging community…everyone is so friendly, you’ll feel like you’ve known us all for years!

Life is good, it’s a “I really wish I could find the perfect hot dog, but even if I did, I’d probably still slop the condiments on, so in the end it doesn’t really matter” kind of good…


Hot Dog Sauce

Just a quick note… I wanted to mention that this sauce freezes really well.  I’ll usually make a double batch, and then put it in freezer containers to use for the next few months.  It will keep up to six months in the freezer, and about a week in the refrigerator.

This recipe came from my great Aunt Tish, so I’ve posted her recipe exactly how she had it written.  The beauty of this sauce is that you can make it to suit your taste.  If you like it hot, then add some hot peppers, or hot sauce…  if you like it vinegary, then add more vinegar. I like to add a few extra splashes of worcestershire!

1 cup cold water
1 pound ground beef
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 large onion, diced
1 – 10.75 oz can tomato soup
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking the ground beef up. Simmer for at least 1/2 hour to 1 hour.

Serve hot.


54 thoughts on “Hot Dog Sauce

  1. I love your hot dog sauce Prudy. I love hot dogs but feel guilty eating them sometimes. I feel like I should be eating a tofu dog,(tried them and no thanks) well I think your sauce would even make a tofu dog good. Anyway your sauce is yummy almost like a chili dog but not exactly. Don’t laugh my favorite is a Nathan’s hot dog, grilled, Bush’s baked beans on it, spicy mustard and sauerkraut. If no one brings hot dogs to the party I think it would be good on bread. Yum!

  2. I understand your ambivalence to hot dogs. Sometimes, I mean like once every two years, I really crave one, but am usually disappointed. Maybe it’s a nostalgia thing. This sauce looks like a great way to avoid the disappointment. Probably wouldn’t even need the hot dog.

    • I think you hit the nail right on the head, Hilda. It’s definitely a nostalgia thing….trying to get that blast from the past, but it’s never the same! It’s like eating a Hershey bar. I swear that they’re completely different than when I was growing up. They are not the same. Or my tastebuds are not the same!! ❤ Thank you so much!

  3. Prudy!! Fabulous, fabulous hot dog sauce, I’m sure it’s just what I need to perk up hot dogs, burgers, actually anything else, this looks like such a wonderful combination of flavours, I’m sure I’ll find lots of uses for this sauce. And I also know the FF crowd is going to just love this!

  4. Pingback: Breakfast Biscuit | Fiesta Friday #27 | The Novice Gardener

  5. Such a fabulous narrative Prudy… like being in your mind as you worked out this whole hotdog dilemma! I’ve not had a hotdog in a few years now… actually not since we left the USA, but this is a fine reason to grill some up and top them with your amazing-looking sauce! Thanks so much for bringing this along to FF#27 – they’ll go down a treat I’m sure!

    • Thank you so much Margot! I truly appreciate your kind words…they mean so much to me! Oh definitely… make the sauce. Eat it on a burger if you don’t want to eat a hot dog! Thank you so much for co-hosting Fiesta Friday this week…it’s so much fun, isn’t it? I love visiting all of the wonderful blogs, and the talented people who have shared their culinary expertise! ❤

    • Oh yeah Mandi! This is one of those things that is a no brainer…it’s easy to make, easy to throw in the freezer, and easy to pop in the microwave when you need it! I have to say it is one of my favorites. You can serve it over anything…even a fried egg in the morning! Thanks so much for stopping by…I’m so happy you did! ❤

  6. Typically I don’t eat hotdogs either. I’m more of a brat girl. personally I think they have more flavor…but whoa, at 6 in the morning you’re sure making me want one now! So I guess now I just have to make some just do I can try this awesome sauce recipe. I hope you’re happy. Lol

    • Haha!! I hope you made the sauce, and ate it for breakfast. That does make me happy! ❤ Jess, you'll never believe this. I've never had a brat. I know, right? Crazy. So they have more flavor? Maybe I need to try one soon! Maybe they're what I've been searching for all along… 🙂 ❤

  7. I get a hotdog every time I go to Sam’s Club. I think it tastes good, but then I’m pretty indiscriminate. I’m a real gourmet, you know :-). I love this sauce recipe, Prudy. Will elevate any hotdog to another level! ❤

  8. The sauce is delicious and easy to make. Great for extra lazy individuals like me. I love “combine all ingredients and simmer” great recipe. Is it the hot dog that makes the hot dog or the company that makes the hot dog? Frankly speaking my feelings for hotdogs are like a yo yo too. I love them better when somebody else grills them when am away and gives them to me when I’m extremely hungry. Thanks for sharing and yes do bring this sauce along as well!

    • Isn’t that the truth, Liz? I love a hot dog made by someone else! and I love tossing all ingredients in a pan and letting them do their thing! No fuss, no muss, no thinking. Gotta love it. Thanks so much!
      Packing up the sauce as I’m typing this.. I’ll be there soon. ❤

  9. You get me laughing every time!! We don’t eat hotdogs in this house, well, I say we, I mean my boys of course! Your sauce looks really interesting though, great flavours in there, I should think you could use it for all sorts of things? X

  10. Um, Prudy you need to give me your address so I can ship some dogs over to you. We have the most amazing butcher fresh hot dogs that you will DIE for. And I see that you share my crush on Mr. Fitz . . . that guy is IT!!!!! Your post made me laugh so hard, as you kept “going back.” Great sauce here, I imagine it would be good straight up as a sort of “Sloppy Pru,” . . . you know, like a Sloppy Joe?

    • haha! So, your butcher makes the hot dogs? I’m not sure we have a butcher around here that makes hot dogs. They always sell Sahlens, which is a favorite of Western New York, and I say “meh”. Oh definitely a sloppy Pru!
      By the way…your photos are spectacular. I’m loving them! You should submit them to food gawker or taste spotting….I think they’re that good. ❤

  11. I love the idea of trying something new to the hotdog, it needs that upbeat condiment and I believe you have captured it !!

  12. Now that is what I call a good hotdog…especially after seeing that you made your own buns. I don’t think anyone is going to top your hotdogs. 😀

  13. Prudy- I love how you make some of the basic things from scratch. I love doing that too. I still have your ketchup post on my mind. Of course we can’t always achieve that umami flavor that most ready made sauces have but I would go for anything made from scratch any day. Wonderful post. 🙂

    • Thank you Aditi! I agree, it’s hard to capture that umami flavor…. but really… it makes me wonder if it’s all of the chemicals that we are so used to, that makes us think that we haven’t captured the true flavor, when in fact it is the true flavor that we have captured with the fresh ingredients, sans chemicals! Who knows? But I’m with you, I love “from scratch” the best…
      You’re so darn adorable. Thank you so much. ❤

  14. I simply cannot get enough of hot dogs and I will definitely be making this sauce!! I have a reputation (a good one!) for always making hot dogs on Bonfire night…..guess what will be accompanying them this year! Nice one Prudy 🙂 Lovely post x

  15. Shhhh – I’m still in the closet with my hotdog eating. LOL. They’re a guilty pleasure. Truthfully – I do worry about the nitrates and all that. But every now and then I break down and buy some and love them. I’ll make this sauce – but I draw the line at making homemade hotdog buns. 😉 I’ll leave that to the pros like you. ❤

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