Windy City Classic Chicago Style Hot Dogs


10 Tips for Cooking Chicago Style Hot Dogs

  1. Use quality all-beef hot dogs for the best flavor and texture.
  2. Grill the hot dogs to get a nice char and enhance their smoky flavor.
  3. Steam or lightly toast the buns to make them warm and soft.
  4. Use poppy seed buns to stay true to the traditional recipe.
  5. Apply the mustard in a thin, even line down the length of the hot dog.
  6. Add the pickle relish and chopped onions generously for extra flavor.
  7. Make sure the dill pickle spears are crisp and fresh.
  8. Choose sport peppers for their distinct tangy and spicy kick.
  9. Arrange the tomato wedges neatly to keep the toppings from spilling out.
  10. Sprinkle celery salt sparingly but evenly to finish off the authentic taste.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with crispy French fries or potato chips for a classic pairing.
  • Offer a side of coleslaw or a fresh green salad for a balanced meal.
  • Complement with baked beans or corn on the cob for a hearty, summer-themed meal.
  • Provide a variety of cold beverages like iced tea, lemonade, or craft beer.
  • Pair with grilled vegetables like asparagus or bell peppers for a nutritious side.
  • For dessert, serve with a classic American sweet like apple pie or chocolate chip cookies.


Q: Can I use a different type of hot dog for Chicago Style Hot Dogs?
A: Traditional Chicago Style Hot Dogs use all-beef hot dogs, but you can substitute with turkey or veggie dogs if preferred.

Q: What are sport peppers?
Sport peppers are small, pickled green peppers that are slightly spicy and tangy, commonly used in Chicago Style Hot Dogs.

Q: Can I make these hot dogs ahead of time?
It’s best to assemble Chicago Style Hot Dogs just before serving to keep the buns from becoming soggy. You can prepare all the toppings in advance for quick assembly.

Q: Are there any gluten-free options for this recipe?
Yes, you can use gluten-free hot dog buns to make this recipe gluten-free.

Q: How do I store leftovers?
Store any leftover components separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Reheat the hot dogs and buns separately before assembling.

Q: Can I use regular pickle relish instead of sweet pickle relish?
Sweet pickle relish is traditional for Chicago Style Hot Dogs, but you can use regular pickle relish if you prefer a less sweet flavor.

Q: What’s the best way to steam hot dog buns?
You can steam hot dog buns by placing them in a steamer basket over boiling water for about 1-2 minutes, or wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for 10-15 seconds.

Q: Can I add cheese to Chicago Style Hot Dogs?
Cheese is not traditional, but you can add shredded cheddar or American cheese if you like.

Q: What type of tomatoes should I use?
Use ripe, firm tomatoes, cut into wedges. Roma or plum tomatoes work well due to their size and firmness.

Q: How do I keep the toppings from falling out?
Arrange the toppings carefully and avoid overfilling the buns. Using slightly larger buns can also help hold all the toppings in place.

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