The Ultimate Hot Dog

Welcome to the big top, people! Sure, most hot dogs could be described as good, tasty, or heck, sometimes even scrumptious (if you own a thesaurus). But, none of those words quite capture the high echelon we’re holding our frankfurters to today. Yep, it’s time we put together what can only be referred to as our ULTIMATE HOT DOG (a hush falls over the crowd!). We taste tested all the components, so trust us when we say these are the six essential ingredients for the best ever hot dog.

hot dog ingredients

The Hot Dog

Hebrew National Beef Franks

We stand by Hebrew National Beef Franks as the best hot dogs for a really good reason, and that reason is, well…Hebrew National Beef Franks are the best hot dogs! Good reason, right? In his rave review, Sporked contributor Danny Palumbo wrote that the dog is so juicy that it “starts to flavor the hot dog bun itself with its deliciously spiced beef juices.” Give that hot dog a gold medal!

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

hot dog ingredients

The Bun

Nature’s Own Perfectly Crafted Brioche Style Hot Dog Buns

Time and again, we’ve asserted that the best hot dog buns by a mile are Nature’s Own Perfectly Crafted Brioche Style Hot Dog Buns, and we stand by it. These brioche buns are delicious, soft and chewy, and, most important of all, able to function as the glue holding this all-star dog together.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

ultimate hot dog

The Mustard

Kroger Yellow Mustard

Kroger Yellow Mustard is consistently topping our best mustard lists, so our ultimate hot dog would be remiss without it. Kroger brings the flavor full force with zing, zip, zest, or really any of your preferred “z” descriptors! On a milder sandwich, this mustard would be the clear superstar, but on our ultimate dog, Kroger’s simply blends in with the dream team we’ve assembled. Welcome to the squad, Kroger!

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

ultimate hot dog

The Ketchup

Heinz Tomato Ketchup

Folks, you knew it would be the case: Heinz has it! Heinz Tomato Ketchup is the brand you think of whenever the red stuff is brought up, and for good reason…it’s the top of the heap! The best ketchup! Don’t come at us with any other brands, believe me, we’ve tried them! Slather some Heinz on your dog and thank us later! And, while you’re in a slathering mood, don’t forget to do it with sunscreen on your exposed skin. Nothing ruins your enjoyment of a hot dog like a sunburn!

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

ultimate hot dog

The Relish

Del Monte Sweet Pickle Relish

Made with real sugar, Del Monte Sweet Pickle Relish is the clear choice when selecting the best sweet relish on the shelf. Its flavor is enhanced by dehydrated peppers, onions, and mustard seeds. It officially converted Sporked’s Jordan Myrick from “a sweet relish hater to a sweet relish lover.”

Credit: Merc / Instacart

ultimate hot dog

The Chips (for crumbling)

Trader Joe’s “Ode to the Classic” Potato Chips

How about a little confetti for this party, huh? We highly recommend sprinkling a substantial handful of Trader Joe’s “Ode to the Classic” Potato Chips (the best plain potato chips) on top as the pièce de résistance of your ultimate dog. These chips are everything you’d want in a potato-based snack: They’re crispy, crunchy, light, and even nail the alarmingly specific taste profile of “bowling alley fries,” according to managing editor Gwynedd Stuart. Look at that! An incredible hot dog, with a free subliminal side of fries! You can’t beat that bargain!

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Sporked

cookout week sporked

It’s Cookout Week at Sporked!

To kick off summer, we’re highlighting all the best foods and drinks you should be buying for cookouts, BBQs, grilling seshes, or any other type of al fresco partying and eating you’ll be doing this season.

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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  • Here goes. The hot dog: Hebrew or Vienna Beef. The bun: S. Rosen’s poppy seed. The mustard: French’s or any other yellow. The relish: Vienna Chicago. The pickle: Clausen dill spears. The onion: Yellow. The tomato (Unless you’re Link): Your choice. The peppers: Vienna Chicago Sport Peppers. The celery salt: McCormick. You’re welcome.