Best and Holiest Hot Dogs

Who makes the best hot dogs? It depends on what you mean by the “who”. What brand is best, what restaurant, cart, joint, or other purveyor serves the best dog, or what individual human makes the best hog dogs in the land, that is the question. Luckily I know the answers, and will be happy to share. The best hot dogs are made by, in order of category stated: Hebrew National, Dazzo’s Dog House, and myself.

Well of course, if you have to answer to A Higher Authority in the manufacture of your wieners, you are bound to make the best, right? Maybe not, but they do use all beef and nothing too weird. They can be a little on the high-priced side, though. That brand will go on sale, and you can stock up. They freeze fine. Even if your religious preference does not require the Higher Authority rating, Kosher Smosher, they are good and worth the price.

There are lots of good hot dog joints. I like Dazzo’s Dog House, in Glendale, Arizona, the best. They are reasonably priced, and have a simple serving style that really goes with the hot dog idea. Wrapped in paper, and the fries wrapped right along with them instead of being in some branded fancy holder, I really feel like I’m have a hot dog when I unwrap that tasty bundle. They come with sport peppers of course, and are mighty good.

So now we come to the best maker of hot dogs at home, which is: TA – DA, me. But I will explain how it is done, and then you and I will be the best. Besides the dogs, buns, and fixin’s of your choice, you will need onions and peppers. I use two kinds of onions, red and also a sweet onion like Vidalia, if I can get them. Otherwise, whatever onion you have, and sliced longways and pretty large, as they will cook away to nothing if sliced thinly. You also need chilies. I use a combination of at least two colors of bell pepper, plus anaheim chilies or even a hot one or two if the consumers can tolerate it. The peppers are also sliced in long strips, to keep some character after cooking. You want enough to make a bed at least an inch thick, and maybe two inches, when you start to cook.

To cook, place a good-sized skillet or other low-sided pan on medium high heat. Using enough olive oil to coat the pan, saute your onions and peppers just until you see a little color developing. Then scatter your high-quality wieners over the top of your bed of onions and peppers, turn down the heat to low, and put on the lid. Do not stir them in, but just leave them on top of the pile of flavor that you have created. Let them sit and steam in the aroma for perhaps ten minutes or more. Honestly, I have never timed it, but you can tell by the steam droplet build up and the kind of plump and sweaty grill-cook appearance the dogs get when they are ready.

At this point, I take the lid off and use tongs to sort of wiggle the hot dogs down through the onions, etc, to get the wieners into contact with the pan. Watch and turn for a few minutes. There will now be a sort of browned-onion essence on the bottom of the pan that will take those dogs to the highest level of righteousness possible here on Earth. At this point you can take the pan off the heat and either transfer to a serving dish or just serve from the pan.

Now all that is required is the bun and the condiments. Any traditional hot dog accompaniments will be great, but I like to use spicy mustard, a heaping helping of the onion and chili mix, and sport peppers.

Try it sometime, you may become a convert. If not, you can always write an article like this and explain how it is really done. If you happen to bring your group out to the Grand Canyon State, you might get to check out Dazzo’s. And as for the Higher Authority Approved Dogs, remember the sale papers and the coupons. They really are worth the price if you want to be the world’s greatest hot dog maker.

Posted in Dining and Restaurants