“Red Hot” Hot Dogs

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0Share on Yummly0

One of Ed’s favorite foods is a hot dog. He still reminds me that our wedding wasn’t truly official as we didn’t serve pigs in blankets!* According to family history, his maternal grandfather’s first meal after going through Ellis Island to reach the USA from Italy was a hot dog. This love of hot dogs was passed down to both Ed and his mother.

I take pretty much the opposite stance on hot dogs – I eat about one a year and when I do, it’s usually on vacation on Lake Champlain. We started spending family vacations there when I was in college and at that time I was first introduced to a variation of the hot dog called a “red hot.” They taste like a good quality traditional hot dog, but they are bright red (as opposed to a more subdued red). And, the only place that I have ever seen them is at the Village Meat Market in Willsboro, NY (also where we were first introduced to the flat iron steak a few years ago). This time when we visited we were able to introduce our friends, Carolyn and Jonathan R, to the wonders of red hots and they were pretty happy with them.

Red Hot Hot Dogs













Ed and I can’t eat hot dogs without a heated discussion about what to put on top of them. For me, I like a nicely grilled hot dog with a non-warmed bun with yellow mustard, relish and ketchup. Ed can’t understand how anyone can put ketchup on a hot dog and he always reminds me of that. Ed prefers a grilled bun with mustard and sauerkraut (if available).

How do you like your hot dog?

* It appears that Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) and Ed have something in common. The current issue of Bon Appétit(October 2012) cites pigs in blankets as one of Ina’s nostalgic favorites – much to her husband’s dismay!

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0Share on Yummly0


  1. I am surprised that you would post about red hots, and not include a recipe to make it a “Michigan”. The Michigan is the way to go when it comes to red hots. Otherwise a great post.

    • Oh, Colin, good catch! Since I didn’t have the pleasure of eating a Michigan hot dog, it must have slipped my mind. Look for a follow up at some point!

  2. Red dogs are my favorite type of hot dog. My family is from New England so I have been eating them my whole life; anytime we go on vacation to Maine I come home with a big bag and place them in my freezer so I can enjoy them throughout the year! When it comes to red dogs (as they’re called in Maine) I love them on a grilled bun with ketchup and relish or they taste great just the way they are too!

  3. Nicole, Linda and I recently stopped at a small, family run seafood market. Lo and behold they also sold all beef hot dogs that are way up the ladder from the packaged ones found in the market. Farmer’s market and butcher shop hot dogs are a treat that should be enjoyed more than once a year. By the way, tell Ed that what is best on a hot dog is whatever you happen to be craving at the time.

  4. I’m with Ed on the subject of hot dogs. Ketchup belongs on hamburgers, mustard with relish or sauerkraut are the proper toppings for hot dogs. As a matter of fact we had hot dogs for supper just last night. I make a sauerkraut garnish with some sliced apple, sort of a take off on an Alsatian dish: I slice the apples thin and saute them in a little butter, rinse the sauerkraut pretty thoroughly to wash off most of the brine, then add it after it drains to the apples, stir in a little white wine and let it simmer.

    PS: We like the hot dog rolls warmed a little. Pop them in a low oven for a few minutes just before serving.

  5. I loved the post and especially the plate you used in the photo! One North Country factoid about red hots is what Kevin at the Meat Market said when asked how long they would last in the fridge. He said that they would be good long after we were gone and would most likely even survive a nuclear blast!

  6. Steamed buns are a must. Yellow mustard also. Then sauerkraut, onions and relish or spicy chili and cheese. Man I’m hungry now.

  7. I had both red and white hots in Rochester, NY – love them both. While I generally don’t have hot dogs more than once or twice a year, I do like them. But please don’t tell Ed that I prefer mine with ketchup! If I do use mustard, I want Dijon. (Yes, a mustard snob, for sure!)

    • David – Your secret is safe with me. Should we ever enjoy a meal together in person (rather than virtually) I am hoping that it’s not hot dogs. I prefer Dijon for most things – but like yellow mustard on hot dogs and Philadelphia pretzels.