Proper Hot Dog Etiquette
Like everything else, there is a right way and a wrong way to eat a hot dog. If you’re going to truly enjoy the cult of the Hot Dog, you’ll need to understand the do’s and do not’s of hot dog etiquette from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.
- Apply condiments in the following order: wet condiments such as mustard and chili are applied first, followed by chunky condiments such as relish, onions and sauerkraut, followed by shredded cheese, followed by spices, like celery salt or pepper.
- Serve sesame seed, poppy seed and plain buns with hot dogs. Sun-dried tomato buns or basil buns are considered gauche with franks.
- Eat hot dogs on buns with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns.
- Condiments remaining on the fingers after eating a hot dog should be licked away, not washed.
- Use paper plates to serve hot dogs. Every day dishes are acceptable. China is a no-no.
- Put hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always “dress the dog,” not the bun.
- Leave bits of bun on your plate. Eat it all.
- Use ketchup on your hot dog unless you are under the age of 10.
- Don’t use utensils to eat your hot dogs if they come in a bun. Hot dogs in a bun are finger food.
- Use a cloth napkin to wipe your mouth when eating a hot dog. Paper is always preferable.
- Put fresh herbs on the same plate with hot dogs. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.
- Bring wine to a hot dog barbecue. Beer, soda, lemonade and iced tea are preferable.
- Send a thank you note following a hot dog barbecue. It would not be in keeping with the unpretentious nature of hot dogs.
- Think there is a wrong time to serve hot dogs.