This is hands down THE best way to eat hot dogs. Period. Once you try this, you’ll never a eat hot dog any other way.
*This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, check out our Privacy & Disclosure Policy.
J Dawgs Hot Dog Sauce
Let me start with a story. Once upon a time, there was this hot dog stand in the heart of Provo, Utah where I went to college. (Go BYU!) It was called J Dawgs, but to be honest, I didn’t really care since I hated hot dogs! Yep! Even though I grew up camping for weeks on end, the night we had hot dogs was rough. Ever single year. I’d fill my plate with chips and fruit. And hope for a better dinner the next day.
My good friend who was in Business School with me invited me to go to lunch her one day. To J Dawgs. Gasp! What was a girl to do? I went with not much of an open mind, (or an open mouth for that matter), but she told me how amazing they were. So I tried a bite. And wow! I’ve never been the same since. (That may sound a little dramatic, but really, now I can eat AND enjoy hot dogs, so this was a big deal!)
The Special Sauce
So what made these so darn good? You know what they say… the secret is in the sauce. And it’s completely true. The hot dog special sauce they serve with the 100% beef hot dogs topped with onions and pickles is to die for. And the way they grill them…I’ll get to that in a minute.
In fact we love J Dawgs so much that we’ll eat there whenever we’re in town.
J Dawgs Special Sauce Copycat Recipe
You have no idea how happy I was when we came across a copycat recipe for their “Special Sauce”. I haven’t tried the sauces side-by-side, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s just as good as the real deal. Now I can create a “J Dawg” anytime I please.
We make a big batch of this special sauce and keep it in the fridge. It stays good for a long time! We also take this camping with us. It’s so fun teaching friends and family how to really enjoy a hot dog. Ha!
Tip: Make a double batch and take it camping with you! Or to a pot luck!
How to Roast a Hot Dog the Amazing Way
A huge reason for me not loving hot dogs growing up was that seemed too mushy! That all changed when I bit into a J Dawgs and the insides were NOT mushy. Enter the hallelujah choir! The secret is a criss-cross cut that practically doubles the surface area of the hot dog that gets grilled. This works well when you’re cooking over a campfire, too!
There’s 2 ways to achieve this criss-cross cut:
You’ll take your hot dog and do a criss-cross cut part way through the hot dog. Does that make sense? Place the dog on a cutting board. Take a sharp knife and start on one end and cut diagonal cuts all the way down. And then start cutting the other direction. Spread open the hot dog and place on grill or on the campfire.
Option 2- THE EASY WAY
If you are lazy like me, you can grab this SLOT DOG criss-cross cutter that does all cutting for you! We have one and LOVE IT! It seriously takes hot dogs to the next level.
So Let’s Recap how to make THE BEST HOT DOG!
- Buy all-beef or Polish dogs. If you want to enjoy a hot dog, get the good stuff. (We love the giant pack at Costco. They freeze well and are pretty inexpensive.)
- Chop up some onions and slice dill pickles.
- Make a big batch of Hot Dog Special Sauce (recipe below.) You can store it in a condiment bottle like this one or pick one up at a kitchen supply store.
- Cut the hot dogs in a criss-cross pattern using the directions above or using this hot dog cutter
- Grill or cook on a campfire.
- Once your hot dog is cooked, top with onions, pickles, and the hot dog special sauce.
- Eat the best hot dog of your life!!
- Serve with one of our favorite summer salads: Simple Spinach Tortellini Salad or Summer Salad with Candied Almonds