How Do You Make Chili Dogs

How do you make chili dogs easy in 3 steps, in 10 minutes, or in 5 ways? I’ve managed several fast food restaurants and this is the easiest, fastest, and best tasting way. Read further. Also, this darn good chili dogs method is part of our Sandwiches, Fast Food, and Main Courses recipes sections.

How Do You Make Chili Dogs Easy, FAST, and Taste Great?

Learn the best way of how do you make chili dogs. Certainly, the most simple way is to heat the hot dog in a microwave, put it on a bun, and pour heated canned chili over it. Basically, it’s done. But, we want more options and to be super good. So, read on and see how easy you can do this. There are a ton of ways to make a good chili dog. As a result, here’s the simple process. You have 3 key tasks to perform in order. They are:

  1. Select and cook the hot dogs and chili.
  2. Prepare the buns and add a few ingredients on them.
  3. Add the hot dogs, chili, and our list of key toppings to the buns.

So, let’s cover all of these now. Also, as we proceed, you’ll see the different ways to handle each area, as you choose.

How do you make chili dogs STEP 1: Select and Cook the Hot Dogs & Chili

Select the Hot Dogs

Selecting your hot dog gives a lot of variety. However, you primarily will choose a hot dog that’s named a wiener, frank, or hot dog. Or, you might want to get something a bit more fancy like a quarter pounder all-beef hot dog, bratwurst, kielbasa, or something kosher. But, chili dogs aren’t usually on a bratwurst or kielbasa. However, they do make kosher hot dogs. Whatever you choose, be sure the get fully cooked, if they don’t come that way.

Select the Chili

I’ve tried many kinds of chili for hot dogs, including making my own. For speed, I choose regular Hormel Chili with beans as the preferred choice. I usually get the kind with beans but you can also use a chili without beans. Some will choose to make their own. And still others will choose to make or buy a specific Coney sauce to use instead of chili.

Cooking the Hot Dogs & Heating the Chili

The common hot dogs, franks, and wieners, are generally ready-to-eat so you’re just heating them up. Here are a few different ways to cook/heat them up.

Cooking Hot Dogs Option 1: How to Microwave Hot Dogs

  • Wrap the hot dogs in paper towels. Usually, it’s about 45 seconds for 1 or 2 and about 60 seconds for 3-4.
45 Seconds for Hot Dogs in the Microwave
45 Seconds for Hot Dogs in the Microwave

Cooking Hot Dogs Option 2: Boil them in water

Doesn’t take long and you can put them in a pot of water while it’s heating up. You want to remove them from the water to manage any over expanding and splitting of the hot dogs.

Cooking Hot Dogs Option 3: Broil Hot Dogs in Oven

Broil them in an oven for about 1-2 minutes, roll them and repeat.

Cooking Hot Dogs Option 4: Grill Hot Dogs in Skillet or on Grill

Grill the hot dogs on a BBQ grill (direct heat), electric grill, or in a skillet with oil on medium heat. You roll them around a bit to gradually brown them. There may be some blackening but that’s okay if not too much.

Grilling Hot Dogs
Grilling Hot Dogs

Cooking Hot Dogs Option 5: How to Cook Hot Dogs in Peanut Oil

  • Put them into a pot of heated peanut oil (not to deep fry). Yes, you heat the oil up and drop the burner down to medium low for maintaining. Takes about 3-5 minutes. Then, you add the dogs for about another 7-10 minutes. Make sure they’re not sizzling. The oil temp can be around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • The idea is you don’t want the oil too hot, as you’re not deep frying them. When you remove them, the oil will drain off. The dogs won’t get plump. The benefit is that the hot dog nutrients don’t spill out and they don’t swell up and split, like they do in water and other methods.
    • Dog n’ Suds, Sonic, and other fast food chains have used this method for decades. Another reason is they can stay heated in the oil long term, for up to 2-4 hours without impact on quality.

Heat The Chili

The Chili can be just heated and just put it in a small pot on medium heat, scraping the bottom, and later reduce to simmer. Sometimes, we will put it in a bowl, cover with a paper towel, and microwave it on a reheat cycle. Also, spice up the chili a bit more by adding in some browned ground beef.

How do you make chili dogs STEP 2: Prepare the Hot Dog Buns and Ingredients

Here is a variety of ways to prepare your hot dog bun.

  • Do nothing. This is best when you’re in a hurry.
  • Wrap the buns fully in paper towels (or cloth) and microwave them briefly to soften & warm them up. 2 buns for 15 seconds, for example.
  • Open each one up and toast them.
  • BEST WAY FOR FLAVOR: Open each one up and brush some melted butter (or olive oil) on the inside surfaces. Then, sprinkle a little garlic powder on each. Finish by lightly grilling them (face down) in a skillet or broiler oven (not in a pop-up toaster).
Open the Hot Dog Buns Add Butter Garlic
Open the Hot Dog Buns Add Butter Garlic Powder
Broil the Prepared Hot Dog Buns
Broil the Prepared Hot Dog Buns
  • Some people will optionally want to put some ingredients on the bun before the hot dog. To this end, some of those items might be some of the condiments like relish, mayo, catsup, or mustard. But, it’s just about preference.

How do you make chili dogs STEP 3: Add the Hot Dog and the Chili Dog Toppings

The choice of chili dog toppings is what will make your chili dog great and stand out. With this in mind, some of the best toppings are cheese, onions, mustard, and even some bacon bits. However, other alternative less popular toppings are prepared coleslaw, sauerkraut, split cherry tomatoes, roasted red bell pepper strips, and others.

  • Add the hot dogs in each bun.
  • Usually, you’ll then pour over a desired amount of the heated chili at this point to cover the entire hot dog and bun. Nevertheless, some prefer to just pour enough across the length of the hot dog.
Chopped Onions and Shredded Cheese Are Good Toppings
Chopped Onions and Shredded Cheese Are Good Toppings
  • After the chili, you can now add some chopped onions, shredded cheddar cheese (or American Cheese slices, in strips), crumbled bacon, and finish with mustard.
Adding Final Toppings to Chili Dogs
Adding Final Toppings to Chili Dogs
  • Now, to melt the cheese, you add each dish in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds.
Melting the Cheese on a Chili Dog in the Microwave
Melting the Cheese on a Chili Dog in the Microwave

An alternate method is to prepare the entire hot dog, bun, and toppings as individual servings laid out on a greased baking sheet. That’s about 4-6 servings. You bake them for about 10 minutes in a preheated 350⁰F oven, middle shelf, uncovered.

Best Canned Chili for Chili Dogs

The best canned chili for chili dogs will vary but Hormel is considered the best. However, this depends on availability of brands and their popularity across the country. In that case, the ones that are noted to be among the best are Hormel and Castleberry’s. However, some consider Bush’s to be satisfactory when using their Chili Beans and there’s no extra sauce to speak of.

Best Cheese for Chili Dogs

The best cheese for chili dogs is either American Cheese or Shredded Cheddar Cheese. With attention to children, they might like Velveeta Cheese, depending on what they’re used to.

What to Have with Chili Dogs

How do you make chili dogs sides to go with them? Here are a few ideas and some have their recipe links. Other chili dogs sides are premade and you just serve or cook them.

Having Tator Tots or Others Side with Chili Dogs
Having Tator Tots or Other Sides with Chili Dogs

While you’re enjoying eating your chili dogs meal, read more about National Chili Dog Day on the Hot Dog Organization’s site.


To conclude, now you’ve seen several ways of how do you make chili dogs. Also, you’ve seen a lot of different ways of cooking the hot dogs, their buns, and a great variety of toppings and side dishes to have with them. In view of all this, add the chili dog and side dish items to your grocery list and plan on making them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *