Dress Up Your Hot Dog

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Put a new spin on hot dogs by adding unique toppings, condiments and garnishes.
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Hot dogs are the quintessential summer food. Here are our top tips for customizing yours.

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Hot dogs are easy to make, serve and clean up, and they’re perfect for both the backyard barbecue and the weeknight dinner table. They’re also the perfect food to dress up. Use your imagination to create your own gourmet dog, or try one of our ideas.

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Decide on a Dog

When it comes to flavour, five types top our list:

1. Franks: Cured all-beef sausages flavoured with garlic and paprika
2. Turkey or Chicken: Cured varieties taste like traditional dogs, while fresh sausages can contain other ingredients like jalapeño or cheddar
3. Kielbasa: Polish smoked sausage traditionally made from ground pork, salt, pepper, garlic and marjoram
4. Bratwurst: Fresh, uncured pork sausage, sometimes with beef or veal added, seasoned with spices like cardamom, coriander and caraway
5. Veggie: Meat-free franks, usually soy-based

Grill hot dogs over direct heat. (Have a dirty grill? Dawn dish soap and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are more than up to the task.) Or pop them in a 375 F oven for five to 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until slightly browned.

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Pick a Bun

Nestle hot dogs in soft, pre-sliced buns from the bread aisle, or try:

1. Poppy seed: Chewy yeast rolls sprinkled with crunchy poppy seeds
2. Pretzel: Soft, salty and rustic – mustard’s best friend!
3. Brioche: Rich and buttery French egg bread, perfect for spicy kielbasa sausage

For the best results, toast buns on the grill or under the broiler so they don’t get soggy.

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Customize

Mix-and-match ingredients you already have in your fridge and pantry to personalize your hot dog:

- Bacon: Wrap each dog with a strip of bacon, and then cook in a skillet over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and cooked through, about 10 minutes
- Produce: Try chopped onion, sautéed bell pepper, diced tomato, sliced avocado, fresh herbs or creamy cabbage slaw
- Condiments: Blend ketchup with barbecue sauce or mustard with herb
- Garnishes: Add a burst of flavour with crumbled potato chips or shredded cheese

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Set up the Buffet

For cookouts big and small, serve hot dogs, buns and toppings buffet-style. Make sure to provide plenty of napkins for messier toppings, and keep the roll of Bounty paper towels nearby to make cleanup a cinch.

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