How to Make a Chicago-Style Hot Dog

Homemade Chicago-style hot dog

While the internet continues to debate whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich, there is no debating what goes into the creation of a Chicago-style hot dog. There are strict Chicago hot dog ketchup rules, as well as a list of approved condiments. Learn the 7 condiments on Chicago hot dogs, and craft your own version at home when you want a taste of the Windy City.

7 Condiments on Chicago Hot Dogs

Offering more than just the standard ketchup and mustard, it’s the 7 condiments on Chicago hot dogs that make them truly stand out. These ingredients are as follows:

  • Mustard
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Chopped onion
  • Sliced tomato
  • Dill pickle spear
  • Sport peppers
  • Celery salt
Closeup of Chicago-style hot dog

Why No Ketchup on Chicago Hot Dogs?

One typical ingredient that the average hot dog consumer may find missing on Chicago-style hot dogs is ketchup. So, why no ketchup on Chicago hot dogs? The Chicago hot dog ketchup rule really comes down to a matter of taste. Sweet relish, while it includes about half the amount of sugar as ketchup, is still fairly sweet. The combination of sweet relish and ketchup would likely overwhelm the taste of a pure beef hot dog — instead, Chicagoans decided to complement the relish with mustard. Add in the savoriness, heat, and tang offered by the onion, sport peppers, and pickle, and you have a mouthwatering experience that diners from around the world can appreciate. 

How to Make a Chicago-Style Hot Dog at Home

In making your own version of a Chicago-style hot dog, you’ll ideally want to get a Vienna sausage all-beef hot dog and a poppy seed bun. Steam or boil the hot dogs until fully cooked and place them in the buns. Cover with a generous amount of yellow mustard and sprinkle with celery salt. Next heap on relish, chopped onion, and add your pickle spear. Finish it off with sport peppers and tomato slices. 

Explore Chicago’s Top Foods With Skydeck

Chicago is known for its cuisine – and from Chicago-style hot dogs to deep-dish pizza, you’ll find amazing food near Willis tower. Learn more about the best place to eat around Chicago — and foods you won’t want to miss — with Skydeck.

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