Hot Dog Etiquette

Hot Dog

Everyday guidance for eating America’s sacred food

  • Don’t… put hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always “dress the dog,” not the bun.
  • Condiments should be applied in the following order: wet condiments like mustard and chili are applied first, followed by chunky condiments like relish, onions and sauerkraut, followed by shredded cheese, followed by spices, like celery salt or pepper.
  • Do… serve sesame seed, poppy seed and plain buns with hot dogs. Sun-dried tomato buns or basil buns are considered gauche with franks.
  • Don’t… use a cloth napkin to wipe your mouth when eating a hot dog. Paper is always preferable.
  • Do… eat hot dogs on buns with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns.
  • Do… use paper plates to serve hot dogs. Every day dishes are acceptable; china is a no-no.
  • Don’t… take more than five bites to finish a hot dog. For foot-long wiener, seven bites are acceptable.
  • Don’t… leave bits of bun on your plate. Eat it all.
  • Fresh herbs on the same plate with hot dogs are a major “Don’t…” Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.
  • Don’t… use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18.
  • Do… Condiments remaining on the fingers after eating a hot dog should be licked away, not washed.
  • Do… use multi-colored toothpicks to serve cocktail wieners. Cocktail forks are in poor taste.
  • Don’t… send a thank you note following a hot dog barbecue. It would not be in keeping with the unpretentious nature of hot dogs.
  • Do… Bring soda, lemonade and iced tea to a hot dog barbeque.
  • Don’t… ever think there is a wrong time to serve hot dogs.

Creative Commons License photo credit: TheCulinaryGeek

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