Expert Contribution

Frankly Speaking

DIY Summer Hot Dog Bar

Spring is drawing to a close and summer is coming in hot! This year for your summer cookouts, why not try setting up a DIY Hot Dog Bar? There is nothing more American than a smell of a dog sizzling on the grill. Now you can both enjoy the summer tradition and build upon it.

There are lots of reasons why hot dogs are an excellent choice for a summer BBQ- they’re a crowd pleaser: everyone from kids to adults loves a good dog. Another bonus: they are easily customizable, which leaves people feeling satisfied. Hot dogs are also quick cooking, which means more of your time can be spent with friends and family and less behind the grill. There are just a few things you need to set up first, and from there the possibilities are endless. 

The very first thing that you need to tackle is selecting the food itself. Start with a quality hot dog. An all-beef meaty frank like Schwarz skinless franks have the perfect balance of smoke and salt. You can also opt to go the route of a mix of offering both hot dogs and sausages. Or, if the crowd is mixed with both carnivores and vegetarians, there are now a wide variety of alternative dogs available in the grocery deli and freezer sections.

Next, chose buns that actually fit the dogs. Remember that they need to hold up to the toppings too. Any hearty bun will do – Francisco International makes some incredible sandwich rolls in both French and Sourdough-style that are substantial enough to hold both a plump dog and all the fixings.

The next part is the best part because it allows you to really get creative: the condiments! Stonewall Kitchen Ballpark Mustard, pickled jalapeños, Sir Kensington’s Ketchup, bacon, guacamole, sauerkraut, shredded lettuce, diced red onions, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes… the possibilities are endless! 

Now that all the food is ready to go, it is time to plan out your ‘bar’ set up. Select a table that is large enough for trays of hot dogs, buns, condiments, plus any side dishes, plates, and napkins you have. When designing the layout for your bar, set the plates, napkins, and silverware to one side of the table. Next, set out the dogs and buns, and lastly the condiments. This will help keep the flow of hot dog creators moving. 

Appropriate side dishes to add to your hot dog bar are bags of your favorite chips, a sliced vegetable platter, fruit salad, sliced watermelon, or potato salad. We’re partial to serving the Draeger’s German Potato salad! The idea is to try and strike a healthy balance with everything being offered. 

The best part about setting up a DIY hot dog bar is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Simply pick the food, grab a smattering of condiments, and spread it all out like you knew what you were doing, and guaranteed you have one fun time. You may even get a little extra time to “ketchup” with all those friends you missed last year!

About The Author

Draeger's Markets
Draeger’s Market

Draeger’s Market is a grocery store that offers fine foods, high quality meats and seafood, fresh and locally sourced produce, from scratch baked goods, over 3,000 of the world’s finest wines, and catering platters for special events. Knowledgeable staff are ready to serve you, including the Director of Marketing, who has functioned as a journeyman grocery clerk, bakery clerk, beer and wine buyer and now spearheads marketing for the company. 

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