Cookout King: How To Host A Badass Backyard Hot Dog Party

Hot dogs are perhaps the easiest and cheapest food to prepare for a crowd at a backyard cookout, but they can also be relatively unremarkable.

Posted On:


If you want to host a badass hot dog party, you have to go beyond boring buns, traditional franks, and basic condiments. The following tips will help you create a gourmet feast for the eyes while ensuring your dogs aren't found wanting in the taste department.  If you still want more, check out these other grill recipe ideas: "3 recipe ideas for grilled food on a stick" and also, you may want to try out our superb grilled seafood ideas for your next dinner party, check out our grilled seafood ideas.

Tip 1: Provide Options

Let's be frank. Less isn't always more. Although you don't need to cater to the hot dog preferences of a small country, you should provide enough variety to add some flair and impress your guests. Simply create a hot dog bar for your cookout and label ingredients appropriately. Although the following lists are by no means comprehensive, they should give you some inspiration.

Bread and bun options: plain hot dog buns, bolillo rolls, crusty French bread, Kaiser rolls, brioche, poppy seed buns, sesame seed buns, rye buns, pretzel rolls, tortillas, wheat buns, pitas, crescent rolls, flatbread, potato rolls, and garlic buns

Hot dog meat options: all-beef, pork, pork and beef, bratwurst, lamb, bison, venison, turkey, chicken, veggie, veggie and beans, red hot dogs, hamburger meat shaped like sausages, and skinless varieties

Sauce options: ketchup, mustard (brown, traditional yellow, and Dijon), hot sauce, bbq sauce, mayo, A1 sauce, chili sauce, horseradish, dressing, and miracle whip

Topping options: tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, celery salt, olives, salsa, coleslaw, bacon, bacon bits, sauerkraut, avocado, refried beans, pinto beans, mushrooms, eggs, minced garlic, sour cream, pastrami, mashed potatoes, onion rings, diced onions, scallions, jalapeño peppers, chili, sweet relish, pickles, hummus, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, Colby cheese, American cheese, Swiss cheese, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, nacho cheese, and Frito chips

Tip 2: Offer Suggestions

Help guests build different styles of hot dogs by providing fun menu options and separating the ingredients accordingly. Whether you choose classic, regional, or international hot dog styles, you'll be offering variety while making condiment and topping choices easier. If you prefer, recreate the menu selection from your favorite hot dog restaurant. The following suggestions will help you get started.

Chicago Style: poppy seed bun, tomato, onion, pickle, relish, mustard, celery salt

Los Angeles Style: plain bun, chili, onions, ketchup, mustard

New York Style: plain bun, sauerkraut, mustard, sweet red onions

Kansas City Style: sesame seed bun, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese

Texas Style: Monterey Jack cheese, jalapeños, chunky salsa

Atlanta Style: coleslaw

Sonorans: bolillo roll, bacon-wrapped frank, pinto beans, tomato, onion, jalapeños, salsa verde, mustard, mayo

Frito Dog: chili cheese, jalapeños, Fritos

Reuben Dog: pastrami-wrapped frank, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing

BLT Dog: bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo

Mac and Cheese Dog: mac and cheese

Tip 3: Keep Them Warm and On Tap

Grilling and keeping franks warm for a crowd can be a challenge, especially if you don't want to miss your party. One of the best ways to ensure they're warm and readily available is to bring the sausages to room temperature just before your cookout and then grill them in small batches. This strategy will help reduce cooking time and allow you to cook franks to order.  Make sure you always have all of your Grill Beast bbq essentials handy, and fire up that grill!

Alternatively, you can precook them in your oven and then finish them off on your grill. You ultimately want that charred flavor, crisp skin, and great color that only grilling can provide. Be sure to toast the buns, too. They should be soft and warm for serving.

Which hot dog toppings are your favorites? Share this post and your love for tubular meat in a bun by clicking your preferred social sharing button before you leave.