Here are my ratings of numerous all-beef frankfurters. All tastings had been double-blind.
The best of your Greatest
Bests Kosher Beef FrankfurtersHebrew National Beef FranksSabrett Beef FrankfurtersHighly Highly recommended
Hans All Natural Uncured Beef Hot DogsJoe and Franks Beef FranksUnique Chicago Style Very hot CanineOscar Mayer XXL Top quality Beef FranksRed Very hot ChicagoScott Peterson Beef FranksAverage
Applegate Farms Natural Uncured Beef Scorching DogsBall Park Beef FranksBar S Beef FranksBoars Head Beef FrankfurtersDaisy Brand name Beef WienersNathans Famous Beef FranksOscar Mayer Beef Franks and Oscar Mayer XXL Deli Fashion Beef FranksSafeway Decide upon Beef FranksUsingers Beef FrankfurtersVienna Beef FranksNot Endorsed
Bobaks Chicago Type Beef WienersEckrich Beef FranksJewel Beef FranksWellshire Farms All All-natural Top quality Uncured Beef Frank
You canordera poster from the Classic Chicago Scorching Canine while using recipe from my storefront at CapfePress.com. You will also find refrigerator magnets clocks postcards T-shirts hats and other apparel there. Wwwyoupornoindir To see an enlargement of your picture justclick right here.
About the Chicago Canine
There are hundreds of ways to prepare a hot dog and many cities have their local fashion. In Chicago where very hot dog stands far out number hamburger joints there is one classic recipe and very little variation from it. It is the perfect very hot puppy to see my favorite Chicago Very hot Dog standsscroll down.
The customary method is called the dirty water method. The puppies are simmered not boiled in water for 10 minutes. This makes them turgid and juicy firm but not rubbery. After simmering scores of dogs in the same water all day the water is rich in flavor. The goal is to cook the meat through without cracking the skins.
Another technique is to steam them for 15 minutes. Steaming leaves the meat more piquant than simmering with a nice snappy skin.
Some vendors roll them around on a very hot puppy rotisserie sizzling stainless steel tubes that keep the dog rolling in its sleep on a perpetual motion conveyor belt to gustatory perfection. This makes a tastier puppy than simmering or steaming with a crisper skin but they are not as moist and puffy. The problem is that sometimes they sit on these rollers all day and precious fluids begin to drip off.
Personally I am among the minority who prefer what the locals call char dogs cooked over an open flame. The dry heat keeps them crisp and keeps all the juices inside where they belong. It also browns the skins creating sweetness that chefs call caramelization or the Maillard reaction. This also amps up the garlic and paprika. They dont plump up as much and they are a bit less juicy but the added richness stands up better to all the condiments we pile onto a scorching puppy in Chicago. This is the method described below.
Yield. I servingPreparation time.10 minutesCooking time.10 minutesAssembly time.2 minutes
Ingredients1 bun length jumbo all beef frankfurter with a natural casing1 poppy seed bun1 long squirt of yellow mustard2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish2 tablespoons onion coarsely chopped fine14 medium Roma tomatoes2 pickled serrano sport peppers1 kosher pickle spear or fresh cucumber spear about 5 long14 teaspoon celery salt
Notes about the ingredientsYou can get most with the fixins at theVienna Beef Store- Vienna Beef franks with all-natural casings sport peppers neon green relish Chipco pickles and celery salt. You can even buy their cool posters aprons baseball caps and more. But beware their Chicago Design Very hot Canine Kit includes skinless franks Oy vay
The Scorching Canine.In Chicago all beef hot dogs with all-natural beef casings are compulsory. No pork no turkey no chicken. No crap. Snap and squirt are the hallmarks of a good Chicago Sizzling Dog and the snap comes from the casings and the toppings. Skinless scorching dogs are best saved for infants and the toothless.
The bun.Poppy seeds contribute a slightly nutty taste to the bun. These tiny blue-gray seeds come from an opium plant and they contain miniscule amounts of morphine and codeine. Not to fear you would probably have to eat more than a dozen buns to lose your job.
The relish.In Chicago the pickle relish has food coloring added that makes it brilliant kryptonite green.
The peppers.Skinny and about 1-2 long sport peppers are made by pickling fresh green serrano peppers in vinegar and a spiced brine. They are moderately sizzling but not too hot for wusses like me and they allow Chicago Hot Canines to bite you back. Yes even if you are a feeb you must have sports for it to be an authentic Chicago Scorching Puppy. But dont use too very hot a pepper. Remember the Chicago Hot Canine is all about balancing flavors.
The pickle.A kosher pickle spear is common but the top Chicago Scorching Canines IMHO use crunchier new pickles. Try Chipco brand name from The Chicago Pickle Company.
The celery salt. Dont leave this out Alas many joints do not use it automatically and you have to ask for it. If there is no celery salt it is not a Chicago Puppy.
Do this1For the Classic Dirty Water Dog-Bring enough water to cover the canine to a boil then cut back to a simmer. Simmer never boil the puppy for 10 minutes.
For a Char Canine-This is a technique I learned from Gold Coast Puppies see review below. Cut an X shape in the ends within the puppy. When they cook they will curl up and get extra crispy see photo at right. Cook the dogs over a medium high grill until the skin darkens and there are nice grill marks all around.
2 Traditional Chicago Hot Dog buns are steamed. Take a sheet of paper towel and lightly sprinkle it with water until about 20 of it is wet. Wrap the buns in the moistened paper and microwave for about 10 seconds. If the bun is frozen nuke it for 30 secs. Exact timing will vary because microwave temps can vary. If you prefer you can toast the buns on the grill. Make sure you watch the buns while they toast. Turn your back for a few minutes and they can burn to a crisp.
3 Cut the stem off the end in the tomato and squeeze it over the trash can ejecting the seeds. Chop the tomato into 14 chunks.
4 Place the frankfurter on the bun. Squirt the mustard on the canine on one side between the meat and the bun. Spread the relish between the meat and the bun on the opposite side on the mustard. Sprinkle the chopped onions on top from the mustard. Distribute the tomato chunks all around. Place the peppers on top within the tomatoes. Place the spear on top for the onions and mustard. Sprinkle the celery salt on top of your vegetation.
5 Absolutely positively no ketchup. Fohgeddaboudit.TopDog-TheBestChicagoHotDogStands
Thepushcarts-An ode to Mary Anns
Alas Mary Anns has just closed. Mary Ann has retired. But I have included the review below because her pushcart stand was like so many others in the Chicago neighborhoods.
When she found herself divorced in 1984 Mary Ann Brauneis needed to tend to her children and make a living. So she asked a handy dandy neighbor to build her a propane-fired scorching dog cart. For 23 years on any dry summer night except Sunday there was a crowd of friends neighbors walk-ins from blocks away and drive-bys from miles around gathered round her cart in front of her modest flat in Bridgeport.
One reason they came was for the first rate classic Chicago Vienna Beef puppies. They ended up made by the book with a delightful exception – instead of a dill pickle spear she served a skinless cucumber spear.
But the other reason was for the love. Her oldest daughter Ann Marie made the canines and dished up the chili and tamales while using help of a neighbor. Another neighbor worked the kitchen in the house where she prepped the food and another ran the cash register. Well actually there was no cash register. Not even a calculator. She did the math with a pencil and made change from her apron.
Mary Ann in true Executive Chef fashion worked the crowd most of whom she called by name especially the kids who got free canines on their birthday until they turned 12. Even the strangers strike up conversations in this most sociable scene. When I was last there one on the employees was peeling the casing off a dog for an infant who was eating his straight without the bun. The customers say the food is better at pushcarts than at restaurants because it is made with love. Thats the real reason they come.
There are more than 1500 hot dog stands in Chicago far more than the sum of McDonalds Burger King and Wendys. Some Chicago very hot puppy stands are practically institutions decades old handed down over the generations with a devoted local following and diaspora of fans around the nation who make the pilgrimage back as soon as they get off the plane. Right here are my faves. Some of them vary their hours seasonally so check before you make the drive.
6363 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago IL 60646. Where Milwaukee Nagle and Devon intersect. 773-763-0660. Also- At Midway Airport in Concourse B.
The superb Superdawg is served in a campy blue box that says Your Superdawg lounges inside contentedly cushioned in superfries. As I opened it the lip greets me with Hiya From the bottom of my pure beef heart…thanks for giving me the chance to serve you. There were a modest quantity of beautiful dark golden fat crispy crinkle cuts and the skin of a kosher dill pickle and a wedge of pickled green tomato. No Superdawg or any kind of dog in sight. I had to eat most of them to get top the main event. But it was worth the wait. The frank itself was the fattest of any I had found in my tastings snappy juicy and garlicy. The onions have been so finely minced they had been almost a slurry the relish was iridescent and the pickle spear was the perfect balance of cucumber salt and spice. The pickled tomato was an unexpected deli touch. To round out the main course I enjoyed a Goose Island Honkers Ale with my sandwich purchased next door at Miskas Liquors.
Afterwards you must have one of their Supersundaes or Blackkows rootbeer floats. There is a tiny dining room with about 16 seats for adults at a stainless counter circumnavigating the room and four kids seats at a half-height counter.
Founded in 1948 the outside is a time capsule a set from the movie Back to the Future with 30 something slots for cars under awnings with poster size menus and speakers. Practically everything about Superdawg is funky starting using the 10 statues of a weightlifter wiener and a ballerina weiner on the roof. They are named after the owners Maurie and Flaurie Florence Berman. On summer Friday nights at 9 the Roadents Car Club usually congregates at Superdawg with their classic cars and street rods.
On my last visit as I was leaving I stopped to take some photos from the sidewalk out front. Two hardhats walking by stopped to check out my camera angle and one said to me Amazing aint it I replied Classic Chicago. The other hardhat chimed in No its Americana. Justifiably ranked among the top 10 sizzling dogs in the nation by Jane and Michael Stern authors from the book Roadfood Superdawg is more than a very hot dog more than a restaurant it is an All-American experience. Puppy 1010. Atmosphere 1010.
2HotDougsEncasedMeatEmporium3324 N. California Ave. Chicago IL 60618. 773-279-9550.
Easily the hippest pups in town. This dinky but colorful joint says on its sign that it is the Sausage Superstore and even has its own theme song for which there are rock techno and other mixes. Proprietor Doug Sohn serves the classic Chicago Scorching Puppy of course the obligatory Polies but then there are the rabbit boar pheasant duck and kangaroo sausages. How about a venison sausage with sweet and spicy mustard and red wine soaked dried blueberries for 5.50. All the sandwiches are served in a cardboard boat so the bun is fluffy and the contents are not squished.
You can get your Vienna Beef dog boiled or grilled and their standard prep includes onions caramelized in butter for 90 minutes. Doug says You cant go wrong adding butter to anything. Dont skip the very nice golden brown crispy fries which on Fridays and Saturdays are fried in flavorful duck fat.
The gregarious Doug is often working the counter. A pleasant erudite character who in a former life was a cookbook editor he is also a bit of a rebel. When the City of Chicago banned foie gras he continued to serve it until they served him with the Citys first foie gras summons.
He has outfitted his small dining room with colorful chairs Elvis memorabilia and loopy signs and wall hangings. Certainly one for the most fun very hot canine stands in town. Unfortunately it closes at 4 p.m. Cash only. Dog 1010. Atmosphere 1010.
3GoldCoastDogsMore than a dozen locations including the Loop OHare and Midway.
Their signature variation on the classic is the Char Canine. Rather than boiling their Vienna Beef scorching canines they grill them giving them the slightly sweeter flavor generated by browning meat and a crispier chewier texture. To further enhance the grilled texture they split the ends of the puppies so they flare out and get crispy. I love the grilled flavor and texture. My favorite location is Union Station where you can get a beer from the bar a few feet away and the people watching in unparalleled. At Midway they sell pretty good bagels for breakfast but somehow this seems all wrong. Really wrong. Dog 1010. Atmosphere 710 Union Station.
4ViennaBeefFactoryStoreDeli2501 N. Damen Ave. Chicago IL 60647. 773-235-6652.
The Damen St. location is the lunch roomdeli for the meat plant but it is open to the public and if youre into Chicago Scorching Dogs visiting The Source is as obligatory as a trip to Napa for wine lovers. Not surprisingly the sandwich is made by the book although I was a bit stunned to see a crinkle-cut 4 slice of pickle rather than a spear on my bun. Even their own website says it should be made with a spear. The decor is clean and the posters are great fun. My favorite- A photo of a Chicago Scorching Dog along with the caption This Hot Dog Rated NK-17. It will not be served with Ketchup to anyone under 17. They sell the posters condiments and meat products to take home. They even sell a Hot Puppy Lovers Kit for 69.95 with 16 sizzling dogs 16 poppyseed buns mustard relish sport peppers and celery salt. You need to get your own onion pickles and tomatoes. Its a fun place and dining with butchers in coveralls and hairnets is kinda cool but with its mustard yellow walls and fluorescent lights it has all the charm or a high school cafeteria. Canine 810. Atmosphere 710.5AmericasDog
Navy Pier Food Court 700 E. Grand Ave. Chicago IL 60611. Phone 312-595-5541. Hours- From Memorial Day to Labor Day they are open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Fall and winter hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Yeah yeah I know this place is new and sterile and touristy in a food court not far from McDonalds. But they make great very hot canines and Navy Pier is a lot of fun with everything from the Shakespeare Theatre to the Stained Glass Museum to the Sculpture Garden to Imax to carnival rides.
In 1993 George and Manolis the 20 something sons of Gus Alpogianis owner of Kappys Restaurant and Pancake House in Morton Grove had an idea for a new restaurant. They took a three week cross country trip from New York to LA gorging on Americas favorite food at every chance along the way. At the end of their whirlwind weiner tour their Jeep was filled with mustard stained napkins grease stained French fry bags a wad of notes and a plan.
Three years later they opened Americas Dog an homage to the hot canine theme and variations in the food court from the colorful carniebazaarfine arts center that has become one with the nations most popular tourist spots Navy Pier. There they rub elbows with McDonalds Rybas Fudge and King Wah Express among others.
The menu has the classic Chicago Sizzling Canine served perfectly and lovingly in a form fitting styrofoam shell that keeps it warm and the bun fluffy. One could wish for a more environmentally friendly box but a box is better than wrapping in tissue paper as most places do it. At the core is a Vienna Beef frank Rosen poppy seed bun four sport peppers and they know that the Chicago Hot Canine has celery salt and you shouldnt have to ask for it. I was especially impressed with the fat pickle spear that was crunchy not too salty and still had the taste of cucumber in it. Not surprisingly the Chicago Dog is their perfect seller accounting for 40 of all orders.
The menu also includes 14 other preps- Corn Canine Buffalo Puppy Houston Dog Dallas Canine New York Puppy Pittsburgh Canine Milwaukee Canine DC Dog Baltimore Canine Atlanta Dog Louisiana Dog Green Bay Puppy Kansas City Dog and the Cosmic Dog which contains chili mustard ketchup relish onion pickle tomato shredded cheddar and celery salt. You can buy all the above Jumbo which is about twice the size of a regular dog much larger than grocery store jumbos. The fries the offer are seasoned curly fries and when I ordered them the raw potatoes had been dropped into the oil. The came out a few minutes later piping scorching crisp and delightful. And the people watching on Navy Pier is unparalleled. One word of warning- They have a booth outdoors on the south side of the pier and they do not have all the proper fixins for a proper Chicago Very hot Canine in the stand. Disgraceful Dog- 1010. Atmosphere- 910.
Subscribe to Smoke Signals. Its free.The most effective way to keep up with my new articles new recipes and new product reviews is to subscribe to myfreeemail newsletter Smoke Signals. And you will be the first to know when my books are published. To subscribeclick right here.
My privacy promise.I promise that I will not pepper you with email more than once or twice a month on average and I also promise that I will never sell or share your email address with anyone. I hate spam in my email or on my dinner plate For my complete privacy promiseclick here.