Ball Park hot dogs

April 12, 2010 9:46:27 AM PDT
The Chicago Cubs return to Wrigley Field Monday for their home opener. To celebrate, why not enjoy a hot dog, the favorite meal of baseball fans?

Chef Jill Houk of Ball Park Franks says hot dogs served at ballparks around the country are as different as the fans who love them. She explains how to make the hometown favorites of fans in Chicago, Boston, Detroit, New York and Los Angeles. And she adds some grilling tips to make sure your hot dogs are hits every time.

Classic Chicago-Style Hot Dog

Widely known as the "Classic Chicago Dog," this elaborate dog is served in a poppy seed bun with yellow mustard, green relish, chopped raw onion, fresh tomato, a pickle spear and topped with a touch of celery salt.

  • 1 package Ball Park Bun Size Angus Beef Franks
  • 1 package poppy seed coated hot dog buns
  • 1 cup minced white sweet onions
  • 1 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tomato, cut into wedges
  • Kosher pickle spears
  • Sport Peppers
  • Classic deli-style yellow mustard
  • Celery salt, to taste
  • Frying pan
  • Water
  1. Grill or steam the Ball Park hot dogs in a frying pan that is 3/4 filled with water for approximately six to eight minutes.
  2. Then place the hot dogs into a steamed poppy seed hot dog bun.
  3. To dress the hot dog, it's important to pile on enough toppings to get a taste of each in every bite, but pile on carefully so that the hot dog is as sturdy as the Sears Tower. To ensure sturdiness, the ingredients must be topped in the proper order!

Begin with a nice, thick coat of yellow mustard and then add minced onions, tomato wedges, sweet pickle relish and a pickle spear. Top off your Classic Chicago-Style hot dog with a sprinkle of celery salt.

New York Street Cart Dog

Considered the hot dog capital of the nation by many Americans, New York City's infamous street cart dog is served with a special onion sauce and deli-style yellow mustard or in some cases, sauerkraut.

  • 1 package Ball Park Bun Size Angus Beef Franks
  • 1 package of classic hot dog buns
  • New York pushcart hot dog onion sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • Dash hot pepper sauce
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Grill or boil the Ball Park hot dogs.
  2. Then begin making the New York pushcart hot dog onion sauce. To do so, pour the vegetable oil into a medium-sized skillet and heat the over medium heat
  3. Add the onion slices and sauté for about 30 minutes, until golden and limp
  4. Mix in the ketchup, then add the cinnamon, chili powder, hot pepper sauce and salt
  5. Pour in the 1/2 cup water and stir
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes
  7. Place the hot dogs in the buns
  8. Serve the New York pushcart hot dog onion sauce over hot dogs

L.A. Dodger Dog

The most popular dog in the league, served steamed or grilled, people have been arguing for years over which way is really better.

  • 1 package of Ball Park Bun Size Angus Beef Franks
  • 1 package of classic hot dog buns
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 cup sweet relish
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  1. Steamed or griddled the Ball Park hot dogs, tap dry.
  2. Place Ball Park hot dogs in warm buns.
  3. Add mustard to bun.
  4. Finish hot dog by adding onions then relish.

Coney Hot Dog

The famous Coney Dogs have been a Detroit favorite for years - topped with an all-meat chili, diced yellow onion and yellow mustard.

  • 1 package of Ball Park Bun Size Angus Beef Franks
  • 1 package of classic hot dog buns
  • Yellow mustard
  • Coney hot dog sauce
  • 1 pound ground hamburger meat
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp Kraft shredded mild cheddar cheese (optional)
  1. Take one pound of ground hamburger meat and freeze it. After an hour, re-grind the burger in a food processor or in an old-fashioned meat grinder.
  2. Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan. Add 1/2 cup of chopped yellow onions and brown the onions. Add the ground meat and brown with the onions.
  3. Add spices, including 1 minced garlic clove, 3 tablespoons of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, and a pinch of cinnamon.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of water and bring the chili to a boil. Simmer the chili for 30-45 minutes, or until the water has evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper (optional).
  5. Grill or pan fry the Ball Park hot dog until the skin is lightly crisp.
  6. Place the dogs in their buns
  7. Top with Coney sauce, diced yellow onion and a stripe of classic yellow mustard

Fenway Frank

Fenway Park will serve up more than 1.67 million hot dogs during the 2010 season, according to projections. Always boiled and grilled, the Fenway Frank is served on a New England style bun (split from the top) and topped with a choice of mustard and relish.

  • 1 package of Ball Park Bun Size Angus Beef Franks
  • 1 package of classic hot dog buns
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup green sweet pickle relish
  1. Boil and grill the Ball Park hot dog
  2. Grill the bun, cut side down
  3. Push the cooked hot dog down into the grilled bun
  4. Cover with yellow mustard, finely chopped onion and green sweet pickle relish (in that order)


Even if you don't love baseball, you'll probably eat a hot dog or two during baseball season. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans eat about 7 billion hot dogs - according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council. That's about 818 hot dogs consumed every second during summer. Chef Jill Houk of Ball Park Franks has some tips on grilling up the perfect dog:

  • Spray it before you lay it - Spray the grill rack with vegetable oil or use cooking spray before heating to prevent food from sticking and to ease clean-up
  • Don't lose the juice - Use tongs, rather than a fork to gently turn franks, and handle as little as possible. DEFINITELY DO NOT CUT THE HOT DOG. Also, avoid pushing down or overturning the meat or you will squeeze out the natural juices and flavor.
  • Think safety - Keep your grill away from shrubbery, paper products and other flammable objects, and be sure to keep a fire extinguisher handy
  • Get the "smoky" flavor - If you prefer your grilled meats to have a smoky taste, keep the grill covered while cooking
  • Skip the mess - When cooking grilled vegetables, like onions and green peppers, to top your Ball Park Frank, wrap them in foil to virtually eliminate the unappealing grill clean-up. Foil can easily be tossed out, taking any mess with it
  • Get ready to dress the dog - Have lots of fun toppings ready for your guests to use to top the hot dog - everything from the traditional mustard and ketchup to grilled veggies, chili & cheese or even sour cream
  • Don't overcook!!