Chili Dog Chili!

A chili dog is a glorious symbol of our American melting pot. It’s got so many elements to it, just like the USA. The German wiener; Mexican chili powder; English Cheddar; and white bread of course because that’s the American way and I better not be seeing no sniveling little whole wheat buns on my picnic table this Fourth of July, no sir!

Chili Dog

A good chili dog deserves nothing but the best. Or nothing but the worst, depending on how junky you like your junk food to be. Honestly, I guess as long as the chili itself is outstanding (see my recipe below!) you could get away with crappy hot dog murder underneath the warm, cozy comforter of chili. Chili dog chili is different than other types of chili. Chili dog chili must be thick and saucy and finely textured to ensure that it will stay packed on and in the hot dog instead of dripping out all over the place and/or turning your bun to mush. This is especially important to note when using extra squishy buns. So, while my dad’s Texas chili recipe is AMAZING, it wouldn’t work well on a chili dog. It’s too chunky, too tomatoey, and the sauce isn’t thick enough.

My chili dog chili recipe was cobbled together from a recipe for Kentucky “Chili Buns” I got from my pal Bruce and a couple of Coney Dog chili recipes I found. It’s more a Texas-style chili than a Cincinnati chili in the seasoning, but the real trick you need to remember is to boil the beef. Boiling instead of browning produces the fine crumbly texture we are looking for, similar to the filling used in these crispy beef tacos.

CHILI DOG CHILI VIDEO

CHILI DOG CHILI RECIPE – Printable!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Chili Dog Chili!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 jalapeños, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 12 ounces beer or beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • For serving:
  • 8 hot dogs
  • 8 hot dog buns
  • grated Cheddar, chopped onions, pickles jalapeños, mustard
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add onion. Saute about 1 minute until slightly translucent.
  2. Add garlic and jalapeño, stir and cook 30 seconds.
  3. Lay the beef on top of the onions and add the beer.
  4. Use a spoon to break the meat up in the liquid. Add remaining ingredients, EXCEPT vinegar.
  5. Simmer uncovered 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  6. Taste for salt and if it needs a little perkiness, add the vinegar.
Notes
To make a mild chili, use ¼ cup minced green bell pepper instead of jalapeños

 

Comments

  1. Love it

  2. Exciting! My family is a huge fan of your dad’s chili recipe. I pretty much am required to make it every time I go see them.
    Also, it was one of the few things that brought a smile to my grandfather’s face after my gran passed away in January–so thank you for that.
    I am thrilled that I now have an alternative recipe for things like chili dogs & Frito pie. Thanks again, Hilah!

    • Oh, man, Curt. That is heart-warming. Thank you so much for sharing; I am honored to be a part of your story and so glad that my family recipe as now become part of your family’s recipes! Love how that works.
      I hadn’t thought of putting this on Frito pie but I’m sure it would not be terrible. ;)

  3. Thanks for the shout-out, Hilah! I watched your video, then went to a baseball game where I had to have a Ben’s Chili Bowl
    half-smoke all-the-way (chili, onions, mustard, and cheese). While I was there, I read that you’d mentioned me on this blog. Wow! Thanks! Sorry I didn’t read it before I commented! Your spice blend is terrific — I have to try the vinegar addition, too.

    • I need to get one of those chili bowls half-smoke half-whatever. I love the sound of it! Thanks for sharing that recipe with me those few years ago. It really was a great jumping off point for this. I think the vinegar adds a really nice something. Hope y’all like it!

  4. I can’t believe I’ve become completely addicted to this. This is “meat paste” from the heavens! I’ve made it with ground beef twice, and just recently with skirt steak. After eating it on hog dogs, I’ve eaten it by itself on buns, I’ve put it in tacos, I’ve eaten it in a tortilla wraps (I need to learn how to make my own tortillas). What’s that Louis CK joke? “This is so delicious, I can’t wait to eat the shit I take from eating this!”

  5. More penis songs pls

  6. I made your recipe today to bring to a Super Bowl XLVIII party tomorrow. Since my friends and I want to eat it from a bowl, I used a coarsely ground beef instead of a fine-grind hamburger beef. Here it is. My taste test is that it turned out great. Thanks for the after-salting and vinegar suggestions. They really perked it up. Enjoy the game!

  7. I’m currently on my maiden voyage to make this chili recipe. My intent is to pressure can it so I have fast & ready chili on the shelf when it’s time for a great chili dog.

    Question for you Ma’am. What kind of buns do you use (on the video)?

    • Hey Papa D! Good luck canning the chili! I’ve never pressure canned anything. I think used the hotdog buns you can get from the grocery store bakery .. but it’s been so long I can’t be sure.

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