Throw a Better Hot Dog Party

Alessandra Bulow


Why should burgers have all the fun? While hot dogs are stars at ballparks, they’re second-class citizens in backyards across the country — shoved off to the side of the grill and served as an afterthought.

It’s time to recognize the greatness of the humble hot dog and elevate it to the centerpiece status it deserves. We’ve got you covered with easy tips for putting together an amazing spread, so you can throw an easy and elegant hot dog party.

Stay tuned to Epicurious, because later this week we’ll reveal a guide to creative topping ideas and our taste test picks for the best store-bought hot dogs.

SEE MORE: 15 Food That Are Better Frozen

7 Tips On How to Throw the Ultimate Hot Dog Party

1. Invite all of your friends …

You’re hosting a barbecue not a fancy soirée, so keep it simple and casual with e-mail invitations or an event created on Facebook. Let guests know that it’s a hot dog-themed event and that they can feel free to bring toppings if they like.

2… . And their kids

What child doesn’t like hot dogs? Your party has the potential to be the party of the year.

3. Get grilling

Throw your favorite brand of hot dogs on the grill until heated through and grill marks form, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. But don’t forget about the buns! They only need about 1 minute per side to get perfectly toasted.

SEE MORE: Marinade 101: How To Flavor Your Meat, Plus Recipes To Try At Home

4. Lay out fun condiments

In addition to standard mustard, ketchup, and mayo, you can also make a variety of tangy, spiced, and creamy spreads. Some people love to dress dogs with spicy relishes while others prefer milder vegetable toppings, so offer options to keep both camps happy. A few ingredients for sprinkling can also add great texture and flavor

5. Let guests build their hot dogs

Some may choose pile on all of the toppings, while others may prefer just one or two layers.

SEE MORE: 3 Grilled Cocktail Recipes to Try This Summer

6. Serve simple accompaniments

Store-bought or home-brined pickle spears plus your favorite kinds of chips are no-brainer additions to the table. Classic chocolate chip cookies and slices of fresh watermelon are easy crowd-pleaser desserts. As for drink pairings, you could sip wine or make a summery punch, but there’s something about salty, smoky hot dogs that screams out for cold, bubbly beer.

7. Hang out way past sunset

You’ve done all the work ahead of time preparing the toppings, and the hot dogs and buns take only minutes to grill. So just sit back and enjoy the moment.

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