This Is Why Costco's Hot Dogs Are Amazing, According To Social Media

Costco hot dog
Costco hot dog - FriendsAndFood/Reddit

If you can't hear the name "Costco" without immediately thinking "hot dog," you might be part of why the retailer sells more than 200 million hot dogs a year. Costco hot dogs are both a business success story and a culinary phenomenon, and a trip to the food court for one is an integral part of the Costco experience. That's the prevailing sentiment we found after scouring foodie communities across the internet.

Costco's hot dogs are some of the best fast food hot dogs around. Renowned French chef Julia Child even considered them equal to a fine dining dish. Rarely does something so simple inspire such passion among so many different types of foodies.

So what makes these dogs so good? It's not a secret sauce, mystery ingredient, or a celebrity chef promoting the product. We looked at the reviews of hot dog fans posted on social media platforms such as Reddit and TikTok to find out why Costco's hot dogs are so amazing. Read on to learn more.

Read more: The Most Beloved Products At Aldi, According To Shoppers

They Are An Outstanding Value For Money Product

person in Costco food court
person in Costco food court - Sir Yacht/X, formerly known as Twitter

Costco prices its hot dog combo at just $1.50. For that price, you get a quarter-pound hot dog and a refillable 20-ounce soda. To call the price competitive is an understatement. "What I'm really gonna miss most is not just consuming glizzies, but spending only $1.50 on a meal. That's something that's completely unheard of in 2024," one online creator who ate nothing but Costco hot dogs for a week told People (while using the popular nickname for hot dogs, "glizzies").

The company has famously kept the hot dog price at $1.50 since 1984. Costco CEO Craig Jelinek said this was important for the company's image. "It's the mindset that when you think of Costco, you think of the $1.50 hot dog (and soda)," he said in a speech, according to 425 Business.

Customers have also crunched the numbers. One fan pointed out on Reddit that by delivering almost half a person's required daily calories (soda included) for just $1.50, the Costco hot dog combo "might be the only fast food that is cheaper per calorie than groceries." With food prices growing while "shrinkflation" is reducing the serving size of foods from much-loved brands, the fact that Costco has stuck to the same low price for its hot dog is amazing.

They Are Honest, Classic Hot Dogs

unwrapped Costco hot dog
unwrapped Costco hot dog - Costco Wholesale Canada/Facebook

As any New Yorker can testify, hot dogs are supposed to be simple. Some sauerkraut and brown mustard is all it takes. Yet the Costco hot dog now has to survive — and still manages to thrive — in a landscape of gourmet stadium dogs, niche food truck specials, and exotic versions of regional classics. In addition to Chicago hot dogs -- which have always been piled with many toppings -- you'll now find hot dogs in banh mi buns, sriracha instead of ketchup, as well as other decadent combinations.

Not at Costco, however. Its hot dog is no-frills. You get an honest wiener, a simple bun, and a choice of standard condiments. It's unpretentious, accessible, and consistent. This is understood on Reddit, with one user posting: "I mean they are just perfect. From the soft delicious bun. To the juicy 100% beef dog itself. I don't think I have ever had a better hotdog." Costco understands that Costco customers know what they like. In this case, it's an honest, classic hot dog.

They Are Great Quality

Kirkland beef hot dogs
Kirkland beef hot dogs - Reddit

Nobody would claim that hot dogs are a healthy food option, given the amount of saturated fat and sodium they contain. Each wiener sold at the Costco food court will deliver you approximately 30% of your daily recommended value of saturated fat and 24% of your recommended sodium intake. Those are big chunks, especially considering that some people enjoy a hot dog as a snack between meals.

However, as hot dogs go, Costco manages to offer a better quality treat than most. The food court's hot dogs use Costco's own Kirkland Signature brand, so you know exactly where they come from. These are the same franks you can buy off the shelves of Costco, as well.

As one user put it on Reddit: "Humanity peaked when it was released to the public and nothing will ever top it." You'll get a consistent taste and texture from your Costco hot dog, whether you're buying it in Alaska or Alabama.

The Hot Dogs Are 100% Beef

Costco hot dog menu
Costco hot dog menu - tinydonuts/Reddit

According to Otto von Bismarck's famous line, you don't want to see how two things are made: laws and sausages. And hot dogs may have an even worse reputation. While premium cuts were never going to find their way into Costco's budget wieners, the suspicion is that all manner of animal parts are used. Luckily, Costco answers this question with a 100% beef dog. Rest assured, you won't find any other meats in the chain's Kirkland Signature food court dogs.

Costco used to use Hebrew National's wieners for its food court hot dogs. But eventually, the brand switched to the in-house Kirkland wiener. Both styles are 100% beef, but social media appears to have picked a wiener winner. According to multiple comments on a Reddit thread, the Kirkland Signature dogs have more snap, less salt, and a more assertive garlic flavor than the Hebrew National ones.

You Can Customize The Hot Dogs As You Wish

hot dog with onions
hot dog with onions - activecat1/Reddit

You may customize your Costco hot dog as you please. Once you've ordered your combination from the food court terminal (you don't order at the counter), all you're picking up -- apart from a soda -- is a plain wiener in a bag. There's nothing to complicate your Costco dog and no surprises that could potentially ruin your experience.

For your next move, you can enjoy your hot dog as nature intended, or head to the condiment station to slather it in sauces. Costco gives you a choice of ketchup, mustard, or relish. If you notice something missing, that's because onions were withdrawn from the roster during the pandemic.

The good news is that one TikTok user reported in 2023 that onions are starting to make a comeback at select Costco stores, where you can pick up a single-serving pot of diced onions with your order. These onions may be on the counter or they may be available if you ask.

You Can Further Personalize The Hot Dogs With Menu Hacks

forbidden glizzy from Costco
forbidden glizzy from Costco - chickensquare42/Reddit

Ambitious fans of the Costco hot dog have taken customization even further than adding onions. One popular trend on TikTok is to build something called the Costco "Forbidden Glizzy." As we previously mentioned, "glizzy" means hot dog, and the "forbidden" aspect simply refers to the fact that this item is not available on the menu. You have to build it yourself.

This hack is worth the sacrifice of setting your steamed hot dog bun aside. To create the Forbidden Glizzy, you'll need a hot dog and a Costco chicken bake. You then cut away the tip of the bake, remove or compress the filling, and place your hot dog inside the bake.

It shouldn't work but it does. You get to enjoy a salty, savory overload with a satisfying crunch from the bake. A smaller sausage wouldn't be up to the task, so we have to thank the visionary who saw the potential of combining the extra-long hot dog with the untapped possibility of Costco's Chicken Bake.

You'll Find Variations At Costco Locations Worldwide

French Costco food court
French Costco food court - MyGuiltyLife/Reddit

With around 275 Costco warehouses outside of the United States, the reputation of the Costco hot dog extends far beyond North America. You could pick up a quarter-pound hot dog as far away as New Zealand, or grab the iconic American snack in France.

Better still, you can enjoy a different version of the classic Costco hot dog in these various countries. According to one user's YouTube video, the French version offers Dijon mustard and mayonnaise as condiment options -- which is different from the options offered in the U.S. -- and offers a satisfying creaminess. The user said this French version was even better.

Costco hot dogs are also a hit in Korea and Japan. However, if you order from a Japanese food court, you'll be served a 100% pork hot dog, rather than a 100% beef one. If you're reading this in Sydney, Australia, and wondering why your Costco hot dog combo doesn't cost $1.50, bear in mind that Costco's hot dog prices vary in other countries. Sometimes you'll be paying even less than the signature $1.50 (as in Japan) or paying a premium (as in Iceland).

They Have An Impressive Bun-To-Dog Ratio

hot dog with toppings
hot dog with toppings - La Capital/Facebook

Reddit has spoken. According to one user, the Costco product has "the perfect hotdog to bun ratio." This ratio is particularly perfect if you like there to be some extra dog sticking out of both ends. It's bold and ambitious and sends a clear message: This wiener won't be tamed. A hot dog that fails to reach the end of the bun, by contrast, risks becoming soggy and limp from the condiments.

There's always been something of a mismatch between dogs and buns. At Costco, some hot dogs come in packs of 12, and some buns in packs of 24, after all, so there's an invitation to have leftover buns if you're making them at home. In addition to leftover buns, nobody wants a space in their bun where a mouthful of meat should be. At the food court, Costco nails it with a bun that doesn't overshadow the hot dog itself.


hot dog with onions
hot dog with onions - buoyblaster/Reddit

We knew that Costco was onto something with its $1.50 wiener, but we wanted evidence -- from fans who'd actually tried the hot dog -- that there was more to love than the price. The trail led us to threads on Reddit and hashtags on TikTok, the sole purpose of which was to celebrate the amazing Costco hot dog. Our research focused on the most commonly mentioned reasons why customers couldn't leave Costco without a hot dog in their spare hand.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.