The secret to a perfect halfway house hot dog, according to a golf-club chef

The secret to a perfect halfway house hot dog? Know what you're looking for.

Getty Images

Hot dog, here! 

The nation’s second-favorite food, after hamburgers, hot dogs are so ubiquitous, it’s hard to believe they’re not number one. You can’t visit New York or any ballpark in the country without having a dog. And don’t even get me started on backyard barbecues.

While hot dogs are a year-round food, there’s no better time for them than summer. With grilling season upon us, here are my hot tips for doing hot dogs right.

The Brand

People can get very particular about this. Whether it’s Feltman’s, Hebrew National, Boars Head or Pearls, make sure you’re getting something of quality with a good snap to it.

The Bun

I go for a nice soft, fluffy potato roll. Something about the richness that compliments a Glizzy (that’s slang for hot dog, if you’re keeping score at home) like no other. Whatever type of roll you choose, make sure it can stand up to all the accoutrements you plan to pile on top. Some purists insist on steamed rolls or buns, but toasting is great, too.

The Grill

You have to put the hot dog in an area of the grill where it’s not getting a lot of direct and intense heat. You want it to toast slowly, like a marshmallow. Turning frequently and flipping will ensure consistency in your caramelization. Any doubts, Google ‘Maillard reaction,’ I dare you….

apple pie
The secret to making a perfect apple pie, according to a golf-club chef
By: Josh Sens

The Butterfly Effect

Some people like to split the dog right down the middle to get it nice and crispy inside and out. These are the same type of people that would probably put bacon on a hotdog. These are my kind of people. 


I was speaking with my buddy George Shea, the MC of the famed Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. He is a purist like me. Sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard. That’s my go-to.

Other Embellishments

Aye Chihuahua

Guacamole, pico de gallo, ancho chili mayo and crisp tortilla strips will give your dog a south-of-the-border flair.

Coney Island Dog

This one’s a classic, served in a steamed bun topped with chili, diced white onion and yellow mustard.

Lower East Side

Toasted roll, melted American cheese, then top it all with coleslaw and potato chips.

Shaun Lewis is a classically trained chef and cocktail master who serves as general manager at Old Westbury Golf & Country Club, on Long Island.

generic profile image Contributor