Cooking | July 1, 2022 12:20 pm

Don’t Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog, Says Actual Official Hot Dog Council

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has some hot dog eating etiquette rules that you may not agree with

Regional hot dog style favorites as suggested by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council
Don't you DARE put ketchup on a hot dog, says National Hot Dog and Sausage Council
National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

Ketchup bad, artisanal buns good, max out your bites to five. That’s some hot dog eating etiquette from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC), an organization and information portal founded in 1994 that has some very stern dos and don’ts when it comes to consuming hot dogs.

This spinoff of the American Meat Institute is funded by contributions from hot dog and sausage manufacturers and those who supply them with equipment, ingredients and services — one contributor level is hilariously dubbed “Wiener Warrior,” which lands just below “Relished Patron.”

Diving into the NHDSC site reveals troves of stats and, ahem, bite-size advice on hot dog and sausage consumption. Recently, they developed a sausage and mustard pairing guide and also revealed the top hot dog consumption city in the U.S. (Los Angeles or Buffalo, depending on total vs per capita results).

Obviously, a hot dog advocacy group is going to have opinions on how you should eat your Fourth of July mainstays. Below, a few of their commandments…not all of which we endorse:

  • Condiments should be applied in the following order: wet condiments like mustard and chili are applied first, followed by chunky condiments like relish, onions and sauerkraut, followed by shredded cheese, followed by spices, like celery salt or pepper.
  • Serve sesame seed, poppy seed and plain buns with hot dogs. Sun-dried tomato buns or basil buns are considered gauche with franks.
  • Don’t take more than five bites to finish a hot dog. For [a] foot-long wiener, seven bites are acceptable.
  • Fresh herbs on the same plate with hot dogs over-do the presentation
  • Don’t use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.

The NHDSC takes a rather wimpy position on whether a hot dog is a sandwich, so we’ll just continue to argue about it (although by NY state law, it certainly is).