Once upon a time, hamburgers ruled the Free World.
Whether under the Golden Arches of McDonald’s or the boutique burger joints tucked away in downtown Manhattan, burgers were seen as an American cultural icon.
But all empires must fall, and, in many ways, burgers have had their time at the top. There’s a new dog in town, nipping at the heels of its once untouchable counterpart. Hot dogs have recently seen a resurgence in popularity and are carving out a niche as America’s go-to meat of choice.
Here’s how hot dogs defied the odds to become the hip alternative to the hamburger.
Hot Dogs are Convenient
One of the best things to love about hot dogs is their convenience. Unlike a burger that requires attention to detail to put its numerous layers together, hot dogs are easy to make and even easier to eat. As people, we are hardwired to respond well to convenience, and the convenient nature of hot dogs is winning over Americans everywhere.
Whether you’re out with friends, grilling up a storm in the garden, or enjoying the first cold beer of summer, you can use your free hand to enjoy a scintillating bite of your delicious dog. Burgers require a two-handed approach; even then, keeping the contents from spilling out can be challenging.
If you want a lighter, more accessible, and more convenient choice for your grilled meat, hot dogs are an excellent choice.
Healthy Hot Dogs?
Another element that gives hot dogs an edge over burgers is that they can wind up being healthier, which is one of the many reasons you should fall in love with hot dogs again. In many ways, a hot dog is as unhealthy as you choose to make it, and this is where toppings play a prominent role.
While burgers are often dull, plain, and tasteless as just a meat patty and bun, a sausage-bun-sauce combo can be quite delicious, and that’s before we even get to toppings. A burger typically requires an array of toppings to help enhance flavor, but less is often more with dogs.
Hot dogs only contain around 150 calories and can become flavorful with a few additions.
Moreover, you can tailor these added toppings to what you like. Whether you want to make a chili dog like a pro, add grilled onions or anything in between, a hot dog can be as healthy or unhealthy as you make it.
Going for a plain and healthier choice can still knock your socks off if it’s the right dog, and this is one advantage of hot dogs over hamburgers.
Hot Dogs are Affordable
With a cost of living crisis looming and Americans everywhere looking to tighten the purse strings, what better than a delicious meat feast that doesn’t break the bank?! Hot dogs are highly affordable, and this is what gives them an edge over hamburgers.
A pack of hot dogs will set you back around just $4 in-store, with the Oscar Mayer classic ‘Original’ line ranking as the best cheap dogs everywhere, with each dog worth around just $0.40. Even hotdog vendors at MLB stadiums only charge, on average, $5.01.
Burgers tend to be more expensive, and with many artisanal burger joints and pop-ups around, the prices can climb on the rounder side of this battle. Sure, gourmet hot dogs will be expensive to buy if you’re eating out, but the same is true of burgers.
Ultimately, the hot dog is a highly affordable option that is perfect for grilling or prepping at home whenever you choose to.
Something else that makes hot dogs such a stand-out choice is the sheer combination of toppings you can combine them with. That’s not to say you can’t top burgers, but there is something about the sheer volume of choice with hot dogs.
Furthermore, the shape allows the dog to hold certain toppings in a more accessible and less messy fashion than burgers can. What’s more, people love the simplicity option with hotdogs, that you can add one single topping – grilled onions, slaw, relish – and it still tastes divine.
For those who are a little offbeat, plenty of weird and wonderful hot dog toppings can enhance your dog’s flavor, and the only absolute limit here is your imagination.
Check out this list of some of the most common and popular hot dog toppings that you can use to make a mouth-watering dog.
- Ketchup / Mustard – this classic sauce combo has defined the hot dog and gives a sour and zesty taste that combines effortlessly with the delicious meat.
- Onions – whether you want to go fresh or grilled, there are few tastier (or more aromatic) choices to complement your dog than onions.
- Chili – those who like to do things differently will find themselves drawn to the stunning spicy addition of chili as a topping. The chili dog is America’s sweetheart and a game-changer for those newly getting into hot dogs.
- Coleslaw – a sweet, sour crunch and a lovely creamy finish. Coleslaw is one of the best toppings you can use to enhance the flavor profile of your hot dogs.
- Jalapeño – if you like spice that packs a bit more of a punch than chili, jalapeños are one of the best toppings of choice. You could even add them to a chili dog for extra heat.
Regarding cookouts, the hot dog is the clear winner here.
Its effortless convenience and versatility make it a must-have staple of any grilling or barbecue event. Not only do they fit nicely on the grill, with the shape and size allowing you to grill plenty at the same time.
Moreover, very little prep work is required, making the hot dog a delicious and efficient addition to your grilling exploits.
You can even set up a toppings zone next to the grill so that everyone can build their own, and it’s a stress-free process.
More and more of you are choosing dogs over burgers, and it’s not hard to see why. The hamburger and the hot dog are both hugely popular choices for Americans.
But, the versatile and unassuming nature of the hot dog makes it stand out.