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Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?

By David

October 24, 2023

Maybe it came up at a cookout over the summer, maybe you’ve got a kid or two around the house always asking questions or maybe you’re just wondering as you bite into that Chicago Style or Maxwell Street Polish: is a hot dog a sandwich? It’s a pretty simple question with two pretty straightforward answers:

  • A hot dog is a sandwich
  • A hot dog is not a sandwich

And yet a year after the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council officially declared a hot dog is not a sandwich, they found a 60:40 split among Americans. We’re in the minority, it seems, as we think it’s pretty clear a hot dog is a sandwich (when it’s on a bun).

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"Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?" written above a hand holding a hot dog

A Hot Dog IS a Sandwich!

Dictionary.com defines a sandwich as 

  1. two or more slices of bread with a layer of meat, fish, cheese, etc., between them. (example: a tuna sandwich)
  2. a partially slit bread roll, pita, etc., with a filling. (example: a falafel sandwich)

Definition 1 is the foundation most “hot dog is not a sandwich” devotees build their argument from, but definition 2 makes it very clear that a slit roll, a pita or a hot dog bun (with filling) are also sandwiches.

Fetch’s Receipt on the Street Polls the Public: “Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?”

Types of Hot Dogs: Ingredients for the Finest Franks

Not only is a hot dog a sandwich, every type of hot dog is a sandwich. Pick an old favorite or start adding hot dog ingredients to your shopping list. 

  • Chicago Style – All-beef hot dog (or Beyond Meat alternative), poppy seed buns, yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, chopped onion, tomato (cut into wedges), pickle spear and most importantly sport peppers and celery salt.
  • Chili Dog – Chili dogs are as unique as chili recipes, and the only essentials are a bun, a hot dog and your favorite chili. 
  • Chili Cheese Dog – There’s nothing wrong with putting sliced or shredded cheese onto a chili dog, but most people expect a cheese sauce (so add a nacho cheese sauce or Velveeta to your shopping list)
  • Coney Dog – A special take on the Chili Dog straight from Coney Island. Take an all-beef hot dog, put it on a steamed bun, then add beanless chili, diced white onions and yellow mustard.
  • Reuben Dog – Pick your favorite hot dog and top it with swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and your choice of Russian or Thousand Island dressing.
  • Dagwood Dog – Think a corn dog, but coated in your batter of choice before frying. Popular in Australia, the Dagwood is often dipped into a sweet tomato sauce before serving.
  • Texas Tommy – Hailing from Pennsylvania, the Texas Tommy is a split dog on a toasted bun covered with bacon and cheese.
  • Cheese Coney – Cincinnati has their own take on the Coney, using Cincinnati chili and grated cheese. The mustard is common but optional, and many add some hot sauce on top.

We’re sure you have your favorites, but we recommend Stroehmann or Sara Lee buns, Oscar Mayer Wieners, and a dijon mustard for more traditional hot dogs (and Beyond Meat for vegan and vegetarian eaters). Use the Fetch app to generate the perfect hot dog ingredient shopping list for your budget.

Hot dog shopping list including ingredients, side dishes, and drinks

How to Make a Hot Dog

Based on all the types of hot dogs above, you’d be right to think there’s no one answer to “how to make a hot dog,” but there’s a pretty simple recipe that you can change up depending on your hot dog supplies and ingredients:

  1. Decide which type of hot dog you want to make
  2. Gather your hot dog ingredients
  3. Boil, grill or air fry your hot dog
  4. Toast your bun (if needed)
  5. Top with your condiments

If you start to get fancy, you might want to beef up your hot dog supplies with a slow cooker (to keep chili warm), a bun toaster or a fryer.

How to make a hot dog is pretty straightforward, just like making a sandwich.

When is a Hot Dog Not a Sandwich?

You’ve got your hot dog supplies and condiments, made a special trip to the store to pick up hot dog ingredients (and maybe even a few different types of hot dogs). The nice mustard is out, you remembered to snap your receipt in the Fetch app, and you can smell the hot dogs grilling, and you can’t find any buns in your house. 

No need to panic! You have a loaf of Arnold Brownberry Oroweat Bread. It’s not a bun, but it’ll hold your hot dog ingredients and that delicious sausage. Even if it won’t taste quite like your favorite MLB hot dogs, this improvised hot dog is a sandwich. But what if you couldn’t find any bread in the house? A hot dog without bread is not a sandwich.

Download the Fetch App, Save on Hot Dog Supplies

While you may disagree with us about a hot dog being a sandwich (in which case, you’d unfortunately be mistaken), one thing that’s not up for debate is how easy it is to save by snapping receipts on the Fetch app. Download the app to get started saving.

Which Questions Like “Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?” Should We Answer Next?

And now that we’ve definitively closed the case and confirmed hot dogs are indeed sandwiches, which of the following food taxonomy debates should we tackle next? You’re probably wondering where we stand on whether a hot dog is a taco (yes) or if cereal is a soup (a controversial yes):

  • Is a hot dog a taco, too, or solely a sandwich?
  • Is cereal a soup?
  • Is a burrito a calzone?
  • Is a Poptart a ravioli?
  • Is steak a salad?
  • Is a lasagna cake?
  • Is a falafel wrap sushi?

Topics: Food and Drink, Shopping Lists


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David

David Fairbanks is a writer, science educator and Chicagoan fueled by coffee. He's written about everything from Ferraris to handcrafted pet urns to Superman, and he genuinely loves loyalty/rewards programs.


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