POPSUGAR Celebrity

Make Your Own Hot Dog Bar

Jul 22 2013 - 1:52pm

If you haven't yet taken the time to celebrate National Hot Dog Month, it's not too late! Gather your friends 'round and set up your very own hot dog bar, complete with delicious toppings, so loved ones can load their dogs with whatever their hearts desire. It's an easy and fun way to feed a large crowd, and would be great after a day at the beach or playing in the park. See how easily a hot dog bar comes together.

Photos: Nicole Perry, Flickr [1], Shutterstock [2]

Come Up With a Plan

Start by coming up with a plan of what will be on your bar. I decided to do Tex-Mex-inspired toppings, like chili, guacamole, bacon, fresh salsa, and roasted jalapeños. Once you've made a list of toppings, get cooking!

Source: Shutterstock [3]

Prep Ahead

Do everything that you can in advance. I began the day before and made the chili [4] in my slow cooker.

Photo: Sara Yoo

Create Fresh, Homemade Toppings

While the chili cooked, I sautéed onions over low heat for 45 minutes until caramelized and cooked through [5]. I also made fresh guacamole [6].

Photo: Nicole Perry

Little Bowls Are Your Friend

The day of the party, place everything in little bowls or disposable aluminum trays. Here's the salsa. I used Michelle Bernstein's recipe [7] — you must try it!

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Relish Is Essential!

You can't have a hot dog bar without relish. I wanted to make relish [8] but ran out of time, so used store-bought instead.

Source: Shutterstock [9]

Oven-Cook Your Bacon With Ease

Here's a tip: if you're going to include bacon, cook the bacon in the oven [10]. It ends up crisp and flat, and leaves no grease splatters on the counter.

Photo: Lauren Hendrickson

Arrange Similar Items Together . . .

I plated sautéed onions and peppers with roasted jalapeños; the same went for condiments, like ketchup, mustard, and relish.

Source: Flickr user Robert S. Donovan [11]

. . . Such as Gourmet Sausages

Try an assortment of meats (I used lamb sausage, beer sausage, and chicken cherry sausage). To ensure that you've got time to spend with friends, roast the sausages in the oven.

Source: Shutterstock [12]

Oven-Toast Your Buns

Toast hot dog buns in the oven while the dogs are roasting.

Source: Flickr user mccun934 [13]

Improvise If Necessary

The apartment that I catered the party at had no kitchen table. We improvised (and kept things classy!) by setting a long piece of plywood on a foosball table. Sometimes you do whatever it takes to make the party happen.

For more inspiration, check out this video on how to elevate your hot dog to a haute dog [14].

Source: Flickr user ines saraiva [15]

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