How to eat a hot dog

National Hot Dog Day: Tips For Eating Hot Dogs Because You’re Probably Doing It Wrong

It’s National Hot Dog Day, and the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council wants to ensure that when you bite into a wiener, you know what you’re doing. Like many of the misguided, you probably think there’s not much to learn about eating hot dogs. You’ve probably enjoyed eating hot dogs as long as you can remember, but according to the folks over at the council, you’re probably eating them wrong. Did you know that according to the rules of hot dog eating, you should never put ketchup on your dog? Hot dogs are very important to American life and play a huge role in our culture. You can find hot dogs at sporting events, barbecues, picnics, on grills, at concerts, in restaurants, and outside your workplace in carts. If you’re going to eat a hot dog in America, you need to eat it like an American and that means knowing the right and wrong way to eat a hot dog.

So, as you celebrate National Hot Dog Day and National Hot Dog Month, which both occur in July along with National Grilling Month, and the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating contest, and don’t forget the copious amounts of hot dogs served up on the Fourth of July, it’s probably a good idea to spruce up your hot dog eating skills. That way, when you see someone making a grievous error while eating hot dogs, you can shake your head in dismay, put a kind hand on the offender’s shoulder, and offer words of wisdom.

How do you learn how to eat a hot dog correctly? The folks over at the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council have you covered. In fact, they’re the ones responsible for declaring July 14 as National Hot Dog Day, and they take hot dogs very seriously. They made a video that ensures every citizen can avoid the embarrassment that comes to those uninitiated foodies who shames himself or herself by showing that when it comes to hot dogs, they have no idea what they are doing. The video tackles everything a hot dog eater needs to be aware of, including what type of plates and utensils are suitable for hot dog eating. It also answers questions such as what type of napkin is appropriate when indulging in hot dogs. Also important to know is how to dress up your dog, such as should you put liquid condiments on the hot dog or the bun, and the correct order for hot dog toppings. And let’s not even tackle the proper way to eat a chili dog. These tips are for standard hot dogs. There are even rules on how many bites it should take to finish a hot dog. Luckily, a footlong can be consumed in more bites than a regular hot dog.

Here’s the video on proper hot dog eating etiquette, as well as a brief summary of major points that everyone should know.

  • Never eat a hot dog on a glass plate or china.
  • Never use a cloth napkin when eating hot dogs.
  • Under no circumstance should you cut and eat hot dogs with utensils.
  • Liquid condiments always go on the dog first, not the bun.
  • You may not put ketchup on your hot dog past the age of 18 (do you think people really stick to this one?).
  • Never take more than five bites to consume a standard-size hot dog. A foot-long hot dog may be consumed in 7 bites.

Those who would like a comprehensive look on the proper way to eat a hot dog can download a brochure from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

And about the ketchup issue, Dirty Harry pointed out in Sudden Impact that no one puts ketchup on a hot dog. So just don’t do it.

Are you celebrating National Hot Dog Day today?

[Photo by Carlo Dapino/Shutterstock]