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Hot Dog Condiments and Toppings Guide + Martin’s Featured Recipe

July 18, 2022
10 min. read

PA Dutch Hot Dog

We hope you’re enjoying National Hot Dog Month by cooking up plenty of this classic summertime food. In case you need another excuse to celebrate, National Hot Dog Day is coming up this Wednesday, July 20th! So get outside, roast some hot dogs, and keep checking back for more hot-dog-themed content, on our blog and social media channels, throughout the entire month of July.

To recap:

  • In Week 1, we introduced you to our July sweepstakes prize—a smokeless steel fire pit—and shared pro tips for how to roast hotdogs over the campfire. We also touched on alternate cooking methods, highlighting our favorite new trend—the multi-cooker!
  • Last week, we explored a brief history of hot dogs in America and shared with you some fun facts about this beloved food group.

This week: We set out to settle the age-old debate…What makes an acceptable topping for a hot dog? First, we’ll run through a list of the most popular hot dog condiments and toppings, then we’ll present to you our ideal Martin’s-themed hot dog / toppings combo!

PA Dutch Dog

About Hot Dog Condiments

As we learned last week, there are apparently some unspoken rules about how to eat a hot dog. For example, in certain areas of the country, putting ketchup on a hot dog is considered a culinary faux pas. However, we say: “You do you!” Whatever suits your taste buds and makes you smile, is fine by us.

According to a recent survey, mustard is the most popular hot dog topping among Americans (68%), followed by ketchup (61%) and mayonnaise (19%).

Hot dogs are a pretty simple food, and very easy to cook, so we think it’s okay to get creative with the toppings every now and again. If you’re looking for some inspiration for how to build the best-ever hot dog, check out the below list of popular condiments and sauces.

Standard Hot Dog Condiments

  • Mustard (e.g., yellow, Dijon, whole grain, etc.)
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Hot Sauce (e.g., Buffalo Sauce, Sriracha)

While these are all basic condiments you can find at the grocery store, you can also try making your own if you’re feeling adventurous. Check out this recipe guide to making homemade ketchup, mustard, and mayo.

Fancy Hot Dog Condiments

  • Sriracha-Mayo (Mayonnaise + Lime Juice + Sriracha) – Try it on Asian Slaw Dogs!
  • Chipotle-Mayo (Mayonnaise + Roasted Chili Peppers/Spices) – Try it on Grilled Bratwurst!
  • Jalapeño-Mayo (Mayonnaise, Jalapeño, Garlic, Lime Juice, Salt) – Try it with Bacon Cheddarwurst!
  • Teriyaki-Mayo (Mayonnaise, Teriyaki Sauce, Lime Juice, Salt) – Try it on Hawaiian Hot Dogs!
  • Buffalo-Mayo (Mayonnaise + Buffalo Sauce) – Try it on Buffalo Hot Dogs!
  • Mayo-Ketchup (Mayonnaise + Ketchup) – Try it on Columbian Dogs, along with two other custom sauces!
  • Thousand Island Dressing Try it on Reuben Dogs!
  • Ranch Dressing – Try it on Garden Dogs!

Similar to burger spreads, you can see that many custom hot dog condiments use mayonnaise as the base. Learn how to make these and other sauces at!

DIY Mustard Flight

Another fun idea for serving hot dogs is to build a mustard flight. (A flight is a selection of several food or drink items, often presented in a row, for sampling.) Since mustard is the number one ingredient pairing for hot dogs, a selection of several unique mustard flavors makes for a very creative presentation.

Mustard Flight (Left-to-Right): Yellow Mustard, Honey Mustard, Dijon Mustard, Whole Grain Mustard, Spicy Brown Mustard, Sweet & Hot Mustard

Mustard varieties:

  • Yellow Mustard
  • Honey Mustard
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Whole Grain Mustard
  • Spicy Brown Mustard
  • Hot Mustard

To Prepare: arrange several dollops or small bowls, each with a different type of mustard, in a row on a long, narrow plate or platter. Serve your hot dog directly on or beside the platter and use a spreading knife to sample the various mustards in the selection.

Martin’s Custom Hot Dog Condiment: Maple-Mustard

PA Dutch Dog

For our custom hot dog condiment, we went back to our Pennsylvania Dutch roots! With a nod to the German bratwurst, we chose to top our classic frankfurter with a maple-infused Dijon mustard sauce. Mustard and brats always go hand in hand, and the addition of maple syrup acts similarly to honey in sweetening the mustard and leveling its spice. (P.S., did you know that Pennsylvania is ranked number five in maple syrup production in the U.S?)

Tip: Look for more uses for Maple-Mustard in the Sausage & Mustard Pairing Guide below, or check out our Chicken & Waffle Sandwiches or Brunch Burger recipes for slight variations!

How to Make Homemade Maple-Mustard:

  • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 Cup Dijon Mustard
  1. In a small bowl, add maple syrup and Dijon mustard. Mix well and adjust to taste.

About Hot Dog Varieties

A quick word about hot dogs: as we mentioned last week, hot dogs can differ in the type of meat used, but there are so many other intricacies as well. Hot dogs come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention various colors, types of casings, flavors/spices, and more! You have “white hots” and “red hots in Rochester/Upstate New York, “red snappers” in Maine, “rippers” in New Jersey, and “half-smokes” in Washington, D.C., not to mention countless other varieties across the country.

And don’t even get us started on all the other types of “tubular” foods—there’s bratwurst, kielbasa, Italian sausage…and many more types in addition to your classic ballpark frank.

So, keep all these things in mind when customizing your “perfect hot dog” to serve up this summer. Consider trying a variety of meat options, combined with your choice of sauces (above) and toppings (below), then build out your favorite new flavor combo!

Bonus: Sausage and Mustard Pairing Guide

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council and the National Mustard Museum recently teamed up to create this Sausage & Mustard Pairing Guide resource guide for July’s National Hot Dog Month. Take a look to find out which flavor combinations were matched up!

Hint: This would be another great use for the Mustard Flight shown above! Host your own hot dog/sausage taste test and see if you agree with the experts!

PA Dutch Dog

About Hot Dog Toppings

Now, with your favorite condiments or sauces selected and your chosen hot dog or sausage variety, it’s time to select your toppings. You can stick with the recipe for specific regional trends, go with a tried-and-true favorite, or mix and match options to create something brand new!

In the same survey mentioned above, the most popular hot dog toppings (not including the condiments previously listed) were onions (44%), relish (41%), chili (30%), cheese (29%), sauerkraut (20%), bacon (14%), jalapeños (13%), and coleslaw (12%). You can see by these results that ingredients with a hint of bitterness or acidity (such as onions and pickled vegetables) often make great complements to the meatiness and umami-forward flavor of a hot dog. In other instances, people prefer to stick to savory comforts like chili, cheese, or bacon.

Here are a few of our favorite hot dog toppings:


  • Tomatoes, sliced or diced
  • Onions (raw), diced
  • Onions (caramelized), sliced
  • Pickles, sliced
  • Pickle Relish (sweet or dill)
  • Jalapeños (raw or pickled), sliced
  • Sport peppers/pepperoncini
  • Banana peppers (pickled), sliced
  • Avocado

Additional Toppings:

  • Bacon
  • Sauerkraut
  • Coleslaw
  • Cheese, shredded
  • Nacho Cheese Dip (Queso)
  • Chili
  • Salsa
  • Mac and Cheese (prepared)
  • Potato Chips/Sticks

Try your own combination of the above ideas by creating a Hot Dog Toppings Bar!

Bonus: Check out this fun video showcasing some of our favorite (classic) ways to top a hot dog! Let us know your favorite hot dog topping by interacting with us on social media.

Martin’s Custom Topping Recipe: Quick-Pickled Cabbage

PA Dutch Dog

Continuing with our Pennsylvania Dutch influence, our choice of topping is quick-pickled cabbage, a quick-and-easy variation of German-inspired sauerkraut. The cabbage is soaked in a solution of vinegar, sugar, and salt, and left to pickle for about 20 minutes before it is seasoned with caraway and celery seeds. The resulting slaw is far less sour than the more traditionally fermented sauerkraut, however this offers it a bright, fresh taste and a welcome crunch to our finished hot dog.

How to Make Homemade Quick-Pickled Cabbage:

  • 1 Large Green Cabbage, chopped
  • ½ Tablespoon Caraway Seeds
  • ½ Tablespoon Celery Seeds
  • 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  1. Place 2 cups of cabbage into a heatproof bowl and set aside. In a small pot, toast caraway and celery seeds over medium heat for about two to three minutes, or until fragrant. Add apple cider vinegar, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil. Pour mixture into bowl with cabbage; let sit for 10-20 minutes and strain.

Note: You may also enjoy the following recipes and resources:


Featured Recipe: PA Dutch Dog with Maple Mustard, Pickled Cabbage, and Grilled Onions

PA Dutch Dog

You’re almost there! You now have two out of the three key ingredients needed to prepare our Martin’s Hot Dog. The next step is to sauté some sliced red onions in a skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes until softened and browned. Ta-Da! Now all that’s left to do is cook up your hot dog using your preferred cooking method, then pile everything onto your Martin’s Long Potato Roll, finishing off with some extra celery salt or caraway seeds.

Tip: Read why Martin’s Long Potato Rolls make the ideal hot dog bun in our Product Highlight!

How to Make PA Dutch Dog with Maple Mustard, Pickled Cabbage, and Grilled Onions

  • 8 Martin’s Long Potato Rolls
  • 8 Hot Dogs
  • 2 Medium Red Onions, sliced
  • 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
  • Celery Salt, to taste
  • Caraway Seeds, to taste (optional)
  • Maple Mustard (see recipe)
  • Quick-Pickled Cabbage (see recipe)
  1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat for approximately two minutes. Add slices of onion to pan and slowly cook for 10 minutes until softened and browned.
  2. Cook hot dogs using preferred method:
    1. Grill: Heat hot dogs over medium (or indirect) heat on grill, turning occasionally. Cook until fully heated internally and there is a nice, even char on all sides, being careful not to burn them.
    2. Boil: Fill a saucepan with about 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low and add hot dogs. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until hotdogs are fully heated.
    3. Pan Fry: Heat frying pan over medium high heat. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Place hot dogs onto the frying pan and cook until water is evaporated. Roll hot dogs while cooking to heat thoroughly and evenly.
    4. Air Fryer: Place hot dogs in air frying basket leaving ample space in-between each one. Air fry for 5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Once fully cooked, remove hot dogs from heat and set aside. Place each hot dog in a roll and top with onion, pickled cabbage, and maple mustard. Sprinkle with celery salt, if desired.

Get the full recipe:

Classic Hot Dog Combos

Cincinnati Chili Dog

Loved our featured hot dog recipe? Give some of these other regional styles a try!

  • Coney Island Dog: chili, yellow mustard, diced raw onion, shredded cheddar cheese
  • New York-Style Dogs: spicy brown mustard, sauerkraut, onion sauce
  • Chicago Dog: sliced tomatoes, chopped white onion, sweet pickle relish, sport peppers, yellow mustard, dill pickle spear, celery salt, poppy seeds
  • Seattle Dog: cream cheese, grilled onions, jalapeños, sriracha
  • Sonoran Dog: bacon, pinto beans, pico de gallo, avocado, mayonnaise
  • Slaw Dog: coleslaw, beef chili, diced raw onion, yellow mustard

Find more regional variations here:

Crazy Hot Dog Combos

Lazy Days of Summer Dog

Make it your own! Try unique flavor combos like the ones below.

Check out more great ideas here:!


Martin’s Summer Fun Season

Reminder: We’re giving away a Solo Stove Yukon Smokeless Fire Pit at Be sure to stop by and enter for your chance to win—from now until July 31.



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