This recipe for Hot Dog Chili Sauce rivals any hot dog stand. It’s got a finer texture and thinner sauce which makes it perfect for chili dogs!
I want you to think back to the last chili dog you ate. Not homemade, but the last chili dog you had from a street cart vendor, at the county fair, or from your favorite hot dog joint. Chances are, that chili had a different texture and consistency than the chili you’d eat out of a bowl. Well, folks, this recipe is just that.
This Hot Dog Chili Sauce isn’t your traditional chili plopped on hot dogs. Nope. This sauce is made specifically to be a hot dog topping. In this chili the meat has a finer texture, it has a thinner sauce, but it still has tons of chili flavor, which makes it perfect for a chili dog!
What makes this hot dog chili sauce different than regular chili?
To start, this chili sauce has a much finer texture than the chunky chili made with recipes like my Bloody Mary Chili. And this is because we cook the ground beef a little differently for this than we would for standard chili. Cooking the meat in liquid causes it to break down more, giving us that fine texture that we find in hot dog chili.
Starting with a lean ground beef or ground sirloin, like 90/10 or even 93/7, means we don’t have grease to drain away. Having to do that would mean we would also drain away a lot of the flavor, too, so we start with ground beef that doesn’t have lots of fat.
What do ground beef ratios mean?
In the grocery store, you’ll find ratios on the ground beef like 70/30, 80/20, and 90/10. These indicate the amount of lean versus the amount of fat in the ground beef. Typically you’ll find them with names as well.
Ground Beef is usually 70% lean and 30% fat.
Ground Chuck is usually 80% lean and 20% fat.
Ground Round is usually 85% lean and 15% fat.
Ground Sirloin is usually 90% lean and 10% fat.
You might also find labels like “lean” and “extra lean.” The USDA puts specific requirements on using those terms on packaging. Lean means that 100 grams of beef (about 3 1/2 ounces) have less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol. Extra Lean means that 100 grams of beef with less than 5 grams of fat, less than 2 grams of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol.
Do I really have to use MSG (Accent) in this recipe?
I’m going to head this one off at the pass… No. You do not have to use MSG in this recipe. But it won’t taste the same. I understand some folks are concerned about using MSG in food. It occurs naturally in many foods, but I’m not going to argue the point. In this case it is used as a flavor enhancer and gives the chili the punch of umami it needs – just like with my Best Ranch Dressing recipe. I wouldn’t include it if I didn’t think the recipe needed it, but you are absolutely welcome to leave it out.
Is this recipe really better leftover?
I know what you’re thinking… “This bozo is telling me to serve leftovers.”
Yep. Y’all know I’m a culinary rebel, right??? Well, I actually did write the recipe to tell you to serve this a day or two after making it. Here’s why…
Science tells us that in some cases leftover food tastes better. As leftovers sit a few different things happen. The food begins to oxidize and the proteins in the food releases glutamates. Both of these things help to add flavor. The reheating process makes food more flavorful, too. So, in many cases, leftovers taste better than when they’re first cooked.
In my opinion, this is certainly the case with chili. So, making it a day or two before you’re going to use it means it’s going to taste better AND it frees up time for cooking other stuff the day of. With all that being said, it’s great the first time around, too. So, you don’t have to make it in advance if you don’t have time to plan ahead. But if you, do… you should certainly do it that way.
Can this only be used on hot dogs?
While this recipe was created specifically for hot dogs, that’s not the only place it can go. We love it over hot crispy french fries, baked potatoes, and Jack has been known to stir some into mac and cheese for a quick chili mac.
Hot Dog Chili Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small sweet onion, finely diced
- 1 pound lean ground beef or ground sirloin (90/10 or leaner)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon MSG* (I use Accent brand)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the ground beef and beef broth. Use the spoon to break the meat up. Cook, uncovered, until the meat is cooked through. Do not drain.
- Add the tomato sauce, garlic powder, chili power, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, cumin, MSG, and vinegar. Bring to a boil , then reduce to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to your preference.
- For added flavor, make a day in advance, cool, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve, add the chili sauce to a skillet or dutch oven, cover, and bring to a simmer. Add additional broth or water if desired. Serve warm.
Nutritional values provided are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.
I’m a well-seasoned southern home cook of about 40 yrs. I have a full comprehension of seasonings of veg, meat, cooking times, etc. I went up one way and down the other trying to make this recipe work to the description of the author and failed. I only lapsed the border(s) of the recipe amounts by about 3 oz of the beef. However, I tried to make it up with the seasonings (I shelled the pot with chili powder), beef broth, tomato sauce, and onions. I cooked the crap out of it trying to get it to thicken up. All fail. At this point, I’m ready to throw up my hands and go after Castleberry’s.
I’m sorry to hear that this didn’t turn out as you expected. You can see that all the other reviews have been 5 stars, so I worry that maybe I’ve not done a good enough job explaining the differences between got dog chili and regular chili.
Love this Recipe 😀
Charles Hill Spaulding
Making hotdog chili again. 3rd time. I freeze leftovers for 3 to 4 more servings. If you have not made this you are missing out on the best hotdog chili recipe ever…..
Thanks so, so much, Charles! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it!
This should be called Smack Yo Momma Chili!
Ha! Love it! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!
I just made a double batch of this to freeze and have when my family is home for the holidays. It smells wonderful and tastes better than it smells. This recipe is a keeper for sure!
I’ll add after reading the comments that I used salted beef bullion to make my broth. Because the bullion is so salty, I did not add salt to the chili. I was afraid that it would be too salty if I did, and it was perfect without salt.
Glad to hear you enjoyed it!!
This sounds wonderful! The last time I had any MSG I ended up in ICU, so I was glad to read that I don’t have to add it.
I always try to give folks options. Hope you’ll enjoy it!
I as well as.others have same problem with recipes. I must be very careful with
Sodium. Very discouraged when this is not shown how much.
So sorry about not being able to judge or speculate on nutritional information.
Exactly! Thank you Stacey for all your great recipes.
You’re so welcome!
This is really tasty chilli recipe. I use on my hot dogs and burgers. I make it about once a month. Definitely 5 stars!!!
Wow! What a compliment!
Made this tonight. It was way too salty.
Chris from WV
I love a great hotdog chili, that and the slaw makes a great hotdog. Have the slaw perfected. Wish I could take credit but it my mom’s recipe and my wife tweaked it. I’ve tried several different recipes but none have been great. This one is a little different and sounds like it will be amazing.
Let us know how you like it!
Please share your slaw and chili recipes, love trying new recipes ❤️
I am hesitant in trying your recipes…they look wonderful by the way!!! You never include the Nutritional Information and I have an issue with Sodium…would it be possible for you to do this.
And yes…Kindness is always the best way in life!!!
Can this be frozen?
Sandi, I freeze chili so why not this?