Hot Dog Etiquette

If you think eating Hot Dogs is all about slapping a wiener on a bun, you're in for a surprise. If you're going to dine on dogs properly, you'll need these do's and don'ts from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

Don't ... 

  • Put hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always "dress the dog," not the bun.
  • Leave bits of bun on your plate. Eat it all.
  • Use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18.
  • Use a cloth napkin to wipe your mouth when eating a hot dog. Paper is always preferable.
  • Put fresh herbs on the same plate with hot dogs. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.
  • Bring wine to a hot dog barbecue. Beer, soda, lemonade and iced tea are preferable.
  • Send a thank you note following a hot dog barbecue. It would not be in keeping with the unpretentious nature of hot dogs.
  • Ever think there is a wrong time to serve hot dogs.

Do ...

  • Apply condiments in the following order: wet condiments such as mustard and chili are applied first, followed by chunky condiments such as relish, onions and sauerkraut, followed by shredded cheese, followed by spices, like celery salt or pepper.
  • Serve sesame seed, poppy seed and plain buns with hot dogs. Sun-dried tomato buns or basil buns are considered gauche with franks.
  • Eat hot dogs on buns with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns.
  • Condiments remaining on the fingers after eating a hot dog should be licked away, not washed.
  • Use paper plates to serve hot dogs. Every day dishes are acceptable. China is a no-no.