new york style hot dog

Classic New York Style Hot Dog Recipe

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Transform a basic camping hot dog with this New York style hot dog recipe!

Oh, the Big Apple! Known for Broadway, high fashion… and hot dogs. It may seem like an odd mix, but if you’ve ever tried New York style hot dogs, you understand what all the fuss is about. 

But you don’t have to rely on New York City hot dog carts to dish up a “hot wiener,” as New Yorkers call them. You can make your own New York style hot dogs with this easy recipe. 

So, say “get outta here!” to boring ketchup or mustard and “ayo!” to onion sauce, sauerkraut, and spicy brown mustard!

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What Is On a New York Style Hot Dog?

A typical hot dog in New York is topped with spicy brown mustard, sauerkraut, and onion sauce. The onion sauce is onions sauteed in ketchup or tomato paste with a few other spices depending on the recipe.

Most recipes include cinnamon and chili powder (like ours); some also use cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and/or a splash of vinegar.

Since we specialize in camping food, we always look for the simplest recipe that gives you the best flavor bang for your buck. We think our simple yet great recipe accomplishes just that!

What Hot Dogs Do New York Vendors Use?

Most hot dog vendors in New York are Sabrett’s pushcarts. They use Sabrett® all beef frankfurters to give that rich meaty flavor. So, if you want a true NY hot dog, nix the basic or turkey dogs and go with all beef dogs! 

And did you know you can buy Sabrett® hot dog toppings online? You can get “The Three Tops” pack that includes Sabrett® Sauerkraut, Mustard, and Onions in Sauce. 

The Sabrett® Three Tops pack is surely authentic but it costs around $35. If you want to splurge on it, great! If not, that’s okay, too. Just use ingredients you can find at any grocery store (our recipe does!).

Do You Have to Boil the Hot Dogs?

Traditionally, New York-style hot dogs are boiled. Street cart vendors put them straight from the water into warm buns. So, if you want to be as authentic as possible, boil your dogs on your RV stovetop or over the campfire.

However, they’re darn good from the grill, too. So, if you prefer that charred hot dog flavor, go for it! It’s your hot dog, after all. Just beware if you’re camping in New York! You might end up on the wrong end of a lecture!

​Is Homemade Sauerkraut Better?

Yes, homemade sauerkraut is better because it maintains a nice crispiness that store-bought just can’t pull off. Plus, you can make homemade sauerkraut to suit your tastes perfectly. But store-bought sauerkraut will get the job done, too!

Homemade sauerkraut is shockingly easy to make, but it does take 1-3 weeks. So, if you don’t have time or simply don’t want to make your own sauerkraut, just go buy some at the grocery store. No judgment here, and it’ll still be delicious.

Hot Dogs! Get Your Hot Dogs!

By the way, we also have a Classic Chicago Hot Dog Recipe and Homemade Hot Dog Sauce Recipe that are DE-LISH! But here’s your NY hot dog recipe…

New York Style Hot Dog

4 from 5 votes
Recipe by Camping Food Recipes Course: MainCuisine: American, New YorkDifficulty: Easy


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Enjoy New York-style hot dogs wherever you camp! Once you top your dog with sauerkraut, spicy brown mustard, and easy-to-make onion sauce, you’ll say, “Get outta here!” to all other hot dogs.


  • 1 1 onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 tsp 2 vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 water

  • 2 Tbsp 2 ketchup or tomato paste

  • salt, to taste

  • 4 4 all beef hot dogs

  • 4 4 hot dog buns

  • sauerkraut (ideally homemade sauerkraut)

  • spicy brown mustard


  • To make the onion sauce, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until they start to soften (a few minutes).
  • Switch to low heat and stir in water, ketchup or tomato paste, and salt to taste. Cover pan and cook for about 20 minutes or until onions are completely soft.
  • While the sauce is simmering, bring water to a boil in another pot that will fit 4 hot dogs. Add hot dogs to the boiling water and keep over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes.* They should be done about the same time as your sauce.
  • Put the hot dogs in the buns and top with onion sauce, sauerkraut**, and spicy brown mustard.
  • Chow down!



  • *NY hot dogs are traditionally boiled, but you can grill the hot dogs if you prefer or already have the grill running.
  • **Homemade sauerkraut is surprisingly easy to make, but it does take 1-3 weeks. If you don’t have time or desire to make homemade, store-bought sauerkraut works just fine.
  • To make these dogs even better, warm your hot dog bun in the microwave or oven before filling it.
  • You can refrigerate leftover onion sauce in an airtight container to use the next day.

More Hot Doggity Goodness…

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