Frankly ... Here Are Some Hot Dog Do's and Don'ts

Learn about toppings, safety tips and a little etiquette when it comes to this barbecue favorite.

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Hot Dog BBQ Party

Hot Dog BBQ Party

Keep things simple and fun by throwing an easy summertime BBQ with hot dogs and a variety of condiments.

Are you a real hot-dog fanatic? If you are, you know the right way to devour a dog. If not, consider these dos and don'ts from the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council:

Do eat hot dogs on buns with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns.

Do serve sesame seed, poppy seed and plain buns with hot dogs. Sun-dried tomato buns or basil buns are considered gauche with franks.

Do use paper plates to serve hot dogs. Everyday dishes are acceptable; china is a no-no.

Do lick the remaining condiments on your fingers. They should not be washed.

Do use multicolored toothpicks to serve cocktail wieners. Cocktail forks are in poor taste.

Always "dress the dog," not the bun. Condiments should be applied in the following order: Wet condiments are applied first, followed by chunky condiments like relish, onions and sauerkraut, followed by shredded cheese, followed by spices, like celery salt or pepper.

Don't use a cloth napkin to wipe your mouth when eating a hot dog. Paper is always preferable.

Don't take more than five bites to finish a hot dog. For footlong wieners, seven bites are acceptable.

Don't leave bits of bun on your plate. Eat it all.

Don't put fresh herbs on the same plate with hot dogs. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.

Don't send a thank-you note after a hot-dog barbecue. It would not be in keeping with the unpretentious nature of hot dogs.

Don't bring wine to a hot-dog barbecue. Beer, soda, lemonade and iced tea are preferable.

Favorite Hot-Dog Toppings

Mustard - 30 percent

Ketchup - 22 percent

Chili - 12 percent

Relish - 10 percent

Onions - 5 percent

Sauerkraut - 3 percent

-- National Hot Dog & Sausage Council

Safety Tips

1: Although hot dogs are fully cooked, you should reheat them and make sure they are steamy hot throughout.

2: When you leave the grocery store with hot dogs, head straight home and refrigerate or freeze them immediately.

3: If there is no product date, hot dogs can be safely stored in the unopened package for two weeks in the refrigerator; once opened, only one week.

4: Freeze hot dogs no longer than one or two months.

5: Never leave hot dogs at room temperature for more than two hours. In the hot summer months, when the temperature goes above 90 degrees, no more than one hour.

-- U.S. Department of Agriculture

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