8 Tasty and Totally Unique Ways to Top Your Hot Dog

Aug 9, 2021 | Food & Camp Cooking

8 Tasty and Totally Unique Ways to Top Your Hot Dog

Hot dogs can be a quick and simple meal at the campground, but we think it’s time to elevate the basic dog.

By Kerry Sainato

French onion, Maui, and BBQ hot dog recipes. | Photo: Kerry Sainato

Hot dogs are the perfect food for camping. They’re easy to store, adaptable to a variety of cooking techniques, and a total crowd-pleaser. Here are eight delicious ways to top your hot dogs at the campground.

How to Cook Hot Dogs While Camping

There are many ways to cook a hot dog. Simply roasting them over an open fire gives that crispy texture and smoky flavor from a wood-fueled flame. But you can also toss them in a skillet, boil them in water, or throw them on a grill. 

Hot dogs being grilled over a fire
Photo: Kerry Sainato

Choose your favorite cooking method for any of the recipes below. Most packaged hot dogs are fully cooked, so all you need to do is heat them up and maybe add some char.

Vegans and vegetarians have plenty of plant-based hot dog and sausage options to choose from. Marinated and roasted carrots can also make for a fun, meat-free substitute.

For a fun twist—literally—try to spiralize your hot dog.

About Those Buns

Your choice of hot dog buns will work for the recipes below, but if you want our recommendation, look for New England-style buns—they’re soft and fluffy with bare sides. Try toasting them in butter for added flavor and texture. A few of the recipes even break free from the bun—an ideal alternative for those with dietary restrictions. 

Toasted hot dog buns
Photo: Kerry Sainato

Tasty Ways to Make a Hot Dog

BBQ Dog

Makes 4 servings.

A crunchy crown of coleslaw tops this dog inspired by a pulled pork sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 4 hot dogs
  • 4 to 8 teaspoons barbecue Sauce
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • 1 cup prepared coleslaw, your favorite recipe or a store-bought option

Top It: 

  • Before cooking your hot dog, liberally brush it with barbecue sauce. 
  • Cook the hot dog by pan frying, grilling, or roasting over an open fire until it’s warmed through and the barbecue sauce creates a sticky glaze.
  • Squeeze sauce, to taste, onto your bun and top with the cooked hot dog.
  • Top with a quarter cup of coleslaw. 

Make it vegan by choosing a plant-based dog, a vinegar-based slaw instead of one dressed in mayonnaise, and a barbecue sauce that doesn’t contain honey.

Hot dogs wrapped in bacon on the grill
Photo: Kerry Sainato

BLT Dog

Makes 4 servings.

Enjoy two of summer’s favorite foods—hot dogs and tomatoes—in this twist on a classic sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 4 hot dogs
  • 4 slices bacon, raw
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • 4 to 8 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 cup lettuce, chopped small
  • 1 to 2 large tomatoes, diced small
  • Kosher salt

Top It: 

  • Wrap each hot dog in a slice of bacon so the bacon overlaps on itself. This will help the bacon fit onto the hot dog.
  • Cook the hot dog in a skillet or on a grill over medium heat until the bacon cooks and gets crispy. Rotate often for even cooking. 
  • Spread about 1 to 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise on the bottom of your bun.
  • Add a layer of lettuce, about a quarter cup. 
  • Add the cooked bacon-wrapped hot dog.
  • Season tomatoes with a pinch of kosher salt and then top your bacon dog with a large spoonful of them.

Cut the carbs by replacing the bun with a large lettuce leaf wrap—romaine works well.

Breakfast Dogs

Makes 4 servings.

Use leftover hot dogs to make a creative breakfast sandwich in the morning. 

Ingredients:

  • 4 hot dog buns
  • 1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes, cooked until crispy
  • 4 eggs, cooked over-medium or scrambled
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 4 hot dogs, cooked (warmed up if leftover)
  • Hot sauce or ketchup

Top It:

  • Add about a quarter cup of cooked hash browns to your hot dog bun. 
  • Top with an egg, slice of cheese, and hot dog. 
  • Season with a bit of hot sauce, ketchup, or both. 

Out of hot dog buns? A piece of toasted, buttered bread folded in half also works for this breakfast sandwich.

Three hot dogs on platter with different toppings: one with bacon, lettuce and tomato; one with chili and Frito chips; and one in taco shell with cheese and peppers
Chili Relleno, Walking Taco, and BLT hot dogs. | Photo: Kerry Sainato

Chile Relleno Dog

Makes 4 servings.

This is a favorite Mexican dish translated to a crunchy, cheesy hot dog taco.

Ingredients:

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 4 crunchy, corn taco shells
  • ½ cup Jack cheese, grated
  • 4 hot dogs, cooked
  • 1 cup red enchilada sauce, your favorite recipe or a store-bought jar
  • Hot sauce

Top It:

  • Roast the poblano peppers over a campfire or grill until the skin has blackened. Flip to char the entire pepper. Place the peppers in a bowl with a cover for 10 minutes, then uncover and let cool.
  • Once the roasted peppers cool, rub the charred skin off and remove the stem and seeds. Chop the remaining pepper into bite-sized chunks.
  • Fill the bottom of a taco shell with about 2 tablespoons of Jack cheese and a quarter of the chopped peppers. 
  • Add a hot dog and spoon 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce over top. Then add another 2 tablespoons of Jack cheese. 
  • Place the filled taco shell on one side over medium-high heat—either over a campfire, on a grill, or in a skillet—until the cheese has melted. Flip once during this process to toast both sides of the shell.
  • Season with hot sauce to your taste.

Replace the taco shell with a flour tortilla for a tasty hot dog quesadilla.

French Onion Dog 

Makes 4 servings.

Say, oui to this ode to French onion soup.

Ingredients:

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese, sliced
  • 4 hot dogs, cooked

Top It:

  • Caramelize the onion. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and kosher salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 45 minutes until the onions are soft and a caramel color. Do this step ahead at home to save time.
  • Spread Dijon mustard on the bottom of the hot dog bun. Top with a slice of Swiss cheese. 
  • Place the hot dog bun over a grill, in a skillet, or on a griddle over medium-high heat to melt the cheese. Be careful to not burn the bottom of your bun.
  • Add the hot dog to the bun and garnish with a spoonful of caramelized onions. 

Maui Dog

Makes 4 servings.

This sweet and salty, tropical fruit-forward hot dog will transport you to a tropical setting. 

Ingredients: 

  • ¼ pineapple, diced small 
  • ¼ cup onion, minced finely
  • 1 jalape​​ño, minced finely (remove seeds and membrane for less heat)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1 scallion, sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons guava paste
  • 2 tablespoons passion fruit jam
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • 4 hot dogs, cooked
  • ¼ cup French fried onions

Top It: 

  • Combine the pineapple, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and scallion in a small bowl. Mix to combine the salsa. 
  • In a small saucepan, heat the guava paste over low heat just until it softens so it’s easier to whisk. Add the passion fruit jam and Dijon mustard to the pan. Whisk to combine well. 
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of the mustard mixture on the bottom of a hot dog bun. 
  • Place the hot dog in the bun. 
  • Top with 2 tablespoons of pineapple salsa.  
  • Garnish with 1 tablespoon of French fried onions.

Serve leftover pineapple salsa with tortilla chips for an excellent snack.

Hot dogs cooked in a pie iron with cornbread batter
Photo: Kerry Sainato

Pie Iron Corn Dogs

Makes 9 servings.

You can easily make corn dogs while camping with a popular tool for camp cooking: the pie iron.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box JIffy cornbread mix, mixed per the box instructions (but don’t bake it)
  • 9 hot dogs, cut in half
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup

Top It:

  • Spray both sides of a preheated 4.5-inch square pie iron with cooking spray or rub with vegetable oil. 
  • Add about a half cup of prepared cornbread batter to one side of the pie iron. Allow for about a quarter inch of room so that the batter doesn’t overflow when you add the hot dogs. 
  • Press the hot dogs into the cornbread batter. 
  • Attach the other side of the pie iron and clasp to close. Cook over medium high heat for 5 to 7 minutes per side, until the cornbread batter has cooked through and is golden brown.
  • While the corn dogs are cooking, combine the Dijon mustard with the honey or maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Once the cornbread batter has cooked through, remove from the flame and flip out of the pie iron. Cut the cornbread between the hot dogs to make corn dog sticks for dipping into your honey mustard sauce.
  • Repeat until you’ve used all of the cornbread batter. One box of Jiffy mix makes about three batches in a 4.5-inch square pie iron.

Walking Taco Dog

Makes 4 servings.

Level up a classic chili dog with tasty Fritos.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can beef chili
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • 4 hot dogs, cooked
  • ½ cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese
  • 1 scallion, sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped finely
  • ¼ small onion, minced finely

Top It: 

  • Heat the chili in a small pan over medium heat until it’s warmed through. 
  • Place a hot dog in a bun and top with about a quarter cup of chili.
  • Add about 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese and a pinch of scallions, cilantro, and onion.
  • Garnish with a hefty handful of Fritos.

Hopefully one—or more—of these creative hot dog combos becomes a new favorite dinner on your camping adventures. If you give these recipes a try, tag us on social media (@togo_rv) to show off your dogs.

Camp FoodRecipesRV Cooking

Kerry Sainato

Kerry bought a tiny teardrop trailer on a whim over four years ago and is now an enthusiastic RV traveler. She spends most of her camping nights in New England, but is working on plans for a year-long cross country journey with her husband. Kerry also owns and operates a cooking blog, cookwithkerry.com, and loves cooking over the open fire during her camping adventures.

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