I feel like an awesome coney dog is an absolute essential for game day, whether you’re watching from home with friends and family or tailgating. A Coney Island Hot Dog is not a simple chili dog; it’s something different and really special.
I grew up getting coney dogs from a little restaurant in downtown Johnstown, PA whenever we visited that area. The flavor is so unique and nostalgic for me. My dad even brought me a bag of those conies when I was 39-weeks pregnant to see if they could send me into labor! Ha! It didn’t work, but I really enjoyed them anyway.
I don’t often get to have my all-time favorite coney dogs, so I thought I’d try making them myself. Being who I am, I would obviously have to add my own personal spin on this classic all-American favorite.
For my special kicked-up version of coney dogs, I started with the perfect bun: KINGS HAWAIIAN® sweet hot dog buns. These are the best! The lightly sweet flavor and freshness of KINGS HAWAIIAN® buns are absolutely delicious for these conies.
Next up: caramelized onions.
It’s no secret that I’ll find any excuse to smother food in caramelized onions. They’re sooooo good! Coney dogs are topped with diced onions and yellow mustard, which is really good. But caramelizing the onions takes this to a whole other level of crave-a-licious-ness.
When you caramelize onions, start with a whole lot more than you think you’ll need. For just 4 hot dogs, I chopped 2 medium onions. Here they are along with 1 tablespoon olive oil at the beginning of the cooking process:
And 90 minutes later…
To caramelize the onions for the perfect coney dogs, start with two peeled and chopped onions in a small pot with 1tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Stir them often. When the onions begin to become translucent (took about 20 minutes for me) add 1 teaspoon sugar and a dash of salt. Continue to cook the onions over medium-low heat until they become golden brown. This can take at least another hour. To speed up the process I sometimes turn the heat up to medium, but you’ll want to stir very often to make sure they don’t burn.
When you cook the ground beef for the coney sauce, make sure you really work to break the ground beef down so there are no large chunks. I do this with a potato masher.
The final key ingredient for this awesome homemade coney dog: a superb hot dog. Use a kosher, all-beef, bun-length hot dog. Grease a pan with about a teaspoon of vegetable oil and pan-fry the hot dogs over medium heat until browned and crispy on the outside.
THE perfect hot dog! Seriously, more crispy and juicy than a grilled dog.
KINGS HAWAIIAN® bun + pan-fried all-beef hot dog + homemade coney sauce + caramelized onions + mustard = The Perfect Homemade Coney Dog.
Homemade Coney Sauce
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup diced onion
2/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup yellow mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1. In a medium pot, brown the ground beef while crumbling with a potato masher or wooden spoon. Drain off the fat.
2. Add to the cooked beef the onion, ketchup, mustard, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of salt, and celery seed. Mix well then cover the pot with a lid and simmer on low to medium-low for one hour.
Slow cooker method: Instead of simmering the sauce on the stove for an hour, pour the sauce into a slow cooker and set to low for 2 hours.
Serve the coney sauce over hog dogs and top with onions and mustard.
I would totally serve these with my awesome homemade French fries. Make these coney dogs with crispy, fresh fries and you’ll be the game day hero!
How do you enjoy KINGS HAWAIIAN® bread and buns?