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Coney Island Hot Dogs

Enjoy the famous Coney Island hot dogs at home with Chef John's recipe for the Detroit favorite with a rich meat sauce and fresh chopped onion.
Makes:8 servings


  • 1½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cups water, or as needed
  • ¾ cup diced onion, divided
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt, or to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 8 all-beef hot dogs
  • 8 hot dog buns
  • ¼ cup prepared yellow mustard, or to taste


Prep:15 mCook:70 mReady:1 h 25 m
  1. Gather all ingredients.
  2. Combine ground beef, water, 1/2 cup diced onion, ketchup, butter, garlic, chili powder, salt, black pepper, cumin, celery salt, and cayenne pepper together in a pot. Mix with a potato masher or spatula over medium-high heat until mixture has a finely ground consistency and begins to bubble, about 10 minutes.
  3. Bring beef mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and reduces, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook hot dogs in boiling water until heated through, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Arrange hot dog buns on a baking sheet. Cook buns in the preheated oven until soft and warm, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Place 1 bun on a plate. Place a hot dog in the bun and top with meat sauce. Drizzle yellow mustard and a portion of remaining diced onion over the meat sauce. Repeat with remaining hot dogs.
  7. Enjoy!

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