When and What is National Hot Dog Day 2024? | Almanac.com

National Hot Dog Day 2024: Why Do We Call Them Hot Dogs?

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National Hot Dog Day

Beyond Ketchup and Mustard: Fun Facts and Creative Toppings For Frankfurters

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Hot-diggity-dog! Summer is synonymous with backyard barbecues, crackling bonfires, and, of course, the iconic hot dog!  But did you know there’s a dedicated day to celebrate this delicious and versatile food? Mark your calendars for National Hot Dog Day!

We love traditions, and National Hot Dog Day is one we can all support. So, fire up the grill, grab your favorite toppings, and get ready to relish (pun intended!) everything hot dog-related—from hot dog history to weiner jokes!

When Is National Hot Dog Day?

National Hot Dog Day falls each year on the third Wednesday in July… which makes sense; it’s only a few weeks after one of our favorite hot dog-eating holidays: The Fourth of July! This year, National Hot Dog Day will be on Wednesday, July 17, 2024.

National Hot Dog Day
2024Wednesday, July 17, 2024
2025Wednesday, July 16, 2025
2026Wednesday, July 15, 2026
2027Wednesday, July 21, 2027

Brief History of Hotdogs

We ‘mustard’ you a question: Do you like hot dogs?

Where did the weiner come from? Hot dogs, America’s favorite summer staple, boast a surprisingly long history. Their origin is debated, with Frankfurt, Germany (frankfurters) and Vienna, Austria (wieners) vying for credit. German immigrants brought these sausages to America in the 1800s. Sold by street vendors as “dachshund sausages” due to their shape, the term “hot dog” emerged, likely as a playful jab. By the 1890s, hot dogs were a staple at baseball games and amusement parks, forever linked to those carefree summer days.

Now, they are entrenched in the culture of the United States. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans consume over 20 billion hot dogs a year—enough to encircle the earth more than five times! 

Hot dogs may be of German origin… but they are an American favorite!

Are Hot Dogs Good for You? Are Hot Dogs Bad for You?

 Let’s be honest, hot dogs aren’t exactly known for being health food. So, can you indulge in this summer staple without guilt? Let’s break down the factors that affect the healthfulness of a hot dog.

The Not-So-Healthy Side of Hot Dogs:

  • Processed Meats:  Traditionally, hot dogs are made from processed meats, which have been linked to an increased risk of health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. This is due to factors like saturated fat, sodium, and nitrates added during processing.
  • Hidden Sodium: One hot dog can contain a quarter of your daily recommended sodium intake.  Excess sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
  • Fat Content: Depending on the type of hot dog, fat content can vary. Look for options made with leaner cuts of meat and avoid deep-frying them, which adds unhealthy fats.

Making Hot Dogs a Healthier Choice:

The good news is that you can still enjoy hot dogs on occasion and make some healthy choices to minimize their impact on your diet:

  • Choose Your Dog Wisely: Look for hot dogs made with leaner meats like turkey or chicken. Opt for brands with minimal added sodium and nitrates. Check out some top picks for healthy hot dogs.
  • Grill or Bake, Don’t Fry: Grilling or baking your hot dog is a healthier alternative to frying, which adds unhealthy fats.
  • Top It Right: Skip the processed cheese and fatty condiments like mayo. Pile on the veggies like grilled onions, peppers, and tomatoes for added vitamins and fiber. Opt for healthier condiments like mustard or avocado.
  • Portion Control: Hot dogs are typically not a low-calorie food. Enjoy them in moderation, perhaps as part of a balanced meal with a side salad or whole-wheat bun.

Fun Facts for the Hot Dog Fanatic

We love to eat them… but how much do you know about the humble hot dog? Share these trivia tidbits with your friends, family, and fellow dog devotees:

  • Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest is a major sporting event. Joey Chestnut currently holds the record for the most hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes (76!).
  • While hot dogs are known for being affordable, there’s a place for them in luxury, too.  One of the most expensive hot dogs in the world cost a whopping $2,300 and featured wagyu beef, champagne-caramelized onions, and caviar (it was available at 230 Fifth for a limited time as a fundraiser).
  • Believe it or not, hot dogs were one of the first foods ever eaten in space! Apollo 11 astronauts munched thermostabilized frankfurters (frozen dogs) during their moon mission. Apparently, they’re easier to eat in zero gravity than ice cream (they are still an approved food in space).
  • According to the Guinness World Records, the longest hot dog ever made measured over 668 feet long!
hot dogs with a variety of toppings
What is your favorite hot dog topping?

Fire Up the Grill for National Hot Dog Day!

National Hot Dog Day is the perfect excuse to fire up the grill and gather your friends and family for a backyard barbecue. Need some grilling tips before the big day? Check out our guide to grilling success.  

Why stop at the classics?  Here are some creative hot dog ideas to tantalize your taste buds:

  • Classic All-American Hot Dog: Ketchup, mustard, relish, dill pickles, and diced onions on a toasted bun. You can’t go wrong!
  • Chili Cheese Dogs: Try out a chili cheese dog! Top your hot dog with your favorite chili recipe, shredded cheese, and diced onions.
  • Coney Island Dog: A New York icon, the magic comes from the toppings: a hearty chili sauce (no beans!), chopped white onions, and a stripe of yellow mustard.
  • Sonoran Hot Dog: This Mexican-inspired dog features a bacon-wrapped hot dog topped with pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, mayonnaise, and a drizzle of lime crema
  • Chicago-Style Hot Dog: A true legend, this dog is loaded with sport peppers, tomato, chopped celery, relish, dill pickle spear, cucumber, and a sprinkle of celery salt, all on a poppy seed bun. Make it extra special with homemade pickles!
  • Seattle-Style Hot Dog: Embrace the unexpected with cream cheese, grilled onions, and sriracha mayo.
  • All-The-Trimmings Dog: Pile on everything your heart desires! Sauerkraut, sauerbraten, giardiniera, the options are endless. Some people even enjoy kimchi, crumbled bacon, or pineapple chunks!

Looking for more grilling inspiration? Check out these delicious summer recipes for your barbecue: 

No matter how you celebrate, make National Hot Dog Day a delicious and memorable one! 

What are your favorite hot dog toppings?

About The Author

Jennifer Keating

Jennifer is the Associate Digital Editor at The Old Farmer’s Almanac. She is an active equestrian and spends much of her free time at the barn. When she’s not riding, she loves caring for her collection of house plants, baking, and playing in her gardens. Read More from Jennifer Keating

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