Ina Garten Shares the Perfect Way to Make Hot Dogs and It’s Anything but Fussy

Ina Garten may seem fussy about cooking sometimes, such as when she recommends using good ingredients for her recipes. There’s one area she totally kicks it old-school, however: the way she cooks hot dogs. It turns out the Barefoot Contessa star and her husband Jeffrey stick with a traditional way of making hot dogs — and it doesn’t involve the grill.

Ina Garten pours a cosmopolitan cocktail at the bar during a segment on Late Night with Seth Meyers, "Seth Goes Day Drinking with Ina Garten" in 2019
Ina Garten | Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Ina Garten shared her hot dog preferences

On Sept. 2, Garten took to Instagram to share a photo of her and Jeffrey cooking hot dogs on skewers over a big open fire. In the caption, she explained their preference for cooking the summer favorite this way rather than using a grill.

“Summer holidays call for hot dogs!!,” she wrote. “Instead of grilling them, we like ours cooked over an open fire. Jeffrey and I are traditionalists — potato rolls, spicy Gulden’s mustard, and LOTS of relish.” 

She asked, “What do you like on your hot dog??,” adding, “Have a happy and safe holiday weekend and give yourself a break, we all need one this year!!”

Garten even answered the brand she and Jeffrey prefer. When a fan asked, “What is your hotdog of choice?,” the Barefoot Contessa star answered, “Hebrew National!”

The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ star’s fans shared their favorite toppings

Many of Garten’s followers shared how they like to dress up a hot dog. “Mustard and finely chopped raw onion,” one commenter noted, while others voted for sauerkraut and yellow or grainy mustard, or a combination of mustard, ketchup, and pickles.

Some fans shared some more interesting combinations, “Spicy brown mustard, chili and onions or slaw,” one person commented, while another shared, “A bit of mustard and onions and a bit of shredded cheese.”

Others offered up their own spins on hot dog toppings. “I caramelize some onions but for the last 5 minutes put a good glug of red wine to let them soak up and get extra caramelly from the sugar — tastes amazing and fancy and super easy,” one person commented.

Another person shared, “I make a mustard slaw-cabbage, mustard, sliced onions, sliced red bell peppers, sliced dill pickles, mayonnaise, a pinch of salt, and lots of black pepper. Mix and store overnight. It is amazing on a hot dog! I butter and toast a brioche bun add the wiener, and top with the slaw. Then I see God.”


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Ina Garten also has a fancier spin on hot dogs

Of course, Garten also has a way to make hot dogs just a little bit more classy. In a May 2020 Instagram post, she shared an easy upgrade for hot dogs, using one of her favorite shortcut ingredients — puff pastry.

Garten noted in the caption: “It’s Week Whatever in quarantine and I needed dinner in a hurry so I wrapped some hot dogs in puff pastry and baked them. OMG they were so good! Love the high/low thing plus they took five minutes to prep! (No one was disappointed).”

Her recipe is a snap to make and adds a new spin on a boring hot dog roll. She places cold puff pastry on a board, cuts it to the length of a hot dog, then brushes it with Dijon mustard. She rolls the hot dog by beginning at one end of the pastry, gives it one roll, brushes a strip of pastry with egg wash, and continues rolling the pastry around the meat. Once completely rolled up and sealed , she trims any extra pastry and places the hot dog on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, brushes it with egg wash, and sprinkles it with salt and pepper.

She bakes the hot dogs in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

The full recipe is available on the Barefoot Contessa website.