How To Ensure Every Bite Of Your Chicago-Style Hot Dog Has A Sweet Tomato Taste

If you want to upgrade your hot dogs, making them Chicago-style is the way to go because it doesn't take much more effort and adds a lot more texture and flavors. What goes on a Chicago-style hot dog, anyway? It's an all-beef hotdog on a steamed poppy seed bun that's topped with yellow mustard, raw white onion, dill pickle spears and relish, celery salt, sport peppers, and tomato slices. It's delicious, but we have a way to make it even better: Adding pickled grape tomatoes to ensure there are more sweet, tangy tomatoes in every bite.

Why go through the effort of pickling tomatoes for a hot dog? A traditional Chicago-style hot dog uses tomato slices. But if the slices are too big, the ratio between the tomatoes and the other ingredients won't be balanced. A pickled tomato promises more sweetness and tanginess in every bite because of the smaller pieces. It also makes up for the lack of ketchup, since that condiment doesn't usually belong on this Windy City classic.

Pickling tomatoes for hot dogs

To add pickled tomatoes to your Chicago-style hot dog, start by cutting washed tomatoes in half, or you can keep them whole if that's your preference. Your next step is to mix water, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a pot, then bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, pour it over the tomatoes in a jar, close the lid, and place it in the fridge. You should leave the jar of tomatoes in the fridge for one to two days to let the pickling do its thing. The longer they stay in the jar, the better the tomatoes will taste.

You have to think ahead for this hot dog method, considering how long it takes to pickle the tomatoes, but trust us, it's worth the wait. When your tomatoes are ready, it's time to cook your hot dogs and steam those poppy seed buns. The only other prep work is to dice the onion and cut your pickle spears (if they are too big for the bun). Your final step is to assemble the Chicago-style hot dog and take your first bite.