This Is How Many Hot Dogs Are Actually Eaten On The 4th Of July

Hot dogs are said to have originated in Ancient Rome by Emperor Nero's cook Gaius, who accidentally discovered that he could stuff the intestines of a pig to make sausage (via History). Sausages were later brought to the US by German immigrants, and turned into the hot dogs we know today by Nathan Handwerker, founder of Nathan's Famous on Coney Island, which still holds hot dog eating contests to this day. Today, hot dogs are considered an all-American treat, and a staple of backyard barbecues, ball games, pool parties, and picnics all around the country, especially over the summer when the temperature soars and everyone is outdoors enjoying the long days of sunshine.

Summer is considered "hot dog season," and hot dog producers estimate that they sell more than a third of all hot dogs, or more than $600 million dollars worth, between Memorial Day and Labor Day alone, according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council. Nearly 10% of all sales actually occur within July, or National Hot Dog Month, which is probably not surprisingly since the holiday celebrating America just happens to fall within July.

Americans love eating hot dogs on the 4th of July

According to Spoon University, more than 74 million Americans plan to barbecue as part of their celebrations during the 4th of July, with a menu that likely includes hot dogs. USA Today has ranked hot dogs as the best food to have on the 4th of July, and plenty of Americans seem to agree. In fact, the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council estimates that a whopping 150 million hot dogs are consumed on the 4th of July alone — that is enough hot dogs to stretch across the country, from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, more than five times!

Whether you prefer your hot dogs cured or uncured, and whether you prefer your toppings to include ketchup, mustard, onions, relish, chili, or cheese, there's no denying that hot dogs are the perfect food to throw on the grill. Serious Eats recommends scoring your hot dogs lightly to help them cook more evenly while still preserving all their juicy goodness. You can also take your hot dogs to the next level with this tip from Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud: quickly sear your hot dogs in oil, then place them on top of a layer of dry and fresh rosemary and thyme on the grill and serve with buttered buns. Plain or elevated, how to you plan to enjoy your hot dog this 4th of July is up to you.