Thursday, June 11, 2009

dirty water dogs

  • 1 package of good quality hot dogs (Nathan's or Sabrett)

Fill up your crock pot about halfway with water, place dogs in and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

The dish: There aren't many things better than spotting the familiar yellow and blue umbrella resting on the top of a Winnebago or trailer on the side of the road. Like few other things in my life, the sight conjures up a Pavlovian reflex in me where I flick on my turn signal and slow my car down so as not to kick up a cloud of dust in the undoubtedly gravel parking area. No matter where I'm headed to or coming from I ALWAYS stop and try a dog, eager to see each vendor's take on the American classic. So if you're like me, cooking dogs at home can be a bit of a challenge as the bar is set pretty high. People typically use one of three methods to cook dogs at home;

  1. they fry them
  2. they grill them
  3. they boil them

The first two don't involve any H2O, so not replicating a good dirty water dog shouldn't come as a surprise, but the third always left me scratching my chin (what's left of it after all those dogs). I use the same brand, and yet mine come out mealy and with broken skin. Then it hit me (cue clouds parting), what's the first thing your town has you do after a water main break? You boil your water to make sure it's safe to drink. Obviously, if boiling water makes it clean, using it to cook a perfect dirty water dog makes about as much sense as grilling or frying them. The guy (or gal, as in the case of Nick's Hot Dogs, best in New Windsor/ Newburgh area) under that yellow and blue umbrella doesn't have a pot of boiling water, but rather a reservoir of warm water that the dogs sit in awhile. Using the crock pot produces the exact same effect and the taste will transport you to the shoulder of the road or a busy avenue sidewalk or wherever you eat your favorite dirty water dog.


  1. When you get a chance -- see if you can seek out Temple Hill Dogs from Temple Hill meatpacking. Not as good as Sabretts, but still delicious. (and somehow, the "buying local" glow makes up for it) I think they sell them at Royal Meats.

    If you are feeling particularly.. extravagent, go to a German Pork Store and get their franks. Also, their bratwurst is to die for...of course we had the bratwurst taste test (was that last year) so you know that.

  2. Maybe we should do a hotdog taste-off this year!!

  3. Bring up the suggestion at the 1500 block party organizational meeting coming up Thursday night. A hot dog cook-off / taste test could be fun.

    And those beans with the dogs sounds like a winning combo.