Semi-Homemade Hot Dog Bar

Entertaining does not have to be fancy to be delicious and delightful to your guests. We love having friends over in the summer for a backyard barbecue, and instead of spending hours prepping for a fancy feast, we like to have a really fun menu like this Semi-Homemade Hot Dog Bar. We love that we can cook hot dogs to order and let everyone fend for themselves with the hot dog bar ingredients to make their own meal. We have included suggestions for some of our favorite summer hot dogs below, and also encourage our guests to create their own flavors! If you are really in host and hostess mode, you can write out our ideas below (and some of your own!) to help guide your guests through the hot dog bar. The key to success with a menu like this is to think smart, not hard. You’ll notice that there are some repetitive ingredients amongst the list. We have also “semi-homemade” some of the ingredients, including the bbq pulled pork and chili, which have come from the prepared food section at the grocery store. If you want to make all of the bar toppings from scratch, by all means have at it. But if you don’t have time, you can still pull this off pretty easily. Having repeat and pre-made ingredients helps eliminate a ton of prep time in the kitchen, but doesn’t take away from the fun of the presentation. For reference, we like to plan for 2-3 hot dogs per person when making our ingredient list.

The Hot Dog Lineup:

  1. Asian Slaw Dog: Asian slaw, cilantro, sesame seeds, sriracha ketchup.
  2. The Cincinnati Dog: chili, onion, mustard, cheese.
  3. BLAT Dog: bacon wrapped dog, tomato, arugula, avocado, mayo.
  4. BBQ Pulled Pork Dog: pulled pork, barbecue sauce, everything bagel coleslaw.
  5. Chicago Dog: tomato, mustard, giardinara, sliced dill pickle.
  6. Mexican Dog: avocado (or guacamole), pickled jalapeños, cilantro,

Air Fryer Corn Dogs

This appetizer, “Tom Franks”, is named after this year’s Cecil B. deMille Award winner and all around legend, Tom Hanks. Like Tom Hanks, corn dogs are a classic. To ensure that we are honoring our New Year’s Resolution setting friends, we have chosen to air fry instead of deep frying. We were really happy with how the air fryer crisped up the corn dogs and the best part? No oil. None at all! 

Tom Franks – Air Fryer Jalapeno Corn Dogs with Cholula Ketchup
Makes: 18 mini corn dogs 
Prep Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 23 minutes   

Ingredients For the Franks:

  • 1 package-6- hotdogs (we used Hebrew National)
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 package of corn bread mix (we used Trader Joes)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup of flour

Ingredients For the Condiments:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbs cholula 

Directions: 

  1. Prepare the cornbread by placing the full packet of mix in a bowl. Add one egg, oil, milk and jalapeno; stir to combine. Note that we have doubled the recommended amount of milk than the instructions on the packet.
  2. Chop the hot dogs into thirds.
  3. Scramble the remaining egg and keep in a separate bowl. Pour the flour into a separate bowl. You should have three bowls out at this point, one flour, one scrambled egg and one corn bread mixture.
  4. Assemble the corn dogs by dipping the hot dogs in the flour, scrambled egg and corn bread is that order. Do this for each hot dog and place the hot dogs on your air fryer pan.
  5. Cook the corn dogs on the air fryer setting at 425 degrees for 8 minutes. You should start seeing the corn bread mix turning brown on all sides. 
  6. Prepare the sauce by combining the ketchup and cholula
  7. Serve the corn dogs immediately with the ketchup.