Chili Dogs

I was visiting at my daughter’s house for a few minutes one day last week when my grandson, Gavin (5), came and stood silently beside me. He was was just standing there close to me looking somewhat pensive. Gavin is generally NOT at a loss for words and I know him well enough to know that when he is quiet and is giving me a certain ‘look’, he has something on his mind.

Finally he spoke.  “Mom-mom? I know what kind of pet I want,” he said quietly. Knowing how Gavin’s taste in critters runs, I was expecting to hear something like ‘a tarantula’ or ‘an albino boa constrictor’ or even ‘a girl praying mantis so that she can lay eggs in the fall and I can raise the babies.’  I did NOT expect to hear, “I want a miniature wiener dog.”

Yes, I laughed and yes, his feelings were hurt. By way of a soft pleading, Gavin went on to say, “I saw this man walking a miniature wiener dog in the park and he was so cute and I want one really bad.”

Oh my gosh, it was all I could do to not get up and start calling around to find a miniature wiener dog. I’m a cat lover myself, but one look at Gavin’s pathetic little face and suddenly I was willing for my daughter to become a proud dog owner. Did you get how I said that?

Anyway, the moment passed and the adults in the room went on talking about this and that. A few minutes later, I saw Gavin standing by the end of the couch where his mother was seated. As soon as he saw that several of us were looking at him, he began to sob pathetically. “Gavin! What’s wrong, honey?” my daughter asked.

I hope you’re ready for this because here it comes, the ultimate manipulation: “I want a miniature wiener dog!”, he wailed. “If I don’t soon get a pet I’ll forget that I ever even wanted a pet and I don’t want to EVER forget that I wanted a pet!!!!”…{insert much dramatic 5 year old sobbing here}.

After that little display I lost all of my grandmotherly sympathy, although I did feel somewhat sad that Gavin wouldn’t be getting a pet any time soon. When my husband got home from work I told him about the incident. He reminded me that a co-worker used to raise miniature dachshunds and talked about how cute they were, even showing me pictures of them. A measure of guilt started to creep back in and the thought that maybe we ought to get a dog to keep at our house for the boys started to play around in my mind. Then John delivered the final decision making statement, “Yeah, I think they used to sell them for around $1500…”.

Whew! So glad to be able to put that bothersome piece of guilt to rest. Ain’t no way I’d spend $1500 on a dog before I have a new kitchen or fix up the house or replace our aging automobiles. No stinking way. I LOVE it when guilt gets a kick in the pants!

In honor of Gavin’s dream, however, I decided to do a post on chili dogs. When I was little, there was a complete dive of a place on the outskirts of our small South Carolina town where my mom would sometimes stop and buy us chili dogs. Owing to the LARGE amount of grease in the chili, they made me sick every time I ate one of them. Every time. But I just couldn’t help myself. I liked the flavor of the chili and the queasiness was the price I had to pay in order to be able to eat one of those chili dogs.

There are no worries about grease in these chili dogs, though. I used a low fat ground beef which helped to make this recipe perfect. So, make yourself a couple of these wiener doggies, eat them with a fork if you have to. When I was first testing out the chili, I gave John a taste of it. He gave it a two eye bulge, one moan, and three lip smacks. In translation, that means he liked it a lot.

Chili Dogs

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'


    For the Chili:
  • 1 pound ground beef (I used a low fat ground beef)
  • 1 medium onion, small diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili powder, per your personal preference
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • For the Chili Dogs:
  • 6-8 hot dogs of choice, boiled, grilled, or fried
  • hot dog buns, toasted if desired
  • yellow mustard
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • finely chopped onions


  1. Put ground beef, diced onion, and minced garlic in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse the meat mixture several times until the meat is smooth. When the meat cooks, it will break apart into very small crumbles which is exactly what you want to happen.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the beef-onion-garlic mixture for two or three minutes. Stir frequently to keep meat broken up.
  3. Add the chili powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper and continue to cook for several more minutes until the beef and onions are cooked through. Stir frequently.
  4. Add the tomato paste, water, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and apple cider vinegar. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Set a lid slightly ajar on the skillet and continue to simmer over low heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring as needed. When the chili has thickened to your preference remove from heat.
  5. To assemble chili dogs--place hot dogs in the buns. Squirt some mustard down one side of the hot dog. Spoon chili over hot dog and mustard. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and finely chopped onions.


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  1. says

    These chili dogs look irresistible! I hope they appeased poor Gavin’s desire for a dog. they certainly would mine. 🙂 We are in the midst of puppy hunting here… we finally decided on getting a dog after two years. Hope you’re having a great weekend! ~ Ramona

  2. says

    beautiful recipe and website. i have always ate these at dairy queen in arizona but never thought about making them even thou we bbq

    best wishes

  3. says

    Keep your eyes open! We recently adopted a mini wienie/spaniel mix from our local shelter. She was so small that they kept her in the Cat cages. Her name is Dottie and she looks exactly like the photo in your post, color and all. Another thought is look for local wienie dog rescues. Potty training has been a nightmare, but she is a great dog, very loving and loyal and full of playful energy.

  4. says


    Thanks so much for linking this delicious recipe up to Creative Thursday link party. My husband LOVES chili dogs so I’ll be trying this recipe later this week.

    I can’t wait to see what you link up this week. Have a great day.


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