Hamdog Test Kitchen

We discovered the legend of the “Hamdog” on the interweb, and realized we had to attempt it. Since we can’t afford to head down to Georgia or wherever to go to the one restuarant that makes the damn things, we took the list of ingredients and a description (hot dog, wrapped in beef, deep-fried, covered in chili, cheese, fried eggs, bacon, and a handful of shoestring fries, all on a hoagie roll) and went to town. Below are the results from our own Test Kitchen, in preparation for Superbowl XL.

Hamdog Illustration

We tested both traditional hot dogs and brats, to see which tasted best at the center our meaty tootsie-pop. The answer: hot dogs, hands-down. Brats end up just bland.

Hamdog Illustration

Dave broke with the recipe and made three different kinds of beefwrap, so we could test their respective deliciousnesses. Note the neat paper labels denoting different mixtures, like place settings at a meaty, meaty wedding. On the left is a mix of 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground italian sausage, with spicing as desired (in this case, many spices); in the middle, the same meat mixture without spicing; and on the right, 100% ground beef.

Each of the test hamdogs are 1/4 pound of meat mixture over half a dog or brat, following the original recipe which, in one of its few specifics, refers to a 1/2 pound hamburger patty over a full-sized hot dog.

Hamdog Illustration

The winning combination, determined after an unhealthy amount of taste-testing: spiced beef and sausage mixture, with hot dog.

Hamdog Illustration

The key to making the hot dog and meat patty stay together in the deep-fryer is to roll the dog in flour. Who knew? Without this, the meats will separate when they hit the boiling grease.

Hamdog Illustration

Prepare your flattened patty to wrap around the dog. Dave calls this “the meat hammock.”

Hamdog Illustration

Make sure the meat gets all around the dog!

Hamdog Illustration

Ta-da! You’re ready for battering. Battering, you say?

Hamdog Illustration

Hell yes, battering. The recipe is simplicity itself (taken from www.fishermansexpress.com): 12 ounces light beer, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp paprika, poured into a bowl and whipped until it’s as frothy as you can make it. We used closer to 15 ounces of beer and still never got it “frothy,” but maybe a step less solid than pancake batter.

Hamdog Illustration

After fully coating the hamdog in batter– and be warned, this process feels unclean, in the same way that portions of “The Exorcist” are unclean– roll it around in some more flour until it’s covered.

Hamdog Illustration

Starting to look good.

Hamdog Illustration

Throw the messy wad into a pan holding 1 1/2 or 2 inches of hot oil, and watch the show. Originally we overheated the oil a bit, which we figured out by all the smoke. Don’t do that.

Hamdog Illustration

After 12 to 15 minutes (turn it every so often so that the sides get equally covered), pull it out and towel it off. The hamdogs may look done after about 6 minutes, but trust us, the meat inside ain’t. The half-dogs ended up about the size of large potatoes, and once you get through the delicious, tempura-like exterior, yummy meat awaits. We got some boxed chili to simulate real, non-boxed chili, and recommend it highly as a dipping sauce.

Hamdog Illustration

Now that the Test Kitchen has served its purpose, we’ll give the real thing a shot on Sunday, including all the fixins, and hopefully document that too.

Update: Click here for Hamdog: The Final Answer (as told in pictures)

8 Responses to “Hamdog Test Kitchen”

  1. Wife of a brewer Says:

    Visit Wife of a brewer

    Superbowl XL is right. Maybe XXL.

  2. Dave Selden Says:

    Visit Dave Selden

    A co-worker made the hamdog from our article last night. Perhaps we should add some kind of disclaimer about how we’re not responsible for coronary health of people who eat these?

    He did not, however, add bacon, cheese, fried egg, chili or grilled onions. Whew. Only “extremely dangerous,” as opposed to “certainly lethal.”

  3. Bruce Says:

    Visit Bruce

    By the way – did a little Web research on the Hamdog… no surprise it shows up in a USA Today article on strokes….


    What’s more, I also found the Luther burger, which takes a cheeseburger and substitutes 2 Krispy Kreme donuts in place of a bun. I look forward to this addition to the BS Brewing test kitchen.


  4. ahreno Says:

    Visit ahreno

    Hey, Ryan showed me this site… One thing, those aren’t brats… they are imitation brats. You should try it with Johnsonville Beer Brats… boil them up in some Miller High Life and a cut up onion… I guarantee they won’t come in below a hotdog…

    nice site, nice recipe!

  5. Dave Says:

    Visit Dave

    We were concerned the brats wouldn’t cook all the way through (adding trichynosis to the list of potential death-causers), so we went with a smoked brat, but I forget which kind. Probably whatever brand has the highest fat/cholesterol combo.

  6. Josh Mitchell Says:

    Visit Josh Mitchell

    I’ve been to Mulligan’s, and I’ve seen the original hamdog live. I wasn’t brave enough to attempt it (or the Luther Burger, for that matter), but their chili cheese fries are pretty damn good.

    And I’m also curious if the Dan Painter here is the Dan Painter who graduated from Carleton in ’97…

  7. Discuss Cooking – Things you shouldn’t eat…… Says:

    Visit Discuss Cooking – Things you shouldn’t eat……

    […] with and eat. There is the Luther Burger. And of course the Hamdog, and here are details on making your own Hamdog. Just looking at those will make your cholesterol […]

  8. Anon Says:

    Visit Anon

    Made the hamdog tonight, Mulligan’s style. All you taste is the chili. Also had our oil too hot on the first attempt. Second one was better but the flavors just weren’t there. I’m much rather just eat a bacon cheese burger.

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