Chili Cheese Dogs or Chili Cheeseburgers? Have both!
Nothing says summer in North Carolina like a classic chili cheese dog made with grilled hot dogs, except for a classic chili cheeseburger made with a juicy grilled burger. Which is better may be a great Memorial Day or Fourth of July debate, but why should you have to choose? Our chili recipe and tips for grilling dogs and burgers lets you have them both.
Chili cheese dogs and chili cheeseburgers are Carolina classics with garnishes of mustard, onions and creamy coleslaw. It all starts with the perfect grilled dog or burger.
We like to grill our dogs at a medium-high temperature, preferably over charcoal, for 7 to 10 minutes for average-size dogs, up to 15 minutes for jumbo dogs. You want to make sure the hot dogs are heated through. The dogs come off the grill slightly charred and a little crisp on the outside but so juicy inside.
For cooking burgers, check out our 10 Tips to Make The Best Burgers on the Grill.
Now let's talk chili. No beans! Lots of ground beef. And it has to be full of flavor, with a little bite. Sweet, spicy Duplin Gourmet Muscadine Pineapple Habanero Salsa and a homemade chili seasoning blend give our hot dog chili a down-home Carolina flavor that also works on burgers. Some folks don't understand why North Carolinians need to put beef chili on top of a beef patty. Once they taste it, they get it. The rich, spicy chili is the double-meat, extra-flavor whammy every respectable burger needs.
OK, now it's time to build these dogs and burgers. First off, we bump up the mustard from the standard yellow to the more complex Duplin Gourmet Muscadine Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce full of spicy, sweet and tangy notes. We spread a generous load on toasted buns before laying on our dogs or burgers.
Next comes a mountain of that chili, followed by finely grated cheddar or sharp hoop cheese. Hoop cheese is what we love to grab as a snack at country stores. It's a little milder than supermarket cheddar and holds together when grated. We finely grate the cheese because it seems to cling to the chili better. Make sure the cheese is cold when you grate it and keep it chilled until it's time to put the cheese on the dogs or burgers.
The final touches are onions (if you like them) and creamy coleslaw to tame all the spice.
Pair chili cheese dogs and burgers with sweet to mid-sweet Duplin wines like Scuppernong Blush, Hatteras Red, Carolina Red, Black River Red, Magnolia and Muscadine Moscato.