Carolina “All the Way” Dogs

May 25, 2011

Memorial Day weekend is coming up fast and furious and what better way to celebrate than by firing up some hot dogs and hamburgers for family and friends?  But we’re not talking about any ordinary burgers and franks.  Instead we’ve got VIP blogger Chris “Nibble Me This” Grove taking them all..the…way!

Do you remember the very first time you ever thought to yourself, “Wow, that was the best thing I’ve ever eaten!”?

For me, the first two times both involved being at my grandparents farm near Elizabethtown, NC.  Once was the first time I ever had bbq.  The second time was when I had my first “all the way” burger from Melvin’s (aka The Pool Hall).  The wonderfully greasy burger with its slaw and chili dripping down my 7 year-old hands stamped a memory in my head that has lasted a lifetime.

While “all the way” implies putting everything and the kitchen sink on it, in the Carolinas, it means only four items:  chili, slaw, onions, and yellow mustard.

To make good “all the way” burgers, you need to make a great chili. In the past I have used this A & W clone but I wanted to try a new one this time so I consulted one of my favorite barbecue resources – AmazingRibs.com.  Meathead produces an excellent website, it’s truly a “resource” with its helpful information-packed articles.  It’s what NibbleMeThis wants to be when it grows up.  If you don’t already use AmazingRibs.com, go check it out.

After an email exchange with Meathead, I ended up picking hisAll-Purpose Chili Sauce recipe.  I made it as written and let it simmer for 2 hours while I finished up on the roof.

I fired up my Big Green Egg for the first time since Thursday and grilled a few Lay’s beef hot dogs.

carolina hot dogs on grill

I dressed them up “all the way” but something didn’t seem right….

caroline hotdog with toppings and bun

I know what it is!  It was too neat, you never get an “all the way” dog like this.  They wrap them up, smashing everything together in the paper.

carolina hotdog in wrapping

Ahhhh perfect!

carolina hotdog with chili

Then I grilled burgers.  Normally, I make 1/3rd pound burgers that leave me stuffed.  But Melvin’s Burgers are smaller guys, that’s why I can always eat two.  So I carefully weighed out the burgers in 4 ounce patties and they turned out to be the right size.  I used 1.5 lbs of 80/20 ground chuck, 1 egg, salt & pepper, and 1 piece of toast ground up.  I use toast to make bread crumbs instead of canned ones because it’s more moist and I think it gives a better burger texture.

carolina burger with cheese and onions

The dogs and burgers were exceptionally good.  Everyone loved the chili sauce so I think it will be my new favorite.  The cinnamon was a unique addition and it brings a fantastic note to the chili, I wouldn’t have thought of adding it to chili.

It feels good to be grilling again!

Related Topics: Carolina | Chili | Chili Burger | Chili Dog | Chili Dogs | Chris Grove | Hot Dogs | Melvin's | Memorial Day | Nibble Me This | North Carolina

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