Foil Wrapped Hot Dogs – Yes or No?

by · 35 comments

Thank You Vets!

Sorry this is a day late. Been working on something really big. Some of you know what I’m talking about. Shhh…

Steve,  I live in Wisconsin and our winters here can be brutal both with cold and snow. I would like to continue selling dogs through winter and just wondering if any other Doggers precook their dogs on their cart, wrap in tin foil and keep in a warmer or their cart cooler. Maybe sell them that way rather than trying to keep moving dogs from boiling water to steam pan and maintaining a constant temperature when cold outside.

I see they do that a lot at ballgames and I am not sure if it diminishes from the quality or how long the dogs can last wrapped up like that.  I also plan on marketing myself in the winter more to businesses using the same method, maybe even delivering the product with a minimum dollar purchase.

Nobody likes to leave their warm office or workplace for lunch when it is -20 degrees.  I would include packets of ketchup, mustard, relish, etc. on the side and would have to work out some other packaging method for onions, tomatoes, etc.

If any of  the other Doggers have tried this or some other method please post on your website.  I don’t want to get into modifying my cart if possible and I don’t want to build one just for winter.

Thanks.  JohnnyDogg

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Hey Johnny,

I really like your idea. I’ve never done it that way, but it sounds like a great way to penetrate a new market while giving yourself some great exposure and building a bigger customer base for next spring.

Let’s see what our friends have to say in the comments…

-Steve

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam Schwartz

Hi Johnny,

It’s getting pretty cold in Reno and we are brainstorming about how to keep a booming winter time business going here as well.

When my kids were little, once a month we had a hot dog day at school. A group of moms would gather in my kitchen and we would cook hundreds of hot dogs, put them in foil bags (The dogs were not very hot by the time the kids got them, but they didn’t care) and cart them down to the school. The kids not only LOVED a break from the normal sack lunches, they looked forward to these special days. These lunches were prepaid so we knew how many dogs to prepare and we always made extra for kids who wanted seconds.

Perhaps office workers would also look forward to their hot dog day! Instead of waiting for individuals or small groups to contact you, how about going to office managers and setting up their own recurring hot dog day? You may be able to set up a few every day ~ every day of the week!

Looking forward to hearing about more modern ways to keep hot dogs HOT long enough to serve in an office building.

Thanks,
Pam
Matty’s Hot Dogs, Reno

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Big Mike

I use foil sheets 9 x 10 3/4 they are alot cheper in price I pay about $6.00 for a box of 500 sheets, then they can use it if to catch the mess from the hot dog. Makes a nice little table cover

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Allan

Hey Johnny, remember all the drivin movie theatre’s used to sell hot dogs like that, in the end, it’s a consumer thing, when its 20 below zero it is what it is. Best of luck let us know

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RON / Kingman, az.

I’ve had dogs this way and they tasted fine. good luck

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Jack's Last Stand

Try this: Place hot dog & bun in foil bag with 1oz or 2 oz soufflé cup of chili (if ordered). Then packets of condiment as ordered in a lunch bag with the person’s name, their order and cost written on the outside. Place the orders for the location in a 100 qt cooler to be delivered.
Work out an arrangement with the businesses to email or tweet the order to you and you respond with the cost. Have everyone pay one person (receptionist) and you drop off the lunches and pick up your money. Don’t forget to put a little something in for the receptionist now and then.
If necessary, you could put a heating device that runs on 12 volts in the cooler and run the cord out the drain. You may have to splice the cord.
It may not be as fresh and tasty as right at your cart but no different than them taking it back to work to eat. Getting warm food delivered without having to go outside is always welcome in the winter.

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Fran

Just wanted to remember all our dedicated military men and women today, the veterans who have fought to defend our freedoms in the past and our deceased military who gave the ultimate sacrifice-their lives to defend our freedom to create these entrepreneural businesses we have so chosen to build. May God bless them all-and America!

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Gregory

Well, I live in Texas. The Central part of Texas only seems to have -20 weather for a very short while. Maybe a month at best!
However Johnny, your idea sounds like a pretty good idea. The idea with the onions and bell peppers and cheese and such, can be put into those little zip lock baggies. The kind that kids use for their lunches and such. They are about one fourth of a regular bag size. Plus, you can just zip them closed.Or, you want to make hotdogs already made with that stuff on there too! Then, wrap them in foil. Have serveral different kinds then.

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Gregory

Hey Steve, have you guys ever thought of serving hot drinks with your dogs? Use a large coffee maker to just boil hot water in and then sell powered coco mix or apple cider mix, and put it in an 8 oz. paper coffe cup with handles? I think you maybe able to get about a dollar for each.

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Ron Nance

For around $150 you can purchase a 40 quart powerchill hot/cold Thermoelectric Cooler from Coleman. It plugs right into a cigarette lighter with a 12 volt adapter… I was fortunate enough to pick one up at a yard sale for $10… They will cool thing to 4o degrees below ambient tempatures… so if it is -20 I guess that means it is -60 inside… but if it is 100 degrees then it is 6o degrees inside. Wouldn’t want to trust it on a hot day for keeping cold foods cold, but it might help cool off your extra soda cans before you put in your cooler… nothing melts ice faster than a hot can. When heated… it will get to about 140 degrees above the ambient tempature. It might help keep things hot for you… You can find all the specs on the coleman websith… Good luck!

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Ron Nance

Remind me to proof read. Sorry!

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brian

never done it but convience stores, ball parks and theaters do it and I personally enjoy them most of the time. I like the super-steamed bun when it gets so soft and doughy. ??? I would imagine in some of those cases they have been wrapped up for up to a few hours for sure.

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Roger B. Vandevert

I am going to try it…I like the idea.

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Tom

I’ve been served Hot Dogs wrapped this way and like the idea if I am taking them back to my seat or somewhere else. It usually signals to me that the dog is not that hot anyhow and the wrapper then becomes a disposal problem. For the most part when I dine at a cart I usually eat the dog right then and there. I especially enjoy a dog wrapped in wax paper as it can act as a suppliment to a napkin.

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Manpa Group

I don’t think I ever had a “bad” hot dog that was packaged in a foil bag.
Go for it my friend.

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Esteban Guzman, Stevie's Red Hot Wienies

I’ve wrapped my dogs in aluminum before, fresh out of the boiler and took them to my workplace for lunch. I also took all my condiments and let the customers “fix it” themselves. Of course they were pre-ordered and charged one set price for them. They came out delicious and everyone loved them! I haven’t done it in a while but I might soon as I’m getting a lot of requests for my wienies! Don’t know if this helps but I hope it does! Good luck!

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R. Matthews

I would think that after a little while, the bun may get a little soggy. I’m not sure but, I remember as a kid, the drive-in theatres sold food in that fashion so, it may work. Why not look at car dealerships or home improvement stores?

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R. Matthews

Sorry the addy was wrong. It’s bobum1056@yahoo.com

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steve

Thank you Veterans. You are my heroes!
-Steve

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SGT D.zz

Johnny, If I recall the way these ballparks and other places that wrap their food in foil first cook it, wrap it, then place them under a heat lamp to keep the temp up. Maybe you could devise a holding bin of sorts with a lamp. You would need power for this ie. a generator or a plug in if it is available to you to use.

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Jim (Weiners on water)

I have purchased dogs wrapped in foil. They still taste good , but are not always as warm as I like.
But on a cold day even warm food is good. The only thing is the bun gets soggy if it sits to long.
Hats off to Fran , Steve & all of you for remembering all our vets & the sacrifice they made for us.
1st mate Jim.

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Big Mommas Hot Dog House

I use chafer pans when serving 100 or more guest and wrap in foil. It keeps them HOT and, best of all, leaves me by the cart for specialty dogs! Pack snow in tupperware for tomatoes,etc. Don’t forget that customers like to make their own! That frees you up and you can offer them more if they serve themselves. I say yes! Chafer pans and aluminum have brought me MORE business. It’s not that cold in San Antonio but 60 here sells the dogs!

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Esteban Guzman, Stevie's Red Hot Wienies

I ran into that problem, where the buns got soggy by the time my orders were picked up so I started wrapping the wienies in foil and the buns in deli paper, that way it would get steamed but not too soggy! Perfect solution!

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dogs on the run

I use Nathans foil wrappers when I serve my dogs I do not bother to close or roll the dog up. Since being open the buyer can then put on what they want and go on their way. It really helps when I get real busy, like around a 100 dogs an hour with no help!!! Keeps one busy that is for sure.

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maurice

Hi
Can you please tell me where I can purchase Nathans foil wrap for the hotdogs.
Thanks

TikiJava

Cold is not a problem here in Hawaii…but in Colorado it was a whole other issue. I found one of the pizza warming bags (like pizza is delivered in) work great and even bought one that uses 12v to keep things extra warm(easy and cheap to find on Ebay). Worked well for holding large orders as well. The foil sheets from Costco worked great around the paper “dog sleds” to hold in the heat…. as too making the buns to soft, when it’s cold outside the dogs seem to be eaten in less bites and faster, never hanging around long enough to get mushy

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Paul at Hot Diggidy Dog

I do a flea market every Saturday. I usually have dogs wrapped in foil squares ready for the busiest time. That is how COSCO serves their dogs. I don’t get any complaints.

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Grateful Dawg, Lafayette, LA

I serve my dogs in hot dog boats, and when the customer wants it (them) to go, I wrap the dog and the boat with foil…If they tell me when they order that it is to go, I may omit the boat…My dogs go from steamer to grill to bun…I apply chili and cheese, and the dog is handed to the customer, who enjoys getting creative with our 18 fresh free condiments…For little kids, who do not want more than catsup usually, I let the parent or I do it real quick…

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Bada Bing Mobile Hot Dog Cart/Dennis

Foil works GREAT!!!!!! I live in northern Calif close to the Orgeon border and waiting for the snow to fly. I take the cart where the kids sled. I did this last year and sold hotdogs in foil,hot chocolate and chili and did really great. Also I work the Christmas Parade and tree lighting….Good luck to all

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Adam @ Dogs in a BUN

These are all Great Suggestions!!
This is my first years owning a cart. I live in MASS and didnt plan on selling in the winter because i didnt think the bussiness would be good. Do you all sell a good amount in the cold weather?

This is my setup check it out and tell me what you think!!

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Gary

Hey John,

I strted doing this on my Regular hotdogs, I tries foil wrap, gets a little too moist, and the foil bag worked better, keepin them just right.

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Bonnie

This was our first day with our cart! It was 24 degrees out there! It was a day of learning. We really struggled to keep things warm. We have wanted to do this for 7 years. We finally got everything together and jumped right in. We have alot to learn!

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Mark S.

I see someone has posted that they serve their hot dogs with Nathans foul wraps. Where can I find them?

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yvonne dorsey

how can I keep my buns from getting soggy wrap in cushion paper and keep in a hot box for grab and go any suggestions on buns? or foil wrap?

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Steve

It’s all about regulating the amount of steam. Crack the lid open when you are slow and let some of the steam out. You can also put a clean white towel in the bottom of the pan to absorb extra water.

Nancy

Has anyone tried putting the dog in a bun, wrapping it in foil with the end left open and keeping it warm in a crock pot?

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