Cincinnati Chili Dogs

Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs

Native Buckeyes pledge allegiance to this dog. Pile on the all-beef chili, heady with chocolate, cinnamon, and other spices, with abandon. The finishing touches are fundamental: yellow mustard, diced sweet onion, and lots of shredded cheddar cheese. Unless you're a pro at eating one, you may want to grab a knife and fork -- or a bib.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup chopped white onion (from 1 onion), plus more for serving

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 3 cloves)

  • 1 pound 85 percent-lean ground beef, preferably grass-fed

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 can (8 ounces) low-sodium tomato sauce

  • 1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 6 all-beef franks

  • 6 long potato rolls, such as Martin's, split

  • Yellow mustard, for serving

  • 4 ounces finely shredded sharp cheddar (2 cups), for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden in places, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds more. Add ground beef and season with salt. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, breaking into bite-size pieces and stirring occasionally, until meat is browned in places and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in cocoa, cinnamon, and allspice; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato sauce, 1 cup water, vinegar, Worcestershire, and chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and darkened slightly, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.

  2. Meanwhile, bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add franks, reduce heat to low, and simmer until plump and hot, about 5 minutes. Drain franks and place in rolls. Top each with chili, sprinkle with onion, drizzle with mustard, and top with cheese. Serve immediately.

    cincinnati chili dogs
    Armando Rafael
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