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A hot dog bun is a type of soft bun shaped specifically to contain a hot dog or another type of sausage. The original purpose of this food was to make it possible to eat hot dogs without burning one’s hands.[1] There are two basic types: top-loading New England-style hot dog buns[2] or "lobster buns" in some areas, and side-loading buns, common in the rest of the United States, also called American style buns. There are also regional variations such as the poppy seed adorned buns of Chicago.

Hot dog bun
Hotdog - Evan Swigart.jpg
A hot dog bun of the side-loading variety containing a hot dog sausage dressed with three common condiments: ketchup, relish, and mustard
Alternative namesSide-loading bun
Place of originUnited States
Main ingredientsFlour, water
VariationsNew England-style hot dog bun

The advantages to a top loader are that it holds the hot dog securely and fits nicely into little three-sided paper boxes. Top loaders are generally baked side by side and torn apart as needed, leaving a flat side surface for grilling; however it is debatable as to whether this is actually an advantage over the U-shaped underside (similar to a submarine hull) of side loaders which are able to fit snugly between grills, providing deep heating to the sausage.



Hot dog historian and professor emeritus at Roosevelt University Bruce Kraig believes the term "hot dog" was invented in the late 19th century by American observers of German immigrants, who ate sausages on buns. The Americans joked that the sausages looked suspiciously like the Germans' dachshunds.[3]

Charles Feltman invented an elongated hot dog bun on Coney Island in 1871 according to writer Jefferey Stanton.[4]

At the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, in St. Louis, Missouri, a German concessionaire, Antoine Feuchtwanger, served hot sausages called 'frankfurters', after his birthplace, Frankfurt, in Hesse.[5][6] At first he loaned gloves for his customers to hold his sausages. When many were not returned, he asked his brother, who was a baker, to invent a solution. Thus, the hot dog bun was born.[7]

Regional variationsEdit

Split top hotdog buns are popular in New England for lobster rolls and clam sandwiches.

In Chicago, Illinois, where poppy-seed buns are popularly served with Chicago-style hot dogs, the buns are made with high-gluten flour to hold up to steaming.[8]

In Austria, Poland, and throughout Central Europe a "hot dog" is a baguette which is hollowed out by cutting off the end and impaling it on a spike so a sausage can be inserted. In Denmark this variation is known as a "French Hot Dog" because of the use of baguette, and a "French Hot Dog Dressing" which contains Dijon Mustard. Pre-impaled baguettes are specially made for this variety due to its popularity.

Austrian hot dog and sausage

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ [1] "The Evolution of Hot Dogs", May 8, 2003 accessed January 29, 2011.
  2. ^ [2] "New England-style bun, from HoJo’s to homemade", July 2, 2013 accessed February 12, 2014.
  3. ^ National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2012-01-02. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "Straight From The "H" Files: The Hot Dog's True History"], accessed January 29, 2011
  4. ^ Josh Chetwynd in "How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun: Accidental Discoveries and Unexpected Inspirations that shape what we Eat and Drink, 2012.
  5. ^ Allen, Beth; Westmoreland, Susan (ed.) (2004). Good Housekeeping Great American Classics Cookbook. New York: Hearst Books. p. 49.
  6. ^ Snodgrass, Mary Ellen (2004). Encyclopedia of Kitchen History. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn. p. 968.
  7. ^ "History of the Hot Dog", accessed January 29, 2011. Archived September 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Zeldes, Leah A. (2010-07-13). "It takes big buns to hold Chicago hot dogs". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc. Retrieved 2010-07-31.