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Posts Tagged ‘Great Hot Dog Cookoff’

How to Make a Winning Hot Dog

Will Nick's new take on the classic Chili Cheese Dog win him another 1st prize?

After winning the Great Hot Dog Cookoff in 2009, Nick Suarez went on to beat Bobby Flay in an epic Hot Dog Throwdown and hasn’t looked back. This weekend, Nick returns to compete in the 6th Annual Hot Dog Cookoff in Brooklyn, NY with his newest creation, a riff on the classic chili cheese dog. Nick shares his secrets for building a winning hot dog recipe.

Yesterday I shared my strategy for how to win a cookoff. Today I’m revealing my secrets for building a winning hot dog recipe.

One of the keys to success is creating a balance of flavor in your dish. You must create the perfect bite. Apply these tips for a cookoff, or the dogs at your next family BBQ.

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How to Win a Cookoff

In 2009, Nick Suarez set out to win the Great Hot Dog Cookoff, an annual tradition in Brooklyn, NY. His dog was an all-beef frank topped with bacon, fried corn, cilantro, cotija cheese and hot sauce. After taking the top prize, Nick shared the winning recipe on Grill It with Bobby Flay, then was challenged by Bobby to a Hot Dog Throwdown, which Nick won. Two years later, Nick is back to compete in this weekend’s 6th Annual Hot Dog Cookoff with his newest creation, a riff on the classic chili cheese dog. Nick shares his secrets for winning.

Having competed in various cookoffs and hosted even more, I’ve tried to pinpoint a formula for winning. While preference is a subjective thing — I’ve noticed that audience members tend to vote for more homestyle, comfort dishes, while judging panels tend to prefer dishes with refined, nuanced flavors — I ultimately believe you can win any cookoff with any dish by keeping two things in mind. I always say that winning cookoffs is 50% logistics and 50% flavor balance.

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