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Crockpot Hot Dog Chili

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Full of flavor, this Crockpot Hot Dog Chili makes an ordinary hot dog extra delicious. Made in the slow cooker, it is the perfect addition to a hot dog bar with toppings, or serving on top of fries or burgers!

platter of hot dogs topped with chili and onions

Crockpot Hot Dog Chili

I have a confession – I don’t like hot dogs (persnickety, remember?) but I do like this chili. It is hearty, flavorful and honestly great on a bun even without a hot dog. Filled with ground beef, ketchup, mustard, and seasonings (it reminds me of my cheeseburger pasta skillet), it is plenty on its own.

Being from Detroit, we are kinda known for our coney dogs (Detroiters – do you prefer American or Lafayette?). The dogs are grilled and then topped with a thin, beef filled chili (no beans!).

This crockpot hot dog chili will do a Detroit coney dog justice – just make sure you grill the hot dogs! If it is too thick for your liking, you can thin it out with additional water or even more ketchup.

overhead shot of 3 hotdogs on a tray topped with chili & onions

Ingredient Notes

Below is a summary of the major ingredients as well as some helpful tips and substitutions. Scroll down for the full recipe card.

GROUND BEEF – Use a lean cut of beef for the best flavor and the least amount of grease. I always use sirloin (93/7%).
TOMATO SAUCE – Make sure you grab sauce and not paste.
KETCHUP & MUSTARD – Use your favorites but these add great flavor to the chili.
WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE – Worcestershire sauce is a bit sour, sweet, and spicy at the same time. If you don’t have any, you could sub balsamic vinegar.
CHILI POWDER – You’ll add chili powder, along with salt and pepper, to give a little kick and season the chili.
ONION – You can use minced onion or onion powder.

overhead shot of ingredients laid out to make chili

Tools found on Amazon to help you

  • Skillet – You’ll start of browning the meat in a skillet on the stove. I’ve had this one for years & have been happy with it. I like that it has a lid.
  • Hamburger Chopper – When you’re browning the meat, you want it to be really small, no large chunks in the chili (unless that’s what you’re into). This little tool is great at breaking the meat apart.
  • Slow Cooker – You’ll need a 6 qt (or larger) slow cooker for the chili. I have had this one for years.

How to make Crockpot Hot Dog Chili

STEP ONE – BROWN THE MEAT: Over medium heat, brown the ground beef with water in a large skillet, making sure to break the meat up into small pieces (unless you want chunky chili).

STEP TWO – MAKE THE CHILI: Add the cooked beef to the bottom of the slow cooker, top with all additional ingredients, and stir until combined.

STEP THREE – SLOW COOK: Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 2-3 hours.

STEP FOUR – SERVE: Once the chili is done, you can spoon it over hot dogs, fries, or even a burger. Top with diced onions, shredded cheese, diced jalapenos, and/or more ketchup and mustard.

overhead shot of crockpot filled with beef & ketchup

What’s the difference between hot dog sauce & chili?

Hot dog sauce is made with ketchup and is slightly sweeter while chili is thicker with a spicier flavor.

Serving Suggestions

I think setting up a hot dog bar would be a great idea. In addition to the chili, add various toppings like shredded cheese (cheddar sounds delish), diced onions, diced jalapenos, and more condiments like ketchup and mustard.

Alongside the hot dogs, I would serve potato salad, coleslaw, potato chips, macaroni salad, and traditional or sweet potato fries. And brownies, because of course.

How to store it

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. If the chili thickens too much, you can thin it out while reheating with water or additional ketchup.

How long do you cook hot dogs in a crockpot?

If you have two crockpots, you can easily make the hot dogs in one and the chili in another. Per Delish, you’ll stand the hot dogs upright in the slow cooker (however many will fit), turn it to HIGH, and let them cook for 1-2 hours. That would be a great way to serve them at a party or barbecue – feeding hot dogs to a crowd doesn’t get easier.

wooden spoon scooping hot dog chili from crockpot

Stovetop Instructions

If you’re short on time and don’t want to let the chili come together in the slow cooker, you can also make this in a skillet on the stovetop. After browning the meat, add all ingredients to the skillet, stir, and simmer over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Here is another version of stovetop chili sauce for hot dogs.

Need more crockpot recipes? Try these:

Crock Pot Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
Slow Cooker Lasagna
Slow Cooker Chili Recipe
Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Click here for my entire collection of crockpot recipes.

overhead shot of slow cooker filled with hot dog chili

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platter of hot dogs topped with chili and onions

Crockpot Hot Dog Chili

Melissa Williams
Full of flavor, this Crockpot Hot Dog Chili makes an ordinary hot dog extra delicious. Made in the slow cooker, it is the perfect addition to a hot dog bar with toppings, or serving on top of fries or burgers!
4.7 from 100 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 171 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef use a lean cut like 90/10
  • cup water
  • 5 ounces tomato sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder or minced onion

Instructions
 

  • In a medium skillet over medium heat combine the ground beef and water.
  • Make sure to constantly break up the ground beef while it is cooking. You want it as fine as possible.
  • Drain off any remaining water/grease.
  • Add the beef to your slow cooker.
  • Next, add all the remaining ingredients and stir together.
  • Let cook on LOW 2 to 2-1/2 hours.
  • Serve on hot dogs, french fries, or burgers!

Video

Notes

Use a low fat ground beef both for flavor & to keep grease at a minimum (I like sirloin).
Serve with toppings like shredded cheese, minced onion, jalapenos, or mustard.
If you prefer to cook it stovetop, follow the same directions but leave it in a skillet on the stove over medium heat, simmering for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. If the chili becomes too thick, you can thin with water or additional ketchup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 171kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 10gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 463mgPotassium: 291mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 306IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Smy says

    5 stars
    Love this
    Thank you

  2. Mary M. Walmsley says

    OH, MY, GOSH!! This recipe was a God send!! I grew up in Detroit, due to the economy, my husband lost his very lucrative job & as hard as he tried there were no jobs to be found there! So my daughter was living here in Illinois & urged us to come here! I was shocked to learn there was not ONE Coney Island in this town! I’m SOOOO looking forward to making this recipe & finding out how my family likes it!! Stay tuned, I’ll let you know!

    • Melissa Williams says

      My brother found the same when he moved from Metro Detroit to Florida lol
      I hope it stands up for you! It is thicker than many coneys but easily thinned.

  3. Len says

    The best thanks for sharing 100% best food ideas. Thank u

  4. Dwayne says

    Is that 5oz of tomato sauce or is that 15 ounce can of tomato sauce?

  5. Joe Weber says

    can you freeze leftovers?

    • Melissa Williams says

      I haven’t done it but it should freeze fine in airtight containers for up to 3 months.

  6. Jay says

    5 stars
    Looks great can’t wait to try.

  7. Dave says

    3 stars
    Taste like manwich too me.

    • Melissa Williams says

      That’s a bad thing? I’ve never had Manwich.

    • Bj says

      I have not made this yet, but growing up on “Flint style” coney islands, I immediately thought to skip the sugar and if you use ketchup make sure it is not heavily sweetened. My Flint style are not sweet at all, and not saucy, so might just skip the ketchup entirely. Detroit style are a bit sweeter and saucier/thinner…yuck.
      And yes, Melissa, tasting like Manwich is a bad thing. Michigan folks, consider Koegel Vienna hotdogs. Coney Island dogs always snap!

  8. Becky says

    5 stars
    What a easy, simple recipe to make. What is your favorite hot dog to use for this? I struggle picking a good one from so many to choose from. Thanks

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’ll be honest – I don’t like hot dogs (persnickety, right? lol). My husband likes the ones from GFS.

    • Carroll Cleland says

      Try using Nathan’s Franks.

  9. Patty says

    Where does the beef broth come in to play and how much does this make

    • Melissa Williams says

      Did you read the recipe card? There is no beef broth & it makes approximately 8 servings.

  10. Carla says

    5 stars
    We added beans to ours. Had a hot dog and nachos bar set up on our outdoor movie night. Sauce was a big hit. Thank you

    • Melissa Williams says

      Love that idea, thanks for letting me know, Carla!

  11. Michell says

    Just because I can’t find tomato SAUCE in a 5 oz can, is it supposed to be paste, instead? Sounds delicious!

    • Melissa Williams says

      No, you need sauce. It usually comes in an 8 oz can, you just need 5 🙂

  12. Bj says

    I have not made this yet, but growing up on “Flint style” coney islands, I immediately thought to skip the sugar and if you use ketchup make sure it is not heavily sweetened. My Flint style are not sweet at all, and not saucy, so might just skip the ketchup entirely. Detroit style are a bit sweeter and saucier/thinner…yuck.
    And yes, Melissa, tasting like Manwich is a bad thing. Michigan folks, consider Koegel Vienna hotdogs. Coney Island dogs always snap!

    • Melissa Williams says

      This isn’t thin so I think you’ll be ok.

  13. Erminda Ayers says

    I have not tried this yet. I am a Illinois lady and alway got good chili dogs in there. My husband is a southern man and he love chili on his hot dogs but everyone is grease or wet as he calls it. This recipe sound great please email and let me know if there is much liquid or is pretty dry as he calls it.

    • Melissa Williams says

      It’s not overly liquidy (& I always use sirloin so it’s not greasy). Hopefully you can tell the texture from the pics and video.

  14. Nicole says

    3 stars
    Just made this. Good consistency, but definitely smelt like Sloppy Joe’s. I added cumin and it helped a little. I’d use less ketchup and no sugar next time.

  15. Janet Hibbard says

    5 stars
    I think this chili is delicious

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