Monday, July 2, 2012

The Great All-American Burger Dog – USA! USA! USA!

This “burger dog” is far more than a hot dog shaped cheeseburger. It’s a testament to American ingenuity and being close to the right place at the right time. While I’m posting this as a fun, 4th of July grilling idea, my real motivation is to tell this “only in America” story of food stand stardom.

As the story goes, Bill “Burger Bill” Parrish didn’t want to buy two different kinds of buns for his tiny snack stand, which he operated on Lake Merced, near the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Since there’s no such thing as flat, round hot dogs, Bill decided to shape his burgers to fit the hot dog bun, and The City’s most storied cheeseburger was born.

The irresistible and geometrically superior burgers became so popular that golfers at the Olympic Club would send their caddies over to grab as many burger dogs as they could carry. Eventually the very exclusive club offered to let Bill set up his trailer on the course, near the 11th hole, where they’ve been a fixture ever since.

The course is only open to members, so the only way to taste one of these rare beauties is if you’re invited to play as a guest. I’ve had the pleasure twice, and both times the burger experience was just as memorable as the golf. They really are brilliant.

Above and beyond fitting the uni-bun, Burger Bill’s rectangular meat ended up being culinarily superior for all the reasons I brag about in the video. The shape insures a great crust of grill marks, and a perfect meat-to-bun ratio as you eat your way down the length.

With all deference to Mr. Parrish, I’ve added an extra bonus technique of seasoning the inside of the burger before it’s formed. When you add this to the aforementioned attributes, you’re talking about a great, and uniquely American burger experience. I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients per burger dog:
8 oz ground beef (80/20 grind)
1 large hot dog bun
1 slice cheese
salt and pepper to taste

View the complete recipe


Anonymous said...

Over 20 years ago we had a family get together,everybody brought something,one brought ground beef,the other buns,hot dog buns.Nothing to do but make these.Now every time we get together we make these.

Bond Tr4der said...

Chef John, you gotta remember that TIGHTS come DOWN ;-)

So you're looking for stalactites.

tastycajun said...

I see you saw the article about how McDonald's styles a hamburger.

Studer said...

"Since there’s no such thing as flat, round hot dogs"

Well, you *could* take a half-inch thick slice of a big smoked & cooked Lyoner-style sausage and fry it lightly, dress it with ketchup, mustard, and a chunk of a cucumber/pepper relish, and place it in a bun. That'll give you what the Swedes call "parisare" (meaning "someone from Paris"). This random blogpost has a decent photo:

(invented in the fifties, apparently, inspired by a sandwich served on a late flight from Paris to Stockholm).

But the burger dogs looks pretty yummy as well. Happy 4th of July, y'all.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John,

The Burger Dog looks tasty! BTW, what brand of grill do you use? I like the thick cooking grates.


Chef John said...

Weber Q! Thanks!

Matt said...

Big deal, you put a hamburger on a hotdog bun, so what?

Steve said...


As I write this from the Living Hell Known as San Diego, your reference in the posting to "The City" (capital "T," capital "C") made me homesick. Only a true San Franciscan refers to The City as The City.

Axel14222 said...

I had a similar thought. However, around here (Buffalo, New York), we call it a fried bologna (or Irish steak)sandwich.

Anonymous said...

My father and I have been making these for years. We call them 'long neck burgers' and they are a huge hit. Nice video.

Razors Edge said...

This is the kind of recipe we can all be proud of as Americans ! (and Canadians, I might add!) In yo' face Europenos !

LynnieBNC said...

It looks like a round Spamburger! Yum.

Chris K. said...

As Food Wishes go, this one was pretty far off the mark. I'll probably try it anyway... wrapped in bacon.

Mini-hakkeren said...

Must must must... have burger-dog :-)

cookinmom said...

New title...hotburger

Anonymous said...

I think this is an awesome idea! Thank you for the video : ) Hope you had a Happy 4th.

Anonymous said...

The burning question to me is: do they cook faster because of the larger surface area? The perennial problem at a bbq is that hot dogs are less valued than burgers but cook 2-3 times more quickly.

scareschool said...

what other ways can we cook the burger dog cos i dont have the griller?

Anna Berman said...

ScareSchool, great question! Chef John is away on a well deserved vacation, so I will be answering questions meanwhile. If you don't have a grill, you can prepare the burgers in a cast iron skillet or a regular skillet directly on your stove.

You could also broil them in your oven. Good luck!