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Elevate a Basic Barbecue Menu

Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce on a hot dog

Don’t want to plan a complicated menu for your Labor Day cookout? I hear ya. While I love to plan elaborate meals for friends and family, sometimes I just want to keep things simple. If you want to serve hamburgers and hot dogs, go right ahead. But, know how you can easily elevate those barbecue basics? With toppings!

Fran Murray shared her Dad’s BBQ Sauce that has just the right amount of bite.

“My husband loves to experiment in the kitchen with a few things and BBQ is one of them,” reveals Fran. “I finally got him to measure and write down his recipe for homemade BBQ sauce.”

This sauce starts with store-bought BBQ sauce and jazzes it up. The final result is sweet, tangy, a bit spicy, and delicious. Add it to your burger, along with a slice of melty cheese, for a fantastic burger.

In the Test Kitchen, we put together a Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Burger Sauce that I use all the time.

Ketchup and mustard can get boring on a burger. This sauce has the tangy flavor of sun-dried tomato mixed with fresh basil and garlic. Easy to make and full of flavor, it will liven up your grilled burgers.

Kathleen Evans’ (Avondale, AZ) Hatch Green Chili Sauce could be drizzled over burgers or hot dogs.

“Hatch green chilies are from New Mexico and add flavor with spice,” explains Kathleen. “The darker green, toward red, the hotter.”

There is nothing like hatch green chilies. Roasted, skinned, and transformed into a sauce they are irresistible.

This sauce is bright with flavor. It has just the right amount of spice and savoriness. If you like things with a little heat, definitely add this sauce to your menu.

Catherine Cappiello Pappas (Amityville, NY) thinks her Hot Dogs With Onion and Tomato Relish “is a great way to jazz up a summer classic” and I couldn’t agree more.

These are no ordinary hot dogs to yawn over. If you’ve ever wondered how to make a gourmet hot dog at home, this is it. The relish is so simple to make and tastes amazing. It’s spicy, sweet, and zesty.

“This recipe was created by my mom,” shares Gloria Monroe (Paris, TN). “It is very old and very delicious and makes a plain hot dog come to life! Better than any of the expensive Coney topped hot dogs I had from street vendors during my many travels in different areas of the country.”

Wow, this Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce is delicious. Super easy to prepare, the sauce is mildly sweet with hints of chili flavor in every bite. Your family and friends will keep requesting hot dogs, just for this sauce.

Creating special toppings for hot dogs and hamburgers is an easy way to jazz up a basic menu. Your guests will never guess how easy they were to make. I hope everyone has a lovely Labor Day weekend and Happy Pinching!