Awesome Coney Sauce

Andy Anderson !


I love a good hotdog, and one covered in Coney sauce is even better.

Okay, I know that there are a lot of Coney sauce recipes out there in the wide world; and, although people associate Coney with Coney Island, the original Coney sauce came about in the Detroit area in the early part of the last century. It then spread to the New York area, and parts of Canada. Way back then; hotdogs served with this sauce were called “Michigan’s.”


★★★★★ 4 votes

20 Min
3 Hr
Stove Top


  • 3 lb
    finely ground sirloin
  • 1 1/2 c
    cold water, or beef stock
  • 8 oz
    tomato sauce, plain
  • 6 Tbsp
    chili powder
  • 3 medium
    onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp
    garlic, minced, or 1 teaspoon powder
  • 1 tsp
    hot sauce (franks)
  • 1 tsp
    salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp
    black pepper, freshly ground

How to Make Awesome Coney Sauce


  1. Chef’s Note: There are two secrets to the traditional sauce: a minimum of ingredients, and the cut of the ground beef. As one vendor I talked to on Coney Island said to me: If you want to add extra onions, mustard, beans, whatever… Go for it, but the sauce is the sauce, pure and simple (a man of few words).

    In truth, keeping the ingredients to a minimum makes this an ideal sauce for a variety of things: For example, it’s an excellent sauce for a chili/cheese burger.
  2. Start by finely chopping the onions.

    Chef’s Tip: The easiest way to do this is to use the large holes on a box grater. In addition, when you grate an onion, it will release a lot of moisture from the ruptured cell walls, and I usually pick up some of that excess liquid by laying the grated onion on a few sheets of paper towels.
  3. Have your other ingredients close at hand.
  4. Add the cold water (or stock) to a skillet, and then add the grated onions, and the ground beef.

    Chef’s Note: This ground sirloin is not your typical grind… it’s called a triple grind by your butcher. What I usually do is take regular grind and put it into my food processer for a couple of spins. The result is a very finely ground beef, and that is one of the secrets of this sauce.
  5. Chef’s Historical Note: According to the historical record, the recipe used ground beef heart, which is then ground to a consistency of fine-ground beef… not ground sirloin.
  6. Simmer the onion and beef over medium-to-medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked, and the onions are soft, about15 minutes.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients, and slow simmer, uncovered, until it thickens, about 2 to 3 hours.

    Chef's Tip: I like Maxine's chili powder, but it's hot, so I usually use only 4 tablespoons. Actually, the chili powder will really make this sauce...

    Chef's Note: If it begins drying out, add a bit of water, or broth.
  8. Chef's Tip: If you are using beef stock, as opposed to plain water, then you might want to leave out the additional salt.
  9. Well, that’s about it… get yourself a dog or two, and have at it. What are you waiting for…
  10. One more thing: If you are a purest, and you want the “real” experience, then you need the right hotdog, and that’s from the Koegel Meat Company in Flint, Michigan.

    Keep the faith, and keep cooking...

Printable Recipe Card

About Awesome Coney Sauce

Course/Dish: Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American
Hashtags: #sauce #coney #hotdog

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