Pickle Hot Dog Buns Could Be This Summer's Secret Barbecue Smash Hit

Recently, pickles have experienced a remarkable resurgence in popularity. Grocery chains like Trader Joe's began selling pickle blend seasoning, pickle-flavored chips and popcorn, dill pickle hummus, and pickle-flavored corn dogs.  Then we started seeing the TikTok posts for the pickle hotdog bun — not only delicious but touted as a keto-friendly way to eat your hot dog. 

Armed with this pickle knowledge, Vlasic Pickles even decided to run a pickle promotion in time for the summer 2023 barbecue season, giving dill lovers a chance to win 25 packs of pickle dogs, along with one of our favorite hot dog brands, Hebrew National, and condiments. Free pickles aside, the trend has certainly exploded online.

Fans on TikTok have been showing love for the pickle dog, with the term getting searched more than 12 million times. The #picklehotdogbun viral challenge is simple: take a pickle and slice it lengthways. After your hot dog is placed inside, top it with your favorite toppings. Many of the posts on TikTok actually cut a piece out of the top so that the hot dog can lay in the cut-out. While mustard was the most common topping, one TikToker who tried the creation with sriracha and hot fire raved, "Oh I get it, totally worth it. I thought it would be kind of gimmicky, but this tastes really good with the pickle and the hot dog."

Why people are combining pickles and hotdogs

Pickles and hot dogs may sound like a strange combo, but for many, this food item works. For one, replacing hot dog buns with pickles leads to a low-carb snack, which is perfect for those on a keto diet. Pickles are naturally lower in carbs and also calories than hot dog buns. Meanwhile, the high-fat content of hot dogs is balanced by the acidity of the pickles, which is one of the reasons many think the pairing tastes so amazing. 

Likewise, using pickles as hotdog buns may not seem as outlandish as it seems. Pickle relish has been a mainstay in many hot dog recipes for years. While there are many versions of the ideal hot dog, few would disagree that the Chicago-style hot dog is iconic, and The New York Times describes the proper Chicago hot dog as having sweet pickle relish and a dill pickle spear. So while pickle hot dogs may not be everyone's favorite food, it's certainly not going anywhere. The trend has become a summer hit.