What You Should Know About The Recipe For Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs

There are regular hot dogs and then there are Nathan's Famous hot dogs. As the name suggests, the dogs are, well, famous for being juicy, meaty, and exactly what you want sandwiched on a fluffy bun and smothered in mustard and ketchup on a hot summer day. Nathan's began as a stand on Coney Island in New York back in 1916, where people lined up for the iconic all-beef franks (which cost just a nickel at the time).

Since then, the hot dog brand has become a household name in the U.S. and is sold at grocery stores all across the country. If you've ever bitten into a Nathan's Famous hot dog, you know they're unlike any other. But what makes them so tasty? Like most cult-favorite foods, it's all about the secret ingredients, which are kept under a tight lock and key. Here's what we know about the Nathan's Famous hot dog recipe.

The recipe has been the same for over 100 years

As the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." That's the rationale behind Nathan's Famous hot dog's secret recipe, which came from founder Nathan Handwerker's wife. It has allegedly remained unchanged since it first started some 100 years ago in 1916. "It's a special formula that we use," Bruce Miller, a longtime Nathan's Famous employee, told the New York Daily News. "It's very important to the flavor. It has a bit of a garlic undertone — a very different flavor from other hot dogs." 

Once the mixture is blended, it's shoved into lamb casings (to give it that notable crunch) and cut to a length of 6 1/2 to 7 inches each. There has been one slight change to the recipe in recent years, however, Nathan's Famous hot dogs are now gluten-free (via Very Well Fit). But fear not — the spice blend and the signature flavor remains exactly the same.