How Ball Park Franks' Brand Director Cooks Hot Dogs At Home - Exclusive

If there's anyone who knows hot dogs, it's Jennifer Dahlgren, the brand director for Ball Park. She recently spoke with Mashed in an exclusive interview, giving us the lowdown on Ball Park's Hot Dog Helmet giveaway, during which the brand gave out 150 helmets outfitted with mustard and ketchup dispensers for easy hot dog topping on the go. However, she also let us in on her top tips for cooking hot dogs.

So what are the essentials for a great grilled dog? She said it all comes down to a few key factors, including starting with clean grill grates, heating up your grill to the appropriate temperature, and placing your hot dogs so that they cook to your desired doneness. As for Dahlgren, she said she cooks her dogs on the direct flame for an extra-crispy finish. But what does she top her hot dog with once she's ready to chow down?

How the Ball Park expert tops her hot dog

When speaking with Mashed, Jennifer Dahlgren said a poll conducted last year showed that 92% of adults who eat hot dogs in the United States will use at least one topping — and most of them, approximately 72%, will top their hot dogs with at least two or more condiments. Dahlgren is in the multiple-topping camp, even though she said that when she's cooking Ball Park franks at home, beyond grilling those dogs to a char, she likes to "keep it simple and let the meat shine."

She said, "At home, I'll grill our Angus Beef Franks and top them with ketchup, mustard, and celery salt. But I do live in Chicago, and ketchup is a contrarian condiment here, so I don't broadcast that super frequently around here. I grew up a few hours from here, so I'll blame my preferences on that."

For Ball Park-approved hot dog topping ideas, check out the brand's list of suggested hot dog recipes.