The Do's and Don'ts of Hot Dog Eating, According to the Rule Makers

No ketchup after 18?! Wait. A. Minute.



The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has provided a full guide for hot dog etiquette and we're not sure if we agree with them.

That said, let's start with the good news. The stuff we're doing right.


  • Eat the hotdog bun with your hands. Utensils shouldn’t be used to eat a hotdog, but I’m curious if the same rules apply for a chili dog…
  • Don’t get your china out to eat a hot dog! Use paper plates. I mean a backyard BBQ with hot dogs on fine china would be a little awkward…
  • All the ketchup, mustard and whatever other condiments left on your fingers should be licked away. Score!

Now for the bad news. Beware some of the "don'ts" may be quite upsetting.


  • Hot dog toppings should not go between the bun and the hot dog. If you’re a fan of Chicago dogs, this is definitely hard to swallow.
  • You should only take five bites to finish a hot dog. If it's a foot-long, only seven bites. But really, who even counts?
  • Ketchup is not acceptable once you turn 18. It’s not specified why kids get this privilege, but it certainly sucks for all the adult ketchup lovers.

Luckily, if you ever forget a rule, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has the full list of do's and dont's online. They even included a video to help you out.

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