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Sun’s out, buns out!

For the second course of Eater’s 2024 dinner party series, we’re turning the menu over to hot dogs, the eternal crown jewel of the backyard barbecue. Between the sizzle of sausages over flames, the uniform grill marks, and the squiggles of yellow mustard and electric green relish, no food feels more like summer than the humble but mighty frank.

Far from being a mere tube of meat, the hot dog is a blank canvas for creativity to flourish, a quality that our hot dog party primer puts front and center. Here, you’ll find recipes for chaat dogs, weeines topped with three different varieties of the beloved South Asian savory snack, along with plenty of sides and a glorious strawberry slab cake for dessert. You’ll find an ode to papaya salad, an appreciation of the seafood dog, topping advice, and an answer to the vital question of whether science has finally given us a veggie dog that snaps. And if you’re left with tons of hot dogs and buns at the end of this party, don’t worry, we have advice on how to use those up, too. Think of them as just another way to prolong one of summer’s greatest pleasures — which this year, you should do the Eater way.