You've already stocked up on hot dogs and buns, the most vital accessories for the upcoming long weekend, but now it's time to talk about toppings. We're not suggesting you ditch your plain old ketchup and mustard. We are not monsters. But if you want to have some fun, adding interesting new condiments to the mix is one of the easiest ways to step up your grill game. Here are eight suggestions:
For Heat Seekers
Gordy's Cherry Pepper Spread: This bright mash of hot peppers is preserved in a mixture of vinegar with just a touch of sugar, and is great for adding a kick to hot dogs (and other sausages you feel like taking to the grill). A bit on the side with sliced steak is fantastic, too.
For Fermentation Freaks
Olykraut's Smoke & Kale: This lacto-fermented kraut involves an addition of kale and chipotle, which gives it a rich, smoky flavor. It's a great way to gussy up a frank when you've got your probiotic-obsessed friends over for a cookout. (Don't be alarmed if the jar fizzes a little when you open it. It's alive.)
For Alt-Ketchup Enthusiasts
Foraging Fox Beetroot Ketchup: This tasty, fake-y ketchup gets its vivid purple hue from beets and its sweetness from apples. It's no substitute for Heinz ketchup (no ketchup is, let's be honest), but it adds a wonderful color and complex, umami-rich flavor if you're looking to mix things up.
For Pickle Lovers
Brooklyn Dehli's Tomato Achaar: The classic Indian condiment achaar is a traditional sour side to curries and rice, but little known fact: It's also the perfect foil for a Hebrew National in a toasted Martin's potato roll. Tangy, sweet, spicy, and just the right amount of greasy.
For Sweet Tooths
Mimi's Confitures Onion Jam: For those who like sweetness on their dogs, you can't do much better than a simple onion jam. This one from Mimi's is tingling with sherry vinegar and black pepper, giving it the slightest edge.
For Chili Heads
Hatchup Katchup and Mustard & Co.'s Honey-Curry Mustard: New Mexico's green chilis lend this tomato sauce some brightness and serious heat (especially if you go with #4, the hottest on their scale). Smear it onto a hot dog—we find it mixes particularly well with Mustard & Co.'s sweet and spicy mustard—or better yet, put it on your next hamburger.
For Mustard Nerds
Kozlik's Triple Crunch Mustard Seeds: Mustard is a hot dog's best friend, and Kozlik's intensely spicy mustards have more flavor and fire than most. This pickled version adds crunchy texture in addition to vinegar-y snap.
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