Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What Is a Danger Dog? Cleo Coyle Tells You and Cooks One Up!

My husband, Marc, doesn’t smoke. He doesn’t drink (much). But on days he’s semi-suicidal (few and far between, thank goodness), he makes this lunch. Needless to say, I cringe when I see the ingredients hit the kitchen counter: hot dog, bacon, cooking oil…oh, god.

Marc first heard about the "Danger Dog" via a good friend in Los Angeles, where the recipe has made its way north from the street food of Tijuana, Mexico. Here's the scoop on this deep fried bacon-wrapped hot dog and its variations.

Where the Danger Dogs Roam

  • Down Mexico way, the original Danger Dog (aka Tijuana Bacon Dog) is topped with grilled onions and hot chili. North of the border, this same barker is often topped with mayonnaise, and in Los Angeles, California, it’s known as a street dog.

  • The Jersey Breakfast Dog is a bacon-wrapped hot dog that is deep fried until it’s curled or falling apart. Also called rippers, they're served with fried or scrambled eggs.

  • A Chicago variation is the Francheezie, a jumbo hot dog split and stuffed with cheddar or Velveeta cheese before it’s wrapped in bacon and (oh, yes) fried.
The truth is, when Marc fries up these babies, he always prepares one for me. I hate to admit this, but I do consume it with (you guessed it) joy. It may be disgusting, but it’s also to die foran unfortunate phrase since too many of these puppies would insure it. 

Finally, a fun note. A few years ago, Esquire magazine actually put the "bacon-wrapped hot dog" on its list of Sixty Things Worth Shortening Your Life For. What number was the bacon dog? Hard to believe it, but #1. To see the entire list, click here

Esquire's list left me wondering
what would be on yours?

Cleo Coyle, Danger Dog eater,
 is author of The Coffeehouse

What food or foods would you shorten your life for? 
As a writer who deals in food and death, I'd really like to know. Just leave your answer in the comments and have a delicious day.

Because we don’t own a deep fryer, my husband was forced to adapt and overcome—to borrow a motto from the Marines, a few of whom would probably enjoy this recipe, too, with a few good beers. And since Father's Day happens to be this Sunday...

Cleo Coyle's Danger Dog!
Fried, Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog

*Optional Grilling instructions below...

Makes 6 servings 

6 hot dogs 
6 slices bacon 
1 cup vegetable oil (we use canola oil) 
6 hot dog buns 
12 wooden toothpicks 

(Additional optional topping suggestions: grilled or raw onions, mayo, mustard, relish, chopped tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, etc.)

Step 1—Slice the hot dogs (important): Slit each dog lengthwise. Don’t split the dogs in two, simply cut a deep slice. This cut will help the hot dog cook at the same fast pace as the bacon. It also will prevent the dog from bursting when it hits the hot oil.

Step 2—Wrap with bacon: Take one slice of bacon, regular or thick cut, and tuck the end of the slice into the cut at the tip of the hot dog. Wrap the bacon around the hot dog, being careful to completely cover the hot dog with the bacon. When finished wrapping, tuck the opposite end of the bacon into the hot dog's slit. Secure both ends with dry toothpicks. See my photos below.

(If grilling over charcoal, gas, or an open flame, be sure to soak the toothpicks in water for at least an hour before inserting into the dogs. This will prevent the toothpicks from burning. See more grilling notes below.)

Step 3—Fry the dogs (*see grilling option below): Place about one inch of oil at the bottom of a skillet and heat at medium until the oil is shimmering and ready to smoke, about five minutes. (If using a deep fryer, set to 375° F.) When the oil is hot enough, quickly place 2 to 4 hot dogs into the oil. For best results, do not fry too many at one time. If pan frying, cook about three minutes on one side, then turn and fry for an additional four minutes. If using a deep fryer cook the hot dogs for about seven minutes. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel. Serve warm on a bun and add your favorite condiments.

*GRILLING OPTION: To grill bacon-wrapped hot dogs, keep these notes in mind: (1) Soak the toothpicks in water for a good hour before inserting or they may burn up on your grill. Or use metal skewers instead of toothpicks and you won't have to worry. (2) The cooking time will be longer on the grill, about 6 to 8 minutes per side. You're watching for the bacon to cook through without burning.

F o o d i e
P h o t o s

Happy Father's

Eat with joy.

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


  1. Wow, are those pretty dangerous! But they look delicious!! My husband would kill for one. Oooh, another motive for a mystery! :)

    Thanks, Cleo!

    ~Avery aka Daryl

    1. Killing for one before it kills you. Now THAT is a motive for a foodie mystery. :) Thx for dropping in, Avery/Daryl!

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  2. Wow. I'm clearly out of the loop. Just goes to prove, once again, that almost anything is better with bacon! I bet a lot of dads would be delighted with a Danger Dog. Wonder if they would work on the grill . . .

    ~ Krista

    1. K - These can indeed be done on the grill, and I appreciate your asking! I went back into the post and updated with some notes to keep in mind.

      Before grilling a bacon-wrapped hot dog, soak the toothpicks in water for about an hour to make sure they don't burn. The grilling will take a bit longer than frying, as well, a few more minutes on each side.

      As for the popularity of this treat on Father's Day, Marc and Esquire magazine clearly endorse it! I say, heck, it’s a fiesta. Unless Dad's had a bypass recently, serve up those Danger Dogs with a frosty mug of beer and a side of onion rings! :)

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  3. Oh Sure, show me these delicious looking dogs. Here I started Weight Watchers again.. (Lifetime Repeater) and now I am looking at these.

    My mouth is drooling. Then again even if I were not on WW I would still not be able to have them:(.. Darn cholesterol gets in the way LOL...

    BUT... I may try these with a healthy twist. I will use 99% fat free dogs, turkey bacon, grilled onions and peppers and I can have relish. But I might try to grill these instead of fry them.


    1. LoL, Shawn - Your ideas for making this treat more healthful are wonderful. See my reply to Krista above for some notes on grilling instead of frying. I have no doubt you can put this on a broiler pan inside your oven and bake it. The fat from the bacon will render out and you’ll have a Skinny Danger Dog. I’ll bark to that. :)

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. A guy in my town sells those for $3. They are very good, especially with the grilled onions & peppers. Thanks for sharing husbands Danger Dog recipe!

    1. You're very welcome, Helena. Thank YOU for dropping by our Kitchen today. ($3 for a Danger Dog loaded with grilled onions and peppers sounds like a good deal to me!)

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  5. I would be willing to shorten my life for a particular dinner. My mom's oven friend chicken, her macaroni salad and followed by her spice cake with mocha frosting. A few hours later I would have a big bowl of her pineapple pudding with freshly whipped cream. I'll have to wait until I get to Heaven to have this meal once again...but it is worth the wait!! I have tried countless times to re-create these and they have never matched the deliciousness of her special touch <3 I have been able to recreate her turkey dressing, though!!!

    Danger dogs do look terrific but I'll stick with a good ol' Mittenland Coney dog! I wish I loved bacon as much the masses...

    Thanks, Cleo and Marc for a great recipe that the boys at Chez Phillipe will love!!! I'll make a batch of macaroni salad!!


    1. Nanc - What a wonderful "memory" meal. I'd join you at the table in a second (and bring my Aunt Mary's Wedding Soup and Italian Easter Pie)! Thx for the wonderful comment and a very Happy Father's Day to Les!

      ~ Cleo

      P.S. Your "Mittenland Coney dog" sounds up my alley, too. Of course, I'm typing this in NYC, home of the dog lovers of the world. I'll have to post a photo of our billionaire mayor (Mike) in full suit and tie, chomping on a good old fashioned New York dog in front of a street cart. It's priceless!

      Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter