WASHINGTON, D.C. - Americans are expected to eat at least seven billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.
The Council estimates that Americans eat 20 billion hot dogs each year, but more are eaten in the warm weather months when the grills are fired up and hot dogs have that great barbecued taste.
Many Americans will enjoy hot dogs this summer in conjunction with sporting events, because hot dogs are the ultimate hand-held food. In fact, a recent survey by the Council found that major league baseball fans will consume more than 20.5 million hot dogs while enjoying games. That's enough wieners to stretch from Miami to Denver.
“Throughout the years, the hot dog have been a mainstay of summer barbecues and we anticipate this summer continue that great tradition,” said Council President Janet Riley aka The Queen of Wien (@queenofwien). “We at the Council greet Memorial Day weekend like a kid greets Christmas and we are looking forward to another successful hot dog season.”
The Council offers several tips for a successful summer barbecue:
- Keep hot dogs cold, either in the refrigerator until ready to grill or in an ice cold cooler while away from home at picnics.
- Hot dogs are pre-cooked but should be cooked at medium heat until steaming hot. Be sure to separate hot dogs from other uncooked meats and poultry.
- Sausages, also a summer favorite, can be sold pre-cooked or fresh. Fresh sausages must be cooked thoroughly using a food thermometer to ensure that sausages reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If cooking hot dogs in natural casings, rotate often to prevent split casings, which can cause loss of juiciness and flavor.
- Accent hot dogs generously with your favorite toppings. Council etiquette, however, instructs that ketchup is reserved for the under 18 crowd. (For a full Council hot dog etiquette guide, view our popular YouTube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T69HDek6a3k.)
- Last but not least: serve and enjoy!