July 21st, 2013

Michigan Sauce for Hot Dogs

Michigan Sauce for Hot Dogs

I know most of you are wondering why I’m calling this chili sauce for hot dogs “Michigan Sauce”.  It’s because my husband is from Plattsburgh, a small town in upstate New York where Coney Island-style hot dogs are widely known as “Michigans” and sometimes “Red Hots”.

In fact, every time we’ve been to Plattsburgh to visit my husband’s family, we always stop at one or two of the local Michigan hot dog restaurants for Michigans, fries, and a cherry shake.  For my husband, it’s nostalgia at its finest.

Michigan Sauce for Hot Dogs

When ordering a Michigan, it’s customary to order it either “With” or “Without,” and everybody knows that you’re talking about onions even though they haven’t been mentioned by name.  I like mine “With”.

Michigan Sauce for Hot Dogs

My recipe for Michigan sauce was given to me by my mother-in-law about 30 years ago, and after trying the Michigans at all three of the local Michigan restaurants in Plattsburgh, I told her I think her sauce is the best.

Michigan Sauce for Hot Dogs

Posted under Main Dishes

79 Responses to “Michigan Sauce for Hot Dogs”

  1. I made this Michigan sauce yesterday and it turned out great – tastes just like MY mother used to make. Hmmm, I wonder why!

  2. Do you think I could do this in a crock pot? It sounds great. But I would like to put it on before I leave for work in the morning so it has time to simmer.

  3. Jennifer, I think that would probably work out fine. I recommend putting it on the low setting. I hope you enjoy it!

  4. First time stopping over, and as a Michigander I’d say this sauce looks better than most Coneys I’ve been to :) Pinning on my Yummy Recipes to Try Someday board!

  5. Cant wait to try this! I live a little over an hour away from Plattsburgh NY. They have the best Michigans!

  6. Thanks for your comment, Brittany. Upstate New York is a beautiful area. I hope you enjoy the Michigans!

  7. My wife and I are from Champlain and Rouses Point, NY about 17 miles north of Plattsburgh. We now live in FL and somehow over the years we lost our recipe for Michigan sauce. You are a life saver, Laura. Your recipe failed to mention that the sauce is best if served with “Glazier Hot Dogs”!

  8. Wayne, I’ve never heard of Glazier hot dogs. I’m assuming that’s a brand name, and if I ever see it, I’ll have to give them a try. Thanks!

  9. Just put all the ingredients in a pot… Didn’t have any plain mustard so used sweet and spicy mustard… And left out the cayenne pepper… Can’t wait to try it…

  10. I am from Michigan and this is not what we call a Coney dog. It is similar as in you do not brown the ground beef first. But we also add ground up hot dogs into the sauce. Tomato paste and water instead of the soup and no ketchup.

  11. Hi, I’m from Port Henry and always got michigans at Gene’s Hot Dog Stand with onions. I’m gonna try this recipe and see how it compares.

  12. Live in Bristol Vt! Used to have Genes Red Hots! Loving me some Michigans tonight for dinner ! I too went to Port Henry to have them as a kid on our way to Mineville NY! Nothing like them!

  13. That sauce sounds terrific. I enjoyed Coney Dogs as a kid in MA. This sounds just like the sauce, which by the way, only had ground beef.

  14. They are usually just called Coney’s here in Michigan, but a few use Michigan sauce. Very few…

  15. I was born and raised in Michigan in the semi ruralish suburbs of Detroit. I was stationed at Ft. Drum in NY. This sauce sounds awesome. My typical Michigan style Coney is straight up A & W foot long, of course with onions. I have never heard of Glaziers. A real Michigan hot dog is either Dearborn brand, Kowalski’s, or a Chicago beef hot dog. This is not opinion. This is how most of the state sees it. Dead serious about hot dogs here.

  16. We actually have 2 types of Coneys. A Flint Coney is like yours and a Detroit Coney is more of a chili dog. Flint Coneys are the best and are always made with Koegles hot dog viennas that snap when you bite into them.

  17. Linda you are correct. Koegle’s are the ONLY hot dog worth eating. Second to none. The recipe sounds good. I might try it soon. Although we have a local drive-in that makes their own and they sell it by the pint. Hard to beat.

  18. The so called Michigan Coney dogs popular in Detroit are chili dogs. The real Coney dogs popular in much of Michigan are the Flint Coney dogs. Angelos Coney Restaurants, a Flint Michigan chain is one of the oldest restaurants using the original Flint Coney sauce. The meat used in the sauce is prepared at Abbots meats using ground hot dogs as well as beef. It is served using natural casing Kogels hot dogs. Flint Coneys are served in most restaurants north of Detroit. There are many opinions on the best, Detroit chili dogs or Flint Coneys. Both are great.

  19. Lafyette and American Coneys in Detroit are great, but Flint Coneys cannot be beat.

  20. Lafyette and American Coney Island are the originators of this style, so they are called “Coney’s,” period, end of story. I’ve lived in southeast Michigan for almost 50 years, and I’ve only recently heard they are called Michigans by people outside of Michigan.

  21. I live in Jackson, Michigan, home of the real Coney dog! The “Coney Island Hot Dog” preparation did not originate with Coney Island, New York; the name merely refers to the origin of the hot dog itself, and also refers to the kind of restaurant that features them. The style originated in the early 20th century in Michigan, with competing claims from American and Lafayette Coney Islands (1917) in Detroit, and Todoroff’s Original Coney Island (1914) in Jackson. Ive had them all and prefer the Jackson one but not just because I live here! I think they have the best taste!

  22. [sigh] People don’t seem to understand that a “Michigan” is merely a reference, but isn’t intended to be any of the coney styles in Michigan. And no, there are no ground hot dog’s in the sauce made at Abbott’s as one commenter has suggested … Michigans and Coneys are two different things. And all the coney styles in Michigan are made with beef heart. Anyone is welcome to check the site I’ve listed for complete info on the Flint version, including pics and the ingredient list for the sauce from Abbott’s. BTW, yours looks great in these pics!! :-)
    Flint Coney Resource Site

  23. Coney Dogs were invented in Jackson, Michigan and have mostly evolved into Flint Style and Detroit Style. The ones from Todoroff’s in Jackson are the best. The best thing about Flint’s is that they use only Koegel Viennas.

  24. If you want to be really cool when ordering Michigans in Plattsburgh, ask for them “buried.” Then they put the onions on first, under the dog, so they don’t fall off the top when you’re eating it.

  25. Thank you, Gary! That IS cool! I think that’s the way my brother-in-law likes his Michigans, but I haven’t heard that term before.

  26. I lived in Michigan for over 8 years. I’ve tried both the Detroit and Flint coneys, as I lived in the Flint area and worked in the Detroit area. I was born and raised in New York and still prefer the NY Coney Island hot dogs. The Michigan Coneys are too bland for my liking. In my opinion, a Coney and a chili dog are two different animals. I have also never had the experience of hot dogs chopped and mixed in with the beef. While I prefer Nathan’s hot dogs, the Koegels are very good as well.

  27. From Vermont. My son went to SUNY Plattsburgh. Would stop at Gus’s Red Hots.

  28. I am so excited that you have this recipe. I cannot wait to make this. As a Michigander that moved to Utah, we miss our Coney dogs. Yum!!!

  29. I grew up in Plattsburgh. My sister, Patricia Rock, is a cook at McSweeney’s on Route 3. You will not beat those great Red Hots! #2withoutplease

  30. I grew up and still live in the North Country about 25 miles north of Plattsburgh on the Canadian border. Michigans were and still are part of our heritage. Just like hamburger macaroni soup, every family has their own recipe. Your recipe is very different from mine, but I’m going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  31. I was born and grew up in Plattsburgh (yes, “Condo” as in “Condo Pharmacy”). My only quibble is that, as everyone from up there knows, “upstate” refers to central New York; the part of the state that Plattsburgh (along with Canton, and Potsdam, and Malone, and Lake Placid, and Saranac Lake) is in is known as “the North Country.”

  32. I was born and raised in Rouses Point, NY but haven’t lived in NYS for many years. Anyone not from the North Country would not know Glazier’s red hot dogs as the company only distributes them in that part of the state. The company, Glazier Packing, is located in Malone, NY and has been operating since I was a little girl (I’m now 77). Their hot dogs can now be ordered online and I plan to order a few pounds.

  33. We have been eating Michigans for many years. Born and brought up in Cadyville. I’ve tried many in other parts of the country but none compare to McSweeney. My Mom made great michigan sauce. I do miss it. It is part of our lives.

  34. I’m from Champlain NY. Lived in upstate NY all my life and there’s so many different recipes for Michigans. I just know my parents’ recipe for them. I’ll never tell what it is. But the key for a great Michigan is Glazier Hot dogs…or red skin hot dogs!

  35. I lived in the North Country most of my life–Plattsburgh, Rouses Point and “with or buried” is the only way to go. Glaziers are great and they now carry them at Hannaford in Saratoga where I now live. I used to make runs to Plattsburgh just to buy them. Try Cumberland Bay Market out on the Head Mary. They make great Michigan sauce and they sell glaziers. One stop shopping.

  36. I am from upstate NY and we insist on Glazier hot dogs with our Michigans. As specific as the word Michigan is to Clinton County, so are Glazier’s to the North Country. Leave Clinton County and hardly anyone knows what a Michigan is unless they have happened to have one…..Clare and Carl’s, Nitzi’s, Ronnie’s, McSweeney, Gus’, etc. They all have their own recipes and secret sauces. Try them all!!

  37. I live in Plattsburgh, New York, and I have the original recipe from Claire and Carl’s. Your recipe is almost like the original, not quite. As for the hot dogs, they are Glazier from Malone and they’re the best. Nice of you to share this information.

  38. I went to college in Plattsburgh in the early 80’s and ate one of these almost every day for lunch at Clare and Carls. The best. Order them with or without, but don’t forget buried also! I liked my onions under the sauce. lol

  39. My family is from Champlain and Michigan’s are always a must-have treat when I visit. An authentic Michigan is only available in Upstate NY. It has nothing to do with the state of Michigan. Glazier hot dogs are amazing. They are in a red, crispy casing. They are also found in upstate NY. Now you can order them online. Mmm… nothing compares to a Glazier Michigan.

  40. Hi, I am from upstate New York–Potsdam, NY to be exact. I run a hot dog stand during the summer months and sell Michigans. I sell Glazier and Nathan hot dogs. I have a very good Michigan, most say the best around. Most of you are right, Glazier Michgans with chopped onions and a strip of mustard are the best. If you ever are passing thru ask anyone where I am located and I am sure you can find me, Thanks, Rosie’s

  41. I’m from Plattsburgh/Chazy as well! I love how Gus’ Red Hots put a cross on the michigan if you order it with buried onions!

  42. Looks good; I grew up in Plattsburgh and now live across the lake. But I never order them any more because I’m vegetarian. I’m gonna try this with some TVP (textured vegetable protein) and see how it comes out, and make it with meat for my husband!

  43. Glazier Dogs make the best. Make a large batch of sauce and freeze it in your ice cube trays. One or two cubes is enough for a good Michigan.

  44. I was born and raised in Northern NY State…glazier hot dogs are made only in NY State…If you’ve never heard of them, you weren’t born there, hehe. Michigan sauce makes the Michigan…and the glazier hot dog is the main basis…Our Motto where I’m from (Malone). . . If it ain’t glazier, it ain’t a real Michigan :) There used to be an A&W Rootbeer in Malone…best Michigans ever.

  45. I have lived near Plattsburgh all of my life and love Michigans. The best place to get them is at Clare and Carls on the Lake Shore Road. I have their recipe and I am going to try this one to see how close this one will be to it or if it might be better.

  46. I’m from Up State NY (Malone) and lived in TupperLake also. The glaziers hot dogs are the best for michagains. I have now lived in Virginia for years but I have to go to NY once a year to get plenty of glaziers for the year. Nothing better then glaziers hotdogs. Love them.

  47. I have so enjoyed reading about my area here. I’ve lived in the North Country for all but 5 yrs of my life, and I can’t agree more about Glaziers and having them ‘buried’. Personally, McSweeney’s either on Rte 3 or Rte 9 closer to me and Clare and Carl’s are THE BEST bar none… but a very close second is The Cumberland market $.99 on Tuesdays. I like the spicier sauces rather than the soupier ones like Ronnie’s. But, it’s a matter of taste. This has been very enjoyable. My brother’s recipe will melt your teeth. LOL

  48. Glazier hot dogs complete the michigan. Folks from Northernmost NY know this!

  49. Hi.Love Michigan’s..

  50. Ronnies Michigans are the best, nothing else comes close!!!

  51. I have Nitzi’s secret recipe–simply the best! No, I’m not giving it out–it is a secret after all.

  52. I grew up in Malone, N.Y. and I have to say the best michigans are at Bokie’s on route 11 in Malone, along with great ice cream, shakes and the best poutine around!

  53. Don’t forget the term “buried” means the onions are under the hot dog.

  54. Best sauce ever. Now try it with glazier hot dogs. The best. I live in Oklahoma now and these Michigans are the best.
    Website: shop.glazierhotdog.com

  55. We traveled to Plattsburgh from the Albany area one Sunday to go to Nitzey’s for Michigan’s. They were the best. I now make my own sauce and it is delicious. Got our start in Plattsburgh.

  56. I grew up in Peru and Nitzi’s was the family favorite. Now we’re a split Clare & Carl’s / McSweeney’s family, with a slight edge to Clare & Carl’s for the crinkle cut fries and poutine sides. #2withburied

  57. I was born/raised in Malone where they make Glazier hot dogs and attended SUNY Plattsburgh, so this blog post hit home. I don’t live in the area any longer – the family sends me glaziers, and now I have a fabulous Michigan recipe…thank you! thank you!

  58. This is different from the recipe I use, but will save it for summer and try it, to compare.

  59. I lived in Beekmanton and used to work at Gus’s and there is nothing like good old Michigans! I left the Plattsburgh area 35 years ago and make it back home once in awhile and always have to go and get Michigans!! As far as glaziers, you can’t get them anywhere else other than upstate NY area!! Unless you order them online, which I have several times because there is just nothing like them here in NC!!! I make my own Michigan sauce and it is super yummy, but I will have to give this one a try! Thanks for sharing and look forward to trying it soon, and oh, by the way, I have glaziers in my freezer from my trip back home this past August!!!

  60. I have Clare and Carl’s recipe. Got it from my Aunt Judy. I’m a Beekmantown native and Gus’s was my favorite place. I stop by when I get off the ferry to Vt.

  61. I use tomato paste in my sauce.

  62. I love the debate. As a Plattsburgh native, it’s cool to see so many opinions on The Best michigan.

  63. No trip to Plattsburgh, my hometown as well, is complete without a stop for a Michigan or two!!! Love them!!

  64. Gus’ and Clare and Carl’s! I too grew up in Plattsburgh, and later boasted to my Alabama husband the wonders of this amazing frank…we finally traveled to Plattsburgh together, only to hear him say…”It’s a chili dog!!!” Seriously??? I also love the ones at Beartown…with! And vinegar fries! Glazier dogs are the best (yes, it is the brand name). They have a nice snap when you bite into them. Hungry…

  65. Found this the other day and went back to Plattsburgh. My mom and dad used to go to the different places for these hot dogs, and I haven’t had one in many years even though I go back up all the time.

  66. Born and raised in upstate New York (Keeseville). I ate at many of the popular Michigan stands: Gus’s, Nitzi’s, Clare and Carl’s, McSweeney’s and many more, such as Tastee Freez, and the bowling alley in Keeseville!! All were delicious!!! I have a recipe from Clare and Carl’s that I think is as close as it gets!!! This recipe is quite different. I am going to give it a try.
    I don’t live in New York anymore and miss Michigans!!!!

  67. I read all the comments. Michigans are a Northern / North Country NY speciality. It is a tradition to go to Gene’s or Gus’ on opening day for michigans. They are only open in good weather because they are walk up / window service. Traditional hot dogs are used. I’ve never heard of tomato soup in the sauce. Glazier hot dogs have a thick red skin that has a snap when you bite into them. Yummy.

  68. I’m a North Country native, though I have lived elsewhere for many years. Nitzi’s Michigans were the absolute BEST, and I cried when they closed. Of course they were never quite the same after the great bun crisis of 25 – 30 years ago when their special, wonderful buns became unavailable. I always get a Michigan or two when I come back to visit but none of them now hold a candle to the ones I got from Nitzi’s.

  69. All folks from the north country are in love with Michigans (I Believe). I am in VA now but when I get off 87, my first stop is McSweenys, my favorite place. I have the recipe also which I am sure lots of people do. Never used soup, not sure about that, but will give it a try. Interesting to read all the comments.

  70. I love michigans and have several different recipes. I have not tried this one but will have to check it out!! I agree with everyone, the best Michigan is the one with a glazier hot dog in it!! If you haven’t tried one, you really have too!! You will be hooked!!

  71. The sauce is great, but the key is a natural casing Koegel Vienna hot dog manufactured in Flint, Michigan. Always made up to a quality, not down to a price.

  72. I’m originally from the Detroit area. You can’t beat Lafayette and American coney’s. They are best around 2:00 A.M.

  73. Please come to Naples Florida. We really need the best Coney here.

  74. Grew up in West Plattsburgh. Ronnie’s are by far the best Michigans I have ever eaten!

  75. Michigans are only from Plattsburgh, NY. Hot dogs are only from Nathans in Coney Island.

  76. I’d like to find the recipe for the Coney Island sauce that was on hot dogs at the Port Huron Sandwich shop in Port Huron, Michigan in the 40s and 50s. My favorite meal was a Coney Island Red Hot and a bowl of chili made with chunks of beef, not ground beef.

  77. I grew up in Rouses Point and returned every 4th of July for family reunions. Those reunions always included either Gus’ or Claire and Carl’s Michigan’s. I will recreate those reunions tomorrow with your recipe. Hoffman dogs from Syracuse are a good sub for Glazer’s.

  78. My wife and I moved up to Plattsburgh from NJ and lived there for 5 years. I was introduced to Michigans during a work party and fell in love with them. There are a few things I miss from the North Country and Michigans are at the top of the list!

  79. My grandparents, Joyce and Bob Duquette, used to own and run The Root Beer Barrel up there on 3 in West Plattsburgh. I have her recipe for her sauce. I used to work at McSweeney’s in the 90s as well; and developed my own sauce down here in CNY. We can buy Glaziers down here too! We don’t go up north as much as we used to since my grandparents passed; but my mom and dad always clamor for my sauce recipe, which is different from yours.

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Hi! I'm Laura. I enjoy sharing simple and delicious recipes that I serve my family and friends. To learn more about me, click here.

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