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

34 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!

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