After decades of research, Burger King has added hot dogs to their menu.  Hot dogs are the cousin to the Burger, so the addition seems like a no brainer.  Burger King’s Grilled Dogs are being billed as the Whopper of hot dogs, but I have hopes that they’re much better than that.

Burger King Hot Dogs Classic and Chili Cheese
At the Apple style product launch–our invite must have been lost in the mail–Burger King tauted the hot dog industry as an enourmous space that they’re eager to tap into.  Every website I visited on launch day was plastered with Burger King Grilled Dog ads.  Its clear this is a Doritos Locos Tacos level product launch with high expectations.

Semi interesting tidbit, BK must have had the same person design their hot dog branding as the person who designed one of our rejected logo concepts designs:

Burger King Grilled Dogs PackageIMG_0258

The Ingredients

The BK Hot Dogs are being offered in two varieties (to start).  A classic build and a chili cheese construction.

The Classic Grilled Dog

  • 100% Beef Hot Dog
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Chopped Onions
  • Relish

Classic_Detail_v2-min

Burger Classic Hot Dog Nutrition

Chili Cheese Grilled Dog

  • 100% Beef Hot Dog
  • Bean Chili
  • Cheddar Cheese

Burger King Chili Cheese Hot Dog Flame Grilled

Burger King Chili Cheese Hot Dog Nutrition

Impressions

Burger King Chili Cheese Hot Dog Flame Grilled
I started with the Chili Cheese dog.  Its topped with a chili that is pretty basic, not a lot of spice coming through.  It turned out to be a good decision because the chili, which is bean based, had almost a creamy taste from the pinto beans plus cheese mixture and it helped to cut through the saltiness of the hot dog.  A lot of flavor in the chili would have been overwhelming.

Burger King Classic Hot Dog Flame Grilled
Next is the classic hot dog.  Full disclosure, this is my ideal “classic” hot dog.  If I find myself at a picnic and someone has laid out all the usual toppings, this is what I’ll end up with.  I love a dog with raw white onions, relish, ketchup and mustard.  As you can see from my photo, however, the relish got away from the BK employee a little bit.  I would have liked half as much relish and twice as much ketchup.  It could be because of the amount, but I felt the relish was a little too sweet.  I also could have used more onion.  This brings us to the big dilemma that I assume had all the King’s court gathered to debate for months.  Do they give you a plain hot dog, and point you toward a condiment bar to go nuts, or do they dress it for you like a Whopper.  Despite the imbalance of my personal preferences, I think they made the right call.  Receiving a naked hot dog would make the dogs seem cheap and 7/11 level.

For some reason, in the classic configuration the saltiness really hit me a lot more.  By the time I was done, my mouth was full blown overwhelmed with the sodium levels and I had my face under the tap of the soda machine.  The dog itself has a bite to it.  I wouldn’t go all in and say there was “snap” but it definitely gives you a satisfying bite.  It also had a clear charing to it and resembled a backyard cook out dog.  This made it a clear step up from typical roller dogs from 7/11 or the dogs from Dairy Queen.

Burger King Hot Dogs – The Verdict

I have been saying for a while BK would pull their next big menu item from your High School Cafeteria menu, but I am actually onboard with this addition.  I think it plays to the brand perfectly.  I think Burger King can really focus their menu and go after the classic fast food market and should continue to avoid the premium gruyere, spring mix, sun dried tomato faux gourmet rat race of the competing brands.

Despite the saltiness, and the presence of trans fats, I think these are solid additions to the menu for both kids and adults.  I would have liked to see a slightly healthier dog–other brands like Shake Shack can do it so its not some unicorn myth–but it’s also a lower priced item so I guess it’s to be expected.  I could see myself stopping for a BK hot dog as a snack, but the portion size of a hot dog means I need two for a meal.  Likely this is Burger King’s goal with the dogs.  Two classic hot dog hits the exact price of a Whopper, and if you upgrade one or both to chili cheese, your order price is now almost 80 cents more than a Whopper.  (Also BK’s parent company happens to own both Heinz and Oscar Mayer so everyone wins)

I’m looking forward to some other build options in the future, like a Chicago style or a spicy variety.  Or maybe BK can incorporate that chili into a loaded fry option or a burger topping.

If you’re wondering how eating one of each of these dogs stacks up to eating a Whopper, here you go.  Interestingly they’re very similar except the sodium in two dogs is off the charts:

BK WHop

bk dogs both

Burger King Hot Dogs

Burger King Grilled Dogs [Review]
Fresh BunsGood Toppings
Salty!Trans Fats :-(
7.7Overall Score
Taste7.3
Quality7.3
Value8.5
Reader Rating 64 Votes
3.8