1940′s Hotdog Sauce From West Virginia

I am looking for an old recipe from West Virginia for a hot dog sauce or coney sauce. The sauce was sold in Mann West Virginia and around that area in the 1940′s. I really hope someone can help me find that or a very old one from that time era. Thank you So Much
Wanda wortmoon@yahoo.com

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  1. Try Texas Pete or Bunker Hill hotdog sauce. Sold with the canned chilis, this is what most places here in Northern NC use.

  2. My mother-in-law used to work at a Dairy Delight in West Virginia and she still makes their hot dog chilli recipe in big batches and freezes it. I don’t know if she’ll give me the recipe but I can do some digging if you think it might be what you’re looking for. I know it has finely ground beef, celery and onions in it.

    • Please do get recipe if u can

    • Dar Collins says:

      Could you please find out the recipe for me? I used to work at this little dairy bar in Elizabeth, WV and they used this sauce that I totally love. It’s been a while back but hopefully you can get this for me.

    • This has been a while since you posted. was the in Elkins if it was please e mail the recipe I love that chili

  3. SnowCat MacDobran says:
  4. I doubt that the recipe from Guys’ show was anything like it.. Man, WV is < I believe, a rural coal town…my grandparents lived there at one time.They later moved to souhtern OH and opened a restaurant. Grandpa had a secret dog sauce recipe that had the very finely ground burger in it…he never ever ever drained the grease from the burger, but I digress…a village like Man would probably would not have had allspice in the 40′s…the closest I have found to my Grandpa’s over the counter is Casletberry…and yes, I STILL buy it…if it is heated properly, there is no threat…I add a pound of browned ground beef to 2-3 cans…maybe add a bit of water or tomato juice to thin it out if you like…to make homemade, brown beef, then add chili beans that have been smashed up along with onions, peppers and some chili powder a pinch of cumin added to make it just right, but then going by what would have been available in WV at the time, I would say, chili powder (or dried hot chili peppers grown in the garden), ground beef, onions and tomatoes would have been the base. jmho

    • Melissa says:

      Im from Fairmont Wv and this is the real deal. Never brown your ground beef. Read below You can adjust the heat by adding more or less of the spices. Hope this helps.
      Fairmont Style Hot Dog Sauce

      1 C. finely chopped onion
      5 pounds ground beef
      1/4 pound ground pork
      1 T. black pepper
      1 T. salt
      3 T. chili powder
      4 T. crushed red chili pepper (medium hot)
      1 32 oz. can tomato sauce
      1 14 or 15 oz. bottle – ketchup
      1 small can tomato paste
      1 T. olive oil
      1/4 t. cumin
      1 dash Tabasco sauce

      In a large pot, saute the onion in the olive oil until tender but not browned. Crumble the raw hamburger and ground pork and add to the pot. Cover with water and cook for 1 hour, uncovered, adding more water if necessary. Add the remaining Ingredients and cook, covered, over low heat, just simmering, for two more hours.

      If you wish a thinner sauce, add more water half way through the final two hours. For thick sauce, cook down, uncovered for a while longer.

      This recipe makes quite a lot of hot dog sauce, so we freeze it in small lots and then microwave to thaw. This is not called Chili around here; it’s Hot Dog Sauce and this style of sauce, or some variation of it is found in all of the dog stands in this town and in most of North Central West Virginia.<

      • I use basically the exact same recipe as you have here, except I use a little more chili powder. I’ve made many hotdogs for both mine, and my husband’s work picnics, along with our large families.. and everyone has said it’s the best hotdog sauce they’ve ever eaten anywhere. I’m from WV, but we’ve traveled, and lived in other states where we’ve ate hotdogs… and I have to agree this is the best hot dog sauce we’ve ever eaten!! Just moved back from NC where we tried hotdogs from numerous areas, and restaraunts, and they put that nasty Castleberry hot dog chili on theirs. Even the so-called “home-cooking” diners used it… yuck!!

  5. fhurlbutt says:

    there may not have been allspice around then[i don't know] but there is spicebush that grows wild in appalachia and the leaves can be used as allspice.

  6. only one my family has is ground beef, one small bottle of ketchup per pound of beef, onions, brown sugar, worchestershire, and chili powder to taste. we dont really measure anything, just make it to taste.

  7. Chuck Warner says:

    I’m from Fairmont WV, and I have some pretty strong opinions about authentic WV hotdog sauce:

    The most basic sauce is made from boiled hamburger (NEVER fried or browned), water, salt and black pepper. The economy dictated the KISS method. Traditional sauce will never have fried (browned) hamburger, catsup, chili powder (the cumin in chili powder makes it southwest sauce), or garlic. I’m not saying these ingredients are not good in it, they are just not traditional!

    Here is my adaptation of a commercial hotdog sauce from a hotdog stand in Weston, WV:

    6 C water
    2 lbs. hamburger
    1 t. salt
    2 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
    1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
    1 29 oz. tomato puree
    1 Tbsp. paprika
    1/2 C. finely chopped onion

    Mix beef by hand in water and bring to boil.

    (Less traditional but healthier: boil one hour, drain water, remove grease, return water to pot)

    Add all ingredients and simmer often until sauce is thickened.

    Chuck in Fairmont

    • Thank you Chuck…that sounds like what I want a good Old Wv. recipe of hot dog sauce..no where
      else in the states except WV. has sauce like we do…if we would go to their states and make this we would make a killing…thank you and God Bless West By God Virginia…we have the most beautiful
      state ….of anyone….

    • La Donna Brumage Fox says:

      Thank you Chuck, I just made your chili receipt. It was just like I remembered. I am going to serve it in my snack bar in OH. I am from Fairmont, WV also. My dad lives there now. His name is Jake. If you know him give him a shoot out.

      I love it.
      La Donna

  8. I’m from Clarksburg WV and have also been looking for the all time favorite WV hotdog sauce.. there is no other like it anywhere… not sure it is the same in WV as I have moved to a state that knows nothing of good ol’ hotdog sauce… I have come close a couple of times but still not the same…

  9. Matt and Rita says:

    We asked for the recipe of George Andersons Hotdog Sauce from Weston West Virginia, and our cousin Bill still had it and gave it to us.

    George Anderson’s Hot Dog Sauce

    . 3 lbs ground beef
    . 2 tablespoons chili powder
    . 1 tablespoon salt
    . 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
    . 2 tablespoons raw unions
    . 1 teaspoon garlic
    . 1/2 can (use contadina tomato paste can) vinegar
    . 1 small can contadina tomato paste

    mix together, add water to thin, cook slowly until thick, approximately 3 to 4 hours.

    We also make the whole batch in one time and freeze in small portions.

    • can you clarify the last two ingredients, please?

      • Hi Vanessa!

        Contain is a brand of tomato paste. Add the tomato paste to the pot, then use the can to measure the vinegar. Just a note, Contadina is a bit sweeter than Hunt’s brand. I hope that helps.

  10. My parents were both from the Fairmont area of West Virginia and I remember going to Lupo’s in Fairmont as a kid……best hotdogs ever!! Later in life my sister went back for a visit and I had her try to buy a quart of the sauce, freeze it and bring it back to Texas. Nope….wouldn’t sell it like that. I’ve experimented forever trying to replicate the sauce, I can get close but no cigar. If anyone out there remembers Lupo’s diner and has an inkling of all the ingredients in his sauce this Texan would be but very grateful!!

    • I’m from Morgantown and remember Lupo’s. I go by the store front every month or so and remember the ‘ol days. too bad its no longer open

  11. Kathryn Golden Morris says:

    What a cool find here! My dad who is now 76 just told me about saving his money as a child to go to Weston WV to buy Anderson’s hot dogs at .08 each, he got them 2 at a time he said, and ate as many as he could afford, up to his record of 6! lol He said that when he had his appendix out, the coach at Jane Lew High told his team that when they ‘cut Albert Paul’ open a couple of hot dogs fell out! I cannot wait to surprise him with this hot dog sauce recipe. We have a place here in Greensboro NC ‘Yum Yum’s’ which he thinks is pretty close to Anderson’s in Weston and we just got him a hot dog the other day for $1.76 which he refuses to pay! lol Thanks for the memories!

  12. I have an older recipe from a church cookbook from Charleston WV from the 80′s but there is no telling how old it really is. I, too, no longer live in the area and cannot believe the people here who think hot dog chili is the same as ‘soup chili’! I will give the recipe as listed, the my version, or a quicker, smaller amount!

    3 lbs ground beef
    1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
    1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
    5 T chili powder
    3 T sugar
    1 t vinegar
    2 T minced onion
    1/2 t black pepper
    1 t salt
    4 C water
    dash garlic salt

    Brown ground beef and put in food processor or blender. Combine remaining ingredients and cook for 1 our on low heat. This is enough for about 200 hot dogs

    My Version:

    First of all, I cook larger amounts of ground round in plenty of water (about 1 cup per pound of meat). I drain and wash with very hot water and divide up into approximately 1 pound portions and freeze. I can then pull these out for any groud meat recipe.

    I saute some chopped onion (about 1/4 C) in a tsp of olive oil and add a half tsp or so of minced garlic. Turn heat down and add 1 T of sugar, 3 T of chili powder (less if you don’t want it so warm!), 1/8 t of black pepper, one of the 1 pound portions of ground round, a few drops of vinegar and about 2/3 of a 6 oz can of tomato paste. I add enough water to be able to stir this. You want it to be watery. Turn heat down to simmer and let it simmer until ready to serve (at least about 30 mins). You can add water if it gets too dry or allow to cook down if it is too watery to serve. This is a better amount for family use than the 200 hot dog size! It also allows me to eliminate som or all the added salt.

  13. Mike Johnson says:

    I grew up in Morgantown and remember Freddie’s bar on Beechchurch (sp) ave as having the best chili slaw dog in the world. Gene’s in second ward was a very close second. If anyone out there has the chili recipe from Freddie’s I would sure appreciate you sharing it. I have lived in Texas since I was 18 and no one here has ever come close.

  14. West Virginia Hotdog Chili
    (No tomato paste/sauce in recipe but through tests we liked tomato paste to taste)

    1/2 cup shortening
    2 TBSP. onions, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    5 lbs. ground beef
    1 1/2 TBSP. paprika
    2 1/2 TBSP. chili powder
    1 1/2 TBSP. black pepper
    1 TBSP. cayenne pepper (can use 1/2 TBSP. – 2 TBSP.)
    2 TBSP. salt
    2 1/2 TBSP. ground cumin
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 – 1 cup cracker meal

    Saute meat, garlic and onions till browned, drain
    Add spices, stir well
    Add about a quart of water and cook over low heat for 3-4 hours
    Add a little water occasionally to keep from sticking
    When chili is cooked, remove from heat and add 1/2 to 1 cup of cracker meal & stir well
    Another trick that you can do is place the pot in the bottom of the kitchen sink and run an electric hand ixer around briefly – this makes for a finer ground meat texture & is closer to the “real thing”
    After the first batch you will learn to vary (slightly) the blend of peppers and cumin…the cinnamon is critical but your chili should never have a cinnamon taste.

    • I’m from Charleston and I used to get my hotdogs at Chris’ on the west side. I don’t think they have any tomato sauce in their chili, so I’m going to give this one a try for the 4th of July party.

  15. doug Minor says:

    I have been traveling around the country for several years now as a travel RN. I have treid many many hotdogs in my time. I believe in a true west virginia Dog sauce, to get that unmistakeable taste is to not brown the meat. Browning the meat changes the taste. and the KISS principle is best. HillBilly hotdog does it up right. I can honestly say I have had no better dog or sauce than there. Also no ketchup in the sauce either. Many people are also under the impression that sauce means chilli. This is an honest mistake for those not raised on a true WV dog. A good slaw and sauce makes the Dog. also never microwave a dog. thats just gross. LOL
    My own recipe is very similar to those above no cumin though but I do ass a teaspoon of cinnamon. gives it that hey whats that flavor kinda thing. LOL and garlic.

  16. I’m so excited to find this thread! I’m from Wheeling, WV and I miss authentic hot dog chili! Being military overseas it is difficult to find the things of home that we love. I am making some chili dogs tonight! Thank you so much!!!!!!

  17. Jeannie Root Schaad says:

    I grew up in Manningtons , WV. There was a place on Rt. 250 called big Annie’s. Best WV hot dogs I have ever tasted. My dad used to stop and bring home a box of them. If anyone knows of this recipe please let me know. Been looking for years. Thanks

  18. Thanks for the recipies, I’m from Connecticut and when I was young a family from WV came to town and we became close friends. Every time we had a cookout the mom would make the best HOT DOG MEAT SAUCE. To this day it was the greatest meat sauce (not chili) I ever had. It was incredibly distinct and different from the Chili or Chili sauces that I grew up with. While looking on-line for Hot Dog meat sauce’s for an up-comng picnic I was wondering if I could find and make the same sauce that would take me back to my childhood. I was hoping their was a special WV style meat sauce for Hot Dogs. Wow, I could not believe I found someone asking for a WV Hot Dog meat sauce. My dream has come true, their is a special WV Hot Dog meat sauce and wil try all the versions untill I find the one I remember – and I will know as soon as I try it. While I will never be able to duplicate our friends version I will do my best in her memory. Can’t wait to get srtarted.

  19. I have never eaten WV hot dog sauce that had a chili powder taste, nor did it ever have a hot spicy taste. Where are the old recipes!

  20. Hello,
    I can’t wait to try some of these recipes! I’m from Clarksburg and my parents are from Shinnston/Lumberport area. We would go to Sissler’s outside of Shinnston on our way home to Ohio back in the 70′s. The last 10 years or so we’ve been going to T&L’s in Shinnston. Sometimes we make day trips to WV just to get hot dogs and pepperoni rolls! There is no other sauce than WV hot dog sauce. My dad still complains that there is no where in Ohio that makes them like they do. He tells of the stories of the hot dog place in Lumberport that he’d get hot dogs. Can’t remember the price but they were ridiculous cheap.. but that was in the 50′s maybe? I’d love that one of these recipes would make him happy!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  21. Well I see we have a few WV HotDog sauce officianado’s commenting. There are a few standards that we can all agree on. 1) ITS CALLED SAUCE NOT CHILLI. 2) If it “piled on” then its to thick 3) Every WV community had a hot dog stand with the best hotdog sauce. and 4) Sonic sucks. I have eaten at many of these places listed in here. ONE that comes to mind is Gene’s in Morgantown. WOW they were great and he could make em fast and the draft beer was ice cold. I Remember going there after the Pitt game in 76. The Mounties beat Pitt in the last 15 seconds on a field goal. Tony Dorsett’s senior year and Bobby Bowden’s last year at WVU. Sunnyside lit up thatnight!! The point is that there are a lot of non food ingredients in hot dogs that make them the best. Family, friends, driveins, cars, pinball machines, sports are all ingredients in good hotdog sauce. I am fixing a batch of my favorite for my mother-in-laws 87th birthday. She made hotdog sauce for Annettes Drive Inn in West Hamlin for many years. Try all the recipes posted here….there are some good ones. Dont be suprised though when its not quite as good as what you remember…the non food ingredients cant be duplicated.

    • would like the recipe

      • My Grandmother lived in Junior,WV. I think her recipe is the authentic WV recipe from way back. She would be over a hundred years old by now. She passed away in the 70′s.

        2 lbs hamburger
        3 or 4 chopped onions
        1 small bottle of catsup
        1 tablespoon of mustard
        1 quart of tomato juice
        Chili powder, salt and pepper to taste
        Mix all together and cook 2 to 3 hours

        Hamburger should be very fine when done.

    • Gene’s was great. I liked Yanns and Cosmopolitan also great chili sauce. The hilltop also made great dogs

  22. Sissonville , West Virginia had the best Hot Dogs served at Sisson,s Lunch(Pauline Sisson Owner)
    She had long past, but the memories still linger . Her Hot Dog chili was known far and wide as being the very best. Those were the days.

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