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Hot dogs and chilli – can it get any better?

Outdoor cooking fans do it all year round. Here at BBQbarbecues we’ve suspected this for some time but now have the statistics to back our theory up.

For instance, a recent survey by Canadian firm Weber showed that 38 per cent of Canadians put their barbecue into use every month of the year. Not only that but 34 per cent said they always barbecued at a tailgating party. As an aside, exactly half of those questioned said hot dogs were their favourite food to grill at a tailgating party.

For the Brits reading this let us explain (for we had to turn to our online dictionary ourselves) – a tailgaiting party is a sociable American get together in the car park of a stadium prior to a concert or baseball game etc and which usually involves drinking and grilling. Well, it kinda makes sense – the tailgate being part of a large car!

So, anyhow, what would you cook for a tailgating party on this side of the Atlantic – were that term to ever make it onto British or European shores?

Well, staying with the hot dog, we’d look at cooking something like the American classic hot dog with a bit of a Spanish twist. In other words, we’d add some Mexican hotness with the aid of a pinch or two of chipotle chilli.

To make this yummy number for eight people, ingredient-wise you’re looking at packing into the boot of your car eight beef hot dogs and matching buns, 250ml of tomato sauce, two slices of chopped bacon, two teaspoons of minced garlic, one teaspoon of smoked paprika, a half teaspoon ground cumin and some salt.

For the chilli you’ll need an onion, a tablespoon of minced jalapeno pepper (yes, well, we did warn you it was going to be hot!), 1lb of ground steak, one teaspoon of chipotle chilli powder, half a cup of beer and one cup cheddar cheese. And, of course, don’t forget the barbecue itself!

Once you get to your destination and unpack, pour yourself a glass of wine or beer – whatever your poison is. Then prepare to demonstrate your culinary expertise.

When it comes to the actual cooking, add the bacon and half the onion to a warmed skillet and fry for around five minutes. Once they’re nicely browned put in the jalapeno and garlic and stir for one minute. Next in is the ground beef for five minutes which should also be stirred regularly and broken up. Now it’s time for the spices – the chipotle chilli, paprika, cumin and the salt. Make sure they’re well mixed before finally stirring in the tomato sauce and beer then allowing to simmer for around ten minutes.

While the chilli simmers you can get going on the hot dogs – and another glass of wine. To do this, make a few cuts in each of the sausages then wrap the hot dog buns in tinfoil. Grill the hot dogs under a closed lid on the barbecue for seven minutes, turning occasionally and ensuring they are no longer pink in the middle. A couple of minutes prior to taking the hot dogs off the barbecue warm up the bins in tinfoil over a medium heat. If you haven't got a barbecue yet then check out our fantastic gas barbecue range.

Finally, everything should be ready! Put the hot dogs in the buns and top with chilli, cheese and some chopped onions, left over from the half you used earlier with the bacon. There – that was easy and you won’t have any messy plates to sort out afterwards. Now enjoy – you deserve it!