Authentic Detroit Style Coney Dogs

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What recipe connects you to family? What food instantly transports you back home? This recipe for Authentic Detroit Style Coney Dogs instantly brings back memories and takes me back to Michigan.

Growing up in Michigan, chili dogs are a way of life and almost right of passage. Whenever I went to work with me dad and we were close to the original, we would order a dozen. Our order was always the same, loaded, which meant chili, mustard, and diced white onions.

Gluten Free Authentic Detroit Style Coney Dogs

A Lesson in Chili Dogs

Every food lore has various versions, including the origin of the Coney Dog. It’s easy to think they originate from Coney Island, but in fact that’s not true. What is agreed on however is that the chili sauce that makes Coney Dogs so great was created by either Greek or Macedonian immigrants.

What is also a fact is that Michigan has the most restaurants devoted to and specializing in Coney Dogs. Some parts of New York and places in Vermont call a chili dog a Michigan.

Authentic Detroit Style Coney Dogs, A Family Tradition

This is my version of my husband’s grandmother’s chili sauce. I have tweaked it slightly to tame the heat. Her version called for a whopping six teaspoons of cayenne. If you love heat though feel free to add a little more.

The key to really good coney sauce starts with the meat itself. I used Niaman Ranch ground beef, as well as their Fearless Uncured Hotdogs. All of their products are hormone and antibiotic free, raised by small independent farmers who implement sustainable and humane agricultural practices.

After picking out your meat, the next key to crave worthy Gluten Free Authentic Detroit Style Coney Dogs is getting your ground beef browned. Make sure your pan is truly hot before adding your beef, and let it brown before giving it a stir. You want that crust to form as it adds so much flavor.

In addition to letting your meat brown, also let the meat break down. Once you add your ingredients, don’t rush the process. Let it simmer on the stove a good half hour to 45 minutes. The longer it cooks, the richer and deeper the flavor.

Then you just have to decide how you’re topping them. I still love them the same way as when I was a kid, mustard and onions. But pickle relish and shredded dairy free cheese also make perfect toppings.

Are you looking for another ground beef recipe? Make sure you check out my recipe for Gluten Free Double the Meat Meatball Subs.

Gluten Free Authentic Detroit Style Coney Dogs

Authentic Detroit Style Coney Dogs

The ultimate spiced chili for topping your favorite chili dogs.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 hotdogs


  • stockpot



  • Add the ground beef and onions to a pot over medium heat.
  • Break up ground beef while allowing to brown and the onions to get tender.
  • Add tomato paste and cook until color deepens to a rust, mixing well.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring to combine.
  • Partially cover the pot and cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally and allowing the meat to break down.
  • *If you like it extra spicy add more cayenne.
  • Top your grilled hotdogs with the chili and favorite toppings. Enjoy!


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