REVIEW: Burger King Grilled Dogs (Classic and Chili Cheese)

Burger King Grilled Dogs 1

As far as I’m concerned there needs to be a law about the proper way to prepare a hot dog. None of this boiling or deep-frying nonsense, and unless you’re under the age of eight you should never even contemplate sticking that Oscar Meyer wiener in a microwave.

No, hot dogs were created for the grill. Whether beef or pork, skinless or natural casing, hardwood smoked or cheese stuffed; the only way I want to eat a tubular shaped piece of processed meat is hot off a grill.

Unfortunately I live far too distant from the world’s greatest char-grilled hot dog chain to get a regular taste of char-grilled dogs, and my own lack of hardware leaves me pathetically incapable of replicating the smokey, meaty, crackling taste and texture of one.

Thankfully—and I seriously never thought I’d say this—Burger King has come to the rescue in my little corner of suburbia. Currently testing in Maryland, Burger King’s Grilled Dogs were offered in two varieties at the location I stopped by — Classic and Chili Cheese.

Because I’m a complete glutton for punishment (actually just because I really like hot dogs and was really freaking hungry) I also decided to stop by my local Sonic to get their versions of the hot dogs to compare. Now, I realize Sonic may not exactly make any specialty magazine’s list of the greatest hot dog destinations in the country, but for a chain they do a solid dog which is both beefy and affordable. If Burger King wants to be the top dog when it comes to fast food hot dogs, then the chain is going to have to dethrone Sonic first. And yes, I did just drop two absolutely forced puns in the same sentence.

Burger King Grilled Dog Classic

First up is the Classic Dog. It comes with the assortment of ketchup, mustard, sweet relish, and chopped onions. The Burger King dog comes neatly dressed, a little heavy on the chopped onions, but thankfully not drowned in ketchup and mustard. Actually, when it comes to the toppings there is very good balance, so much so that none of the toppings overpower the others, and more importantly don’t overpower the hot dog itself.

Burger King Grilled Dog Grill Marks

The dog, which has grill marks and a split texture, has excellent snap for a fast food dog, with more blackening than Sonic’s All-American dog. The flavor is moderately smokey and definitely beefy, although to be honest it’s not as beefy as Sonic’s dog. I liked it…a lot. But it felt small and not quite substantial enough. The bun was a bit stale, but it did have a decent buttery-sweet flavor. The meat to bun ratio felt right; I tasted a combination of sharp and sweet toppings, the bun, and most importantly the meaty depth of the hot dog.

BK Left, Sonic right hot Dogs

Burger King (Left), Sonic (Right)

I probably favor Sonic’s dog a little more, mostly because theirs has beefier taste and the bun had a really enjoyable, pillowy quality that I happen to be a sucker for. But I’m splitting hairs here, because Burger King clearly wins for the hot dog’s texture.

Burger King Grilled Dogs Chili Cheese

The Burger King Chili Cheese Dog is definitely for you if you’re the kind person who doesn’t mind getting more chili cheese flavor than beef flavor in your dog. Here the toppings do somewhat obscure the grilled taste and the beefy dog, although it’s a tasty hot dog in its own right. Burger King actually does a nice job at presenting the perennial slobberfest, at least compared to Sonic, which just sort of steams a gooey hunk of processed cheddar over the hot dog. Here the extra support of the stiffer bun gives Burger King an edge.

Burger King Grilled Dogs Chili Cheese 2

The chili flavor is par for the course; a thick tomato paste and bean mixture fortified with beef fat, it has strong accents of garlic and cumin beneath a layer of nicely melted three cheeses. It’s the kind of stuff you’ll find out of a can, although a can that’s been doctored up by some B-List Food Network star like Sandra Lee who specializes in making you think it’s semi-homemade. I especially liked the three cheese blend, which had a milky flavor. I thought Burger King’s Chili Cheese dog was a winner over Sonic despite costing 39 cents more, if only because it’s much more presentable and a bit more complex in its use of the three cheeses.

Burger King Grilled Dogs 2

Burger King’s new Grilled Dogs aren’t exactly hot dog royalty, but they’re very good for a fast food restaurant and definitely captured that char-grilled taste and texture that comes with putting a wiener on an open flame. While they seem to lack some of the inherent beefiness that Sonic’s hot dogs have, their smokey taste and crisp texture are big step above the spinning wieners on heating trays at convenience stores, and definitely an approved substitute if your iconic hot dog dive isn’t on your daily commute.

(Nutrition Facts – Unavailable.)

Item: Burger King Grilled Dogs
Purchased Price: $1.99 (Classic)
Purchased Price: $2.39 (Chili Cheese)
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Classic)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Chili Cheese)
Pros: Solid char-grilled taste and snappy texture. Beefy and meaty flavor of a premium hot dog. Well constructed with toppings evenly distributed, with none overpowering the others. Cheese has a nice milky note that plays well with the earthy flavors of the chili.
Cons: Not as beefy tasting as Sonic’s hot dogs. Small and not quite satisfying when compared to specialty hot dog restaurants. Slightly stale bun. Sandra Lee chili sauce.

67 thoughts on “REVIEW: Burger King Grilled Dogs (Classic and Chili Cheese)

  1. Adam after reading your review, I want to try these more than ever. Please order often and get your friends to as well so that the test will be a success and they can come to Ohio!

    1. Darrell, I’m not sure where in OH you are but if you’re up for a road trip I saw a Burger King in MI advertising these hotdogs.

      1. Thank you Laura! I will certainly look into this. Many of my friends have called me crazy for my many road trips just for food lol. Michigan is on my radar anyway because they are one of the only areas that have the chili cheese burritos at Taco Bell locations 🙂

        1. The only place that I know that is testing these in Michigan is Detroit. At least that’s what is listed under the test restaurants at the bk I work at.

          1. They were here in Ypsilanti… Will they bring them back?? Also they had one with cheese and bacon!! It was awesome!!

    2. These are the vilest things I’ve ever tasted, and you have to get past the smell of them first.
      What were you eating?

      1. I thought these hot dogs were terrible. I wonder if they are actually grilled over fire as the commercials show, too. Especially when the clerk told me they had just put some on the broiler. Hmmm. I guess I am partial to good old fashioned hot dogs and do NOT like beef hot dogs at all.

        1. McGarbage hot dog was worse than the rolling gas station hot dogs. Puny shriveled up on a bun that is much larger than the hot dog. They load it up to cover up the meaty taste….I’ll never go back.

    3. dont waste your time. i just had one, and i threw out at least half. they cover it up with so much relish, onions, etc, you cannot tell what the dog tastes like. until you get about halfway. then your stomach wants you to stop chewing

    4. His review rings more like an advert, than an actual review…consider that for a moment. I have since tried these twice now; not once have I seen a single grill mark on it, and the flavor of the hotdog itself is that of a mid-range store bought hotdog like Oscar Meyer. As seen in his picture above, the hotdogs have a shriveled not fresh look to them, and what he refers to as a smoky beef flavor, leaves a fake aftertaste that I find highly suspect. But at least the bun and topping were all very good. Sadly, Not only has BK failed with this new product, this reviewer has failed to produce what would be considered an honest review, and instead opted to snuggle up to BK…in hopes of what in return?

  2. Usually when the subject of hotdogs comes up you get someone vowing bloody revenge for having put ketchup on a dog

      1. If you ‘grew up on Nathans hotdogs….then I’m sure you grew up in the 2000’s…… self respecting fan of a Nathans Hotdog would EVER put ketchup on a hotdog. Being from Brooklyn…..when I was a kid….70’s/80’s….you would not live to see the next day if you put ketchup on a hotdog (slight exaggeration…..).

        1. I have enough German blood in my veins that nobody is qualified to tell me how to eat or not eat a sausage.

        2. you put whatever you want on hotdogs, I don’t care if you are from Brooklyn, I feel what ever you put on these hotdogs it would taste like crap.

      2. Katshit belongs in the garbage…NOT on a hot dog. Maybe your mommy wanted to cover up the taste of some crappy hot dog…but a good hot dog shouldn’t be ruined with Katshit.

    1. Yea I think that’s a Chicago thing. We’re sure fine with ketchup on our dogs here in Ohio, though most seem to prefer “sauce,” a blend of ground beef and spices but no beans and often with slaw as well

    2. There are hot dog joints here in Chicago that will give you packets but refuse to put ketchup on a dog! I’m not against a char dog but if you have to grill it for flavor, it’s not a good quality in natural casing dog ike the Vienna beefs that are most popular here.

  3. That chili cheese dog looks pretty decent, but I think that BK should be revamping their burger lineup before venturing into hot dogs. The Whopper desperately needs a makeover.

    1. Really? I always thought the Whopper was the only thing worth getting there. Admittedly, I haven’t had one for awhile.

    2. No body is forcing you to eat Burger King go some place else and quit bothering the rest of us with your narrow minded opinion because we don’t give a shit what your opinion or what you think my god your annoying!!..

  4. I usually combine the 2 most popular methods, I boil the hot dog, then mostly split it lengthwise, leaving a small bit of it together, and sear the “inside” on an extremely hot flat top or griddle.

  5. The idea of buying a hot dog at a fast food establishment is foreign to me.

    I prefer to buy Johnsonville beef brats instead of hot dogs. They’re actually cheaper than a package of good quality beef hot dogs.

    I also prefer to boil or pan sear my dogs.

  6. Have no intention to ever eat a BK Hot dog but..looks impressive.

    Myself, I like the natural casing hot dogs, tossed in a pan with some oil or butter and blister the outside. Can also be thrown in the oven until it ‘pops’ open and toasts. The crunchier the better.. Something about that first snap on a hot dog – heaven.

    Microwaved hot dogs are just nasty, boiled hot dogs are even worse. Rubbery and floppy just like… ya know.

  7. Haha. I’m guilty of microwaving hot dogs. They split and look grotesque, but don’t taste too horrible. I tried the “Idaho style” dog a week ago this way. I got a Wendy’s sour cream and chive baked potato and went home a microwaved a hot dog and stuck it in it. It sounds stupid, but was actually surprisingly good. Anyway, these look okay, but a little shrivelly. I’m actually surprised they went for real cheese on these. Also, I find Sonic’s Chili to be way too salty for my taste. Anyway this review is making me hungry, hot dogs for dinner tonight it is!@

    1. I agree with you on the Sonic chili dog being too salty. I also find their chili has too much smoke flavor. Just comes across as artificial. Having been born in California, I always liked Wienerschnitzel’s chili, which I haven’t had in about 20 years now since moving to Ohio. Withdrawal symptoms are beginning to set in! 🙂

      1. Actually, I think the Weinerschnizel chili is too salty also, but if you have them put relish & onions, it helps balance it out. Wendy’s chili is more similar to the chili my mom always used to make while growing up, so I generally prefer that.

        1. I’ll admit Wendy’s chili has a decent flavor. But I hate bell peppers and they’re in there. I like the beef and beans to be the star not all those big veggie chunks lol

  8. These actually look pretty tasty. Stay away from Checker’s hot dogs, they are truly repulsive.

    Maryland must be a good test market for different fast food items. I remember years ago when McDonald’s in MD sold hot dogs and cheesesteaks. There’s a reason they don’t sell either anymore.

  9. I am sorry, but you start out saying hot dogs need grilled but then say Sonic has the best fast food hot dogs. I have NEVER in 10 years of eating at Sonic had a hot dog from there that has the slightest hint of being grilled. They are always steamed or warmed somehow (microwave).

  10. I’m not sure what part of Maryland you are located in, but try some A&W Coney Dogs and hot dogs if you get a chance. Only 99 cents on Tuesdays!

    1. I called our local A&W here in Ohio. They’re half price today so $1.59 she said. Ouch $3.19 regular? Sheesh! But I’ll give them a try for 1.59!

  11. I really hope these spread all the way to California. I’ve been craving a hot dog, but we have no where to get them other than Five Guys (and I refuse to pay almost $6 for a single, plain hot dog). I could buy a whole package of them at the supermarket, but that always seems excessive when I’m just one person.

    1. I buy a pack, and what I don’t use when I open it, I throw in a sandwich bag in the freezer. It takes a little longer to cook them but they come out okay.

  12. Apparently, I’m the only one here who ADORES Sonic’s Chili Cheese dog. So because of that, and because I also adore BK’s chicken fries; I’m not going to bother attempting BK’s hot dogs if they have them at my local place.

  13. You are correct about Ted’s. I live in Phoenix and get out to the one in Tempe every now and then. They make a tasty, tasty hot dog.

  14. If you live in MD you can always hit Five Guys for a quality hot dog, but before you go swearing off fried dogs you need to go to Ann’s Dari Creme in Pasadena (right in front of Marley Station Mall) and get a footlong w/everything (chili, mustard & onions). You’ll be changing your tune right quick.

    1. Five Guys hot dog was ok but definitely did not justify the price. Especially when you couldn’t get chili and cheese topping!

  15. Take it from someone who frequents Ted’s, hot dogs are not supposed to be beefy. Hot dogs are pork inside lamb casings. Lamb or Veal can be used to help them plump during cooking, note that neither of those taste like beef.

    1. I feel you; I was raised on the standard Sahlen’s dog from Ted’s and thanks to Wegman’s can sometimes get a fix where I live, but every time I’m in Buffalo, I go for the All-Beef dog and I have no regrets. I can appreciate a good quality dog of multiple proteins, but more times than not I want a beefy hot dog.

      1. TED’S was my 2nd favorite when I went back to Buffalo for a visit. My first was Louie’s (a local place in my old neighborhood.) There was another place in front park that had the charbroiled dogs that put everything in Houston to shame! Actually, all 3 I mentioned sure would be welcome here!

  16. I have the best news ever! These are now going nationwide on February 23rd as a permanent menu item! Apparently Adam and others listened to me and ordered enough of them to make the test a success! Can’t wait to try them!!

  17. The chili dog at the burger king in Houston was the worst dog I ever tried!!!!!!! Originally lived in Buffalo, NY and they had dogs that were the best I ever had! Moved to Houston in 1979 and had to settle for James Coney Island dogs and they grew on me. The sauce on them, with the fine chopped onions with lite on the cheese became a favorite of mine. I ended up throwing the dog from Burger King in the garbage after 2 bites. Now I buy Nathans franks and go to James and get a jar of their sauce, chop fresh onions, steam the buns and revel in the disgustingly good taste while I watch a good movie. PS: they go soooo with a glass of good root beer!

  18. This article is an abomination to hot dogs.
    Come to Coney Island or Chicago and great a real hot dog.
    Or some NY deli and cook it yourself.

  19. just had my first and last bk hot dog. it wasn’t hot, the bun was chewy, the weiner was lousy and I couldn’t get coney sauce with mustard and onion without adding it or taking cheese off the other. come to Youngstown ohio and learn how to make a great hot hotdog.

  20. I tried one and thought it was terrible. Pictures of it look way better than it is. Small, overly cooked and nothing like it looks or should be. I’ve had better at 7-eleven on a roller cooker for way less. Sorry

  21. Just read this review. Nice job, Adam! I had no idea there was a famous hot dog chain near me! Next time I make a trip to Buffalo I’m gonna make a point of it to get to Ted’s.

  22. I was raised in Chicagoland, home of the best dogs in the universe. First, there are NO beans in chili dog chili. It is a smooth paste. The cheese is finely shredded and the onions a garnish. I have tried both BK and Sonic dogs. Dairy Queen has the closest chili dog to the real thing here in Oregon. Neither BK or Sonic pass the taste test. Give me a Vienna red hot in a poppy seed bun with sport peppers and emerald green relish!!

  23. I was not happy I tried both dogs . The meat was tough and hard skinned. The pictures advertised showed a juicy looking hot dog. It was buried in a bun. I requested the classic no relish. I can attest to have it your way does not work with th hot dog. As for the chili dog the dog was the only complaint that tight dry little hot dog is truly an issue. Overall not good enough for my money.

  24. While not grilled, it’s hard pressed to beat Sam’s Club on their $1.50 combo which includes a huge Nathan’s hot dog and a drink. They have sauerkraut too. You don’t have to be a member to eat there. Just tell the people at the front you are going to get a hot dog.

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