This post was updated May 14, 2021 to include new video and updated instructions.
I should start this post with a big fat disclosure: I’ve never been to Tucson (or Sonora, Mexico for that matter) and never had an official Sonoran Hot Dog. So, it’s with great humility that I even attempt to recreate it.
But, I do have a good friend who goes there frequently and we made these Sonoran Hot Dogs a few times over the years. He confirmed that these were close enough! Plus, it turns out, as with many grilled meat items, you can kind of make it your own and it’ll probably be delicious.
There are many variations of the Sonoran dog out there, so this is my take on it. It seems like one thing that is consistent on these dogs, and in my opinion is the most interesting piece, is the combo of bacon-wrapped hot dog, beans, and spicy salsa. There’s something working there, people, and it’s delicious.
Sonoran Hot Dog Video
How to Make Sonoran Hot Dogs
The hardest part of the Sonoran hot dog is the bacon-wrapped element. It’s doable though and you could make a bunch of these before a party or something without too much trouble. You don’t actually need to secure the bacon with toothpicks. If you wrap the bacon tightly and sit the hot dog so the ends of the bacon are underneath, it’ll stay wrapped.
Cook these on a medium-high grill with the ends down still and as they cook the bacon will firm up and stay tightly wrapped around the hot dog. It’ll also get beautifully crispy.
If you get the temperature too hot on the grill these hot dogs will burn. So keep it on a medium-lowish or indirect grilling temperature.
The other items for these hot dogs are pretty straightforward. The only other thing I cooked is I warmed up my pinto beans in a small pot with some butter, cumin, brown sugar, and salt and pepper.
If you’re serving these to a crowd, just put everything in bowls so people can help themselves to toppings. I like ALL the toppings!
Traditionally, these are served with mayo, but I changed it up a bit for my version and kept with a tex-mex theme. I stirred together the juice of a lime with some sour cream for a quick creamy sauce to drizzle on the dogs.
Buy the biggest buns you can find for these guys and pile them high!
No need to go all the way to Tucson (or Sonora) to get your fill here people. These Sonoran Hot Dogs are ready for your next backyard BBQ!
Sonoran Hot Dogs
- 8 all beef hot dogs
- 8 strips bacon
- 1 15 oz. can pinto beans
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 white onion, minced
- 8 oz. crumbled queso fresco
- Green tomatillo salsa
- Pickled jalapeños
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 lime, juice only
- Fresh cilantro
- 8 large hot dog buns
- For hot dogs, take a full strip of bacon and wrap it tightly around your hot dog. Place it ends down on a plate so the bacon stays firmly wrapped. You shouldn’t need to secure it with a toothpick, but you can if you want.
- To grill hot dogs, preheat grill to medium-high heat. Add hot dogs, ends down and cook them for about 10 minutes total, turning occasionally, until bacon is crispy and cooked.
- For pinto beans, drain and rinse and add to a small pot with butter, cumin, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Warm through and keep warm.
- Stir together sour cream and lime juice for a quick creamy sauce.
- Dice all veggies and crumble cheese.
- Assemble dogs by adding a bacon wrapped dog to a big hot dog bun. Top with pinto beans, veggies, cheese, sour cream sauce, and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!