Hot dog bars are a fun and easy way to feed a large number of people, and are especially popular for family gatherings (kids love hot dogs).
If you're thinking of having a hot dog bar for a wedding reception, birthday, graduation, Fourth of July, family reunion, fundraiser, or other event and need to know how much to buy and prepare, you'll can get an estimate of what you'll need using this calculator. After you enter the number of guests you'll be serving, the result will provide a breakdown of common purchased ingredients which you can use as a checklist to prepare for your event.
So if you need to know how many dogs for 25, 50, 100 or more, the Hot Dog Bar Calculator will figure it out for you. You can even print out the results.
If you are making rather than purchasing your own chili or other toppings, use our Recipe Multiplier http://calculate-this.com/recipe-multiplier-calculator to convert your recipes to the ingredient quantities you'll need.
Unless you have someone continually manning the grill and cooking dogs on-demand, it's best to simply heat the hot dogs and keep them in a covered crock pot or warming pan with a small amount of water to maintain moisture. No one likes over-cooked, shriveled dogs! The entire meal is self-serve and everything can be prepared in advance. Since the majority of ingredients are served cold or at room temperature, you'll only have to worry about keeping a few ingredients heated. Guests get to choose their own fillings, so they're less likely to be disappointed. You can serve basic ingredients, or step it up a notch by offering a unique variety of gourmet toppings.
- If you have any "big eaters" or teens, you may need to 3 hot dogs for per person, whereas you'll only need one hot dog each for young children. However, the number of hot dogs needed should average out to about two hot dogs per person if other hearty side dishes are also available.
- Use diner-style paper or plastic hot dog baskets, and condiment bottles to make self-serve as well as clean up easier.
- Shredded cheese may start to "sweat" and get clumpy in outdoor heat. It may be easier to offer "cheese in a can" (Cheese Whiz, Easy Cheese, etc), or squeezable cheese. These cheeses also come in a variety of cheese flavors. An 8 ounce bottle of snack cheese contains 7 - 2 TBSP (32 gm) servings.
- Offer toppings for at least 5 iconic hot dog styles (Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, New York dogs, etc). Display hot dog recipes inside small picture frames to guide your guests through the toppings for each style.
The calculator will provide an estimate of items needed based on standard serving sizes. However, guests' preferences as well as appetite can vary greatly so you may have too much of one item and not enough of another. Please come back and leave feedback after your event on how the Hot Dog Bar Calculator worked for you!