Grandpa’s Classic Coney Sauce

My Grandfather owned a drive-in restaurant back in the 1950’s. This is his exact recipe for Coney Dogs from back in the day. I make this on special occasions and it is always hit with friends and family. Enjoy.

Grandpa’s Classic Coney Sauce

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I feel incredibly fortunate to have my grandfather’s exact recipe for Coney Dogs from his drive-in restaurant in the 1950s. It’s like holding a piece of family history in my hands, and I love sharing this special dish with friends and family on memorable occasions.


  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup

  • 1/4 cup white sugar

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed

  • 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  • Place the ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring to crumble, until beef is browned. Drain. Transfer the beef and onion to a slow cooker and stir in the ketchup, sugar, vinegar and mustard. Season with celery seed, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and salt. Cover and simmer on Low setting for a few hours before serving.

To honor my grandfather’s legacy and bring a taste of the past into the present, I gather the ingredients needed for these iconic Coney Dogs. The anticipation builds as I imagine the flavors and textures that await.

Following my grandfather’s recipe, I begin by preparing the hot dog chili sauce. This sauce is the heart and soul of the Coney Dogs, delivering a savory and tangy punch of flavor. The process involves combining a variety of spices, ground meat, and other secret ingredients that have been passed down through generations.

As the chili sauce simmers on the stove, filling the kitchen with its enticing aroma, I can’t help but feel a deep connection to my family’s culinary heritage. Memories of my grandfather bustling around his drive-in restaurant come to life in my mind.

Once the chili sauce reaches its desired consistency and the flavors have melded together, it’s time to assemble the Coney Dogs. I carefully place a juicy hot dog in a soft bun, generously spooning the homemade chili sauce on top. The final touch is a sprinkle of finely chopped onions and a drizzle of mustard.

The sight of the completed Coney Dogs brings a sense of pride and nostalgia. I can almost hear the sounds of the drive-in, the laughter of customers, and the sizzle of hot dogs on the grill. It’s a dish that represents more than just a meal; it carries with it a piece of my family’s history and the cherished memories of my grandfather’s culinary legacy.

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