Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich? A Great American Debate Has Ignited

11/05/2015 at 05:07 PM ET

Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?

National Sandwich Day may be officially behind us, but a great question still lingers: Is a hot dog a sandwich?

While this debate is certainly not new, it has been reignited in recent days after sports reporter Jonah Javad Tweeted a conversation he had with Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor about the subject, in which Taylor vehemently rejecting the notion of a hot dog as a sandwich.

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The debate in the team’s locker room raged on, with players making valid arguments like “If it has bread and meat, then it’s a sandwich,” and counterarguments: “You can eat a hot dog cold. I used to eat hot dogs plain, no bun.”

Fair point. If there’s no bun, is it still a hot dog? Perhaps, yes. But, for the sake of the argument, let’s assume we aren’t watching our carb intake here and that the definition of a hot dog includes a bun. Is it then a sandwich?

Let’s examine this more scientifically. Merriam-Webster defines a sandwich as “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between.” Under this definition, with the inclusion of the split roll, yes, a hot dog is definitely a sandwich. (And for you sticklers, open-faced sandwiches are accounted for in the “B” definition).

But let’s be real here — we are talking practical, every day usage. For more insight on this, we will turn to our friends on Twitter, where many are outraged at even the thought of a hot dog being a sandwich.

Some users say no, because, menus.

The Atlantic took the debate more scientific, creating the “four-point sandwich test,” in which the hot dog’s vertical orientation excluded it from sandwich status.

But most people say no, because, just, no.

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…and others are just plain over it altogether.

Iron Chef and resident PEOPLE blogger Alex Guarnaschelli, whose opinion we greatly admire and trust greatly, also weighed in on the debate, saying it is a sandwich.

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So where does all this debate leave us? Confused. Frustrated. Hungry. Please talk amongst yourselves in the comments.

Shay Spence

FILED UNDER: Food , Food News , Sandwiches

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Showing 6 comments


A sandwich is two pieces of bread, or a split roll, with a filling in between. A hot dog, by definition … is a sandwich. End of discussion.

Sue on

Who cares, they’re delicious! You need at least two of them, but they’re heaven, and if pressed to answer I’d say it is.

Guy VanDeresk on

A hot dog is a hot dog when you buy it in the store – singly or packaged. So is a hamburger patty, and that juicy roast beef that is roast beef. So what makes food a sandwich of something or another is its association with the bread – roll up, bun, roll, or slice of bread. Here is a thought – take a cooked hot dog slice it horizontally into two and then slice that vertically, so you end up with four pieces of the hotdog. Then place them on a toasted slice of bread and apply condiment and cover with another toasted slice of bread. What do you then? A hot dog or a hot dog sandwich. Point: The hot dog is the meat, frankly speaking.

Guy VanDeresk on

Is a BLT a sandwich? My Pizza place serves it on the submarine roll and not on square toasst.

Alex De Bruin on

Call It What You Want.
A Sausage is Still A Sausage.
A Frankfurter is Still not A Hot Dog
So Call it A Hot Dog Sandwich if You Will
and a world without Tradition is As Steady as A Fiddler on The Roof!
So is Peanut Butter and Jelly Not An Sandwich?
I Come From New York! Is Pfefferwusrst A Sandwich?
Sure We Just Lead the Nation In Cutting Out The Middleman.
PB&J You’re Welcome

John H on

Yes a hot dog is a sandwich regardless of what the council of wieners claims. The name/ingredients of popular sandwiches are so well known it is assumed that the term sandwich is unnecessary. For example

Hot Dog
Patty or Tuna Melt
Po’ Boy
Grilled Cheese

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