Is Hot Dog A Sandwich?

Hot Dogs

There is a lot of debate about what does and what does not constitute a sandwich. Chief in this debate is whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich. 

So is a hot dog a sandwich? A hot dog is a sandwich, by the definition of a sandwich. That’s because a sandwich is defined as meat or poultry that fills space between two pieces of bread, biscuit, or bun. As a hot dog is a piece of meat that goes into a bun, it falls within the definition of a sandwich.

Hot Dogs

Now, that’s not a debatable definition for a sandwich, but where did that definition come from? Can it be debated, or is there something about this definition that makes it more correct?

Why a Hot Dog is a Sandwich

The definition of sandwich simply states that it must include meat within bread, a bun, or a biscuit of some kind. A hot dog is a piece of meat, typically a sausage like blend of pork and beef, on a bun. That makes it a sandwich. 

Now, there is no way of debating that hot dogs fall under this category. Regardless of what topping and condiments you add to a hot dog, it fits this definition. 

It’s also worth pointing out that while this definition allows for debated items, like hot dogs, to qualify as sandwiches, it eliminates several others that are commonly accepted as sandwiches. For instance, breakfast sandwiches on something like a croissant don’t fit under this definition, while any vegetarian or vegan food is also eliminated. 

What is a Hot Dog?

At its simplest, a hot dog is a sausage like piece of meat, generally made of beef or pork. Traditionally, it’s served on a bun, though some people will eat it on its own or mixed with something like baked beans. 

This means that a hot dog is both the name for the piece of meat itself, as well as the sandwich. This can lead to confusion if you’re not specific when speaking about hot dogs.

Hot dogs are also unique from other sausages on buns, like a bratwurst. They’re both sandwiches, but just because they’re a type of sausage on a bun doesn’t make them the same thing. They’ll be unique in how they’re prepared, seasoned, and served with, leading to distinctly different flavors in each of them. 

Where Does the Definition For a Sandwich Come From?

A lot of people have come up with their own various definitions for what a sandwich should be. At a certain point, though, those definitions cease to definitions, and are actually personal opinions. That’s where room for debate opens up, and it should be avoided as much as possible. 

This is also why it’s important to turn to a reliable source for the definition of a sandwich. Otherwise, you never accomplish anything, and you won’t be able to come to a consensus. 

That’s why the definition of a sandwich being any piece of meat between two slices of bread, a biscuit, or a bun comes from the USDA. The USDA is the United States Department of Agriculture. Among the many things that the USDA is in charge of is food within the United States.

Because of this role in charge of food, the USDA is an authoritative voice on what does and what does not qualify as a sandwich. This also makes their definition the most trustworthy.

Why You Don’t Need Two Separate Pieces of Bread

A lot of people will argue that you need two separate slices of bread to make a sandwich, but that argument goes against the USDA’s definition. Therefore, you don’t, as long as you have a bun that the hot dog is served on.

This, for a lot of people, is the hang up in the debate about whether a hot dog should be considered a sandwich or not. However, that concern is based on how they personally feel things should be, and not where they actually stand. 

Furthermore, plenty of things commonly considered sandwiches, like grinders or hoagies, are one piece of bread split open like a bun. However, people don’t debate whether those are sandwiches or not. So, why should they debate whether a hot dog is or not?

Related Questions

Do chefs think a hot dog is a sandwich?

If one chef can represent them all, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, however, knows they’re sandwiches.

What is the public consensus?

The majority of people, about sixty-one percent, believe a hot dog is not a sandwich.

What’s the difference between a hot dog sandwich and sausage?

One includes a bun, but they have the same name.

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