Our Air Fryer Chili Dogs are a major crowd pleaser thanks to the homemade hot dog chili, warm buns, and perfectly cooked hot dogs. This recipe makes it easy to feed a crowd and everyone raves over these!
Picture this: perfectly cooked hot dogs with a mouthwatering texture that is simultaneously crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. But that’s not all – you’ve got a soft, warm bun and a generous scoop of our rich, savory chili topping. This recipe is a very strong rival to my previous favorite bacon wrapped hot dogs!
We’re obsessed with topping our chili dogs with a squirt of mustard, a handful of shredded cheese, and a light sprinkle of finely minced onion. <— That’s the perfect dog if you ask me!
Do you want to make it your way? This is one of many recipes that lets you do that! Use our recipe as a base, and customize it any way you wish! Spice up your chili, change the cheese on top, toast your bun, or anything else…there are so many options! My nephew is a big fan of topping his air fryer chili dog with loads of thinly sliced fresh jalapeno – that extra spice is so good!
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Chili Ingredients – Ground beef, beef broth, tomato sauce, ketchup, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and cumin will be used in our chili recipe. This hot dog chili isn’t quite the same as traditional chili you’d eat with a spoon – it’s a bit sweeter and the beef is so tender and in very fine pieces.
Hot dog chili is a bit sweeter and has a tender, finely minced texture, whereas traditional chili is spicier and has a chunkier texture. There are no beans in hot dog chili.
Hot Dog Ingredients – Grab your favorite brand of hot dogs and your favorite pack of buns. I prefer all beef dogs, but you can use what you like.
Toppings: We think shredded cheddar, minced onion, and sliced jalapeno are a must for topping. A squirt of mustard is always welcome on my chili dogs and I’ve been known to sneak in some dill relish as well or a whole pickle spear. Cheese sauce also makes a tasty topping.
How to Make Chili Dogs Using the Air Fryer:
- Make the chili dog sauce– Add your raw beef and beef broth to a deep skillet. Break up all your beef into small pieces using a fork. We just mash the meat as fine as we can using the back of a fork…the beef broth helps this process along. Add in the remaining ingredients for flavor and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. The chili will thicken a little bit over this time.
- Air fry the dogs– Add your hot dogs to a preheated air fryer. Cook for 3 minutes at 400 degrees F. If the hot dogs aren’t browned yet, cook further in one-minute increments. When the hot dogs are done, you can use your air fryer to toast the buns! Leave the air fryer turned off and put the buns in the air fryer for one minute. The heat from cooking the dogs will toast them up a little bit. Don’t overdo it or you’ll have dry, crispy buns and no one wants that.
- Assemble the chili dogs– Add a hot dog to a bun, then top with the chili sauce. After that, add any additional toppings you like such as the cheese, onion, and peppers. Serve hot.
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Certainly! You can replace the beef with ground turkey or ground venison with great results!
This is purely a personal preference and is difficult to answer. We enjoy all beef hot dogs and would recommend those to anyone who is unsure of which type to purchase.
There are a few, very few, companies that package 8 hot dogs to go with the pretty standard package of 8 hot dog buns. Most of the bigger hot dog makers still pack in 10 counts. They do this for their manufacturing convenience to keep costs down, they claim. Up to you to believe if that is true or not!
A great chili dog is going to be messy. Be prepared by having plenty of napkins and even offering up forks when serving for those who want to bite into it with a fork. If you are anything like me, don’t wear a white shirt because you will drop some chili on your shirt!
Also, since they are messy anway, go crazy with the toppings! I find that the more you load up the extra toppings, the better the chili dog! One thing I do for my own chili dogs is to add a crunchy pickle spear on the top! That crunch contrasted against all the other soft textures is welcome, and the pickle flavor tops chili and cheese very nicely!
Air Fryer Chili Dogs
For the homemade chili dog sauce:
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ cup beef broth
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
For the chili dogs:
- 8 hot dogs
- 8 hot dog buns
- Shredded cheddar for topping
- Minced onion for topping
- Sliced jalapeno for topping
To make the chili dog sauce:
- Add the beef and beef broth to a deep skillet over medium heat and use a fork to break the meat into small pieces, smashing the meat with the fork to create a finer texture than a traditional ground meat.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet with the beef and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until chili has thickened slightly.
To make the hot dogs:
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees for 2 minutes.
- Add the hot dogs to the air fryer basket and cook for 3 minutes. Continue cooking in one minute increments if you like your hot dogs browned a bit on the outside.
- To lightly toast the buns, place the hot dogs in the buns and return to the hot air fryer for 1 minute with the air fryer turned off.
- Spoon the hot chili sauce over the hot dogs and top with cheese and onions, if desired.
- Serve hot.