This Chili-Cheese Dog Takes 31 Hours to Make
“How many condom jokes have you had to bear while making sausages?”
I’m standing directly in front of Adam Gertler in the kitchen of DogHaus’s Green Street location in Pasadena. He is gingerly pumping his Magnum-sized vertical sausage stuffer as the water-balloon-like lamb casing attached to it increases in length and width. I’m dodging blood or ground beef projectiles from landing on my camera, my shirt, or my Vans.
“Oh, it is insane,” he answers back without even cracking a smile. “Also, since pretty much nobody under 50 makes their own sausages, the other part you should be careful about is when you go out to meet a girl or something. I never, ever open with, ‘Hi, I make sausages for a living,’ because I’ve learned that could go either way.”
If Gertler’s face looks familiar, it is probably because you probably saw him cooking his ass off on season four of The Next Food Network Star. He was the runner-up contestant. He also is the host of FX Movie Download and FX Eats. Still, he didn’t really let this brush with fame sway him from his real passion: sausage-making.
I was invited to learn how his “Little Leaguer Haus Dog” is made. It is a beast of a hot dog that I’m told takes approximately 31 hours, 4 minutes, and 37 seconds to make. Like any other good Los Angeles born-and-raised person, I grew up on chili-cheese everything: fries, burgers, and dogs. However, the gloppy, neon-orange stuff at places like Jim’s Burger’s or The Hat I had growing up all pale in comparison when placed next to this version. It involves 22 different ingredients and a heady blend of 18 spices. “It is kind of like the seasonings used to make pastrami or pickle something—mostly black pepper,” Gertler tells me as he lays out the spices for me to get a whiff.