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Copycat J.Dawgs Special Sauce

86 Reviews

If you have been to J.Dawgs here in Utah before, you know that their special sauce just can’t beat! I would bathe in it if I could!

It is sweet and tangy and is the perfect compliment to that grilled hot dog! My mouth is starting to water just thinking about it. Good thing there is a J.Dawgs right down the road from us, but if you live far away, you can make the infamous J.Dawgs special sauce at home. And it’s so dang simple!

a photo of a grilled hotdog that has been sliced in a crisscross fashion sitting in a bun inside aluminum foil. The hotdog is covered in special sauce.


I am a sauce lover! Like for real…give me all the sauces! Have you tried our killer burger sauce? Have mercy! Imho, just about everything is better if a sauce is involved!

Ok, back to J.Dawgs…the sauce on this hot dog is fantastic. The only way to describe the hot dog is, it’s a saucy dog. I realize that sounds kinda lame, but I don’t know how else to describe it. My girls love hot dogs, and I actually do too. A good hot dog with a perfectly toasted bun. It’s good. I know some of you are cringing, but we really do love them.  

J.Dawgs came to Utah years ago and quickly became a huge favorite! This J-Dawgs copycat recipe is kind of totally awesome and if you’ve never had their special sauce it’s time to try it!

What Ingredients Do You Need for J.Dawgs Special Sauce?

Here is the list of ingredients you will need, probably in your pantry already!

  • Ketchup
  • BBQ Sauce (You can make our homemade sauce or go with Sweet Baby Rays)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
  • Honey
  • Paprika (I use smoked paprika, but use what you have on hand.)

The measurements for each ingredient are listed in the recipe card at the end of the post. The recipe card can be printed or saved to easily use again.

a photo of three grilled hotdogs that have been sliced in a crisscross pattern sittin gon a piece of parchment paper.

How to Make J.Dawgs Special Sauce

Making the sauce doesn’t get any easier! Just mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and then keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to sauce up your grilled dogs.

Why Does J.Dawgs Criss Cross Cut Their Hotdogs?

Ok, I don’t know the actual answer to this question, but let me tell you why we have totally converted to the criss cross cut hotdog (see picture above).

First, it allows the grilled or smoky flavor to penetrate deep into the hotdog enhancing the flavor.

Second, the dog cook much faster because the middle of the hotdog is exposed directly to the heat (helps J.Dawgs crank those delicious dogs out quickly).

Last and most important in my opinion, all those criss cross cut create all sorts of nooks and crannies for that special sauce to catch and seep down into. Saucy baby!

a photo of a grilled hotdog sitting in a bun inside of aluminum foil being drizzled with a sauce from a plastic bottle.

Can Hot Dogs Be Eaten Without Cooking?

It’s important to always reheat hot dogs until they’re steaming hot.

Some ready-to-eat foods, such as hot dogs, can become contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, bacteria that can cause food poisoning. 

What is the Difference Between White Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar?

White vinegar is made from grains, while cider vinegar is made  from apples or other fruit.

White vinegar and cider vinegar are interchangeable, but be aware that there would be a slight change in taste.

Apple cider vinegar is a little more acidic than white vinegar.

a photo of a grilled hotdog that has been sliced in a crisscross fashion sitting in a bun inside aluminum foil. The hotdog is covered in special sauce.

Other Hot Dog Toppings

I am perfectly happy with a grilled hot dog, quality bun, and just this special sauce, but you can definitely go wild with the toppings if you want. If you go to J.Dawgs, the other toppings you can choose from are:

  • Onions
  • Pickles
  • Banana Peppers
  • Sauerkraut
  • Jalapenos
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Spicy Brown Mustard
  • Relish
  • Celery Salt

We would love to hear how you load your hotdog!

How Long Does the Sauce Last?

If stored properly, this sauce will last for at least a month in the refrigerator. We like to store ours in a squeezy condiment bottle in the refrigerator.


Hotdogs are no longer for the kids table only! A good saucy hotdog is next level! So now you have two choices…either you make this copycat J.Dawgs special sauce and try it at home, or you get your buns out here to Utah and I’ll take you to try the real deal!


More Hot Dog Recipes You’ll Love:

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a photo of a grilled hotdog that has been sliced in a crisscross fashion sitting in a bun inside aluminum foil. The hotdog is covered in special sauce.

Copycat J.Dawgs Special Sauce

4.54 from 86 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 batch
The sauce on this hot dog is fantastic. The only way to describe the hot dog is, it's a saucy dog.


Saucy Dog

  • 1/2 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup BBQ Sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3/4 Teaspoons Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika


  • Mix all of the above ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve over grilled hot dogs.
Nutrition Facts
Copycat J.Dawgs Special Sauce
Amount Per Serving (1 Batch)
Calories 607 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 3573mg155%
Potassium 640mg18%
Carbohydrates 155g52%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 143g159%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 1271IU25%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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a photo of a grilled hotdog that has been sliced in a crisscross fashion sitting in a bun inside aluminum foil. The hotdog is covered in special sauce.

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Healthy Habits That Help Me!

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • I love Jdawgs sauce and this recipe totally hit it out of the park! I feel like I’m a hot dog snob and can’t find a good hot dog to go with this sauce. Do you have any recommendations for a decent brand of beef hot dogs?

    • Reply
    • We love Nathan’s but if you want a hot dog that is the closest to JDawgs, go with the Kirkland brand hot dogs at Costco. They are enormous and so delicious. You can do the criss cross cut on them and they grill up beautifully. I’m so glad you enjoyed this sauce!

      • Reply
  • I cannot wait to try this recipe, I love hot dogs too!! No shame lol. I was wondering if you have a picture of the actual cuts you make in the hot dog, it’s hard to tell with the grill marks where the cuts are ?or maybe just some instructions for that part? Sorry rookie cook here I’ll take all the help I can get! 😉

    • Reply
    • Hi Kathleen! I can’t wait for you to try this recipe! To get that criss cross cut on the hotdog, use a small paring knife to cut 3-4 X’s in one side of the hotdog. Don’t cut all the way through the hotdog. You only need to cut about 1/4-1/2 inch into the hotdog. I hope this makes sense! Let us know how it goes!

      • Reply
  • What kind of BBQ sauce?

    • Reply
  • Was very impressed with this copy cat recipe–it def reminded me of the Jdawgs sauce. It makes a great wing sauce. I used Stubbs original BBQ in it btw which I would recommend.

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much for the feedback!

      • Reply
  • This is really close to the real thing! I highly recommend cooking the sauce to mature the flavors more; and it is missing the smokey flavor of J-Dawgs special sauce. That can easily be supplied by incorporating about 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke to the mix.

    • Reply
    • Thanks for the suggestions Natalie!

      • Reply
  • I loved meeting you at EVO this weekend! I had the best time hanging out with you and your awesomely adorable family

    • Reply
  • Nice twist on the usual condiments. I like the name Saucy Dogs! 🙂 See you at EVO!

    • Reply

Healthy Habits That Help Me!