Home » It’s A Crime That Modern In-Car Hot Dog Sizzling Solutions Are Not More Common

It’s A Crime That Modern In-Car Hot Dog Sizzling Solutions Are Not More Common

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There’s no question that modern cars are pretty amazing. Say what you will about the character-laden, viscerally mechanical cars of old, but modern cars are fast, fuel efficient, almost too easy to drive, have more full-color screens than Times Square in 2002, and you can drive them full speed into an abandoned ginseng mine and walk away without a scratch. Despite all of these remarkable innovations, the sad truth is that if you enter your car with a full pack of uncooked hot dogs, you’re still condemned to the brutal, miserable fate of choking down cold frankfurters, tears of regret streaming down your face, because cars, even here in the Year of Our Ford 2022, offer no effective integrated means to cook hot dogs. This didn’t have to be like this; there was a time when the future seemed different — when bold, world-altering dreamers sought to improve humankind’s situation via remarkable tools like Thomas Manufacturing’s Mickey’s Hot Dog Sizzler.

Yes, in the 1950s, the dream of freshly-sizzled hot dogs while tearing ass down an open, two-lane highway was no longer a dream, but a reality, thanks to a dozen volts of electrical power and genuine American innovation.


That newspaper clipping on the left pops up on sites all over the internet, but so far I haven’t located the original source paper. Sometimes there’s a different headline, so I suspect this was a syndicated story from a wire service that ran as filler in many papers.

Understandably excited news reports of the era breathlessly reported on what was likely hoped to be the start of a new era, one where piping-hot hot dogs were available at all times, regardless of where you happened to be or what your velocity was.

Some articles showed the single-barrel Thomas Manufacturing device, while others, like the one on the right up there, appear to show an even more advanced twin-barrel hot dog cooker. Also, is the guy in the car Mickey, the name that appears on the Hot Dog Sizzler package? Maybe.

The ease of use of these devices is quite clear just by looking at those photos. The caulk-gun sized-and-shaped device seems to be precariously placed on the open glove box door; the driver simply slides out the Frankfurter receiving unit and then slides the dog into the electrically-heated cooking tube. You can see the cooked dogs and buns resting on the seat next to the guy in the left article there, ready to be assembled into delicious, life-enhancing hot dogs within moments.


That twin-barrel one was known as the Car-B-Cue, and appears to be a significant upgrade over the Hot Dog Sizzler. Just look at what it offers:


Not only do you get twice as much cooked hot dog output, but the Car-B-Cue has an integrated bun warmer, right there on the outer hull of the unit! This was state-of-the-art in mobile hot dog preparation, people, and I demand you look upon it and give it the respect it deserves. Imagine pulling up to pick up a date in your Nash and you have one of these going on the dash, sizzling and popping, filling up the car with the heady aroma of perfectly-electrocuted sausage and bun.

Your date opens the door, the smell of hot dog caresses their face, and they see those glorious dogs sizzling away on the dash – friend, you’re getting laid, no question, a guarantee of a night of erotic bliss, fueled by the dense calories provided by those dash-cooked hot dogs.

I’m certain you could do this while driving at 70 mph in a big, wallowy DeSoto or Hudson or whatever, steering with your knees, your left hand forcing a sizzling hot dog into your eager, hungry mouth while your right hand jams the next one into the searingly-hot metal tube.

Go ahead and copy-and-paste that paragraph up there onto a picture of a soaring eagle or something, because I’ve just described heaven for you.

As much as I hate to do so, I must drag you back to the grim, drab reality we all find ourselves trapped in, a reality where even if you scour the otherwise quite expansive set of 12V cooking appliances at sites like RoadTrucker.com, there isn’t a dashboard hot dog cooking solution to be found.


What the hell? How can this be? How can there be a 12V car-seat slow cooker and no hot dog sizzle-loutions? Have we really lost our way so? Are we this lost, this bereft of the only things that keep life dazzling and glorious, like cooking a hot dog in a tube on your dashboard?

I hope not.


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88 Responses

  1. We had a hot dog electrocutor in the counselors’ staff room at the summer camp I worked at in 1986. It had two rows of sharp metal prongs on each side of a small tray. You jabbed each end of your dog into a point and hit the juice for a couple of minutes to get a fully cooked dog. It didn’t have a cover anymore (I’m assuming it had one originally) or any kind of safety and was the scariest looking thing ever.

    Let me Google “hot dog electrocutor”…

    Here we go. It’s called the Presto Hot Dogger. https://thetakeout.com/taste-test-presto-hot-dogger-machine-electrocute-vintag-1841438503

    I doubt 12v would do it, but would be a viable option for high voltage EVs.

    1. It’s the amperage that cooks not the voltage. That’s why welders are low voltage high amperage. Car batteries have plenty of amps.

    2. Came here to say the same thing, had one that only did two dogs growing up but man would it cook them up fast. Leave them on a little long and you’d get differing degrees of burnt ends. Didn’t smell that great, but actually improved the taste of cheap dogs.

  2. “Now there’s no need to interrupt long motor trips with food stops—if you can exist on a diet of hot dogs that is.”

    Sure, you can exist on a diet of hot dogs, but is it worth it?

  3. No thanks, I have a firm no eating in the car rule and were I to slack the rule it for sure would not be a for a nasty tube of assorted pig or cow bits.

  4. An easy solution to this injustice would be a long skewer and a hole drilled through your dash and fire wall.
    Sizzle away man, sizzle away.

  5. Just get a grease tray under the thing and you could have in-car brat(wurst) grilling. Throw a porta-bar with Brandy Manhattan fixings in the back for the passengers and you’d have a full-on Wisconsin party in a car.

  6. What I love most about this whole thing is how grimly determined the guy in the suit looks when dealing with his Mickey’s Hot Dog Sizzler.

    He’s in his business suit and this is SERIOUS BUSINESS.

    (Turns out this article is not just funny, it’s probably a real-world look into the depressing daily life of a 1950’s era traveling salesman.)

  7. The Car-B-Que was manufactured by a different company. Per text in an auction site I found: Stamped into the metal chrome grill is Patent Pending, CAR-B-Que, Trade Mark – Dist. by Car-B-Que Co, LA. – MFG.

    Also you can’t use this while driving, but if you like Korean barbeque and are in California, here you go: https://www.kbbqcar.com/

  8. But if it’s on the door of the glove box, where do you put your drink? The glovebox doors are specifically designed for the drinks, not some silly hot dog cooker! It’s travesty that your icy cold bottles of Grape Ne-Hi and Big Red are usurped by this infernal device. Nash, Packard, Studebaker and Plymouth didn’t go to all that trouble to stamp drink holder divot’s on their glove box doors just to have them be misused, you know!

  9. I had a table top hot dog electrocuter. The dogs tasted awful. Weird, burnt on the inside and cold on the outside. I expected hot dog awesomeness and got cold dead unidentified cuts of meat electrocuted. This one is best left to the annals of history.

  10. The photo reminded me of poor Willie Loman, the subject of “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller. If you haven’t read it or seen the movie, it chronicles the soul crushing life of a traveling salesman during the same era this ad would have run. That image projects the pathetic life of a guy forced by poverty and failure to cook hot dogs in his car. Really kind of sad when you think about it. Arthur Miller himself had no such problems, having been married to Marilyn Monroe, albeit for a brief and likely very exciting five years.

  11. The Golden Age of American Motoring – you could sizzle a wiener with your right hand, light a Camel with your left, all without having to put the transmission in Park. I am sure it was glorious.

    The date story killed me, I’m still smiling. Good work here!

  12. I thought those ’50’s in-car record players were cool, but holy shit, this is truly top-drawer stuff! Driving a Nash, and having one of these? That’s a green flag for Saturday evening submarine races, indeed.

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