“Flint Style” Coney Sauce

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Coney Sauce Main

You know you are from Flint, Michigan if you eat at Halo Burger, know what a Boston Cooler is and can tell the difference between a Flint style and a Detroit style Coney.  You know you aren’t from Michigan at all if you are saying to yourself, “What the heck is a Coney?”

For years, Flint has battled Detroit for the best Coney Dog – a delectable tidbit of chili-like substance usually smothering a Koegel Vienna hot dog – the best hot dog on earth!  Now, maybe you are someone who doesn’t care for hot dogs.  All I have to say to that is, “You haven’t had a Koegel!”  I don’t like hot dogs either…but I love Koegels.  And, sorry to tell ya Detroit, Flint style is by far the superior sauce.  (Detroiters…there is a comment section below.  Feel free to argue.)

Coney Sauce 2

But even among Flint Coney Islands (diners to those of you outside the mitten) there is varying quality.  As you drive around Flint and the surrounding area, you are bound to see signs touting “Flint’s Finest” and “The Original Coney.”  I have my favorites around town, most of which aren’t the large, well known joints.  My favorites are the smaller, hole-in-the-wall places.  But with so many choices, I would just rather make my own.

Coney Sauce 3

So, without further ado, here is my version of the Flint Style Coney Dog.  This makes a pretty big batch, but sometimes I even double it (like I did for the Fifties Party our youth group threw for our senior citizens at church.)  It freezes really well, so I like to make a lot so I can have more for later!  Nothing better than having an impromptu barbecue, pull out the boring ol’ hot dog for your guests, then say, “Oh, would you like some Coney Sauce with that?”  Mmmhmmm.  It makes you look pretty cool.

Coney Sauce 1

Oh yeah…don’t forget the onions and mustard!  Dinner is ready!


“Flint Style” Coney Sauce


  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter or Margarine
  • 3 lbs of ground beef (I use ground chuck)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 pkg of taco seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons of yellow mustard
  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 10 ounces of water
  • 10 Koegel Vienna Hot Dogs (or whatever high quality hot dog you have available to you.)


  1. Throw everything in the pot except the hot dogs. DO NOT BROWN GROUND BEEF BEFORE THIS STEP! You will not get the proper texture. Stir to mix ingredients.
  2. Simmer over low heat about 30 minutes or until the hamburger meat has had time to cook thoroughly.
  3. While sauce is simmering, grind the hot dogs using a meat grinder or food processor. (I usually just use my blender set on "Grind."
  4. Add ground hot dogs. Simmer another 20 to 30 minutes.



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Jenifer Jenifer (93 Posts)

Jenifer is the author of Not Quite Mom of the Year, mother of six beautiful children ranging in age from 2 to 18, wife to Randy, and follower of Jesus.

24 thoughts on ““Flint Style” Coney Sauce

  1. YUMMO!! Thanks, Jen! One thing I miss the most about not being in MI, is Flint style coneys. Now I have the recipe for the sauce… just one thing missing: Koegels! I totally agree, there is no hot dog that can fill a bun quite like Koegels. I certainly will be making this when my parents come for a visit and bring us our long awaited Koegel’s fix! Thanks again!

    • I completely understand, Amy…when I lived in Boston, I tried their version of hot dogs, and I did not like them! I always missed eating a good Coney and a QP from Halo Burger! Well, now at least you can make some Coney Sauce! I’ve heard that Hebrew National are pretty good hot dogs. Maybe you could try them?

  2. Pingback: Fifties Party | Not Quite Mom of the Year

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    • Yep Angela… ground hot dogs! That’s what all the restaurants do. I was surprised when I started experimenting and asking around too. But it makes all the difference!

  4. Haha! I totally understand the differences! We lived in Michigan for a few years and I worked in Flint. My husband was just talking about Halo burgers the other day. Hes going to try and recreate the olive burger. ha! What a fun recipe!
    Kelley recently posted…Weight Loss: Final RevealMy Profile

    • Thanks Kelley! Halo Burger is my FAVORITE! I just recently tried an olive burger there and now I don’t know how I ever lived without it!

    • I don’t have a meat grinder Danni…I use my blender! believe it or not! I get great results using the “grind” setting on it. Give it a try!

  5. I LOVE everything about a Flint style coney! I will say very proudly that Flint blows Detroit out of the water. I grew up on Angelos coneys when I was a kid. They are a guilty pleasure! I spent my morning at the Flint Farmers Market and left eating a DELICIOUS coney. Coney sauce, mustard, and onion is the best hotdog combo!!! Now I am sad I didn’t get 2 but I can’t wait to try this recipe and I can eat as many as my belly can hold :)

    • What a great day! Flint Farmer’s Market and a coney!!!! I’m jealous. I know you are supposed to go to the market for fresh fruits and vegetables, which I do, but I think I get more excited about the fresh baked goods, like baklava and cannolis! Love the Market!

  6. Interesting … Hadn’t seen the use of taco seasoning in this style before, it would probably work out well. It’s pretty close to the one I’ve taken to calling the “Homestyle” version, which seems to be the most popular. Many people get squeamish when they learn the commercial and restaurant-grade Flint sauces start with beef heart … Mr. Brayan’s first Flint sauce, still sold by Abbott’s Meats almost a century later, was almost 100% beef heart. One of these days I’ll try to recreate it exactly, I only know my wife will likely not be one of the tasters …

    More Flint sauce recipes, including one major “fail”, are at: http://micuisine.com/flintconeys/?page_id=14
    Dave Liske recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

    • I found that the taco seasoning added something that I felt my recipe was missing. I don’t use onions in my recipe because I have family members that have serious issues with onions. So, I felt like my sauce was a little flat. But the taco seasoning adds just enough zing to make me happy! And I knew about the beef heart, but you won’t find me experimenting with it! LOL! Let me know how your version with it turns out!

      • I don’t quibble when it comes to personal taste … that is, unless you’re claiming a Detroit or Jackson sauce is somehow a “Flint” sauce … :-)

        I still have half of this bag of Abbott’s sauce left over from that tasting. I also have a 5.5 lb beef heart and 3 lb of beef suet in the freezer. I’m thinking in two weeks I’ll finally get the chance to do a “side-by-side”. Should at least be interesting!

  7. I always think if hit dogs as very American, have to admit not a huge fan but my kids are. I didn’t realise each region has their own style of hot dog. I guess our equivalent would be meat pies :) I think the kids will get these on the weekend looks nice and easy.
    Mel recently posted…Win A Trip Disneyland!!My Profile

  8. Jenifer, SMALL WORLD! I’m from Flint! I grew up on Angelo’s Coneys, Koegels, Halo Burger’s QP Deluxe with Olives…and painted the Flint Block a few times! I’m a Flint Central Indian! When I saw your feature on Mel’s Party (Mellywood’s Mansion, Freaking Awesome Friday) I about fell out of my chair! Small small world! Needless to say, I LOVE your recipe share!

  9. Just about to put in an order for some Koegels and did not know the difference between Flint and Detroit. Born in Saginaw but moved to GA at age 2 1959, however having family up there am familiar with Koegels viennas and love their ring bologna.

    Was about to order some coney sauce when came across this recipe. Does it freeze well considering the amount of the batch? When you grind the dogs, caseless or do they have casings? If onions are not a problem, how would you do it? What is the difference between Flint and Detroit coney sauce?


    • Hi Mike! Yes it does freeze very well…I do it all the time. I use the Koegel’s Viennas, which have casings and I grind them – casings and all- right in my blender. I have used onions before – I process them in my food processor until they are really small. Then you can’t really tell that they are in there. However, you could leave them chunky if you like onions. That would be yummy too. The difference between Flint style and Detroit style really has more to do with the consistency than the taste if you ask me. Detroit style is a creamier, wetter recipe (similar to chili) and Flint style is more “dry” (think taco meat consistency.) Hope this helps. Enjoy your Koegels!

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