Sassafras Campfire Hot Dogs

"No hot dog tastes better than one which has been cooked over a campfire on a sassafras stick! The flavor of the sassafras just adds something heavenly to a good dog. Learn to identify sassafras trees so that you can cut sticks, (be aware of government park and forest rules about removing plants!), preferably where someone will let you walk into their woodlot and cut 2 or 3 sticks for a family. The sassafras tree/shrub has FOUR leaf shapes: "fork" (3-prong), "spoon", "left-handed mitten", and, "right-handed mitten". Crush a leaf and smell it and you will know for certain that you have found a small sassafras tree -- the ones about 6 feet tall (found in understory of a woods) are best. Cut it near the base (a new sprout will come up next year from the root), trim the main stalk of side twigs and at the terminus, try to make sure that you end up with 2 prongs, for 2 hot dogs, each about 5-6 inches long. Trim the bark off the end prongs where the hot dogs slide on. Enjoy!"
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:


  • 12 hot dogs
  • 12 hot dog buns
  • condiments
  • sassafras stick


  • Slide a hot dog on to your sharpened sassafras stick and cook it until it browns over the HOT COALS of a campfire, (not direct flames), turning the stick as necessary.
  • Slide the dog into a bun and add your favorite condiments!

Questions & Replies

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  1. Okay in early June I sent out plea for camp fire recipes. Many people responded and one VERY helpful person Bone Man. He even took the time to send me some sassafras sticks for our camping trip.The sassafras gave the dogs a sweet unique flavor that was reminiscent of root beer! My kids chowed down1 Thank you Bone man for your recipe and the sticks!
  2. so true, so true Boneman! I am laughing & wincing, remembering digging sassafras root as kids to wash off, trim & gnaw on! Soon I hope to be able to gnaw sassafras root again - not until the sutures come out of gums though! Mmmm, thinking of roasted hot dog with the faint spicy rootbeer taste of sassafras coming through! Nice Boneman, nice :)


<p>I am a retired State Park Resort Manager/Ranger. <br /><br />Anyway, as to my years in the State Park System (retired now), I was responsible for 4 restaurants/dining rooms on my park and my boss at Central Headquarters said I should spend less time in my kitchens and more time tending to my park budget. I spent 25 years in those kitchens and worked with some really great chefs over those years, (and some really awful ones too!) <br /><br />I spent THOUSANDS of hours on every inch of that park and adjacent state forest (60,000 acres) and sometimes I miss it. But mostly I miss being in that big beautiful resort lodge kitchen. I miss my little marina restaurant down on the Ohio River too. I served the best Reuben Sandwich (my own recipe -- posted on 'Zaar as The Shawnee Marina Reuben Sandwich) in both the State of Ohio and the Commonwealth of Kentucky down there and sold it for $2.95. Best deal on the river! <br /><br />They (friends and neighbors) call my kitchen The Ospidillo Cafe. Don't ask me why because it takes about a case of beer, time-wise, to explain the name. Anyway, it's a small galley kitchen with a Mexican motif (until my wife catches me gone for a week or so), and it's a very BUSY kitchen as well. We cook at all hours of the day and night. You are as likely to see one of my neighbors munching down over here as you are my wife or daughter. I do a lot of recipe experimentation and development. It has become a really fun post-retirement hobby -- and, yes, I wash my own dishes. <br /><br />Also, I'm the Cincinnati Chili Emperor around here, or so they say. (Check out my Ospidillo Cafe Cincinnati Chili recipe). SKYLINE CHILI is one of my four favorite chilis, and the others include: Gold Star Chili, Empress Chili and, my VERY favorite, Dixie. All in and around Cincinnati. Great stuff for cheap and I make it at home too. <br /><br />I also collect menus and keep them in my kitchen -- I have about a hundred or so. People go through them and when they see something that they want, I make it the next day. That presents some real challenges! <br /><br /></p>
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