Feltman's of Coney Island

We’re still a few days away from the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, New York, where reigning champ Joey Chestnut will try to best his record from last year — an insane 74 dogs in just ten minutes. But last week, another Coney Island hot dog purveyor had their eye on a different prize: the title of “World’s Largest Hot Dog.”

Feltman’s of Coney Island bills itself as “the original hot dog brand,” claiming that initial founder Charles Feltman, a German immigrant, invented the hot dog back in 1867. Despite this incredible (and somewhat debatable) backstory, you may not have heard of Feltman’s — in large part because the original outpost closed in 1954. But a few years ago, a couple Brooklyn brothers decided to revive the brand, bringing us to this past Wednesday, when Feltman’s decided to celebrate the 152nd Anniversary of Charles's invention by attempting to set the official Guinness World Record for Largest Hot Dog.

Feltman's of Coney Island

The hopefully record-breaking dog was fired up on a six-foot grill during a cookout in downtown NYC before it was weighed and measured to make sure it earned its title. In the end, the giant meat log — which, though served by Feltman’s, was actually made by Union Pork Store in New Jersey — clocked in at 5 feet long, 1 foot wide, and 66 pounds.

Feltman's of Coney Island

Whether Feltman’s will actually land the record is still to be determined. The brand said they are expecting an answer in about 12 weeks. Officially, no one holds the record of “Largest Hot Dog;” however, Guinness does have a “Longest Hot Dog” record, which was over 668 feet long, and the meat alone weighed over 264 pounds. Frankly, that sounds like a larger hot dog, as well, but whether that matters since it didn’t apply for the “Largest” title is yet to be seen. Co-owner Michael Quinn seemed pretty confident the “Largest” title would be theirs.

Feltman's of Coney Island

Either way, Feltman’s escapades weren’t just good fun; it was for a good cause. Slices of the dog were sold for a $10 donation to the Headstrong Project, a non-profit providing free mental health care to post 9/11 combat veterans. The revived brand is veteran-owned and another brother died in the World Trade Center attacks.

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