Bacon Big Boys – A Mid-Century Recipe Test

Posted on Sep 18 2013 - 6:00am by RetroRuth

Hey there! Are you ready for some BACON?


Meet the Bacon Big Boy! The minute I saw this recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook called Cooking for Two from 1968, I knew I had to make these. This is one of those recipes that has been hanging out on my “too make” list for years, and finally I had to put my foot down and make them before I started losing sleep over it. This recipe is exactly what it looks like: There are hot dogs on a roll and the whole thing is wrapped in bacon.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Bacon Big Boys
  • 2 Large French rolls
  • Prepared mustard
  • 4 slices sharp natural Cheddar cheese
  • 4 frankfurters
  • 6-8 slices bacon
  1. Split rolls; if tops are rounded, trim slightly. Spread inside of tops with mustard.
  2. Arrange 2 cheese slices and 2 frankfurters on bottom half of each. Replace tops. Wrap 3 or 4 bacon slices spiral fashion around each; secure with picks.
  3. Place, top down, on a rack in a shallow pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes. Turn and bake for 5-8 minutes more. Serves 2


Sometimes, when you are reading a recipe, things don’t really hit you until you actually start making it, actually measuring the ingredients and chopping and stirring. Then things suddenly occur to you. Lightbulbs are lit over your head and that little voice inside you says, “Wait just a flipping minute here.”


My light bulb went off on about the fourth strip of raw bacon, when I realized I wasn’t just wrapping a sandwich, I was actually wrapping a little bit of insanity.


All snuggly. In raw bacon.

I mean, really. Raw bacon. On bread. I have to tell you, I put these on a rack on top of a sheet pan, but hardly any grease dripped through the rack and ended up on the pan. Hardly any. From 8 pieces of bacon.

I’ll give you one guess where all that grease went.


You got it, buddy.

So, even with the knowledge that I was literally holding a heart-attack in my hands, I still pushed onward. With a flourish, I presented it to the family.

There was some disbelief.


“That’s…a lot of bacon.”

“I know, right? Even the baby is shocked.”

Tom TastesIMG_3277

“This is the greasiest thing I’ve ever eaten.”

“I was going to make a joke about how watching you eat it was going to give me a heart attack, but for some reason it just isn’t funny anymore.”

“That’s because this just got real. This is the kind of sandwich you eat when you are ashamed of how you live your life.”

The Verdict: Greasy. And not in a good way.

From The Tasting Notes:

Inexplicably, eating this sandwich made us both sad. It wasn’t that it was a bad sandwich. In fact, it was deliriously greasy, with all of the bacon fat sucked straight into the bread and running in little streams down your wrists while you ate it. It was just a bit…strange. It made you feel guilty while you were eating it, instead of after the fact. However, there was part of one of the sandwiches where just one strip of bacon was wrapped loosely around the bread and all the rest of the bacon had fallen away during cooking. This ended up tasting pretty darn good. So, as with everything, moderation is the key. Make the sandwich, but only wrap one strip of bacon around the whole thing. No one needs to eat two hot dogs and 4 strips of bacon AND all the bacon grease in one sandwich. It is just too much.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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18 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Ae September 18, 2013 at 8:10 am - Reply

    Looks like someone else wanted a bite! This reminds me of a meal we use to have. You make a slit in one hot dog, fill it with cheese, wrap a slice of bacon around it and broil. Less greasy and no carbs!

  2. Yinzerella September 18, 2013 at 8:33 am - Reply

    When I made the bacon big boys, I thought that they’d be really good as a breakfast food.
    In case anyone wants to see the original image from the BH&G Cooking for 2 book:
    You did a great recreation!

  3. Psyche September 18, 2013 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Oh that pic of your baby is priceless! too cute!

  4. Amorette September 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    I have a recipe for taking a frankfurter, slitting it to fill with strips of cheese, wrapping it in bacon, dipping in batter and deep-fried. I might have tried in before I turned 50 but now, nope. Okay, one bite.

  5. Amy September 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    LOL no good if you’re on a diet.

  6. Dan September 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Fortunately, I never feel guilty about food. Bring it on!

  7. Betsy September 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    I could feel my arteries clogging as I read the recipe. I love me some bacon, but this…
    Even your daughter looks like she knows it’s not good for anyone. She is adorable!!!!

  8. Sara In AZ September 19, 2013 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Ha! The baby!!!! : )

    And yeah, wow, that IS a lot of bacon….and this is coming from someone who LOVES bacon!!!!!

  9. Jeff September 19, 2013 at 3:37 am - Reply

    I had to laugh because I own a copy of that cookbook, and there are some other astounding “recipes” included in the book the besides this one. I never made this recipe, but you saved me the trouble of finding out for myself what a mess it is. I think you should try out the “Pecan Chicken a la King on Perfect Waffles” on Tom next. I really enjoy your blog, and keep up the good work !

  10. Kate H September 19, 2013 at 6:49 am - Reply

    I think this is a recipe in which ignorance is bliss. If we could time travel back to 1950, and we didn’t know anything about cholesterol or fat or salt, or why people suddenly pop off with a heart attack, this would be pretty darn good and quick!

    It also might be a good meal to keep in mind when you have to do hard manual labor, like chop wood or reseed a lawn or something where you’re using up more calories than you need to.

  11. Elle September 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    I haven’t stopped reading your missives since yesterday afternoon! My local paper had a cooking article about Pillsbury Tunnel of Fudge Cake and it set my memory off! While looking up the recipe, I stumbled across your “Jiffy” solution (off to WalMart I ran to score some Chocolate Fudge Frosting!) I’d planned to bake the cake today, but my body has gotten the better of me, so I’ll bake it this weekend.
    I have enjoyed what you write so much! You are talented, creative, funny as-all-get-out, and I just can’t put my iPad down! Those retro homes made me question my recent retirement to the South! One of the homes you had listed was in the town I grew up in and, at one time, belonged to my piano teacher!
    I’m so thrilled that just a happenstance yesterday has brought me so much information and entertainment! Thank you! Thank you!

  12. Angela September 21, 2013 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    I just got that cook book this summer! I haven’t had a chance to look through it yet…but I’ll be looking out for this recipe when I do.

  13. mayqueen September 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Your daughter is absolutely adorable!!

  14. Wanda March 23, 2014 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    I made this sandwich 43 years ago when I just got married in order to make a fantastic American meal for my husband. Neither one of us could eat more than half of it. Today, we’re thinking about some of our first meal together and the infamous bacon big boy came up. I thought I got the recipe wrong so my husband pulled the book, we looked it up and saw that I cooked it just right. I googled up bacon big boy and saw that your experience with it was very much like ours. I’m begining to think that bacon big boy is once in a life time experience for most people. Obvioudly, nobody at the Better Home & Garden ever ate this thing but in it’s own way it was impressive.

  15. Sue Bernardi Johnson July 2, 2014 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Made these last night. I used 3 slices of bacon on each sandwich AND used Applegate farm dogs and bacon. Much less grease

  16. brandy December 21, 2014 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Ha! You think this recipe is insane,I don’t know if you heard or had a hamdog but it’s similar to this but even more ridiculous! I was feeling brave one night & went out to this place that served them,it was actually their pride & joy! It consists of a hot dog,ground beef & bacon wrapped around it & deep fried placed on a carby bun. The add cheddar,chili & sauteed onion. Place the thing under a broiler to melt the cheese. And for good measure that will fully guarantee a stroke & or heartattack top with a fried egg. Having it without the fried egg though didn’t make me feel any less ashamed. It was good & the husband & our friends told me I didn’t have it in me to finish it. Of course I took that as a challenge & ate the whole thing! Luckily after a few cocktails I temporarily forgot about the abuse I just inflicted upon myself!

  17. Maggie December 23, 2014 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    I grew up eating these–not often, but as special treats. They were our New Year’s Eve dinner, and I think I asked for them on my birthday once or twice. But when my mother made them, they had ONE hot dog, one slice (or maybe one and a half) of cheese, and one or two pieces of bacon wrapped around. And she partly cooked the bacon and drained some of the grease off first. I don’t think that was particularly to cut the fat content; I think it was because my dad is weird about bacon that isn’t crisp. But it does cut down on the grease.

    They’re still incredibly rich and full of calories, fat, and cholesterol, but they aren’t massive like this. (In fact, I found this blog because I was googling the recipe; I couldn’t remember how long to cook them for and I’m making them for NYE again. Once a year, my arteries can handle it.)

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