Who has eaten the most hotdogs?

Who has eaten the most hotdogs? This is a question that intrigues competitive eating fans worldwide. The hot dog eating contest is a beloved Fourth of July tradition, and fans eagerly await finding out each year who will consume the most hotdogs and claim the coveted Mustard Belt. Joey Chestnut has dominated the contest, setting new world records numerous times, but others have also put up impressive numbers throughout history. Understanding the top hot dog eating achievements helps provide context around this unique and beloved competition.

Quick Facts

  • Joey Chestnut holds the men’s world record by eating 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes at the 2021 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
  • Miki Sudo holds the women’s world record by eating 48.5 hot dogs in 10 minutes at the 2020 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
  • The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is held annually on July 4th in Coney Island, New York.
  • Contestants have 10 minutes to eat as many hot dogs and buns as possible.
  • The contest began in 1916 and has occurred each year since 1972.

Men’s Top Performances

Joey Chestnut has clearly separated himself as the top competitive eater of all time with 15 Mustard Belt titles and counting. He holds numerous world records in disciplines like oysters, ribs, and more. But his dominance in the hotdog eating contest stands above the rest. Here is a look at the top men’s performances:

Joey Chestnut’s Records

Joey Chestnut has set world records in hotdog eating an astonishing 15 times from 2007 to 2022. His feats include:

  • 2022 – 63 hotdogs
  • 2021 – 75 hotdogs (world record)
  • 2020 – 75 hotdogs
  • 2019 – 71 hotdogs
  • 2018 – 74 hotdogs
  • 2017 – 72 hotdogs
  • 2016 – 70 hotdogs
  • 2015 – 69 hotdogs
  • 2014 – 61 hotdogs
  • 2013 – 69 hotdogs
  • 2012 – 68 hotdogs
  • 2011 – 62 hotdogs
  • 2010 – 54 hotdogs
  • 2009 – 68 hotdogs
  • 2007 – 66 hotdogs (world record at the time)

Chestnut’s first world record of 66 hot dogs in 2007 bested the old record of 59.5 set by Takeru Kobayashi. He then went on to best his own numbers year after year, including the jaw-dropping 2020 record of 75 hot dogs and buns consumed in just 10 minutes.

Other Notable Performances

While Chestnut has dominated the 21st century, other past champions also put up staggering numbers:

  • Takeru Kobayashi – 53.5 hotdogs in 2001, 54.5 in 2002, 55.5 in 2004, 53 in 2005, 59.5 in 2006 (world record at the time). The previous record before Kobayashi was 50 hot dogs.
  • Kazutoyo Arai – 56 hotdogs in 2009
  • Adrian Morgan – 45 hotdogs in 2004
  • Steve Keiner – 43.5 hotdogs in 1999

Kobayashi and Chestnut went head to head from 2007 to 2009 in epic showdowns that brought great excitement and attention to the sport of competitive eating. Their rivalry ranks among the greatest in sports history. While others have reached numbers in the 40s and 50s, no one besides Chestnut and Kobayashi has topped 60 hotdogs at the annual Nathan’s contest.

Women’s Top Performances

The women’s division was introduced to the Nathan’s contest in 2011. Here are the top performances so far:

Miki Sudo’s Dominance

Miki Sudo asserted herself as the top female eater from 2014 to 2020 by winning the Mustard Belt in those years and setting multiple world records:

  • 2020 – 48.5 hotdogs (world record)
  • 2019 – 31 hotdogs
  • 2018 – 37 hotdogs
  • 2017 – 41 hotdogs (world record at the time)
  • 2016 – 38.5 hotdogs
  • 2015 – 38 hotdogs
  • 2014 – 34 hotdogs

Sudo bested Sonya Thomas’ old world record of 45 hot dogs by consuming 48.5 in 2020. She chose not to compete in 2021 after the birth of her baby but plans to return to defend her records in 2022.

Other Notable Performances

Other leading women competitors include:

  • Michelle Lesco – 30.75 hotdogs in 2021 (winner)
  • Sarah Rodriguez – 31 hot dogs in 2012 (world record at the time)
  • Sonya Thomas – 40 hotdogs in 2012, 45 hotdogs in 2013 (world record at the time)
  • Juliet Lee – 40 hotdogs in 2011 (winner)

Factors in Competitive Hot Dog Eating

Several factors allow the top competitors to reach such staggering numbers of hot dogs consumed:


  • Dipping buns in water or crystal light to help soften and eat them quicker
  • “Solomon Method” – splitting hot dogs in half and consuming multiple at once
  • Eating in rhythm and not slowing pace
  • Perfecting types of bites and motions to maximize speed

Physical Attributes

  • Jaw strength and flexibility
  • Minimal gag reflex
  • Ability to ignore feelings of discomfort and nausea
  • Capacity for stretching stomach

Training and Preparation

  • Working up to eating dozens of hot dogs in practice in under 10 minutes
  • Fasting and carb-loading prior to contest
  • Exercising jaw by chewing gum
  • Eating large amounts of food quickly in general to expand stomach capacity

The preparation is grueling, requiring months of training and discipline to reach the elite levels.

Notable Moments in Hot Dog Eating History

The Nathan’s hot dog eating contest has created many memorable moments since its early days over a century ago:

1916 – Very First Contest

The very first Nathan’s eating contest is held on July 4, 1916, the year Nathan’s originally opened on Coney Island. It was won by Jim Mullen, who consumed 13 hot dogs. This kicks off the tradition, although it will be many decades before it becomes an annual event with today’s massive numbers.

1972 – First Televised Contest

The contest is first televised in 1972, bringing it national attention. That year White Castle regional manager Jason Schechter wins with 14 hot dogs. The publicity from TV is crucial in establishing the contest as an iconic national event.

1980 – Svelte Competitor Wins

In 1980, a trim Paul Siderman emerges victorious by consuming an impressive 16 hot dogs in just 12 minutes. This dispels the myth that competitors must be overweight to have a chance.

1998 – Japanese Entrant Makes Waves

Japanese competitor Oleg Zhornitskiy stuns attendees by employing an unusual but effective breaking hot dogs in half eating method. He eats 25 hot dogs, more than double the previous record. This establishes that serious contenders must bring special techniques.

2001 – Kobayashi Revolutionizes Contest

Takeru Kobayashi introduces himself to the world by doubling the existing record and consuming 50 hot dogs, blowing away the competition. He pioneers new training methods and brings a competitive spirit that propels the sport to new heights.

2013 – Underdog Nearly Claims Title

Unknown underdog Matt Stonie pushes Joey Chestnut to the limit by consuming 51 hot dogs, but still loses by 2. Stonie signals the emergence of new rivalries and contenders to challenge Chestnut’s dominance.

Notable Competitors

While Chestnut and Kobayashi stand above all, several other competitors left their mark:

Takeru Kobayashi

The Japanese phenom introduced new training techniques and competitive focus to dominate from 2001 to 2006. He pushed the record from 50 to nearly 60 hot dogs. His rivalry with Chestnut took the sport mainstream.

Sonya Thomas

Known as the “Black Widow,” Thomas held the women’s record from 2012 to 2020 and introduced the Solomon technique of splitting hot dogs. Her smaller stature but massive consumption captured attention.

Juliet Lee

The diminutive Lee won the inaugural women’s contest in 2011, setting records and popularity for the new division. She was a crowd favorite throughout the early 2010s.

Adrian Morgan

Morgan was Chestnut’s closest rival from 2009 to 2012, twice finishing second to him and pushing his totals higher. He also held short-lived records in disciplines like corn dogs and chicken wings.

The Future of Hot Dog Eating

While hot dog records may appear untouchable, there are still possibilities to imagine:

Technique Improvements

  • New dunking methods to soften buns faster
  • More efficient ways to break and chew multiple hot dogs
  • Consuming alternate liquids like oil to ease eating

Training Advances

  • Machine learning optimized training regimens
  • Feeding tubes to stretch stomach more gradually
  • Virtual reality exposure therapy to improve mental focus

Appetite Stimulants

  • New medicines to enhance appetite and reduce fullness
  • Microbes or sensors to stimulate hunger hormones
  • Neuromodulation devices to reduce brain satiety signals

Gastrointestinal Modifications

  • Intentional stretching of stomach with balloons
  • Surgical techniques to increase stomach capacity
  • Improving intestinal absorption rates

While some techniques could push records over 80 or 90 hot dogs, health and safety will always need to be considered. But with sufficient motivation and advances in science, the ceiling for hot dog consumption may still be shattered.


The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has seen stunning numbers since its humble origins over a century ago. Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo have clearly established themselves as the greatest ever with unprecedented world records. Challengers like Matt Stonie show there are always new contenders on the rise. As the famous Fourth of July tradition continues, fans eagerly await seeing just how far the limits of competitive eating can be pushed by those with the determination, skills, and iron stomachs to do so. The crown for hot dog eating supremacy is difficult to achieve, but offers lasting glory for those who can claim it by consuming more franks than any before.

Name Record Year Hot dogs eaten
Joey Chestnut 2021 75
Miki Sudo 2020 48.5
Takeru Kobayashi 2006 59.5

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