There is very few substitutes in this recipe, and I scaled it down due to the fact that I make it only once a year and freeze it up. I have tweaked this recipe over the course of 15 years so it really is up to you whether it turns out Great or so/so..lol This sauce is great on more than just hotdogs..fries..cheeseburgers..scrambled eggs..etc Scaled down recipe to try: 1lb burger 2 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper 1 tbsp paprika 1 tsp mustard powder (has to be powder..sry) 1 tbsp chili powder 1/2 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/4-1/2 tsp Red Pepper flakes or a hot powder of your choice 1/8 tsp cinnamon 1/2 cup of finely diced onion per lb of meat 1 tbsp of Vinegar (no balsamic folks, just plain old white) !! 1/2 cup of Crisco or lard per lb of meat!! (No liquid oils or flavored Crisco)!! --- Dont use the burger that comes in a log and dont buy 90% lean. If you buy under 80/20 I would use maybe 1 1/4 lbs---- Put Crisco in your pot and melt it on low, dump in your onions and let them cook until they are clear. (No frying or browning them) Add your meat and stir it up. The meat should not brown at all! You just want to cook it until it loses the pink. Its important to keep stirring because you want your burger to be crumbled. The Crisco will turn it into a sludge. I usually get all my spices ready ahead of time so its all in one bowl. Once meat loses its pink, take pot off the stove and fill with water until the meat is covered. Return pot to stove and dump in spices. You want your mixture to simmer only with barely any boiling (stir mixture often and use you wooden spoon to kind mash the meat against the pot side as you go.) !! Make the basic recipe first, I add apprx 1 shot glass of corn likker to this recipe. But you can substitute a decent bourbon or as a last resort maybe Jack Daniels. My booze is added with the spices!! Simmer time should be 2-3 hours apprx. You want the water to mostly boil off and just leave enough to bag up. The meat shouldnt look dry and if you let to much of it evaporate add more. I bag mine in Ziploc freezer bags. Let your meat cool to the point you can bag it, if its to cold the grease will harden and you will have to heat it up again. When bagging it up,you want some of the orange grease in each bag. (Dont use a slotted spoon and dont avoid adding the grease..lol) Make bag sizes appropriate for your family size. Let frozen bags unthaw and reheat on low until warm. Dont try to microwave the bags, they tend to leak and make a mess. On a hotdog...top with mixture..diced onion, and mustard. I dislike tomato and any form of bean hotdog sauces. This was a east coast Greek hotdog sauce that I reworked to get the best flavor. Any substitutions may ruin the flavor since I reworked it so much. Caution...there are a few hotdogs that can overpower this sauce. The Nathans Reds can do it and their skinless. I stick with Ballparks or the old .99 per pack kinds.