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Is Food Preparation More Important than Eating Style?

When the starting gun sounds, eaters seek to use strategy and style to enhance their numbers, but a growing school of thought suggests that food preparation is more important by far than eating style, and that preparation may well account for the disparity of numbers seen in different contests.

This issue is on display each year during the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating circuit. The hot dogs are cooked in a variety of different styles -- boiled in some cases and grilled in others. At some contests the hot dogs are freshly cooked and at others they have been standing for more than an hour.

Each one of these variables dramatically impacts an eater's performance. In fact, a hot dog that has been standing an hour is impossible to eat quickly, regardless of style.