Sunday, May 9, 2021

Firehouse Hook and Ladder Subs + Video

Hook and Ladder subs combine Monterey Jack cheese melted over turkey and ham with all the classic fixings. Recreate them at home in minutes!

We’ve done it! We’ve cracked the code to the world famous Hook and Ladder subs from Firehouse Subs.

Other than using the air fryer, it’s cut and “built” exactly like the restaurant version and it’s even got all of the fixings to make it “fully involved.”

Craving more sandwiches? You can’t go wrong with a gourmet grilled cheese or juicy French Dip. I’ve even got a copycat recipe for Monte Cristo sandwiches like the ones at Disney!

Hook and ladder subs with fries

How To Make Hook and Ladder Subs

Since most of us don’t have a commercial meat steamer or industrial bread toaster, we’ve adapted this recipe so you can use your air fryer. It’s so good, you won’t be able to tell the difference!

First, chop and slice all of the ingredients so they are ready to go. Then, build your sandwiches like this:

  1. Toast the French bread pieces in batches.
  2. Roll the ham and turkey into tubes and arrange them on a sheet of parchment.
  3. Add a layer of Monterey Jack, then cook until the cheese has melted over the meat.
  4. While that’s cooking, spread mayo on the bottom piece of bread.
  5. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, and onion.
  6. Spread mustard on the top piece of bread.
  7. Transfer the meat and cheese onto the veggies with a spatula.
  8. Place the bread with mustard on top.
Hook and ladder subs veggies on bread

Helpful Tips and Tricks

  • Work in batches. These copycat Firehouse subs are made from a single loaf of French bread, so you will need to make one half at a time.
  • Avoid a fire! Cut your parchment paper so it’s large enough to hold the meat and cheese, but not so large that it touches the heating elements.
  • Don’t have an air fryer? You should be able to achieve the same results with a toaster oven instead. Instead of cooking the filling on parchment, use a pan lined with foil and add a little cooking spray so it doesn’t stick.
Hook and ladder subs toasting meats

Serving Suggestions

Instead of a plain pickle spear on the side, try these crispy pickle chips! Or, pair your Hook and Ladder subs with french fries or potato chips for a more filling meal.

All of these can be made with the same countertop appliance, saving you from a pile of dishes!

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Air Fryer - Different brands and sizes may require different cooking times, so be familiar with your model and make adjustments as needed.
  • Quality Knives - If you only make one kitchen investment, it should be this. They cut down on prep time and are important for safety as well.
  • Parchment Paper and a heat-safe spatula for transferring the meat and cheese in and out of the basket.

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

What does “fully involved” mean at Firehouse Subs?

This is simply how to say you want everything on your sandwich! According to their website, this includes mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion with a dill pickle on the side.

Can you make Hook and Ladder sub sandwiches gluten-free?

Sure! Just replace the French bread with an allergen-friendly alternative and double check your condiments to be sure they are safe.

Save this link to your bookmarks to access the best free online web developer tools: I hope it will help a lot!

Hook and ladder subs side view


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Hook and ladder subs 6 inch

Video: Copycat Firehouse Subs

To see us make this recipe from start to finish, watch the video at the top of this post.

Yield: 2 (6-inch) subs
Author: Donna Elick
Air Fryer Firehouse Hook and Ladder Subs

Air Fryer Firehouse Hook and Ladder Subs

Hook and Ladder subs combine Monterey Jack cheese melted over turkey and ham with all the classic fixings. Recreate them at home in minutes!
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 30M


  • 12-inch loaf of French Bread
  • 10 ounces smoked turkey breast, divided
  • 10 ounces Virginia honey ham, divided
  • 6-ounces sliced Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 cups thin sliced iceberg lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons deli mustard


  1. Preheat your air fryer at 400°F for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile: slice the loaf of French bread in half. Then divide the loaf in two pieces cutting it diagonally just like they do at Firehouse Subs.
  3. Once the air fryer is preheated (about 3 minutes), take the top and bottom of one half of the loaf and place them in the air fryer cut side UP.
  4. Toast the bread for 2 minutes then remove from the air fryer. Leave the air fryer on when you take the bread out.
  5. Meanwhile, measure out 5 ounces of Virginia ham and 5 ounces of smoked turkey breast for each half of the sub (10 ounces of each, total).
  6. On a piece of parchment paper (just long enough to pick the meat up out of the air fryer), roll the ham into tubes so that they equal the length of the 6-inch sub you are working on. If you have more ham than the length of the sub, just put the remaining ham on top of the bottom layer.
  7. Simply repeat the same thing with the turkey. Roll the turkey into tubes and place it on top of the Virginia ham. Once again, if you have more than the length of the sub, just add it on top of the layer of turkey.
  8. Having laid a foundation of ham and turkey, next top the meat with a layer of Monterey Jack cheese, use about 1/2. Lightly press down.
  9. Place the parchment paper with the ham, turkey and cheese in the air fryer and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted. IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE THAT THE PARCHMENT PAPER IS JUST LONG ENOUGH TO PICK THE MEAT UP OUT OF THE AIR FRYER, BUT NOT TOO LONG SO THAT IT HITS THE HEATING ELEMENT. IT COULD CAUSE A FIRE!
  10. While the meat and cheese are cooking, it’s time to prepare the sub buns. On the piece that is the bottom bun, add mayonnaise and spread it evenly.
  11. Next add a bed of the chopped iceberg lettuce.
  12. Follow that with a layer of the thinly sliced tomatoes and then top the tomatoes with a layer of white onion.
  13. On the top bun, evenly spread deli mustard.
  14. Once the cheese has melted and the meat has cooked in the air fryer, remove the parchment paper from the air fryer basket.
  15. Using a long spatula, remove the meat and cheese from the parchment paper and place it on top of the lettuce, tomato and onion.
  16. Place the top bun on top of the cheese!
  17. Repeat the same process with the other half of the sub!
  18. Enjoy your own Firehouse Subs: Hook-and-Ladder fully involved sub!!!

Originally published May 2021

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