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Best commercial hot dog?

Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 04:42 PM

Which hot dog brand is your favorite (that you can buy in a grocery store)?


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  1. a
    amoncada RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 04:51 PM

    Hebrew National, Boar's Head, & Usinger's Dogs are great. Whole Food's carries a few decent brands as well. They use quality cuts of beef & pork rather than all of the lips & guts, etc.

    1 Reply
    1. re: amoncada
      chuck s RE: amoncada Aug 19, 2006 02:36 PM

      That should be Boar's Head all beef with natural casing. I find Hebrew National to be too heavy with garlic and other spices, masks the flavor of the dog. In Boston, Pearl Brand Kountry Club franks (mentioned earlier) are good and used by Boston Speed Dog.

    2. bigmackdaddy RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 04:53 PM

      Boars Head. They have skins and no sugar added.

      1. g
        Glenn J RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 04:55 PM

        Are Hebrew National better than Nathan's?

        16 Replies
        1. re: Glenn J
          bigmackdaddy RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 05:17 PM

          Not really. I think both brands they sell at the supermarket suck. However, if you want the much better Nathan's with skins you have to head down to the flagship restaurant in Coney Island. They'll sell them by the pound. The same with Katz's when you hit their deli.

          1. re: bigmackdaddy
            Bob Martinez RE: bigmackdaddy Aug 18, 2006 09:08 PM


            Nathans dogs with natural casings are available at some supermarkets. In New York City many of the Key Food stores stock them.

            Besides having more "snap" the soicing in the natural casing variey is different and has more zip.

            1. re: Bob Martinez
              bigmackdaddy RE: Bob Martinez Aug 19, 2006 01:30 AM

              Which Key Foods are these?

              1. re: bigmackdaddy
                byrd RE: bigmackdaddy Aug 19, 2006 01:40 AM

                my little keyfood marketplace in nassau has had the nathan's natural casings all summer, i even picked up a pack of boars head blue label (natural casing beef/pork mix) today.

                1. re: bigmackdaddy
                  prunefeet RE: bigmackdaddy Aug 19, 2006 03:27 PM

                  Much to my surprise I found both Nathan's and Boar's head with natural casings at my local little Associated in Bkln. Got the Boar's head and was pretty happy, wanted that snap, but to tell you the truth I found the casing a touch too tough. Still best I have had from the supermarket by far, nex time I will try the nathan's.

                  1. re: bigmackdaddy
                    Bob Martinez RE: bigmackdaddy Aug 20, 2006 04:19 PM

                    The Key Food on 5th Ave. in Park Slope. Also the one on McGuiness Blvd. in Greenpoint.

                    The Boars Head natural casing are fine but I prefer the Nathans. The choice is really a matter of personal taste. The biggest trick is to find them in the first place. Then you can make up your own mind.

                    1. re: bigmackdaddy
                      SkipChurch RE: bigmackdaddy Jan 24, 2007 09:47 AM

                      ShopRite on Route 1, Princeon NJ, has Nathans with natural casings. Wegman's has a huge selection of dogs-- Loeffler's, Bests, Thumann's, Boar's Head, etc etc-- all different types. Jersey is hot dog country!

                    2. re: Bob Martinez
                      coll RE: Bob Martinez Aug 20, 2006 04:21 PM

                      Pathmark has them too.

                      1. re: Bob Martinez
                        Steve RE: Bob Martinez Oct 7, 2010 03:28 PM

                        A hearty second for Nathan's with natural casings. I used to stick with Hebrew National, but I started to find them too salty.

                        1. re: Steve
                          jfood RE: Steve Oct 7, 2010 03:38 PM


                          Jfood has found that there is a different level of saltiness in HN depending on whether they are grilled or microwaved.

                          1. re: jfood
                            Steve RE: jfood Oct 7, 2010 05:21 PM

                            Thanks for the tip. which seems saltier? Inquiring minds want to know.

                            1. re: Steve
                              jfood RE: Steve Oct 9, 2010 02:18 PM

                              grilled were saltier than Mv

                            2. re: jfood
                              smartie RE: jfood Oct 9, 2010 02:36 PM

                              I microwave mine in a little water then drain, it helps get more of the saltiness and greasiness out

                              1. re: smartie
                                jfood RE: smartie Oct 9, 2010 04:17 PM

                                jfood did not find the MVs salty. Two HNs in a paper towel rolled like a blintze and 1.5 minutes in the MV. Not gourmet but a dog is a dog (can't believe he made me write that).

                                1. re: jfood
                                  bagelman01 RE: jfood Oct 10, 2010 04:03 AM

                                  Problem is that J aint nothing but a hound, dog.

                                  I couldn't resist, and if he turned his back, I steal the franks.

                                  For breakfast this morning, the Bs are having leftover HN hot dogs, off the grill from yesterday's lunch, cut in discs and cooked as Hot Dogs and eggs pancake style.........

                      2. re: Glenn J
                        feelinpeckish RE: Glenn J Oct 7, 2010 12:17 PM

                        re:Glenn J
                        In a word - NO. Have always eaten Nathan's and just recently bought Hebrew National. In ether case buy it with the natural casing.

                      3. Infomaniac RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 05:04 PM

                        Pearl Kountry Club Franks, might only be available in the Boston area.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Infomaniac
                          mwallmwall RE: Infomaniac Oct 8, 2010 08:30 AM

                          Amen! They are the best. They do sell outside of Mass. Talk to your deli!

                        2. TongoRad RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 05:08 PM

                          The Black Bear brand, with natural casings, available in Shop Rite stores is excellent.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: TongoRad
                            byrd RE: TongoRad Aug 17, 2006 07:21 PM

                            i'm pretty sure black bear brand is made by deitz & watson, definetly a very decent hot dog.

                            1. re: TongoRad
                              adrouault RE: TongoRad Jun 6, 2007 07:05 AM

                              i agree

                            2. t
                              tlegray RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 05:55 PM

                              Boar's Head if I'm going to steam them

                              Ballpark all beef if I'm going to BBQ

                              1. e
                                ESNY RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 08:36 PM

                                At a minimum, anything with a natural casing, skip the skinless dogs. I actually think the Boar's Head are some of the best supermarket variety. In my local supermarket, they are one of the few brands that are sold with natural casings.

                                1. Candy RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 09:13 PM

                                  Thuman's and then Usinger's

                                  1. s
                                    swsidejim RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 09:16 PM

                                    Best Kosher, and Hebrew National are the best in my opinion. Both are better than Nathans in my opinion.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: swsidejim
                                      Bobfrmia RE: swsidejim Aug 20, 2006 11:45 PM

                                      Agree on the Best kosher. The dinner franks are only available at Sam's Club here. There is no better meal than a Best kosher dog with a slice of Farmland spicy cured bacon on it.

                                      1. re: Bobfrmia
                                        coll RE: Bobfrmia Aug 21, 2006 10:06 AM

                                        I love Farmland bacon! Do you live near their factory?

                                        1. re: coll
                                          Bobfrmia RE: coll Aug 21, 2006 01:05 PM

                                          Honestly don't know where they are located. Customer service number is in Kansas City. We just get all there varieties of bacon, and the spicy cured is incredible. It has a good bite. I'm actually afraid they will get complaints and tone it down. Sadly, it came out about the same time I made diet changes so I only have it on rare occasions.

                                          1. re: Bobfrmia
                                            coll RE: Bobfrmia Aug 21, 2006 02:15 PM

                                            I know their deliveries used to come from Iowa, I thought that's where all the farms in the co op were located, but with all the wheeling and dealing in the meat business lately, who knows. Anyway I think they have the best bacon I've ever tried, and if I ever see the spicy flavor I'll buy a whole bunch to freeze. All we have is regular, and maybe applewood smoked.

                                        2. re: Bobfrmia
                                          ChowFun_derek RE: Bobfrmia Aug 27, 2006 09:39 PM

                                          Heresy!!! Pork on a Kosher dog!!!! A culinary intermarriage!!!

                                          1. re: ChowFun_derek
                                            steelydad RE: ChowFun_derek Aug 1, 2011 11:47 AM

                                            Was thinking the exact same thing! And it is 5 years later

                                      2. pikawicca RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 09:17 PM

                                        Has anyone tried the new ones made from grass-fed beef with no preservatives? I read about them somewhere recently, and they were rated favorably.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: pikawicca
                                          Karl S RE: pikawicca Aug 17, 2006 09:32 PM

                                          There was a thread on that you can search the boards on. I remain utterly unconvinced.

                                          1. re: pikawicca
                                            Elizzie RE: pikawicca Aug 17, 2006 09:36 PM

                                            I tried some of the Maverick brand hot dogs that were, I think grass-fed with no preservatives. Pretty darned tasty. But we bought some at Rooster Brother in Ellsworth, Maine (random, I know) that were...oh, what's the name? Schiller and something? Delicious.

                                            1. re: pikawicca
                                              ipsedixit RE: pikawicca Aug 17, 2006 10:04 PM

                                              I think I would prefer my hot dogs WITH preservatives.

                                            2. ChinoWayne RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 10:15 PM

                                              The problem with this topic is the fact that of the nationally distributed dogs, most, if not all, are less than optimal.

                                              In my local supermarkets about the best I can expect is to find Hebrew National Dinner Franks. These are nice quarter pound beefy babies, but SKINLESS for crying out loud. My local used to at least carry the Hebrew National Spicy Knockwurst, but now I am lucky if they carry the regular knocks.

                                              Very rarely have I seen a natual casing dog in a local supermarket, and that is a shame. All the skinless, extruded crap like Oscar Meyer, Best's, etc. (including the skinless Nathans) are a poor excuse for a sausage.

                                              I have resorted to importing Sabrett's from New York and Vienna from Chicago. In my opinion the Sabrettes are very pedestrian and I won't waste the money importing them again. The Vienna were better, but I just know there are better dogs out there somewhere.

                                              Now with my current diet I am allowed a dog about once a year, so it will be a while before I have my next dog, but I just might have to poke around the Internet to see what's available via web order.

                                              I do like to grill Farmer John (may just be a regional packer) hot links, and the last hot links I through on the grill were Bar-M All Beef. The Bar-M and Farmer John are in natural casings and are both pretty good. The Bar-M are very fatty and their casing seems to be very permeable, I grilled them along side some Hebrew National Dinner Franks, and the Bar-M dripped so much grease I thought my kitchen was going to catch on fire. (Definately grill these babies on a grill outside.) Nice spice and snap to the Bar-M.

                                              1. n
                                                Nicole RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 11:03 PM

                                                Ditto on Boar's Head.

                                                1. h
                                                  hotdoglover RE: Glenn J Aug 17, 2006 11:18 PM

                                                  If one is limited to grocery stores, I would say that Thumann's is the best for a German style beef and pork dog. These are mostly available in Jersey and surrounding states. Get the natural casing ones.

                                                  For beef dogs, Usinger's, Sabrett, Nathan's, Boars Head, and Hebrew National are all very good. I have to get Usinger's via mail order (I live in N.J.)but the other brands are available at supermarkets near me in natural casings with the exception of Hebrew National. You can get these with a collagen casing in some Jewish delis. Goldberg's Kosher Meats in Old Bridge is one such place. Sabrett and Nathan's are mostly sold in the skinless version, but if you look hard enough, you can get them with casings. Many A&P's carry them. I find these dogs much more flavorful than Vienna, which, in my opinion, is mild for a beef dog.

                                                  My favorite all beef dog is made by Best Provisions in Newark, N.J. Available in practically every supermarket in Jersey, this dog has a great blend of spices. Not as garlicky as Nathans or Sabrett, but I like the taste better. Especially good on the grill or in the fryer. Best is the choice of almost all of the places serving a north Jersey specialty known as the Italian Hot Dog. The natural casing version of this dog is served at Syd's and Jerry's which are arguably the 2 best places in the state to get a beef hot dog. I know this thread is about hot dogs available in supermarkets, but if you want a natural casing version of a Best beef frank, you can get it at Best Provisions on Avon Ave. in Newark. In whatever size they make from 12 to a lb to 4 to a lb.

                                                  1. yayadave RE: Glenn J Aug 18, 2006 12:02 AM

                                                    What's that dog that Costco serves for a buck and a half with a bun and a soda? Presumably they sell that dog there.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: yayadave
                                                      mabziegurl RE: yayadave Aug 18, 2006 02:04 AM

                                                      hebrew national is the costco hot dog =)

                                                      1. re: mabziegurl
                                                        Vexorg RE: mabziegurl Jun 5, 2007 08:31 PM

                                                        I don't know if it varies by region, but the Costcos around here serve Sinai Kosher brand hot dogs.

                                                        1. re: Vexorg
                                                          archangelcat RE: Vexorg Jun 6, 2007 12:13 PM

                                                          Right for Eugene Oregon, confusing because they only sell Hebrew National in their refrig. case, but serve Sinai Kosher in their food court, which I think are tastier...

                                                      2. re: yayadave
                                                        leek RE: yayadave Jul 4, 2008 01:31 PM

                                                        Def. varies by region - my local Costco sells Vienna Beef dogs and Polish sausages in the food court. They also have the Vienna Beef natural casing dogs and Sinai 48 brand in packages to buy. Conveniently, this store is located right behind the Vienna Beef factory and store. Chicago, IL.

                                                      3. Melanie Wong RE: Glenn J Aug 18, 2006 01:33 AM

                                                        I'll speak up for Saag's and Miller's, both with natural casings.

                                                        1. javaandjazz RE: Glenn J Aug 18, 2006 10:21 AM

                                                          In my area of CT Hummels and Deutschmayer(sp?) are both very good hotdogs.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: javaandjazz
                                                            Bad Sneakers RE: javaandjazz Aug 23, 2006 01:53 PM

                                                            Hummels are very good, I also like Grote & Weigel.

                                                          2. v
                                                            veggielover RE: Glenn J Aug 18, 2006 10:38 AM

                                                            I grew up in Buffalo, NY and my all-time favorite hot dog is Sahlen's, sold at Ted's Hot Dogs and grocery stores in western New York

                                                            1. davinagr RE: Glenn J Aug 18, 2006 09:05 PM

                                                              I like Sabretts, runner up is Nathans followed by Hebrew National. When I feel like the snap and crunch I'll pick up Boar's Head. Bests Kosher are okay, just super salty IMO.

                                                              1. jfood RE: Glenn J Aug 18, 2006 09:58 PM

                                                                After just eating two Hebrew National's I give them the nod. The dinner franks are the best of the bunch but have too many grams of fat for me. The reduced fat variety leave me cold. I only wish they had a natural casing variety so i can get that crsipy snap when biting into it. I have tried Sabrett's :-(((, Nathan's regular :-((, and Nathan's natural casing :-().

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: jfood
                                                                  Karl S RE: jfood Aug 18, 2006 10:07 PM

                                                                  A generation ago, HN used to make linked franks in a casing, I assume collagen of some sort (while sheep are not non-kosher, isn't casing from the hindquarters of a kosher animal still non-kosher?). We got them from our butcher.

                                                                  1. re: Karl S
                                                                    hotdoglover RE: Karl S Jun 5, 2007 08:09 PM

                                                                    Wegmans sells Hebrew National hot dogs with a collagen casing in the kosher section of the deli. They come about 6 to a lb.

                                                                2. l
                                                                  linlinchan RE: Glenn J Aug 19, 2006 04:50 AM

                                                                  My mother, who is a professional chef, is also a hot dog afficionado. She always buys Boar's Head and Hebrew National All-Beef (that's the seller for me) when I am home and we eat them together.

                                                                  1. m
                                                                    MFARMARCO RE: Glenn J Aug 19, 2006 03:11 PM

                                                                    I beleive there are hot dogs and then there are things that resemble hot dogs.
                                                                    Brands that belong in the first category are : Best's, Nathan's
                                                                    Hebrew National ,Boars head etc. Even WaWa sells this version of the hot dog in the cold case and it is very good. These are Hot Dogs and Frankfurters.
                                                                    The other class is more of a low budget baloney in the shape of a tube such as Oscar mayer, Ball park, Thumanns Etc.
                                                                    They really shouldn't be called frankfurters at all. Yeah they look a little like hot dogs but taste nothing like a good dog.
                                                                    If you need to diguise your weiner in relish and kraut so you can eat it it's not worth eating. A good Frank needs no condiments although I am guilty of amometimes adding smidgen of spicey mustard to compliment, not mask the flavor of my tubelike treat.
                                                                    Just wanted to add my take on that wonderful gift from the food gods we call the hot dog

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: MFARMARCO
                                                                      melly RE: MFARMARCO Aug 19, 2006 06:59 PM

                                                                      I like kraut on my dogs! I am not trying to disguise anything. Sometimes I eat them only with ballpark mustard...when I am in a more reflective mood.

                                                                      1. re: MFARMARCO
                                                                        hotdoglover RE: MFARMARCO Aug 20, 2006 01:14 AM

                                                                        You make some interesting comments. Best's, Nathan's, Hebrew National, and Boars Head are high quality beef frankfurters. But I wouldn't consider Thumanns low budget baloney. They're simply a beef/pork frank, which is different than an all beef kosher style frank. Oscar Mayer and Ball Park, I would agree, are low budget. I, myself, am a bare bones guy, meaning that I prefer to taste the dog unencumered by toppings other than mustard. Out of curiosity, was the Best brand that you referred to Best out of Chicago, or Best out of New Jersey? In my opinion, the Jersy Best is far superior to the Chicago Best.

                                                                      2. jenniebnyc RE: Glenn J Aug 23, 2006 12:20 AM

                                                                        Thummans natural casing hands down.
                                                                        Does anyone know where in NYC or LI I can find them? I have to travel to NJ to buy them. I hear they have them at the NJ Costco's but not LI Costco.


                                                                        1. byrd RE: Glenn J Aug 23, 2006 12:40 AM

                                                                          kings in garden city carries all thumanns products, no boars head. this time of the year they always have natural casings, after summer its hit or miss.

                                                                          888 Franklin Ave Garden City NY 11530


                                                                          1. h
                                                                            hotdoglover RE: Glenn J Aug 23, 2006 12:22 PM


                                                                            In my opinion, Thumann's makes the best pork/beef hot dog. And I've sampled many. I've even been to their plant and was shown around by the plant manager. The place is immaculate, and they have all kinds of machines to measure fat content and other things in order to maintain quality control. They also use top quality cuts of beef and pork rather than trimmings like most dogs. I don't know where or if they're available in NYC or LI, but I would suggest that you look in the deli section of your supermarket rather then where the regular hot dogs are. Or go to a pizzeria or sandwich shop that uses Thumann's cold cuts. Ask the owner if he would order some franks for you from the distributor. As a last resort (or a first) you could contact the company and ask where they are available near you. The website is http://www.thumanns.com.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                              jenniebnyc RE: hotdoglover Aug 23, 2006 02:21 PM

                                                                              Excellent..thank you!

                                                                            2. a
                                                                              AZGrandpa RE: Glenn J Aug 23, 2006 05:15 PM

                                                                              No help to the east coast 'Hounds, but the best I've found is Schweigerts' Natural casing, Old Fashioned, Coarse Ground wieners. I've only found them in the Upper Midwest markets(MN, WS, IA, etc). A real crunch. I usually buy 4 pkgs when visiting family, put them in the freezer, let them freeze for 4-5 days, wrap 'em in dirty clothes for the flight home. Always arrive still frozen after an 8 hr trip. But drives the TSA screeners wild when they see them on the x-ray machine.

                                                                              1. designerboy01 RE: Glenn J Aug 27, 2006 11:07 AM

                                                                                Hebrew National...I like the skins.

                                                                                1. Dommy RE: Glenn J Aug 27, 2006 04:46 PM

                                                                                  Another huge rave for the boars head, but they are THIN and can dry out fast... The post is right in that steaming or doing over a low flame grill pan (Which is how I do it) is the way to go!!


                                                                                  1. c
                                                                                    catherinenca RE: Glenn J Aug 27, 2006 04:50 PM

                                                                                    Let's be Frank sells their 100% grass-fed beef (no nitrates, preservatives, meat raised w/o antibiotics or hormones) at several Bay Area stores, or online via Planet Organics. Not sure if those qualify as "grocery stores" but anyway, these hot dogs are really, really good. Very good flavor, nice casings with that elusive "snap" (that I assume are naturally made but I'm not sure).

                                                                                    1. i
                                                                                      Itslikeimsayin RE: Glenn J Sep 4, 2006 08:13 AM

                                                                                      I've only eaten a few natural casing hot dogs in my life, so that has never been all that important to me when choosing a hot dog, and Nathan's are among my favorite brands. Today I saw Cheddar Cheese Nathan's in the supermarket, but didn't buy them. Has anyone had these? I must admit that as a kid I liked the cheese-filled Oscar Meyer dogs, but have outgrown those now. I'm thinking these Nathan's Cheddar dogs might be their adult equivalent.

                                                                                      1. rosielucchesini RE: Glenn J Sep 4, 2006 03:18 PM

                                                                                        the San Francisco Chronicle just taste tested numerous brands of all beef hot dogs and the one that came out on top was the Niman Ranch Fearless Uncured Beef Franks. as i had been craving a hot dog, i had to try them and they were awesome! i've never seen them anywhere besides at trader joe's but you can also get them from the niman ranch website.

                                                                                        1. Greyhoundgrrl RE: Glenn J Jan 24, 2007 11:27 AM

                                                                                          I don't know if they are available nationwide, but here in PA the Silver Star natural casing dogs (official hot dog of the Pittsburgh Pirates!) is pretty darn tasty. Their kielbasa is good too.

                                                                                          1. b
                                                                                            Basilgirl RE: Glenn J Jan 24, 2007 11:47 AM


                                                                                            1. o
                                                                                              oltheimmer RE: Glenn J Jan 25, 2007 11:54 AM

                                                                                              Among the brands available in supermarkets here Boar's Head natural casing franks are the best I've found. I've found Usinger's at a local deli and had Vienna Beef both at hot dog stands and by mail order and will stick with Boar's Head.

                                                                                              I went on a search and found about a dozen kosher franks at various markets in addition to the well known national mass-merchandised brands, but all skinless.

                                                                                              We are blessed with an abundance of sausage makers here due to German and Czech immigrations but they all seem to have brought their recipes for coarse-ground sausages rather than frankfurter style and hot dogs are mostly kids food and cheap back yard cook-out fare here.

                                                                                              1. hitachino RE: Glenn J Jan 25, 2007 02:20 PM

                                                                                                alas, i suppose i've never had an 'upper crust' hotdog. i always get the oscar mayer cheese dogs. (well, they're quite tasty!)

                                                                                                i must admit, i watched a show on either food network or travel channel about which restaurant serves up the best dog, and i was completely floored by one place that deep fries their dogs.

                                                                                                i mean, i was just drooling! i love fried (as my cholesterol will show) and i also love crusty burnt dogs, so it looks like a no brainer to me!

                                                                                                i haven't tried it yet.

                                                                                                i'm afraid. (afraid i'll love it too much)


                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: hitachino
                                                                                                  sisterfunkhaus RE: hitachino Jan 9, 2010 11:22 AM

                                                                                                  Do yourself a favor, buy a pack of Nathan's or Hebrew National and either steam them or cook them on a griddle. You will never eat Oscar Mayer again. I used to love those cheese franks, but they are distant cousins to even mass produced Nathan's and HN. I don't consider those upper crust at all. They just taste better.

                                                                                                2. k
                                                                                                  Kelli2006 RE: Glenn J Jan 25, 2007 03:14 PM

                                                                                                  Hebrew National and Usingers (rarely available in NE Ohio) are the best grocery available hot dogs. I bought some skin-on dogs from a vendor at the West Wide Market last summer that put even Usingers to shame.

                                                                                                  I have never seen or heard of Boars Head.

                                                                                                  1. t
                                                                                                    tophat RE: Glenn J Apr 6, 2007 11:34 AM

                                                                                                    What is the casing of hot dogs made of? I hope not animal gut...please... say it ain't so.
                                                                                                    Skins? bejeeses, I think I'm having a nightmare. Is there more I should know? Lips?

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: tophat
                                                                                                      jfood RE: tophat Apr 7, 2007 05:19 AM

                                                                                                      Welcome to CH tophat.

                                                                                                      Yes that "popping" sound and feel many of us are looking for in a hot dog is our teeth going through an intestine, hense the "natural" in "natural casing. To some of us that is one of the requirements of a great dog versus a great tasting dog. It's no different from sausage and the like and if that makes you squeemish I would stay away from them.

                                                                                                      I am sure many of us read a classic book in school years ago called "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair. You may want to grab a copy from the library, but be aware that this may give your nightmares a turbo-charge.

                                                                                                    2. katkoupai RE: Glenn J Jun 5, 2007 10:33 PM

                                                                                                      Costco has a really great spicy hot dog right now. My family grilled some over the weekend. They were so good-- I want one right now. I forgot the name of the brand, but they were as large as Hebrew National hot dogs, except spicier.

                                                                                                      1. Den RE: Glenn J Jun 6, 2007 06:54 AM

                                                                                                        Consumer Reports just rated hot dogs in the following order

                                                                                                        #1 Hebrew National
                                                                                                        #2 Nathans
                                                                                                        #3 Boars Head

                                                                                                        1. val ann c RE: Glenn J Sep 11, 2007 05:54 PM

                                                                                                          We just tried the Brat Hans beef frankfurters -- sold at Whole Foods. They are all natural with no nitrates. At $7 for an 8-pack, I was reluctant to try them. Both husband and I liked them very much. They are not the same as a Thumanns or Best dog, but they are equally good in their own way.

                                                                                                          I simmered them in water and served on Whole Foods white hot dog buns. The bun was tasty, but too thick for the skinny franks. These franks are brown, nice mild spice, in a natural casing.

                                                                                                          The next day I served the franks bunless, with mustard and baked potato. Delicious.

                                                                                                          The company makes over a dozen varieties of sausage. I'm eager to try the smoked polish. The WF meat counter guy told me he likes all the varieties, except the veal.


                                                                                                          1. coney with everything RE: Glenn J Jul 2, 2008 05:45 AM

                                                                                                            Natural casing dogs are easily found in just about any supermarket in Day-twa (French pronunciation.)

                                                                                                            Dearborn Sausage or Koegel's are our favorites. If we don't want natural casing dogs, I buy Hebrew Nationals.

                                                                                                            Don't know if this is true, but I'd always heard that the laws in Michigan are stricter regarding what disgusting things that can be used to make hot dogs, so you should stick to Ball Parks or any brand that is made in Michigan (or kosher, of course).

                                                                                                            1. ChrisOC RE: Glenn J Jul 2, 2008 05:52 AM

                                                                                                              My vote is for the Black Bear natural casing sold at ShopRite. They come al strung together like hotdogs in a cartoon. Love that snap when I bite into them

                                                                                                              1. RetiredChef RE: Glenn J Jan 9, 2010 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                This last summer we did a blind hot dog tasting test, 20 different hot dogs all cooked on a griddle and then tasted by 11 pretty discerning palates.

                                                                                                                The number one hot dog was

                                                                                                                #1 Hebrew National Reduced Fat

                                                                                                                #2 Boars head
                                                                                                                #3 Applegate Big Apple hot dog
                                                                                                                #4 Ball Park Angus beef franks

                                                                                                                Surprises were both Hebrew National’s regular kosher dogs and Nathan’s were judged by most to be overly salty and the regular Hebrew dog had a mushy texture. If I was going to eat these I would definitely boil them to remove some of the salt.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: RetiredChef
                                                                                                                  hotdoglover RE: RetiredChef Jan 10, 2010 04:27 AM

                                                                                                                  In 2007 I was involved in a comprehensive tasting where we sampled 32 brands. We judged all beef and beef/pork dogs separately. Nathan's came in first for a beef dog, just slightly edging out Best's (from New Jersey) which was my pick. Thumann's came in first for a German style beef and pork dog. See here: http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/20...

                                                                                                                  Beef dogs are saltier and kosher dogs are even saltier due to the koshering process of brining in salt. Heating in water is a good idea which I do anyway before grilling.

                                                                                                                  Regarding your tasting, I would rate Boars Head #1, especially if it had the natural casing. No way the reduced fat version of Hebrew National is better than the regular, which you can get with a collagen casing at Wegman's and certain kosher butchers.

                                                                                                                  1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                                                    RetiredChef RE: hotdoglover Jan 10, 2010 05:41 AM

                                                                                                                    No-one was more surprised about the reduced fat leading the pack than I was. I was the one that brought it in as a zinger, I had never tasted it before but choose it on a whim. I have been doing blind tasting’s for over 20 years and one thing I have learned is that we tend to knock over quite a few “best ______________” fill in the blank.

                                                                                                                    This HN reduced fat dog winning was not only surprising; it was picked by 7 out of the 11 tasters as #1 the first time and it got 8 out of 11 tasters nod for the top spot the second. The one person of the group who claimed to be our Hot Dog expert actually wrote down that this hot dog HAD to be Nathan’s because it was the best tasting dog with the most amount of meat flavor.

                                                                                                                    You tasting was comprehensive was it a blind tasting?
                                                                                                                    I also noticed you didn’t have the HN reduced fat in it, have you tried that at a later date?


                                                                                                                    1. re: RetiredChef
                                                                                                                      jfood RE: RetiredChef Jan 10, 2010 05:59 AM

                                                                                                                      this may sound like sacrilege but if you MV the HN dogs they are less salty than a grilled HN dog.

                                                                                                                      1. re: RetiredChef
                                                                                                                        hotdoglover RE: RetiredChef Jan 10, 2010 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                        I did try one of the Hebrew National reduced fat prior to the tasting. I only remember thinking that it lacked the flavor of the regular dog. The tasting was blind.

                                                                                                                    2. re: RetiredChef
                                                                                                                      mcf RE: RetiredChef Jan 10, 2010 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                      Compared to those (yes, I have), I prefer Garrett County Beef hot dogs, the fat ones, with Tall Grass Coming in a close second. I no longer eat chemically cured ones, and among the naturals, Coleman's are to be avoided, bleah.

                                                                                                                    3. s
                                                                                                                      Shann RE: Glenn J Jan 18, 2010 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                      Regionally, here in Vermont Essem and McKenzie's are the best. They are both natural casing. If those aren't available, then Hebrew National is usually what I will pick up.

                                                                                                                      I want to try Vermont Smoke and Cure's hot dogs. I've heard good things about them, but I don't know how come a local smokehouse would make a skinless hot dog.

                                                                                                                      1. k
                                                                                                                        KCandy RE: Glenn J Jun 6, 2010 11:55 AM

                                                                                                                        I suppose we are sentimental victims of our memories. The best hotdog was the one that grew up with me in Nebraska; Wimmers Wieners, a bright red natural casing dog with perfect seasoning and snap. I cannot get them in KC but the drive up north is worth the trip. These are the classic dogs of the boomer era. Excellent steamed or boiled, great finished off on the griddle . Wonderful with mustard and dill pickle relish, or as a Kansas City Dog with swiss cheese and sauerkraut. Thank god for summer and beer and Wimmer's Wieners. ;-0

                                                                                                                        1. j
                                                                                                                          jindomommy RE: Glenn J Oct 7, 2010 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                          Usinger and Karl Ehmer's!

                                                                                                                          1. bigmackdaddy RE: Glenn J Oct 9, 2010 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                            Whatever brand Joe's Diner in Durham, NC serves. I believe it's called Pearl's and they're all beef with casing.

                                                                                                                            1. Midlife RE: Glenn J Oct 9, 2010 01:13 PM

                                                                                                                              After spending several weeks tracking down Nathan's natural casing dogs they finally turned up at my local chain Albertson's................... but alas!............... they haven't been there the last few times I've looked. None of the other markets in the area carry them (closest hit is 12-15 miles away and off my normal path).

                                                                                                                              This area is fairly middle-of-the-road and I can't find such things as natural casing dogs, broccoli raab, or morel mushrooms all in the same place, anywhere within 20 miles. Kinda disappointing.

                                                                                                                              1. c
                                                                                                                                cantbeatgoodfood RE: Glenn J Mar 22, 2012 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                Shop Rite used to carry Windmill foot long pork/beef hot dogs,were expensive but cheaper than going to windmill rest. to get them.....Great deep fried !!

                                                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                                                  sueatmo RE: Glenn J Jun 11, 2012 02:27 PM

                                                                                                                                  I just discovered Whole Foods brand all beef hot dogs, skinless and uncured. I've been so unhappy with the junky low fat dogs Mr. Sueatmo brings home, and he has too. I decided to try these. One of these long dogs works with a bun as a meal with chips and/or raw veggies for us. They have to be as satisfying as a couple of the crummy ones we have lately been buying.

                                                                                                                                  I eat them on low carb hot dog buns with some brown mustard. I think beans or relish would also be appropriate for these dogs.

                                                                                                                                  I do wish for some garlic flavor (I think that is what I am missing) but overall, they taste good. One hot dog does for lunch. And you feel like you 've eaten something substantial enough to carry on through the afternoon.

                                                                                                                                  1. Perilagu Khan RE: Glenn J Jun 11, 2012 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                    I wonder if Nathan's has dropped their price point? Right now (at least where I shop) they're priced exactly the same as Oscar-Meyer all-beef dawgs.

                                                                                                                                    1. DonShirer RE: Glenn J Jun 12, 2012 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                                      I read one of those on-line taste tests by a nutritionist which recommended Applegate Turkey Hot Dogs, so I tried a package. Yuck! No taste and rubbery. I'm not a fan of Boar's Head, but Hebrew National and Oscar Meyer Angus franks are ok. (other O.M. hot dogs, not so much).

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