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"Bar S Beef Franks": has anyone tried them?

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Rachel ray just gave them a top rating:

http://www.rachaelraymag.com/cooking-...

I've encountered Bar S as a "cheap hot dog maker", but never tried their "beef franks". Suggested retail of 2.99 for 16 ounce pack.

Any taste testers out there with comparisons and recs?

Comments based on RRRBS (Reflexive Rachel Ray Bashing Syndrome) are not preferred in replies.

Also, Bar S offers lots of varieties... (chicken pork beef blends)... but looking for feedback about "beef franks". Lots of labeling laws in play here: "beef franks".

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  1. Their price is the only reason I've purchased them (I think I paid 99 cents for the 16 oz. pack). It's been a while, but I remember them tasting of fat and lacking snap or heft. But if you slather on the onions and mustard, it's not too bad.

    1. I didn't like them at all. The Bar S dogs in general have been among the worst I've ever had.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jgg13

        "I didn't like them at all" +1

      2. I've never had them but I've had bacon from Bar S that was abolutely dreadful. Yes, BACON that didn't taste good, it had a distinct chemical flavor to it, just awful.
        I have sampled many varieties of hot dogs and prefer Nathan's Famous w. natural casings. I don't know where you are located but they can be hard to find in northern California. Nathan's has several varieties, skinless, kosher, bun size etc., but the natural casings are the best. If you are on the east coast you will have many options like Sabrett and others. I reccomend whatever you can find that has a natural casing it really makes all the difference in a hot dog for me.

        2 Replies
        1. re: virtualguthrie

          bacon that tasted bad?

          there is no God.

          last bought anything by them in college a zillion years ago. stoned and broke it made sense until I got home.

          1. re: virtualguthrie

            I've had BAR S bacon that was pretty decent, but Walmart just had a bunch of it at a really low price $2.98 so I bought a couple. BIG mistake. I swear it is wild boar, which have become a problem in Texas where I live. I had to spray the house for days and throw out the pan I cooked it in. Wouldn't even feed it to the dogs. I'm throwing the second package away as we speak. Don't feel like dealing with Walmart to return it. Having grown up on a farm I know when pork is boar, and that is what this was - disgusting.

          2. I'm far to scared to try them.
            I work in retail and see many of their products and each and everyone looks very low end, the price point seems to be the sole selling feature. I have cooked them for sale in a store and texturally they defy physics.........maybe if extremely drunk, with the addition of chili , mustard, chopped onions,cole slaw.......I might attempt one.

            1. Not worth the cheap price I paid ($.99)

              1. OK ...I tried the BEEF Bar S Franks ... TODAY ($2.17 at Wal-Mart).

                I was surprised the ingrediant list was so good. There's very little junk in there.

                Took a bite and the first taste was ... hey ... I remember when hot dogs tasted like this ... then WHAM ... my mouth was assaulted by salt.

                And that is all I could taste ... SALT ... they are very, very ... very salty. Don't buy them.

                Actualy the cheapo Bar S are much better than this. Shame on youi, Rachael Ray.

                I was going to add them to the other hot dogs for a picnic tommorrow. Now I'm just going to feed them to the dogs next door.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rworange

                  rwo: I'd built up so much respect for your opinions, and now you want to abuse the neighbor pets?

                  anyway RRay has no shame.

                2. I find that the John Morrell brand of franks and sausages are much better in taste.
                  Danny

                  1. Very cheap tasting. No snap to the skin and not much flavor other than salty. Not worth buying, IMO! There are too many good hot dogs out there to waste time on these.

                    1. I've seen Bar S hot dogs at Wal-Mart (and DollarTree) and the price scares me. $1.00 a package? I'm genuinely too wary to buy them. I'm afraid of ending up with a gristle dog. Or worse.

                      1. I have invariably found that anything RR shills or sells is garbage. So if it has her name on it, or she recommends it, I know to stay away. I bought one of her enamel dutch ovens once, and it started to chip on the inside at first use.

                        1. Frankly...ahem...the ultra-low price has scared me away from Bar S.

                          1. Glad I read these. Kroger has Bar S on sale and I was tempted. I think I'll stick with OM or Nathan's.

                            1. The only product BS makes thats any good are their hot links.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                Interesting how personal tastes vary. I think their Hot Links are among the worst of their mediocre product line. They're just hot dogs with cayenne added, all screeching heat and nothing else, IMO.

                              2. Yea. I bought them for the neighbors dogs. Now they sit and wait for me to get home.They must be good.

                                1. Just something to think about for something that's 2.99 lb. The store upcharge in the meat dept is an avg of 45%. The manufacturer is making a profit of at least .30 to .40 lb. It costs an avg of .15 to .20 lb to transport that product to the distribution center. If it goes through another middle distributor, add another .20 lb. Use the same math for a .99 lb hotdog. There's the cost of the packaging, the box it's shipped in, the advertising and the slotting fee that is paid just to put an item on the shelf.

                                  Now after that, what is the cost of the actual components going into that hot dog, beef or meat? If you're paying less then $5 lb for hot dogs, I would be afraid to eat them.

                                  1. These hot dogs are hands down the absolute worst of the wurst.
                                    If you feel compelled to buy them go for the beef ones as opposed to the ones they make with a mix of chicken. But even their beef franks are pretty sad.

                                    I prefer natural casing hot dogs but if you're looking for a decent skinless frank, spend the extra few bucks and buy Nathan's, Deitz & Watson, or Sabrett. Certainly worth the difference in price, and also miles above BallPark, Oscar Meyer, Hygrade, Boar's Head, Schickhaus, and similar more famous brands.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: The Professor

                                      I agree generally.

                                      But you really think Boar's Head natural casing dogs are bad? I think they're great and wish I could get them where I live instead of just when I get to NY.

                                      1. re: Bada Bing

                                        No, the Boar's Head natural casing franks aren't terrible. About on par with the other BH products...decent but not stellar. And perhaps a bit better than the brands I impulsively lumped them in with.
                                        Even if they're not the best around, I would agree that they are an ok choice especially compared to stuff like Hygrade, Ballpark, and Schickhaus.

                                        But even any of the three that I originally mentioned as favorites would be second choice to ones made by a good, old-school family run deli or pork store. Unfortunately, such places are disappearing fast.

                                        1. re: The Professor

                                          Please do not lump Schickhaus franks in with Hygrade and Ballpark. Schickhaus is a premium, Natural Casing meat frank on par with Boar's Head.

                                          If you would like to see the spec sheet, let me know.

                                          1. re: awm922

                                            They just don't taste good to me to me, and the texture just seems to mushy. They also seem to be a LOT saltier than some of the others as well. Although the hot dogs they make will never be on my top 10, I will admit though that Schickhaus' hot dogs are not as bad as their Bologna. However, I've never really considered Schickhaus as a 'premium' brand. Frankly speaking (no pun intended) while Boar's Head franks are not terrible, they aren't particularly special either.

                                            Actually, one favorite I forgot to mention puts both Schickhaus and Boar's Head to shame: some Shop-Rite stores in NJ (but not all...just the ones owned by the Saker company) carry a house brand hot dog called" World Class". In addition to a really good line of lunchmeats and specialty products, they offer some of the best natural casing pork/beef mixed franks(as well as the lesser all beef variety).
                                            Both are very good...perfectly seasoned and with a very good meaty texture and great "snap" to the bite.

                                            But to each his own...we all have our favorites and may not agree on them, but I think we can agree that a good hot dog really hits the spot as nothing else can sometimes.
                                            :-)

                                            1. re: The Professor

                                              good post. Speaking frankly on franks.

                                              1. re: The Professor

                                                "we all have our favorites"
                                                +1
                                                my absolute favorite hot dog used to be Oscar Mayer all beef.
                                                but they must have changed ingredients or sold out or something because the signature flavor I did so enjoy appreciating (that stood out to me over all others) is no longer.

                                      2. stores by me dont carry the beef bar s,always thought they only made the meat,or chicken dogs..

                                        1. Bar S is bottom feeding. Some hot dogs are oddly expensive, but these are not good. I suppose if you needed a big bunch of dogs to burn on the grill and put lots of mustard and ketchup on them they'd be almost edible.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Shann

                                            almost, but not quite. :-0

                                            1. re: The Professor

                                              You're right. Life is too short for bad hot dogs. And I'm on a perpetual diet, if not particularly successful one. So when I eat a real hot dog I should go with a good one and get my money's worth.

                                              1. re: Shann

                                                They are a very very poor excuse for a hot dog!

                                          2. I'm not fond of natural casing or hot dogs with 'snap'. I grew up with over processed pressed tubes of meat with no discernible skin, and thats what I still look for. Having said that I have to agree that there is nothing worthwhile about a BAR S frank. As RWORange said 3 years ago on this posting, the only discernible taste is salt. No meaty flavor - real, artificial, or otherwise. No balance of spices, just salt. And the texture's not so great anyhow. Kinda mushy, soft, and wet. Not worth the price, even on sale.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                              I'm also natural casing-averse. I don't want a snap; I want a smooth bite.

                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                OP here. Fun that you mention "on sale". I scored a few pounds at ridiculous price, which prompted my posting. I've moved on in exploring the dawgs..

                                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                  I grew up that way, too, but the first time I had a natural casing hot dog I thought I'd been transported to heaven. to each one's own, eh?

                                                2. I wouldn't feed Bar-S to anyone, not even a dog. I had a single bite of one and it's full of fat, ground bones and gristle. I won't even touch a hot dog now, thanks to Bar-S. I highly don't recommend them, let alone hot dogs in general. Bologna is made the same way (something else, I won't eat). You know, as the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for". If you buy cheap, you're going to get cheap.

                                                  1. Not sure what it says about the Boston.com staff, but Bar S was just picked as the best in a taste test of 18 dogs.

                                                    http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                      Unbelievable.

                                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                        I saw that article and was amazed. Bar S were always the dogs I'd buy if I wanted the cheapest of the cheap. As for GOOD hot dogs, I was also amazed that they didn't like the Pearl Country Club franks, which are my personal favorites hands down.

                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                          I notice this with Cook's Illustrated. They seem to consistently just pick whatever has the most salt.

                                                          I'm not against dirt cheap mystery meat, but I haven't had a Bar S hot dog since college.

                                                        2. They must have done that taste test after a full night of shots & beers. All the great cold cuts, dogs and sausage available in the northeast and they picked BS, something wrong here for sure.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                            Amen to that! The mixed meat franks are bad enough...even their all beef ones are the pits. They must have been seriously drunk to pick Bar-S. I was especially surprised at the low rating the Nathan's product received. I'm normally not a fan of all-beef franks, but I have to admit hat Nathan's are a real winner in both taste and texture, and a good, mellow seasoning...akin to the best homemade franks I've had from a good local butcher..

                                                            A good hot dog _shouldn't_ be over the top with spices.

                                                          2. I have had them and they are very, very bland; not a good texture. However bland and bad you are imagining they are, it is actually worse.

                                                            1. Ill admit I buy them - they are CHEAP and they come in handy when my greedy neighbors start sniffing my grill - They make good decoys for the housemate too - keeps him away from my good stuff - no, they not good but enough catsup, mustard and kraut of whatever and that's all you taste. If I care I buy Hebrew National or Nathans when I think I will be giving them away the price is right. They make chicken ones too and "smoked sausages"

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                "they come in handy when my greedy neighbors start sniffing my grill - They make good decoys for the housemate too - keeps him away from my good stuff"

                                                                Brilliant!

                                                                1. re: JMF

                                                                  yes, I always applaud a good smoke and mirrors deceit.

                                                              2. I haven't had the all beef Bar S franks, but I have had the chicken, pork and beef and loved them!!! No sooner had I discovered this "old-fashioned taste" hot dog, than my store began offering all-chicken, all beef or combinations thereof which are not, to my taste, as good.

                                                                1. Wal Mart was out of the Ball Park franks I usually buy so I thought I could get by this time with a package of Bar S. I thought wrong. They don't cook right and are just tasteless goo. Don't waste your money on Bar S. I am not sure that they would make good dog food.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: MrInterpid

                                                                    Dogs eat their own waste so I'm not sure they're a good judge of taste.

                                                                    They'll love these.

                                                                  2. I buy them when they are .99 cents or now maybe $1.25 per lb. I use them as dog treats because dog treats cost more per lb than prime filet mignon!

                                                                    1. Bar-S is absolute crap. The bologna is even worse, if you can imagine that. I grew up in Brooklyn eating the affectionately-named "Dirty Water Dawgs" (Sabrette), Papaya King, and the fantastic original grilled Nathan's on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Big fan of all things wurst, and I can't even think of eating Bar-S without retching. I used to buy, and love, Hebrew National until ConAgra took them over. I refuse to support anything they get their greedy mitts involved with. They even ruined my beloved Gulden's mustard.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: GeoBlues

                                                                        The "meat" version (made from chicken and pork) of Bar S hot dogs are on sale this week at Safeway for $1.25 a pack. I was shopping with a friend yesterday, and the display case for them was nearly empty, so many people had been scooping them up.

                                                                        We bought a pack to try mainly as a joke, and had them for dinner last night with a can of Nalley chili, onions and regular yellow mustard thinking they couldn't be THAT bad, could they?

                                                                        They actually cooked up looking very nice. We pan-roasted them slowly in a non-stick pan with a little oil in it, like we were cooking them on a flat-top grill. They smelled surprisingly good, but had no snap and had an odd mushy feel biting into them, although overall they didn't taste too bad. Not great, not premium in any way, but they didn't taste like garbage, either. They simply weren't distinctive in any way other than a stick of mushy meat shaped like a hot dog.

                                                                        But 18 hours later, and I can still feel them churning around inside me. Gosh, whatever is in them is really harsh on my whole digestive system. Even though it's lunchtime now, I passed on breakfast and still don't even want to eat anything yet today, I still feel so awful.

                                                                        In the final analysis I was thinking about what people say about Ore-Ida instant potatoes. There's apparently one, and only one style of Ore-Ida which supposedly cooks up tasting anything like real mashed potatoes. Does the same apply to Bar S? Are the "beef" ones really so different that they get the high ratings they do?

                                                                        After last night's experience with the cheap version, I honestly don't want to know. It's killed my curiosity about the entire brand.

                                                                        1. re: GeoBlues

                                                                          I bought their bacon not long ago, and it was not what I consider bacon by any means. Mystery meat comes to mind.

                                                                        2. I'm surprised Rachel Ray gave them such a high rating, I always though these were the most bottom brand hot dogs you could buy. They taste like they have a lot of water and gelatin in them and relatively little actual meat.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Atomic76

                                                                            ray knows little about food for a food personality. I once caught a bit of her show and she spoke about how adding some pancetta to a dish added a nice smokiness. That's when I knew she was clueless.

                                                                          2. They are vile things.

                                                                            1. I'm a college student and I eat these sliced with mac and cheese or rice. They're... not great. They're made of mechanically separated chicken, and you can tell from the texture which is sort of soft and weird. But at ~10ยข per hot dog, what do you expect? They're edible and fine in a pinch.