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Sep 12, 2008 06:48 PM

nitrate free hot dogs?

Does anyone know of a nitrate free kosher hot dog? it doesn't have to be glatt....

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  1. You might try local butcher shops - here in chicago romanian kosher sausage makes nitrate free hot dogs - Neshama Sausages also I think are nitrate free and maybe Jeff's Kosher GOurmet Sausage in LA are nitrate free

    1. 999 Makes a nitrate free hot dog. You can find it at kosher markets. In Teaneck it is sold at Glatt Express.

      1. Just seconding the 999 Delight recommendation -- they also have Italian sausages w/o nitrates. I can find them in a couple of kosher grocery spots in the Twin Cities.

        14 Replies
        1. re: Temira

          Meal Mart also makes a frozen nitrate-free hot dog (I think they're called "glatties"), but beware... they contain corn syrup and/or sugar. The Neshama chicken/turkey sausages are excellent, and they don't contain nitrites, nitrates, corn syrup, or sugar.

          1. re: midasgold

            Going on a trip to Yellowstone and would love to have nitrate free hot dogs shipped to us there. I see that Park East Kosher carries the 999 ones and ships everywhere -- have any of you had experience with ordering from them for delivery to remote locations? Any other places you'd recommend ordering meat from?

            Last year we ordered from Avi Glatt and were very satisfied, but they don't appear to carry any nitrate free hotdogs. (We also ordered steaks from Golden West Glatt, which had amazing steaks, but they seem to have disappeared.)

            1. re: dckosher

              abeles&Heyman makes nitrite free hot dogs

            2. re: midasgold

              WTF is sugar/HFCS doing in a hot dog?!

              1. re: DeisCane

                yeah, like rest of the ingredients of hotdogs are super healthy

                1. re: berel

                  I'm speaking as a foodie (this is Chowhound, after all), not a health nut.

                  1. re: DeisCane

                    well I think nitrates have more to do with health rather than foodie thing. so perhaps you're in the wrong discussion.

                2. re: DeisCane

                  There's almost always some sugar in a hot dog. Many cured beef items have some sugar in the curing process (even pastrami has sugar in the applied cure). I smoked a brisket recently and sugar was the 2nd ingredient by volume.

                  1. re: DeisCane

                    Sugar is a preservative, which would have been significant when our favorite cured meat recipes developed.

                    But it is also used as a flavor in savory dishes pretty much world wide, from the sweet and sour dishes of China and Eastern Europe, to the minced beef of Olde England. German cooking favors sweet recipes for meat more than many cultures. We won't talk about candied ham, but think about how traditional frum producers (and especially for the Pesach market) put what tastes to me like too much sugar in ketchup and mayonnaise. ( Not to mention the custom of flavoring fish (gefilta) with sugar. ) It's the Germanic roots of the Ashkenazi community showing in its sweet tooth. I suspect that marketing people can show you maps of the United States where areas of heavy German settlement in the nineteenth century continue to prefer brands of bologna, hot dogs, and mayonnaise with more sugar in them than areas that had other immigrant groups.

                    1. re: AdinaA

                      I know that sugar is used in a variety of things (and I also realize the thread started about nitrites, so what). But it doesn't belong in hot dogs. Here are the ingredients for Hebrew National, A&H and Real Kosher hot dogs, nary a grain of sugar to be seen:

                      HN Ingredients
                      Beef, Water, Modified Food Starch (Ingredient in Excess of Amount Permitted in Regular Beef Franks)2% or less of Flavorings, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Paprika, Potassium Chloride, Potassium and Sodium Lactate, Salt, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite.

                      A&H Ingredients
                      Beef, Water, Salt, Seasonings (Flavorings, Mustard, Spices, Paprika, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein), Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite

                      RK Ingredients
                      Beef, Water, Salt, Spices & Flavorings, Paprika, Garlic Powder, Hydrolyzed soy protein, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite

                      1. re: DeisCane

                        Isn't it kind of a matter of personal preference? I mean, someone must like their dogs sweet, or producers wouldn't make them. I don't have a dog in this fight since I've never cared for frankfurters. I do like other kinds of sausages very much. But it seems to me that you win if someone manufactures a sausage that you like, and a store near you sells it.

                        Is there an excellent sugarless brand?

                        1. re: AdinaA

                          Sugar is a crutch in a food like hot dogs, imo. It's a bit like excessive sodium in low-fat/low-cal foods. I just listed three very tasty brands without sugar, and Neshama sausages don't have sugar.

                          1. re: DeisCane

                            I love Neshama sausages. All flavors. I use them in lots of ways, they are low-fat, so you can eat well without putting on the calories. Plus, for summer trips or sunday picnics you can freeze them, stick them in a cooler chest to cool on a road trip, grill them on a cheap disposable barbecue and eat well in the most improbable places. I've noticed that since they're natural they often stock them in Whole Foods and other health food sections in areas where Yidden neither live nor regularly shop.

                            Choosing a favorite between Country apple and Smoked Andouille would be tough. Depends on my mood.

                        2. re: DeisCane

                          The amount of sugar present in dogs that contain sugar is usually trivial.

                3. The discussion seems to have evolved, but back to the OP (yes, a few years later!) I just saw that Kol Foods, my favorite source for humane meat, is now selling nitrate free hot dogs. And, as it happens, note a trace of sugar/hfcs. Just beef, water, salt, garlic powder, spices.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Hirscheys

                    today's ny times had an article about nitrite free hot dogs (


                    If there is no such thing as a healthy hot dog, how do you limit the damage at this weekend’s weenie roast?

                    Enlarge This Image

                    James Best Jr./The New York Times

                    Times Topic: Meat
                    Enlarge This Image

                    Jim Wilson/The New York Times
                    Bruce Aidells, with slabs of bacon behind him, says the labels mislead consumers about nitrate.

                    Aaron Houston for The New York Times
                    Linda Boardman, president of Applegate Farms, has proposed new labels to the U.S.D.A. to no avail.
                    Don’t count on the label to help much. Those pricey “natural” and “organic” hot dogs often contain just as much or more of the cancer-linked preservatives nitrate and nitrite as that old-fashioned Oscar Mayer wiener.

                    And almost no one knows it because of arcane federal rules that make the labels on natural and organic hot dogs, luncheon meats and bacon virtually impossible to decipher when it comes to preservatives. That includes products made from beef, pork, turkey and chicken.

                    “If you actually surveyed consumers going out of their way to buy no-nitrate products, they’d be very surprised to learn that there’s plenty of nitrates in there,” said Bruce Aidells, a chef and cookbook author. “It’s very misleading.” In a role reversal, food manufacturers are now pushing the federal government for more truthful labeling that would allow them to tell consumers clearly that some products contain nitrate and nitrite, just from natural rather than synthetic sources. The current rules bizarrely require products that derive the preservatives from natural sources to prominently place the words “Uncured” and “No nitrates or nitrites added” on the label even though they are cured and do contain the chemicals.

                    “Nitrite is nitrite and consumers should be aware of what they’re eating,” said Marji McCullough, director of nutritional epidemiology for the American Cancer Society, which recommends that people reduce consumption of processed meats because of studies that link them to colon cancer.

                    The United States Department of Agriculture says it is aware of the labeling problem and may take a fresh look. “We feel strongly that labels should help consumers make informed decisions and we are open to reviewing additional information to enhance accuracy in labeling,” said a spokesman for the department. Nitrate and nitrite have been used for centuries to cure meat, giving products like hot dogs, bacon and ham their characteristic flavor and color and killing the bacteria that causes botulism. Today, conventional meat packers typically use a synthesized version known as sodium nitrite.

                    But companies that label their products natural or organic must use natural sources of the preservatives. They usually employ celery powder or celery juice, which are high in nitrate. A bacterial culture is used to convert that to nitrite. The resulting chemicals are virtually identical to their synthetic cousins. When the products are packaged, both conventional and natural products contain residual amounts.

                    A study published earlier this year in The Journal of Food Protection found that natural hot dogs had anywhere from one-half to 10 times the amount of nitrite that conventional hot dogs contained. Natural bacon had from about a third as much nitrite as a conventional brand to more than twice as much.

                    The current U.S.D.A. labeling rules require natural products to indicate there may be naturally occurring nitrate or nitrite, but it often appears in small print. When combined with the more prominently displayed “No nitrates or nitrites added” banner, many consumers are left scratching their heads.

                    “The most consistent feedback we get is, ‘I don’t understand what that means,’ ” said Linda Boardman, president of Applegate Farms, the leading brand of natural and organic processed meats. “It’s confusing and it’s not adding anything to the consumer decision-making process.”

                    Applegate and other natural companies have proposed alternate wording to the U.S.D.A. in the past without success. They say they are confident their products offer enough other benefits — all natural ingredients, meeting the standards for the humane treatment of animals, for example — that it is best to be upfront with consumers about the preservatives. Ms. Boardman said tests showed the amount of nitrite and nitrate in Applegate products was similar to conventional brands.

                    Consumer advocates agree the problem does not lie with the meat companies. “We see the problem lying squarely with U.S.D.A.,” said Urvashi Rangan, technical policy director of Consumers Union.

                    Since the 1970s, concerns about the health effects of nitrate and nitrite have focused on the potential for nitrite to combine with meat protein to form carcinogenic substances called nitrosamines.

                    The U.S.D.A. responded by limiting the amount of nitrate and nitrite that goes into processed meats, and today they contain far less than they did 40 years ago.

                    But since the health concerns first emerged, scientists have gained more understanding of the role of nitrate and nitrite in human health and have discovered the preservatives also have benefits, for example, in the healthy functioning of the cardiovascular and immune systems.

                    Some in the meat industry have seized on these discoveries to dismiss as outdated the link between nitrite in processed meat and cancer. They insist processed meats are safe.

                    But many scientists say the evidence of health risks remains persuasive. While the occasional hot dog or piece of bacon is probably O.K., they point out that high levels of salt and saturated fat in processed meats also contribute to health problems.

                    “What’s very clear is that consuming processed meats is related to higher risk of diabetes, heart attacks and colon cancer,” said Dr. Walter C. Willet, chairman of the nutrition department of the Harvard School of Public Health. “If you tweak the cured meat a little bit like some of these new products, that’s no guarantee that’s going to make it any better.”

                    And that weekend weenie roast? George L. Siemon , the chief executive of Organic Prairie, an organic meat processor, said that when he tried selling meats with no nitrates from any source, they didn’t taste the same and no one wanted them.

                    “We tried the non-anything,” he said. “It just didn’t work for the customer.”

                    1. re: koshergourmetmart

                      agreed. it would be like making chicken soup without celery...

                    2. re: Hirscheys

                      Is the Kol Foods brand carried in NY? I used to buy the Wise brand of nitrate free, organic hot dogs but can no longer find it, anywhere.

                      1. re: TAKEOUTISFORME

                        Kol Foods? That used to be a business in Melbourne. I didn't know the name had been recycled in the USA.

                        1. re: TAKEOUTISFORME

                          I haven't ever seen it retail. I order meat from them regularly, though, and am a happy customer.

                          1. re: Hirscheys

                            Thank you! I will check out their web site.

                      2. Grow and Behold has just launched a Nitrate free hot dog. It's pasture raised beef and glatt kosher too.