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skinless vs. natural casing hot dogs

  • s

I love hot dogs in natural casing and I love Nathans, shofar and hebrew national hotdogs. However, in grocery stores, I can only find Nathan, Shofar and HN hotdogs in skinless form only I have never see natural casing dogs being sold by any grocery. Why is this the case?


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  1. I can always find natural casing dogs in grocery stores here near Boston. Both at their deli counters and in the packaged meat sections. Maybe the manager will order them for you ?

    1. Natural casing dogs, though much less common in grocery stores than skinless, should be available. I don't know where you're from, but many states don't really have a "hot dog culture" so they may be unavailable in most supermarkets. I've found that some of the better hot dog brands are found in a different area of the supermarket away from the regular hot dogs. Try the deli department or ask someone.

      Shofar and Hebrew National are kosher hot dogs and unfortunately do not have natural casings. Some delis and kosher butcher shops do sell Hebrew National franks with a collagen casing which does not violate kosher law.

      Keep looking. They are out there. Try a local German or European butcher shop or Pork Store if there is one in your area. Natural casing dogs, in my opinion, are much more preferable than skinless.

      1. Here in New Jersey they stock them in the deli section rather than near the regular hot dog area. They certainly aren't Kosher but give Thuman's natural casing dogs a try they are my favorite.

        1. I love natural casing hot dogs. They are one of my favorite foods. I won't even bother eating a skinless hot dog. I live in Fort Lauderdale and people swear by this place called Hot Dog Heaven. I was surprised that they only carried skinless. When I asked why, they said that the elderly can't chew on the skins and that the young generation grew up on skinless. I can find one natural casing hotdog in our local Publix and that's Boar's Head. Not my favorite, but it's the only one I can find. They sell it in the deli section.

          1. Natural casing hot dogs can be more expensive to produce.

            I had a conversation with a rep for a food distributor and he said many people don't like natural casing hot dogs. So maybe it's a supply and demand type of thing

            I don't know where you live, but in the Los Angeles area if a store carries a natural casing hot dog it's only one brand if any. We have a supermarket chain that carries Nathans natural casing hot dogs.

            1. As I mentioned they are more expensive to produce and they do cost more.
              A package of Nathans natural casing hot dogs contains 6 hot dogs that weigh 2 ounces each costs on average of $5 at stores (12 oz. packages).

              28 Replies
              1. re: monku

                Hot dog or steak?
                According to my math a pound of Nathan's natural casing hot dogs is around $6.70 a pound. You could buy some pretty good steak for that price.

                1. re: monku

                  But steak isn't a hot dog. And a $6.70/lb steak isn't a very good product.

                  1. re: tommy

                    My butcher shop often has beautiful rib-eyes for $5.99/lb., and our hot dog of choice (a local company - Zwiegle's) usually runs $6-7 for a 1-lb package with the natural casings.

                    I just can't bring myself to pay more for hot dogs than for steak.

                    1. re: tommy

                      Where do you live? We can buy good ribeye for $5.99 a pound and t-bones for 6.99/pound, regular price. (Twin Cities)

                      I have spent quite a bit of time in Arizona and it surely isn't a hotdog cultured town. I too couldn't find natual casing hotdogs except at one meat market and the butcher was originally from Iowa. I thought the Nathan's skinless hotdogs were way too salty and skinny.

                      1. re: John E.

                        I'm assuming those are supermarket quality Choice steaks? Yeah, they sell those by me, too.

                        1. re: tommy

                          Supermarkets sell them at that price and so do meat markets. It's difficult to get prime steaks anywhere, the restaurents get them.

                          1. re: John E.

                            My condolences.

                            I'd rather have an exceptional hot dog than a mediocre steak.

                            1. re: tommy

                              Great beef here in NM, but I need to drive 75 mi. to Albuquerque to get decent dogs & sausages.

                                1. re: tommy

                                  Yes. I've down that for kolbasi via Polana. But nothing is like South River/ E. Brunswick for good sausages!!!
                                  Ya, ya, I know a wee bit of hyperbole.

                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                    Agreeed - the best sausages come wrapped in paper, not plastic, and they've never been frozen.

                              1. re: tommy

                                Oh come on, you don't know that we have mediocre steak here. What's the matter with you? What's with the attitude?

                                1. re: John E.

                                  I can assume you don't have Prime beef, from what you said.

                                  I don't have an attitude, and while many things are the matter with me, none of those issues are necessarily manifesting themselves in my thoughts on hot dogs and steak. :)

                                  My comment was in response to discussion coming out of monku's comparison of steak and hot dogs (an absurd comparison IMO). The bottom line is I'd rather have an exceptional hot dog than a mediocre steak. That's not a commentary on you or your part of the world.

                                  And I'm definitely a natural casing guy.

                                  1. re: tommy

                                    I didn't say we don't get prime beef. Re-read the post. You didn't answer my question about where you live and/or buying your beef. We usually buy our beef a steer at a time to share in our family from our teneant that raises beef cattle.

                                    My point is that in my part of the world, you can buy good steak for $6.70 per pound. We can also get good natural casing hotdogs for $3 per pound.

                                    1. re: John E.

                                      That's an exceptional way of life, and I'll bring the wine; name the date. Grass fed? Grass fed trumps marbling in my book. Prime vs Choice goes out the window when you're dealing with a steer that is grass fed.

                                      I live in a place where people buy steak through the standard process. While north jersey is somewhat expensive, I suppose exceptional beef could be had in other parts of the country in certain situations for $6.70/lb. I'm wondering where monku gets his or her beef for that price, and what kind of beef it is.

                                      1. re: tommy

                                        I've seen where beef can cost upwards of $17/per pound in NYC. That's unheard of in Minnesota.

                                        1. re: John E.

                                          It costs more than that. Color me jealous.

                      2. re: monku

                        Natural casing is 50 cents more per lb, across the board.

                        You can get Sabrett NC for $3.69 at BJs around here.

                        People really are terrified to give this type of dog to kids, it is banned at most schools and day cares, along with peanut butter and whatnot.

                        1. re: coll

                          Natural casing hot dags are banned????

                            1. re: monku

                              Somebody's gotta have a better explanation then that.

                              1. re: MGZ

                                Although I found several references to calls for banning hot dogs in general at schools, my cursory research on the subject failed to show any actual frankfurter prohibitions regardless of the casing.

                                1. re: MGZ

                                  Could it be natural casing on hot dogs is the same stuff they make condoms with?

                                2. re: MGZ

                                  Whether it happens or not, everyone in childcare thinks it's true
                                  But maybe just here in NY. People are adament about it, why do they even let kids eat hot dogs at all I don't know.

                                  1. re: coll

                                    Yeah, hot dogs are really horrible for you.

                                    1. re: coll

                                      OK. So that we're clear. There is no ban at all, much less "at most schools"? Just a few, random overprotective types afraid of unsubstantiated cancer risks and choking hazards who feel it necessary to report on the falling sky?

                                      1. re: MGZ

                                        Yeah they do ban it, but it's not a government kind of edict. Just little operations afraid of being sued. I know one school district that even banned the fake peanut butter, because they said that possibly one of the kids that ate it might go to a friend's house and eat some because he had the sunflower substitute at school and thought it was OK. New York is sue crazy, so maybe it's just here (I hope so for the world's sake).

                        2. Gotta have that SNAP! I love doggies, but gotta have skin. Skinless is like hagus w/out the stomach, bubble and squeak w/o the squeak, toad in hole w/out the hole, fish and chips w/out the batter.......got the idea?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                            Hear, hear. Natural casing FTW.

                            Plenty of choices in the D...off the top of my head: Dearborn, Koegel, Kowalski, Winter, National Coney Island, all found in pretty much every grocery store.

                            You could get a mail order coney kit from American Coney, but it's not just the dogs

                            Or just the dogs

                          2. Pearl Meats (in Massachusetts) makes the best natural casing (Pearl Kountry Klub) frank. They have sold them in BJ's as well as some supermarkets. They'll ship 5 lb bags, but it is overnight ($$) and with the charge for cold shipping...$$$. I'd give them a call to find them near you.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: mwallmwall

                              All those $$$'s I don't have to call they're out of my league.
                              Definitely could afford some prime steaks instead.

                              1. re: monku

                                I think you've made your point.
                                Man can not live by steak alone.

                            2. There are many people that have ostomy bags. Be it a colostomy or an ileostomy. They can only eat skinless hot dogs as the skins do not digest and thus cause blockage in their ostomy. I find Nathan's Skinless to be digestible and taste good at that. I only wish that Park's Finest came skinless!