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What hot dog brand is best?

potbeagle May 4, 2011 08:03 PM

my personal favorite is farmer john's natural casing dogs and also their polish and red hots...what about you guys?

  1. c
    Clinton May 4, 2011 10:35 PM

    Farmer Johns makes the best Polish and Hot Links hands down. They don't add any fillers like most other hot link brands do. Hebrew National makes tasty hot dogs but I wish they would have some with natural casings instead of just plain skinless ones. Sabrett has natural casing dogs which are excellent but they're hard to find.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Clinton
      potbeagle May 6, 2011 11:03 PM

      Is Farmer John's strictly a california brand? it seems no one else even recognizes them

      1. re: potbeagle
        KaimukiMan Jun 14, 2011 10:12 AM

        No one who? It is also a popular brand in Hawaii. But it is a Los Angeles based company, don't really know what the rest of their geographic region is.

        Imagine the confusion if i were to nominate Redondo's.

      2. re: Clinton
        f
        fara May 9, 2011 11:07 AM

        they have some with natural sheep casing

        1. re: fara
          Karl S Jun 4, 2011 06:32 PM

          Since when are intestinal casings kosher? They come from the hind part of the animal...which isn't kosher without an elaborate process. I thought the Hebrew National dogs that used to be made with casings were made with collagen.

          1. re: Karl S
            h
            hotdoglover Jun 5, 2011 07:57 AM

            All Hebrew National franks with casing are collagen casing. You can find them at some Jewish delis as well as Wegmans supermarkets.

            1. re: Karl S
              Mr Taster Oct 21, 2013 08:09 PM

              Ever heard of kishka? It's a traditional Ashkenazi food.

              Mr Taster

        2. m
          melly May 5, 2011 05:00 PM

          Nieman Ranch

          1 Reply
          1. re: melly
            oana May 6, 2011 07:33 AM

            Nathan's. Just try it. You'll freak out.

          2. h
            hyde May 6, 2011 07:36 AM

            in the northeast? pearl.

            1. David11238 May 6, 2011 07:46 AM

              Pearl and Sabrette.

              2 Replies
              1. re: David11238
                BobB May 9, 2011 07:00 AM

                To be more specific: Pearl "Kountry Klub" brand. About 1/4 lb each, natural casing, strung together like old-time sausages. I don't know if they're sold outside the Northeast, and even here you have to go to the deli counter to get them, they're never (to my knowledge) sold pre-packaged.

                1. re: BobB
                  David11238 May 9, 2011 07:45 AM

                  I had the pleasure of scarfing some Pearl's, small and 1/4 LBs in Durham, NC. Joe's Diner to be specific. I believe I see other Pearl's in NYC such as smoked sausages. Unfortunately, it seems I either have to online order the hot dogs, or smuggle some packs inside my cooler via the I-95N.

              2. monavano May 6, 2011 08:17 AM

                Hebrew National and Costco's.

                1. jillbcooks May 6, 2011 12:52 PM

                  Sahlen's and Hebrew National when I can't get Sahlen's.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jillbcooks
                    j
                    jeanmarieok May 7, 2011 03:10 PM

                    Second Sahlens....

                    1. re: jillbcooks
                      sbp Jun 4, 2011 06:44 PM

                      Sahlens. Cooked over charcoal.

                      1. re: sbp
                        t
                        tidbitt Jun 14, 2011 10:39 AM

                        +1

                    2. dave_c May 6, 2011 12:58 PM

                      During college, I got a bunch of friends together for a taste test using national brands and a generic brand.

                      We split between Ballpark Beef and Hebrew National Beef.
                      Nathans, Bar-S, Oscar Mayer and the generic supermarket house brand all finished much lower.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: dave_c
                        d
                        DaisyM May 6, 2011 12:59 PM

                        Hebrew National

                      2. Godslamb May 6, 2011 01:36 PM

                        Hokey Dinah! I have never heard of these brands. Of course I live in Canada, and we tend to be rather limited in choices, but I only choose Schneider's brand here because it is the only brand (so far) that I have seen that doesn't have "mechanically de-boned animal parts of questionable origin" in them. Just pork and spices.

                        1. raytamsgv May 6, 2011 03:19 PM

                          Another vote for Hebrew National hot dogs.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: raytamsgv
                            Mr Taster Oct 21, 2013 08:10 PM

                            I like Hebrew National too, but the hot dogs are essentially a finely minced version of the salami. Exactly the same flavor.

                            For a hot dog that tastes like a hot dog, I really like Nathan's.

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: Mr Taster
                              monkeyrotica Oct 22, 2013 03:52 AM

                              Did Hebrew National up their salt content? I don't recall them being SO salty.

                              I used to be able to find Nathan's Natural Casing everywhere, Now only Shoppers Food Warehouse carries them, and I end up buying ALL of them and freezing most. I tried their caseless and their dinner franks, but I keep coming back to the natural casing ones.

                          2. lilgi May 6, 2011 11:28 PM

                            Papaya King by far, when I can get them at the grocery store.

                            1. a
                              AdamD May 7, 2011 06:38 AM

                              The "best" is whichever one you like the best.

                              Personally, I like the Dietz and Watson natural casing wieners, Boars Head all beef natural casing, and Oscar Mayer's new angus and premium beef dogs (no nitrates). Nathan's and Best's are good too, but I prefer other brands. Hebrew national dogs are to strongly spiced IMHO.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: AdamD
                                DonShirer Jun 11, 2011 09:36 AM

                                My wife just brought home some of the new OM Angus wieners. They are considerably better than the bland kind she usually buys. Our local grocery doesn't carry many of the exotic kinds mentioned here so I can't say they are anywhere near the best I've tasted.

                                1. re: DonShirer
                                  a
                                  AdamD Jun 11, 2011 02:01 PM

                                  I happen to agree. They are very good and easy to find.

                              2. m
                                maryanne06 May 7, 2011 02:38 PM

                                Hebrew National are the best....top them with mustard on a slightly buttered grilled roll.....yes!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: maryanne06
                                  t
                                  teezeetoo May 7, 2011 08:03 PM

                                  Aaron's kosher knockwurst.

                                2. c
                                  calliope_nh May 7, 2011 09:07 PM

                                  Kayem Old Tyme Natural Casing Franks. I am not sure if they are available outside New England.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: calliope_nh
                                    f
                                    filetofish Jun 15, 2011 04:02 AM

                                    I agree. Kayem is now producing Jordans, Schonlands and others.

                                  2. srsone May 7, 2011 09:58 PM

                                    there is no best....everybody is going to like something different...
                                    i grew up eating mucke's and grote and wiegel...
                                    nathans are good..
                                    hebrew national are also
                                    i used to get some from sams i liked(but i cant remember the name at the moment..)
                                    heck i even like publix brand hot dogs...

                                    1. m
                                      malabargold May 7, 2011 10:06 PM

                                      Snake river farms if you like a smokey taste

                                      1. j
                                        joonjoon May 7, 2011 11:09 PM

                                        I'll be happy with any of the following:

                                        Hebrew National
                                        Nathan's
                                        Sabrett's
                                        Kayem

                                        ...in natural casing, boiled. Grilling is optional.

                                        1. ski_gpsy May 8, 2011 12:16 AM

                                          The absolute, definitive, best tasting dog in the world is the juicy hot one that just "popped" open in your mouth on a perfect shiny day at the ballpark when your team is ahead by one run in the bottom of the ninth with 2 outs and the bases loaded, and the count is 3 and 2. And here's the pitch....

                                          The second best tasting hot dogs are the Hebrew Nationals everyone is gobbling in front of your tv while watching that game and you are one pitch away from winning the pool!

                                          Now, what about sauerkraut? I'm liking the Boar's Head in the sealed bag. Crisp, not too vinegary. Any other favorites?

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: ski_gpsy
                                            srsone May 8, 2011 12:07 PM

                                            no on kraut....

                                            ketchup goes on hot dogs...........................

                                            1. re: srsone
                                              horseshoe May 8, 2011 06:53 PM

                                              No ketchup on a hot dog. Thats not right.

                                              1. re: horseshoe
                                                ski_gpsy May 8, 2011 10:03 PM

                                                No, no, no. Saying ketchup on hot dogs is not right is like saying vanilla must be the only flavor for ice cream.

                                                Everyone has a preferred and precise way of dressing a dog. For me, it's French's mustard, and for the record I am a Grey Poupon snob. But when it comes to my perfect hot dog, gimme that DayGlo yellow mouthpuckering glop . Then nestle my perfectly cooked, ready-to-pop frank deep into a bed of sweet pickle relish and cover it with a light blanket of tangy kraut. If the bun is fresh and soft, and the dog is cooked just right, the first bite bursts open in my mouth with a rainbow of flavors, and I have achieved my hotdog Nirvana.

                                                Just as there are people saying "Bleeech, sweet pickle relish!", there are others saying "Ketchup, how old are you, six?" And the chili-dog lovers, with their dogs suffocating under mountains of grease, onions and cheese, are sure that the rest of us are simply missing the hot dog boat.

                                                As important as the dog itself is, so is the assortment of toppings and condiments. If the buns are soft and fresh from the bakery that morning, the dogs are ready to burst, and the beer is ice cold, I say dress them with whatever makes your tastebuds sing, and every dog will have it's day. Game on.

                                                1. re: ski_gpsy
                                                  s
                                                  SonyBob Jun 4, 2011 06:38 PM

                                                  You sound like Miracle Max describing a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich!
                                                  Bob

                                                  1. re: SonyBob
                                                    ski_gpsy Jun 4, 2011 09:09 PM

                                                    "True love is the greatest thing in the world, except for a nice MLT, Mutton Lettuce and Tomato, when the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe." Miracle Max

                                                    OMG! Miracle Max = the first ChowHound!!!!

                                                     
                                                    1. re: ski_gpsy
                                                      sbp Jun 5, 2011 04:53 AM

                                                      They're so perky!

                                                  2. re: ski_gpsy
                                                    EWSflash Jun 4, 2011 08:17 PM

                                                    +1 you rock

                                                  3. re: horseshoe
                                                    srsone May 9, 2011 12:43 PM

                                                    no such thing as right and wrong....
                                                    its what tastes good to me...

                                                    my wife likes mayo on hers....

                                                    ketchup..
                                                    relish..
                                                    mustard
                                                    kraut
                                                    chili
                                                    cheese
                                                    mayo..

                                                    condiments are whatever u want just like whatever brand u like best...
                                                    this is up to the individual...
                                                    now u can take suggestions on brands u may not have tried before...and that may be difficult with regional brands

                                                    but nobody can tell any body else what they like and dont like except yourself...
                                                    wars have started for less....

                                              2. mschow May 8, 2011 12:26 PM

                                                LOVE Thumanns hot dogs. Boars Head, Hebrew and Sabretts are also quite good.
                                                http://www.thumanns.com/index.html

                                                1. b
                                                  Big Bad Voodoo Lou May 8, 2011 07:32 PM

                                                  Sabrett makes my favorites, although I grew up on Hebrew National and like them too. Nathan's is fine as well. I'd never consider buying any brand other than those three, although I've heard the Boar's Head hot dogs are pretty good.

                                                  1. n
                                                    nooyawka May 9, 2011 12:41 PM

                                                    I like Boar's Head natural casing for the snap, and taste goes to Hebrew National.
                                                    Also no discussion would be complete without taking a look at hotdoglover's posts elsewhere.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: nooyawka
                                                      lilgi May 9, 2011 01:31 PM

                                                      hah! good name ;D

                                                    2. c
                                                      Chef Jimmy J Jun 4, 2011 11:44 AM

                                                      Being a born and bred JERSEY BOY....Schickhaus, deep fried, spicy brown mustard, fried peppers & onions and a Big handful of Fried Potatoes (aka french fries) all stuffed in a roll made of Pizza dough! OR...Schickhaus or Thumanns, griddled, yellow mustard, raw onion, and Greek Chili Sauce (aka Texas Weiner Sauce), on a steamed roll. And lastly, for any of the North West Jersey traveler's the Famous HOTDOG JOHNNY'S...Thumann's (back in the 70's), yellow mustard, raw onion and a Dill Pickle Spear!....FA-GET-ABOUT-IT !!!!!! JJ

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Chef Jimmy J
                                                        h
                                                        hotdoglover Jun 5, 2011 08:00 AM

                                                        Hot Dog Johnny's currently uses a skinless frank from Schmalz Provisions in Springfield, N.J.

                                                        1. re: hotdoglover
                                                          c
                                                          Chef Jimmy J Jun 29, 2011 01:13 AM

                                                          I don't know why they changed...But 30 years ago my friends and I would drive over an hour to get Hot Dog Johnny's...Now they would have to pay ME to eat them, it's just a shame to mess with a formula that made them what they are. I realize they still do great business but it's just not the same. BTW Shickhaus Franks were more highly seasoned before the original company was purchased...still good but not the same...JJ

                                                          1. re: Chef Jimmy J
                                                            h
                                                            hotdoglover Jun 29, 2011 03:23 AM

                                                            Are you sure that Hot Dog Johnny's used Schickhaus? I was under the impression that they used the same dog (Schmalz) the whole time. Schickhaus is used at Max's in Long Branch and many stands on the various boardwalks in Jersey. Vastly superior to what Hot Dog Johnny's is using. Although it's popular because of the atmosphere and setting, I believe the place is the most overrated hot dog joint in Jersey.

                                                        2. re: Chef Jimmy J
                                                          j
                                                          JNUNZMAN Jul 5, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                          I lived at the Jersey shore and only eat Shickhaus griddle franks.....they get nice and crispy on the grill and split down the middle. Damn, I'm hungry just thinking about them. I now live in Bucks County PA and make quarterly trips to the shore and buy 5 or 6 packages for the freezer.
                                                          Hot Dog Johnny's is great!! I take my motorcycle up there just to get a few "specials" some fries and a birch beer and make a day of it!! That place hasn't changed in 50 years.

                                                        3. a
                                                          Altaira Jun 4, 2011 12:05 PM

                                                          Personally, I like Kunzlers, but kayem, hebrew national and boar's head are all pretty good.

                                                          1. c
                                                            CyndiA Jun 4, 2011 12:24 PM

                                                            I have a hard time finding them, but I really like Beefmaster hot dogs.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: CyndiA
                                                              l
                                                              Leadmine Jun 6, 2011 08:23 AM

                                                              2nd the Beefmaster dogs! Heard they went bankrupt though which is why the shelves are inundated with hebrew natties and Ball Parks now. Give me Nathan's then.

                                                              1. re: Leadmine
                                                                c
                                                                CyndiA Jun 6, 2011 10:37 AM

                                                                I can get Beefmaster at the little IGA grocery store here now and then. I think they only get one or two packs per week, since they cost more. If I don't get there when they are first put out, then I don't see them (-: which is often.

                                                            2. a
                                                              AnnaBaptist Jun 4, 2011 01:10 PM

                                                              Hebrew National.

                                                              1. r
                                                                RedTop Jun 4, 2011 01:36 PM

                                                                The Nathan's served at Citi Field are the best dogs I've ever tasted at a ballpark. Ditto for Nathan's served at my house. Hebrew National is #2 on my list. Sabrett dirty water dogs are awesome--would never try to duplicate that taste.

                                                                Recently found a 4/1 dog called a Club Dog here in MI. A Dearborn Sausage product. Tasty.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: RedTop
                                                                  b
                                                                  Buckeye_Local Jun 4, 2011 04:36 PM

                                                                  I would say either Hebrew National or Boarshead.

                                                                2. EWSflash Jun 4, 2011 08:21 PM

                                                                  Hebrew National, Costco, and is there still a Best's Kosher? Costco used to sell them and they were really good.
                                                                  I have a special love for the old Smoky links,not sure who they used to be made by, but now you can only get them in mini size, which isn't bad, but the old full sized Smoky Links were my childhood favorite. I'm thinking they were by Oscar Meyer.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: EWSflash
                                                                    srsone Jun 4, 2011 10:51 PM

                                                                    ty...bests kosher dogs..i used to find them at sams now i dont see them any more..
                                                                    (see my first post above)

                                                                    are they gone?

                                                                    1. re: srsone
                                                                      f
                                                                      ferret Jun 5, 2011 05:11 AM

                                                                      Best's is gone.

                                                                      1. re: ferret
                                                                        srsone Jun 6, 2011 07:49 AM

                                                                        oh well....they were pretty good....

                                                                  2. c
                                                                    chicagoparis Jun 4, 2011 11:07 PM

                                                                    vienna sausage all beef natural casings --- from Chicago. see web site.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: chicagoparis
                                                                      f
                                                                      filetofish Jun 15, 2011 04:05 AM

                                                                      Just had a Chicago dog made with Vienna Beef. It wasn't bad at all but I'd never say it's the best.

                                                                    2. p
                                                                      phrekyos Jun 4, 2011 11:13 PM

                                                                      Zweigle's, though they are hard to find outside my home of upstate NY. I know northern VA (where I live now) has them, thank god.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: phrekyos
                                                                        h
                                                                        hotdoglover Jun 5, 2011 08:23 AM

                                                                        I agree with those who say it's hard to define "best". We all have different tastes, but it is possible to show that some franks are made better than others. Better meat, no fillers, whole cuts of meat either without trimmings or supplemented with trimmings rather than all trimmings of cheap left over scraps of meat.

                                                                        It's important to note that there are 2 basic types of hot dogs. Kosher or kosher style all beef franks that are well seasoned, and the milder German style beef/pork or beef/pork/veal franks. To someone brought up on the spicier beef dogs (Sabrett, Nathan's, Hebrew National) the German style may seem bland. Those accustomed to the German style may find kosher style hot dogs too spicy.

                                                                        I happen to like both style and enjoy what I happen to be in the mood for. I prefer dogs with a casing to those that are skinless. Most of the time I like my dogs grilled, but enjoy them fried, heated in water, and prepared on a griddle again depending on my mood. German style dogs from a pork store or butcher shop are usually more tender because they don't employ a procedure called vacuum chopping which sucks air out of the meat mixture resulting in a denser product. Since the pork stores (and some commercial producers like Thumann's) don't use vacuum chopping, their franks cook up faster. Therefore I prefer slow cooking them on a griddle or in a skillet rather than a backyard grill. I usually heat my dogs in water before finishing them off in the skillet, grill, or griddle.

                                                                        As far as brands go, some of my favorites, or what I like best are:

                                                                        Beef franks: Best's out of Newark, N.J. not to be confused with Best Kosher out of Chicago which is no longer made. Usinger's, Sabrett, Boars Head. And a new frank made by Gilbert's Craft Sausages out of Sheboygan, Wisconsin called the Froman. As good a hot dog as I've ever eaten. Made from sirloin with a tender beef collagen casing. Excellent.

                                                                        Other beef dogs I like are Nathan's, Pearl, Dietz and Watson, Thumann's, Hebrew National, Romanian Kosher, and Hatfield's special deli franks.

                                                                        German style franks: Thumann's may be my favorite. I also like the franks from Kocher's Continental Provisions out of Ridgefield Park, N.J. and the franks from the Union Pork Store. These two are from butcher/pork store type places. Sahlen's, Hartmann's, and the special frank made by Grote & Weigel for the Galloping Hill Inn in Union, N.J. are all in my top tier. I also like Mucke's and Hummels from Connecticut, Usinger's German frank, Leon's from Chicago, Schickhaus, and Kunzler.

                                                                        There are many quality franks to be sought out and enjoyed.

                                                                        1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                          sbp Jun 6, 2011 06:41 AM

                                                                          Nice post. I will add that good pork based hodgs aren't necessarily bland compared to kosher style, but the predominant spicing is different. A Hebrew National dog has a very dominant garlic component, while I find that Sahlens has a black pepper bite to it.

                                                                          1. re: sbp
                                                                            h
                                                                            hotdoglover Jun 6, 2011 08:22 AM

                                                                            I don't consider pork based dogs or beef/pork dogs to be bland. At least the better ones. But many who grew up with the more well seasoned (garlic/paprika) beef franks think they are. Some cheap brands are bland whether they are pork or all beef.

                                                                            I love Sahlen's and can definitely taste the pepper in it.

                                                                          2. re: hotdoglover
                                                                            Bada Bing Jun 6, 2011 10:27 AM

                                                                            Very nice post, hotdoglover. I wonder if you've tried Ekrich natural casing franks, which are maybe just a Midwest thing. I think they're great.

                                                                            Looks to be a traditional family brand now owned or managed by John Morell/Armour. I've noticed that many of the great midwestern names in cured meat production (e.g., Emge hams) seems to be run by big corporations these days. But, as long as they don't mess with the recipes...

                                                                            1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                              s
                                                                              Sailing77 Jun 14, 2011 07:47 AM

                                                                              Love Usinger's! I will be on the lookout for Froman's. Thanks for the tip.

                                                                              1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                MandalayVA Jun 14, 2011 10:30 AM

                                                                                Be careful when ordering from Gilbert's--I ordered some Fromans as well as their brats and it was shipped regular UPS ... from Wisconsin to Virginia. Needless to say the ice packs were long melted and hot, but I put them in the freezer right away and so far have not died (and the Fromans were terrific, by the way).

                                                                            2. Monica Jun 6, 2011 07:52 AM

                                                                              Hebrew National.

                                                                              1. monkeyrotica Jun 6, 2011 08:34 AM

                                                                                Second Zweigle's. I discovered them at Wegmans and always buy a pack and freeze half. I used to like Hebrew National but at some point they just got inedibly salty. I haven't had much luck with the organic varieties at Whole Foods. They're just flavorless. I tend to get Nathan's Natural Casing dogs just because they're readily available.

                                                                                DC's signature sausage is the halfsmoke. Still made in Baltimore. Still delicious.

                                                                                http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/ar...

                                                                                1. c
                                                                                  cgarner Jun 6, 2011 10:16 AM

                                                                                  We’re a Nathan’s Natural Casings family, on the grill. I like mine a little charred… with chopped onion and yellow mustard. The hubby likes his with relish and grey poupon. The kidlet eats hers plain.

                                                                                  1. weinstein5 Jun 11, 2011 08:24 PM

                                                                                    In Chicago - romanian kosher sausage makes the best hot dog and in LA Jeff's Kosher Gourmet Sausage

                                                                                    1. r
                                                                                      rasputina Jun 12, 2011 10:25 AM

                                                                                      Nathans and Hebrew National, both of their polish dogs are great too.

                                                                                      1. a
                                                                                        awm922 Jun 12, 2011 05:10 PM

                                                                                        Schickhaus Griddle Franks. Natural Casing, no fillers, pork and beef, no poultry, mild taste. Tough to find. Big dog. Foot long, 1/4 lb., but not real skinny.

                                                                                        Also, Hummel's natural casing franks and Sabrett's NC franks are very good.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: awm922
                                                                                          susans Jun 13, 2011 08:09 PM

                                                                                          Hebrew National.

                                                                                          1. re: susans
                                                                                            a
                                                                                            awm922 Jun 15, 2011 03:33 AM

                                                                                            I used to broker HN and really didn't like them. They are very spicy and did not play well in my system. I tend to lean towards a more mild dog.

                                                                                        2. coney with everything Jun 14, 2011 07:13 AM

                                                                                          In Detroit: Dearborn, Koegel, or Kowalski natural casing dogs.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: coney with everything
                                                                                            d
                                                                                            dingey Jun 14, 2011 10:54 AM

                                                                                            I wondering if anyone was gonna mention Koegle's! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Now that I live in the south, I go for whatever organic or natural ones are on sale, whether Hebrew or Harvest Farms. There's also a local dude making his own, but I can never seem to find his cart......

                                                                                          2. MandalayVA Jun 14, 2011 10:32 AM

                                                                                            Commercial--Nathan's, Hebrew National, Sabrett's.

                                                                                            Regional--Schickhaus griddle franks, on which I stock up when I'm in NJ

                                                                                            Specialty--Fromans from Gilbert's Craft Sausages. This is a new company but the Fromans--all beef, natural casings, uncured--are freaking phenomenal.

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: MandalayVA
                                                                                              s
                                                                                              Sailing77 Jun 14, 2011 12:31 PM

                                                                                              Gilbert's Catalana sausage sounds great as well...

                                                                                              "A smoked sausage made with pork, real mozzarella cheese, chipotle peppers and a hint of lime."

                                                                                              1. re: Sailing77
                                                                                                MandalayVA Jun 14, 2011 12:53 PM

                                                                                                I got some of those in my order, think I might some grill some of those up for dinner with a salad, nice summer meal!

                                                                                                1. re: MandalayVA
                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                  Sailing77 Jun 14, 2011 01:53 PM

                                                                                                  If you do, I hope you will provide a report.

                                                                                              2. re: MandalayVA
                                                                                                s
                                                                                                Sailing77 Jul 10, 2011 06:04 PM

                                                                                                We tried Gilbert's Fromans and the blue cheese ones recently. Excellent!

                                                                                              3. alanbarnes Jun 14, 2011 01:31 PM

                                                                                                It may just be a NorCal thing, but I've started to see Casper's hot dogs in the grocery stores. Lots of garlic and a snappy natural sheep casing. Yum.

                                                                                                To the OP - I've never seen a Farmer John's dog with natural casing. The ones I have had were pretty disappointing - is there one in particular worth trying?

                                                                                                1. j
                                                                                                  jbsiegel Jun 14, 2011 05:42 PM

                                                                                                  Thumann's - grilled. Before grilling, put a couple of slits in it and also two slits in each end of the dog (in the shape of an X). The ends curl out and are nice and crispy!

                                                                                                  1. f
                                                                                                    filetofish Jun 15, 2011 04:06 AM

                                                                                                    Difficult to find now......Essem.

                                                                                                    1. Bada Bing Jun 15, 2011 08:25 AM

                                                                                                      Can someone clue me in on the hot-dog brands regionally available around NY and upstate that I might pack with me in a cooler when I head back to the midwest? I know that Sabrett's franks, for example, are not available in the Midwest.

                                                                                                      If you recommend a dog that cannot be had in local supermarkets, please include pointers on where they can be gotten. Also, keep in mind that I'll have to be freezing some if I buy a lot. Do hot dogs freeze okay? (I've never had them last long enough around the house to be sure.)

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                                        f
                                                                                                        filetofish Jun 15, 2011 08:35 AM

                                                                                                        In Syracuse there is a brand called Hoffmans. For sale in Wegmans and online at Hoffmans.

                                                                                                        1. re: filetofish
                                                                                                          e
                                                                                                          Enigma3 Jul 5, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                                                                          Totally agree on Hoffman's. They make a 100% angus dog that is the best we have ever had. They are larger than a typical hot dog but have a super taste.
                                                                                                          Second choice would be Zweigle's. Out of Rochester.
                                                                                                          Dogs freeze very well.

                                                                                                        2. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                                          h
                                                                                                          hotdoglover Jun 15, 2011 11:51 AM

                                                                                                          Hot Dogs freeze ok, but do lose flavor after a few months or so in the freezer. Hartmann's and Sahlen's are two German style (beef/pork) franks that are exceptional and can be found in mid to upstate New York. Hofmann's are ok and so are Zweigles, but I prefer Hartmann's and Sahlens. Look around. You might see Thumann's from New Jersey. If so, grab a few pounds. In my opinion the best German style dog.

                                                                                                          1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                                            WSZsr Jun 16, 2011 03:29 PM

                                                                                                            To Bada Bing

                                                                                                            Zweigle's "Pop Open" white hots and red hots. Get them at Wegmans. Accept no substitutes.

                                                                                                            1. re: WSZsr
                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                              lsmutko Oct 25, 2013 09:08 AM

                                                                                                              The white hots are pork/beef/veal and are a different taste than if you're just prepared for a "red" hot dog. I love 'em, but some people find them too subtle or "different."

                                                                                                              But my favorites are Sahlens (red dog), Zweigles (white).

                                                                                                          2. c
                                                                                                            cleobeach Jun 15, 2011 08:53 AM

                                                                                                            Country Store brand, which may be a central PA thing.

                                                                                                            1. s
                                                                                                              Shann Jun 15, 2011 10:10 AM

                                                                                                              I like McKenzie and Essem, both natural casings. If skinless, Hebrew National is the only way to go.

                                                                                                              Unfortunately I'm on a diet so I limit myself to the fat free Hebrew Nationals. No comparison to the real thing, but guilt free.

                                                                                                              1. John E. Jun 16, 2011 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                I think determining the best hotdog is impossible since there are so many regional brands. I have never heard of most of the brands so far mentioned on this thread with the exception of Hebrew National, Nathan's (both are over-rated) Boar's Head, Sabrett, and a few others. Personally, I like a natural casing hotdog made with beef and pork. The local brand in Minnesota is Schweigert's. I discovered that finding good hotdogs at grocery stores is not easy everywhere. I could not find a good natural casing hotdog in the grocery stores in Arizona. All they had were the skinless national brands.

                                                                                                                As long as I'm giving my opinions on hotdogs I'll add another. That big eating contest held every Independence Day in Brooklyn is not a hotdog eating contest. It is a wiener and bun eating contest. It is my contention that until a sausage is put on a bun it is a wiener, once on a bun it becomes a hotdog.

                                                                                                                Speaking of weiners, it appears that former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner (his district was next to Coney Island) will now have to repackage his life.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                  DPGood Jun 16, 2011 09:56 PM

                                                                                                                  If a sausage is a wiener before it's put on a bun, and a hotdog once on the bun, when is it a sausage?

                                                                                                                  1. re: DPGood
                                                                                                                    John E. Jun 16, 2011 10:18 PM

                                                                                                                    They're always a sausage. A wiener is a wiener without a bun, with a bun it's a hotdog. ;

                                                                                                                2. Bill Hunt Jun 16, 2011 09:48 PM

                                                                                                                  Not exactly "hot dogs," but we love Johnsonville Smoky Brats, and then boil them in beer, before placing them on the grill.

                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                  1. l
                                                                                                                    longing Sep 20, 2011 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                    I no longer live in the S.F. bay area; in fact I no longer live in CA. Everytime I hear or see a discussion on hot dogs my mouth waters for a Casper's hot dog which we always had when we were in the Oakland area.
                                                                                                                    Oh how I miss those hot dogs. Are they still in business?

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: longing
                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                      Chef_Wicki Aug 18, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                      Yes they are. I get them at my local store, in the North Bay.

                                                                                                                    2. w
                                                                                                                      Whinerdiner Sep 20, 2011 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                      Berk's Fiesta Dogs!!!

                                                                                                                      Hot dogs filled with jalapeno peppers and cheese. So good, especially with a little hot sauce.

                                                                                                                      1. l
                                                                                                                        Leftypepper716 Apr 15, 2013 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                        I'm very lucky to be in Detroit. There are a few very good hot dogs in the Detroit area. Dearborn Brand natural casing franks, Kogel's Vienna franks, Kowalski natural casing. Any of those you couldn't go wrong with.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Leftypepper716
                                                                                                                          r
                                                                                                                          Ray2 Jul 5, 2013 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                          Yes, you are very lucky. I have not been to Detroit in years but was floored when I spent a few years there and indulged in my hot dog quest for the best.

                                                                                                                          I guess the thread started with the "best brand". The chemical bag that has catchy names printed on the package and you buy at grocery stores. For all of you that enjoy a good hot dog and have a brand favorite, try your local butcher. He may not do them but he will likely know who does. Then you will have tasted a good hot dog and will never go back to processed whatever-it-is.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Ray2
                                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                                            Leftypepper716 Jul 5, 2013 02:23 PM

                                                                                                                            I agree, thier was a polish market in Wyandotte, mi who sold veal hot dogs...they where great!

                                                                                                                        2. j
                                                                                                                          John Francis Apr 15, 2013 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                          Trader Joe's All Natural Uncured All Beef Hot Dogs. Package of 8 (1 lb) for $3.99.

                                                                                                                          1. c
                                                                                                                            Connolly2265 Jul 10, 2013 10:09 PM

                                                                                                                            Rosselers natural casing
                                                                                                                            Hummels natural casing
                                                                                                                            Zweigels white hots
                                                                                                                            Webers, though they exist only in memory now

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: Connolly2265
                                                                                                                              WSZsr Jul 11, 2013 03:34 AM

                                                                                                                              Love those Rochester white hots!

                                                                                                                            2. RealMenJulienne Jul 11, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                              Here in Chicago, it's almost mandatory to boost the hometown product Vienna Beef, but I will add one BIG caveat to this: don't buy them in the grocery store. Go to the Vienna Beef factory store where you can buy them fresh off the assembly line and get the 6 to a pound natural casing dogs. The Vienna dogs sold in local groceries and at many hot dog stands are far inferior skinless versions so accept no substitutes.

                                                                                                                              As far as nationally available brands, I like Nathan's best, but Hebrew Nationals are bland and overly salty. Surprisingly, the Oscar Meyer smoked uncured angus beef dog (how's that for a list of meaningless buzzwords) was also very good hot off the backyard grill.

                                                                                                                              1. c
                                                                                                                                Chef_Wicki Aug 18, 2013 01:19 PM

                                                                                                                                I live in the the San Francisco Bay Area and I've had the pleasure of having some great dogs/sausages - Schwarz, Caspers, Saags, The New York Style Sausage Company, and Evergood are my local favorites; Nationally I enjoy Vienna Beef, Nathan's, Hillshire Farms, Johnsonville, and Oscar Meyer.
                                                                                                                                Dogs that are on my do not eat list are Ballpark, S Bar, and Miller's.

                                                                                                                                1. Godslamb Oct 22, 2013 08:43 AM

                                                                                                                                  I am incredibly surprised to see no hotdogs here in Tennessee that are pork! Some have mechanically deboned chicken and pork by products(whatever that is *shudder*), but I am used to my Canadian hotdog from Schneider's. I may be biased because my Great Grandfather sold J M Schneider the meat to make his hotdogs...lol. But there is nothing in that hotdog except pork, salt a few spices and nothing else! I look at some hotdogs here and am shocked at all the chemicals!
                                                                                                                                  I know I am going to be shunned here, but I do not like beef hotdogs. Never have. I am wondering if there is anywhere in Tennessee that had pork hotdogs that are natural? We just moved here from Canada 2 months ago. I can't find anything like that.

                                                                                                                                  1. The Professor Oct 22, 2013 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                                    For all-beef hot dogs, Nathan's is the clear winner (and the only brand of hot dog where I enjoy the skinless as much as the preferred natural casing type.

                                                                                                                                    For a _proper_ hotdog (pork and beef mix) there's a local brand here in NJ called WORLD CLASS that's sold only in certain ShopRite supermarkets. These are hands down my favorite natural casing hot dogs in general.

                                                                                                                                    1. David11238 Oct 25, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                                      I recently fell in love with the skinless dogs Coney Island Lunch (in Scranton, PA) serves. And I strongly dislike skinless dogs. These however, are nicely spiced, had no bone bits and weren't mushy by any standard. Would anyone know which brand they use?

                                                                                                                                      1. YAYME Oct 25, 2013 08:19 AM

                                                                                                                                        Two local favorite jump out at me: One White eagle hot dogs, which always taste good no matter what. I read the ingredients and there is nothing special about them. But I guess I just like 'em. The other is the ones the local butcher makes, only in summer they are smokey and very good.

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