Best Hot Dogs - Which Will You Choose?

Hot Dog Brands - a display in a local store

Source

What is a Hot Dog?

There's a whole lot of answers to this question. I'd like to take you back in time for a minute, a time when I was a little girl and every Sunday night we ate frankfurters. What a treat. My Mother would buy skinless franks at the local Karl Ehmer Butcher Store. No meat and potatoes meal, this was hot dogs and rolls and sometimes my Mother would bake them in biscuits like "pigs in a blanket", but full size. I loved Sunday nights!

You see the name on the packages of some hot dogs, "franfurter". Did you know they were called frankfurters because they were originally a sausage made in Frankfort, Germany as far back as the 13th Century?

Merriam Webster defines a franfurter as, "a cured cooked sausage (as of beef or beef and pork) that may be skinless or stuffed in a casing." Merriam Webster defines "hot dog" as a transitive verb. The freedictionary.com defines a hot dog as "A frankfurter, especially one served hot in a long soft roll."

So now you know, there is no difference between a franfurter and a hot dog, but when did the name change? Well it appears there are various explanations for the origin of the term "hot dog". One is that a journalist drew a cartoon of a dachshund sausage and couldn't spell dachshund so instead called it a "hot dog". Another is about another cartoonist who made fun of the 'weiners' sold at Coney Island saying they contained dog meat ergo "the hot dog". The last theory is in 1894 at Yale, vendors using "dog wagons" sold "hot dogs".

Of course we know whatever you call them their popularity soared once they were sold at baseball parks. But did you know in 1939 President Roosevelt served King George the VI, you guessed it, hot dogs. He wanted to give the King something that was truly American.

Hot Dog Carts

Hot dog carts in America have been around as long as hot dogs, but they are now shipped all over the world. Remember the "dog wagons" of yesteryear? They're the hot dog wagons of today.

You can buy a hot dog cart from $400 to $5,000 and anywhere in between. Hot dog carts were designed to sell hot dogs on the street. They allowed the vendor mobility so he could take his cart anywhere he thought business might be better. Of course today there are very strict health regulations imposed on heart dog carts and it is said California has the strictest codes of all.

The nice part about hot dog carts is they are generally easy to clean and are made of materials that won't corrode and of course a propane tank to give the heat needed to keep those dogs hot. Many hot dog carts also contain some form of steamer to keep those rolls soft and hot too.

Nathan's Hot Dogs

Source

Top Hot Dog Brands

  • Oscar Mayer
  • Nathan's Famous
  • Hebrew National
  • Boarshead
  • Ball Park Franks
  • Sabrett Hot Dogs
  • Sahlen's
  • Hatfield Quality Meats
  • Hoffman Hot Dogs

Chicago Style Hot Dog

  • Buy; hot dogs, poppy seed buns,dill pickles, cucumbers (cut into spears), sliced tomatoes, pickle relish, diced onion, mustard, celery salt
  • Cook your favorite hot dog in the style you like (boil, microwave of barbeque)
  • Open buns and top each bun with one hot dog
  • Add the toppings listed except for celery salt
  • Let each person sprinkle their finished dogs with celery salt as desired

Turkey Hot Dogs

Source

Grilled Hot Dogs recipes by the BBQ Pit Boys

Choosing, Cooking and Eating Hot Dogs

While there are several different brands of hot dogs, as noted above, everyone has their own favorite. For example, my grandchildren won't eat anything but Oscar Mayer. Your taste for a particular brand could also be influenced by where you live. Hatfield Hot Dogs are sold mostly on the East coast. A brand called Best's is found mostly on the West Coast. So aside from availability taste is your next option. Some people like spicy hot dogs, some like hot dogs with natural casings that crunch when you bite them. You can buy hot dogs with spices already added to them or if you like them plain and low calorie you can buy turkey hot dogs.

Hot dogs are versatile. You can cook them in the microwave, boil them in water, or cook them on the grill. Yes, they are pre-cooked but to all but the very young, a cold hot dog is a raw hot dog. The choice is up to you. But what happens after you cook them? Do you eat them plain or do you turn them into a gourmet meal?

Hot dog recipes abound! Many fast food restaurants cater to hot dog fanciers. How about a chili dog? A hot dog on a roll with chili, onions and a topping of cheese and mustard. Of course there's the old standby, sauerkraut! Kids love them with ketchup or mustard, or sometimes ketchup and mustard.

Cheese dogs are a favorite, so much so that Oscar Mayer makes a cheese hot dog. This one has cheese on the inside and it melts as you cook the hot dog giving you a taste of cheese in every bite.

There's also a Mexican hot dog; a grilled hot dog wrapped in bacon, on a steamed roll and topped with tomatoes, pinto beans, onions, mustard, mayo, and jalapenos. Are you getting the idea? Ideas for hot dog recipes are endless.


Hot Dog!

Source

What Are Hot Dogs Made Of and How Are They Made?

No article on hot dogs would be complete without looking at what hot dogs are made of and how they are made. No, they are not "tube steaks", no they are not made of lips and other unmentionable parts, and no they are not full of garbage.

  • Hot dogs are made mostly of meat, carefully selected meat - some pure beef, some beef and pork, and of course, some turkey or chicken.
  • The next ingredient in most hot dogs is meat fat.
  • Filler is added to plump out the hot dog. Either bread crumbs, flour, oatmeal, or cereal is used for filler, check the label.
  • Sometimes egg whites are added.
  • Lastly, spices such as onion, garlic, etc.
  • The ingredients are ground together and then stuffed into a casing. The type of casing can vary from synthetic collagen casings, to natural casings which are usually animal intestines. The synthetic casing is stripped away after the hot dogs are cooked.
  • The next step is the smokehouse and then cooking. They are fully cooked under particular temperature and humidity controls.
  • Lastly they are placed in vacuumed sealed plastic and sent to stores.

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Source

the history, people, d├ęcor, and venues that make up hot dog culture

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Now that you know all about hot dogs there's still time to train for Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Held every year on the fourth of July it has been a New York tradition, held at Coney Island, for ninety-seven years! The 2012 winner ate sixty-two hot dogs in ten minutes! The prize is $20,000, not bad for ten minutes work!

Disclaimer - I am not promoting over-eating nor am I promoting this contest in a time when there are so many people going hungry in this country. This mention is done light-heartedly and is not an endorsement of the Contest.

Hopefully most of us will stick to the traditional consumption of hot dogs and enjoy them at our summer cook outs, this year and for many years to come. Which hot dog will you choose?

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

A great hot dog recipe

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Comments 61 comments

jimmyglaughlin profile image

jimmyglaughlin 3 years ago from Colorado

Coleman hot dogs are the BEST!


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Mary. I always get a kick out of the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest. Just amazing, I don't know how they do it. My wife always buys Deutschmacker, which are good. I've also been known to have a Fenway Frank or two at the ball park. Great hub, enjoyed this. Voted up, shared, etc.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Give me a hot dog at the ballgame any old day, followed by a dog from a cart, followed by store-bought dogs. :)

Good job, Mary! Kind of a change of pace for you and I like it.


Christy Kirwan profile image

Christy Kirwan 3 years ago from San Francisco

Wow, this is an awesome idea for a Hub, especially with summer picnics on the way! Voted up!


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

Well now I'm hungry for a hot dog!


ladybluewriter profile image

ladybluewriter 3 years ago from United States

Over 60 years ago my mother worked in a meat company that originally started out as a Candy company of peppermint candies. This was a German man who brought his molds and equipment to Georgia and not only did he found one of the biggest known candy companies for candy canes and soft candies but as my mother said they made hot dogs too. In those days, they wasted nothing in producing the hot dog. They used all the pig but the squeal. Since that time companies have changed the meat to better cuts and more selective and no longer produce everything down to the squeal and give more meat variations. I do eat hot dogs now, but will always remember my mom telling me about this company.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Oh, how my mother loved her hotdogs. And oh, how I love this hub. If I were asked to write about hotdogs, I wouldn't know where or how to begin - but just look at you!

Thanks Mary for bringing light to the good old hot dog. Up, useful, awesome, interesting and will share.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

I am craving a hot dog right now!!! We like the Ball Park Franks and Oscar Mayer. Never heard of Nathan's. That Chicago Dog sounds delicious. I believe I'll try that the next time we have hot dogs. I am glad you addressed the issue of what they are made of here and what they are not made of too!!!

Thanks for the interesting and unique hub here.

Voted up +++ and sharing

Blessings, Faith Reaper


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this. I like hot dogs more than I should and am very forgiving. (I am not a connoisseur)


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hotdogs are versatile and so simple to prepare my favorite is the coleman


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

This is a very unique and nicely done hub, with so much interesting information about Hot Dog. The origin and history attached to it, is something I did not know. It is one of my favorites and I am almost craving for it.

Voted up and thanks for sharing!


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi Mary,

What a super interesting article on hot dogs. I grew up on the frankfurter and still buy now and again for a trip down memory lane! Love picking up a "dog" at rugby matches or other sporting occasions, don't see many carts here but when in America, it is oh so tempting to indulge regularly and stock up on all the food I don't eat here due to customs and traditions. Thanks Mary, a really interesting and useful article votes, shares and pinned to my comfort food board!!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks for the vote Jimmy, that's one I haven't heard of (Coleman).

Bill I think if you don't eat a hot dog at a ballgame it isn't a ball game ;) Never heard of Deutschmacker hot dogs, but I have a feeling there's lots more I've never heard of. Thanks for the votes and share.

Okay Billy, you're on the hot dog lovers list ;) I thought it would be a good idea to break away from the movies a bit :)

Christy I didn't even think of summer picnics...just hot dogs ;) Thanks for the vote.

WND, that's the best part, hot dogs are for anytime!

Ladybluewriter, thanks for sharing your mother's story. I think that's the problem with some people, they still think hot dogs are made of scraps and won't eat them, but I think that number is dwindling.

Vocalcoach, there's nothing like a hot dog and like your mother, I love them! Thanks so much for the vote and share.

Thank you Faith. I don't know why the idea popped into my head about hot dogs but once it did there was nothing to do but write this hub. Hope you enjoy the Chicago Dog. Thanks for the votes and share. God Bless.

Mhatter, to many a dog is just a dog,as long as you like 'em ;) Thanks for stopping by.

DDE, another vote for Coleman. I'll have to check them out.

ChitrangadaSharan such a common food I thought it deserved a deeper look. Thank you for the vote.

Ah Suzie, the differences between here and dear old Ireland. I send Lays Potato Chips to a friend in Ireland because she can't buy them there. No matter where you are there's nothing like a hot dog! Thank you for the votes, shares and pin, I really appreciate it .


starstream profile image

starstream 3 years ago from Northern California

I enjoyed reading your article. My understanding of the word frankfurter now makes sense. My grandparents were Swiss/German. Sausage was an important food for them. When you think of living in the Swiss Alps the need for hearty meat with fat content was especially appreciated in the cold climate. Though I only eat sausage a few times a year I really enjoyed the pineapple sausage from Costco.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks for the comment starstream. You've provided some good information by telling us about your grandparents! Pineapple sausage you say? Hmm, might be something to try. My daughter has a Costco membership.


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

Though I am not a hotdog fan I enjoyed reading about hot dogs and of course the carts. You did a great job as always..So voting up and sharing.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

Great Article, chock full of useful information for all of us that love these darn things on a Bun!

Voted UP.

DON


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Carol, for reading, the vote and share. It was fun to write. Everyone in my family has their own favorite brand!

Don, I just had a feeling a hot dog hub would have some appeal. Thanks for the vote.


PaisleeGal profile image

PaisleeGal 3 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Mary ... what an interesting idea for a hub. My favorite brand is Nathan's. Discovered that brand only about 6 months ago and even tho they are a little pricey compared to some others I don't think I will ever buy another brand. My favorite way to make them is on a nice steamed bun with mustard and sweet pickle relish.

We don't have many hot dog wagons/carts here in the Memphis, Tn region like they do in other parts of the country. But we do have Pronto Pups (corn dogs) at events such as fairs and flea markets, etc. Friend of mine was visiting here several years ago from England. Her first trip to the states. We went to a craft fair and her comment about a corn dog was "Interesting... a sausage wrapped in cornbread". She really enjoyed it with mustard of course.

Thanks for the hub. Voted up!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thank you Paislee Gal. Being from NY I've know Nathan's since I was a little girl visiting Coney Island. The corn dog is newer to me. My husband loves his buns steamed....be careful of how you interpret that ;) I appreciate the vote.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

This hub made me think of the first time I ate a German sausage...I was so fascinated by how it could be contained by a little bun. Thanks for sharing, Mary...you've just turned the hot dog into a a true piece of writer's craft! Sharing!


Sheri Faye profile image

Sheri Faye 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

That is interesting. I am glad to know they are made with quality meat. Very timely with summer here. We have a fire pit and often have wennie roasts.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Michelle there's nothing like your first hot dog! Thank you for the compliment and for sharing.

Sheri now you can really enjoy those weiner roasts.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

i really enjoyed the historical fats, you did a wonderful job doing this is such a small space. We had red hot dogs in Maine that were in natural casings, and to me, those were the best. I can't get them here, but it sure brings back great memories.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

I'm a fan of two kinds of hot dogs: those you can buy at the ball park and corn dogs like the ones you can buy at street fairs. Thanks for sharing their lineage, Mary.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Hi Mary,

My all time favorite is a Hebrew National dog with ketchup and onions.

I must say that Chicago-style hotdog sounds amazing.

A fun read...Voted UP and across the board. Love, Maria


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

avianvoice I'm a fan of natural casings as well, I think I like that extra crunch.

drbj I think everyone's got their favorite hot dog somewhere. Glad you liked my research ;)

Maria, say it loud and there's music playing....I'm always so glad to see you visit. Glad you enjoyed. Have a wonderful day GF.


carter06 profile image

carter06 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

Oh gosh Till there must be something American in me cause I love love love hot dogs!!

I used to ( before the necessity of the diet :( make the large European dogs with onions & cheese & mustard!! Great hub & ever so interesting! VUAI & shared x m


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Definitely you are part American Carter, who else could love the hot dog like we do ;) Seems we've unofficially adopted it as our national food (along with hamburgers), even though we didn't invent them. Thanks so much for the votes and share.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Very interesting and useful Mary;a great share.

Eddy.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Eddy...like your new photo!


TCurtis Moore profile image

TCurtis Moore 3 years ago

Nice, but I will pass on the hotdog training. Hotdogs are good once in a while. Yes, I like them, but they are not healthy. That is for me. Keep us informed.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I know what you mean TCurtis, even not considering the health aspect, sometimes the spices used in certain hot dogs don't agree with people's stomachs.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I love turkey hotdogs. In fact I have some I think I'll cook up one and watch The Talk. Enjoyed your hub. Voted up.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Oh Moonlake, The Talk was great today with the cast of NCIS! Thanks for stopping by and the vote up. Hope you enjoyed your hot dog.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Mary,

I never liked hot dogs. (Actually, I avoided this hub because of the title. LOL) However, after reading this hub, I think I will begin to like it.

You present interesting information. Never had heard of hot dog contest.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Aha Vinaya, I finally found one thing you didn't know about :). Thank you so much for reading even though you didn't think you'd like it. You are truly a friend.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Hot Dogs are getting such a bad rap about being an unhealthy food. Sure the cheap dogs might have excess nitrites and preservatives and are processed, but you get what you pay for. Nathans are my favorite and when eaten in moderation they are yummilicious. I will never give up my frankfurters.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I'm with you Linda...nothing beats a good dog but a bad dog is the worst! Thanks for reading and commenting.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Very informative and interesting read. Since I don't eat beef I have the next best chicken sausages or pork sausages. I'm wondering if they could be called a chicken or pork hot dog because the except for the difference in meat, rest of the procedure is the same.

Voted up, interesting and shared.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Once in awhile I get a craving for a hot dog and when I do it's a Chicago style dog. Glad to see you mention making one here. I also love chicken franks, surprisingly tasty!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Cool Hub! I love hotdogs. Around here, we eat them with chili and cold slaw. Oh, and chopped onions. You have made me want one. The Chicago one sounds really interesting and good, too! Thanks!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Yes Rajan, we do have turkey and chicken hot dogs. You are correct, the procedure is the same but the meat is different for those who can't or won't eat beef. Thanks for the votes and share!

I think everyone gets a hot dog craving now and again teaches.

Rebeccamealey, there are so many things we can do to or with hot dogs!


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

Who would have thought of writing a Hub about the Hot Dog??? Well, you wrote a wonderfully entertaining and interesting article. My kids all loved their hot dogs. I like them too, with lots of raw onion and catsup. I prefer Ball Park hot dogs.

Great job, Voted UP and shared.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Well Mary, I figured we all eat them ;) Well, most of us and I know so many people who like so many different ones! Thanks so much for adding to my hub and for your vote and share.


breastpumpreviews profile image

breastpumpreviews 3 years ago from TX

I love the Ballpark Angus Hotdogs the best.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks for adding your comment breastpumpreviews!


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

I especially love Nathan's hot dogs. Great hub - interesting and fun to read. Voted up, interesting and sharing!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks mperrottet, everyone has their favorite hot dog. I appreciate the votes and share!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 3 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Hi Mary ~ wow, I really enjoyed this. I recently was trying to decide on what hot dogs to buy to sell at my lil cafe (as a one-day lunch special). I wanted to get Nathan's from Sam's Club but the minimum amount was 160 dogs for about $120. So I went with another brand. Hey, did you know that Tuesday, July 23 is National Hot Dog Day? That is why I wanted to do a special "hot dog day." Really fun hub that I will share!


Elias Zanetti profile image

Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

Great hub, Mary that I enjoyed reading! Well presented and with many useful information.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Don't your local grocery stores sell Nathan's hot dogs? They do here in NY. I was looking up hot dogs on the internet and came across the info on the past contest which also listed the upcoming one. How did your special hot dog day go? I hope well. Thanks for the share.

So glad you enjoyed and found this useful Elias.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

It wouldn't be summer without hot dogs on the grill. My sons prefer chicken dogs, but I enjoy all beef. Very interesting and fun hub. I have a friend that used to have a hot dog cart in Toronto and he did quite a good business.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Surprising to know it isn't just America that loves the German hot dog! Guess it's a universal food. Thanks for sharing Susan.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Very interesting history and run down on the hot dog. I had no idea of how they came about and the part about President Roosevelt was quite a surprise. Just last weekend we fired up the grill and roasted a couple of packs of Oscar Mayer Classic Beef hot dogs. It was a last hoorah before winter sets in. Oh, how I love them cooked over charcoal. Now you've made me hungry. Pass the ketchup please.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Peg. I think most of us like hot dogs. I can remember as a kid we had them for supper every Sunday because we had a big meal in the middle of the day.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 18 months ago from sunny Florida

I used to hear folks say that if I knew what was in a hot dog I would never eat another one. I guess I never heard them as I still adore them. I rarely eat them because they are so not good for you...if I am going to eat a hot dog I cannot eat a chicken or turkey one...that is not a hot dog to me.

Nathan's hotdogs are my all time favorite.

I do love to watch the hotdog eating contest...how they do it is amazing...I might get 3 down.

Fun and informative to read...tillsontitan Hoping all is good with you and yours. Angels are on the way to you this evening ps


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

This hub brings back memories of my youth when we--we being me and my boyhood chums-- went camping out in the woods on one of our farms. There was no Boy Scout Org. in our rural area so we learned about woodcraft on our ow.

Our parents would furnish us a box of red hot dogs--they were in a plain white box without any name brand visible--perhaps 50 or so wieners in total, some buns and the standard ketchup and mustard made our complete food supply. Of course, they were already cooked but we burnt them just the same.

I knew some guys who partook in what they termed as "The Great Chili Dog Crusade. They would travel far and wide, searching for the ultimate chili dog. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. Enjoyed the hub, of course. :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 18 months ago from New York Author

Patricia, I think hot dogs are more American than hamburgers! Who doesn't love a good hot dog now that we really know what's in them.

I'm with you, I don't want a chicken or turkey dog, I want a real hot dog. Thanks so much for stopping by. Hugs.

Randy sounds like you didn't miss out on a thing! What could be better than camping with your friends and a box of hot dogs ;) Thanks for sharing a bit of your past and reading my hub.


mikeydcarroll67 17 months ago

I think it is a matter of finding a way to prepare hot dogs that is unique to the person.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 17 months ago from New York Author

I think you're right mikeydcarroll, it is a personal preference. Some like them with crunchy skins, some do not, some like them spicy, etc. People liked them boiled, broiled, baked, grilled, etc.

Thanks for stopping by.

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