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Hot Dogs: Who Makes the Best?

Updated on October 21, 2019
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Lives in the Central Valley where he is a student at CSUB and writes in his free time. He is interested in social issues and travel.

Hot, Dog!

A Short History

According to some online resources, the hot dog first made its appearance on Homer's Odyssey and that in ancient Rome, Emperor Nero's cook was roasting a pig. The animal had not been fully cleaned and some of the intestines fell out. The chef filled it with ground meat and spices and was delighted at the invention.

Sources talk about how German immigrants brought it to New York. Frankfurters were popular forms of sausage. "Around 1870, a German immigrant by the name of Charles Feltman opened the first hot dog stand on Coney Island." Many of the immigrants to the new world had an influence on this culinary creation.

"Feltman sold over 3,600 frankfurters (in a bun) that year and in1880, a sausage vendor in St. Louis who gave white gloves to customers to hold their hot sausages ran out of gloves; he began giving out the hot links inside a white bun instead"

Today, hot dogs are an American staple, available in ball parks, movie theaters, restaurants. They are found at drive ins and at barbecues and can be covered in bacon, relish, ketchup and mustard or a complete salad. They can also be enjoyed on their own.

Either way, they are delicious.

The Contenders

Brand
Taste
Texture
Price
Overall
Vienna Beef Franks
8
8.5
5
8
Farmer John
9
8
6
8
Casper's
8.5
9
6
8.5
Nathan's
7
7
8
7
Ball Park
8
8.5
8
8.5
Hebrew National
7
7
6
6.5

Vienna Beef

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Vienna Beef

Rating: 8

Well, not a bad hot dog. Nice full flavor - it actually tasted like I expected a hot dog to taste. Texture was nice and full. Good meat. No grissle or fat that you sometimes get.

The brand hails itself as "Chicago's Hot Dog" and I guess that means it is pretty many of the city's establishments. I can understand that. This isn't one of the cheaper quality brands that you find everywhere.

I grilled this one on the stovetop, but I imagine a vendor cart could do a better job with some hot water.

Not too thick either - although you can buy a jumbo version of this. I personally don't see what the point is. I like my meat thin sliced and I like my hot dogs to be bite sized.

Recommended. A little more pricy, but worth it.

Farmer John

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Farmer John

Rating: 8

A very delicious variety of hot dog. One of the better ones in fact.

Smooth and smoky, the taste is absolutely delicious. Pleasant aroma.

Whether you boil, grill or smoke this brand, it comes out great. Of course, anything done over coals is much better than what can be done on the stovetop.

Sometimes franks are a little too soft, or filled with fillers. Farmer John's tast like pure beef. The right about of spices and flavorings.

As mentioned earlier, this is one you want to choose when planning a cookout. The skin cooks up just right and you will find it hard to stop at just one.

Casper's

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Casper's

Rating: 8.5

Although not pure beef, this frankfurter makes a great lunch or afternoon snack.

Tasty and the casing has just the right amount of crisp and give. This variety is hard to find and I haven't seen the all beef ones in any stores. I think they would be a bit too pricey.

Cooks up very nice. A little longer than the bun, but not overbearing. When I grill mine, they always split, which is fine because I know it warms up the inside.

Almost as good as the restaurant. If you ever have a chance, check them out. It's worth a trip.

See the website below for more info.


Nathan's

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Nathan's

Rating: 7

Well this is the hot dog used in that famous contest in New York. I'm sure prepared right, these hot dogs are pretty good. Cooked at home on the stove or in boiling water - well, I think I should invest in a vender cart.

These are usually pretty cheap and with no wonder. Years ago they might have been pretty good, but somehow some generic company must have purchased their rights and kept the packaging.

Not very appealing in my opinion, other than the fancy name and the colorful wrapper.

I would pass on these.

Ball Park

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Ball Park

Rating: 8.5

A pretty good hot dog. This one changes color slightly when you cook it. The others tend to split a little or plump up.

The one I sampled was the bun length variety, and that might have something to do with it. It's a thinner hot dog - probably the same amount of meat, just pressed out to make it longer.

Not bad...in fact, one of the better samplesl I had. Nice flavor and aroma. Great taste with the right amount of skin. No fillers or any gritty stuff. A little tender, what I expect from a hot dog.

Would definitely buy again. I could easily eat two or three of these in a row and did.

Hebrew National

Hebrew National

Rating: 6.5

You can buy a package of this brand for under three dollars at Walmart. And for one of the fancier appearing ones, that seems a bit ironic.

With a name like Hebrew National, one would expect the finest specimen of frankfurter, however this is definitely not the case.

The lanky links cook up quickly and cheaply and taste like balogna mashed with potato flakes. And of course, there are those of you out there who will find that a good thing.

Taste is all the tongue of the beholder, and I will bite mine before I speak any further.


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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Finnegan Williams

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