The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-11-2001, 06:29 PM
Mofo Rising Mofo Rising is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
I read that hot dogs are pretty much mostly fat and water with some odd ball parts for protein. (Of course, this was in Biggest Secrets, but it sounds relatively true.) I'm comfortable with the fact, and enjoy a good hot dog from time to time with no ill regrets. What makes me wonder, is why do they plump when you cook 'em?

And as an extra aside, what really is in hot dogs? Partially-defatted beef fatty tissue?
__________________
"It's because they're stupid. That's why everyone does everything."
-Homer Simpson
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 03-11-2001, 06:31 PM
BobT BobT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
I would think that the hot dogs plump up for the same reason many other types of food do as well:

Steam.

If you poke holes in the sides or make a big cut in them, they probably won't plump up as much.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-11-2001, 08:30 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
Not all hot dogs plump when you cook them. Those who do have cereal fillers. Think about how oatmeal, cream of wheat etc get bigger once cooked.

I don't know exactly what fillers they use but the above is an example.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-11-2001, 08:55 PM
BobT BobT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
And the cereal fill plumps up because of steam, doesn't it? What other force would cause it?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-11-2001, 09:19 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 8,183
Quote:
Originally posted by Mofo Rising
And as an extra aside, what really is in hot dogs?

Do you really want to know? It's not like their health food or anything. I'd rather not know to be honest with you.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-11-2001, 09:40 PM
ignatzmouse ignatzmouse is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by Mofo Rising
I read that hot dogs are pretty much mostly fat and water with some odd ball parts for protein.
Quote:
Originally posted by Mofo Rising
And as an extra aside, what really is in hot dogs?
Apparently you already know.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-11-2001, 09:58 PM
Kat Kat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
And as an extra aside, what really is in hot dogs? Partially-defatted beef fatty tissue?

Ingredients from a hot dog package: Mechanically separated chicken, pork fat, water, dextrose, salt, corn syrup, modified corn starch, flavorings, sodium phosphates, smoke flavorings, sugar, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrate.

I think I posted the ingredients list from an all-beef hot dog package once, let me check...

This isn't it, but it's about hot dogs You can probably find it eventually, if you're really interested.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-12-2001, 01:03 AM
Cardinal Cardinal is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: 742 Evergreen Terrace
Posts: 6,035
Oatmeal doesn't "plump" because it's heated, it's because it has absorbed hot water. The hot dog has not had any ingredients added, so all we can assume is that some ingredient, probably water, is allowed to expand, but (and this is probably the important part) retained, so the volume increases.

Incedentally, what a lame marketing ploy. Are we really supposed to believe that we get more for our money after they're cooked?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-12-2001, 09:23 PM
kaloff2 kaloff2 is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 7
There is a reason.

They are made extruded into forms instead of just extruded.

Think of it as if they are being "packed sideways".
Just as a wool sweater will shrink up and get wider at the same time, there is a "shrinkage direction" on hotdogs, depending which way the meat was stretched in the manufacture.

They get plumper than regular hot dogs, but at the same time they get shorter than regular hotdogs.
You end up with the same volume
__________________
This is Canned Food Month.
The Canned Food Advisory Board recommends you use 3 cans of food every day per child, and 4 per active adult.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-12-2001, 09:34 PM
Cardinal Cardinal is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: 742 Evergreen Terrace
Posts: 6,035
Oh, that does make sense. Hmmm...
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-12-2001, 09:36 PM
Carnac the Magnificent! Carnac the Magnificent! is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
They plump up because they're happy to see you.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-12-2001, 10:24 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Yeah, but don't most hot dogs plump a little? If you don't poke holes in them, they usually split.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-13-2001, 12:33 AM
SINsApple SINsApple is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Hot dogs and protein reagent

[partial hijack]

A couple of semesters ago in my Chemistry class, we had to do a lab that required us to find the fat content in potato chips and hotdogs. Some things I learned from this:

1. Protein reagent is nasty, nasty stuff and will pretty much dissolve your skin the same way it dissolves hot dogs.

2. The smell of hot dogs dissolved with protein reagent is a permeating stench that WILL NOT fade from your person until you take a long, hot shower.

3. Chemistry just does not seem very scientific when one is putting partially dissolved hot dogs into a centrifuge.

4. Hot dogs have A LOT of fat content. (But I still love 'em. )

[/partial hijack]
__________________
"Shut up or I'll feed you to the baptists!"
"Foolish Mortal! I will suck the marrow from your bones!"
--Duamerthrax the Indestructable from Demon Hunters 2: Dead Camper Lake
Info on this and other student films at Dead Gentlemen Productions
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-13-2001, 12:11 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 10,649
Oddly enough, Ball Park Franks came in first in the blind taste test for commercial wieners carried out a year ago by COOK'S ILLUSTRATED magazine. Nathan's Famous, MY brand of choice, came in second.

Curious, and being a good little Christopher Kimball worshiper, I went out and bought a package. They sure did plump up, but they tasted awful. Bland and watery.

It was back to Nathan's for me with my maybe-thrice-yearly hot dog purchases (a nice way to use up leftover chili), and I hope they got demoted because they're a NYC brand.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.