Tastiest brand of store-bought hot dogs?

You’d better hope Cecil doesn’t hear that last bit, or you’ll get fired.

Oh, and my Amazon wish list is under lynnbodoni, by the way. :smiley:

You mean plain ol’ hot dog buns? :smiley:

I’ve been in Boston long enough I’ve grown to prefer them, but I grew up in central NYS. The supermarket in town would always stock about 98% non-New England style and 2% New England style buns. You had to shop early for the major hot dog holidays or you’d get stuck with the New England style buns.

When I worked at that supermarket as a teen I had a man come through my line on Memorial Day morning and throw a package of NE style buns at me, screaming “Don’t you have any REAL hot dog buns?!?!?!?!?” He seemed a little stressed about his holiday shopping.

My dad used to live in Buffalo and this is the one thing he always comments about. He wishes we had them down here in FL.

Also, add another vote for Nathens and Sabrett. Very good.

I now realize it sounds like we were putting cottage cheese on the dog on a bun. My Dad’s diet was a low to no carb one, so it was just dogs and cottage cheese eaten with a fork. I honestly never tried it as a topping though, I wonder what the texture would be like?

Not sure how far they distribute, but I’ve really been liking Gilbert’s sausages, and their hot dogs are great. And the other ones are worth getting too. A little pricy, but well worth it.

The defining characteristics of a hot dog for me are the following:

  1. It is an emulsified sausage. Note how the texture is different than from an Italian or Polish sausage. It is processed into a paste before being stuffed and takes on a homogenous texture.

  2. They are (usually) lightly smoked and sold precooked. I’ve never seen a truly “raw” hot dog.

  3. The seasoning mix is usually predominantly garlic, paprika, salt, pepper. There is also usually a “sweet” spice like mace, ginger, or coriander rounding out the flavor. Mustard seed is common, too.

  4. They are stuffed into thin sheep casings, not hog casings (with the exception of things like “jumbo” hot dogs. Or they are sold skinless (boo!)

As for meat, they can be made with any combination of meats. My favorite hot dogs are Vienna’s all-beef hot dogs, and Sahlen’s pork and beef. (ETA: The natural casing style on both of them. For skinless dogs, I like Hebrew National.)

We usually get them from a local place called Otto’s. Mustard and relish normally, but I like most anything but ketchup on them.

I have to say, those buns are awesome. I wish I could find them around here. I’m sure they’re available somewhere, as I’ve seen lobster rolls made with those buns here, but I don’t know where.

I wrap them in crescent roll dough and pop them in the oven.

Boar’s Head with natural casings. They have to have that snap when you bite into 'em. And they have to be boiled, not grilled. If I’m craving a grilled hot dog, I’ll go with one that doesn’t have a casing.

Toppings? Brown or coarse mustard, finely chopped onion, and chow-chow (the relish, not the dog).

I used to get Hebrew National, but haven’t in a while after it became too much fun to go to the little hot dog place on the corner.
Wierd little place It is only open 2 hours a day, and run by a guy(maybe 70) and his mom and dad(I can only guess between 90 and 160). And they all Loooooathe each other. As near as I can guess they all had a major falling out years ago, have no intention of ever making up, are waiting for the others to die, but will be damned before they let either of the others in the place for a second without them.

They are available in a few locations in Florida:

See here.

Or I’ll just quote it:

Looks like not all those are retail locations. I didn’t realize there was a Casa di Pizza down there, too. Of all the wings I’ve had in Buffalo, they were my favorite.

Nothing beats Hebrew National. I get the reduced-fat variety, which I think tastes better than the regular.

The fact that they are skinless makes them kind of a non-starter for me. Like I said, for skinless dogs, they’re my choice. But major deductions for not having a natural casing version.

I just don’t like those for hot dogs. It’s just my preference since I didn’t grow up in New England, and those were considered weird other places I lived. But if you do want a toasted roll those are good. The NE style rolls in the groceries around here are really cheap too. They come apart at the cut instead of between rolls when you take them out of the package. But I can get several kinds of hot dog-like rolls from local bakeries at the grocery store. At least until all the local bakeries go out of business. Only a couple are left that are big enough to supply grocery stores, and I have a personal dislike for the owner of one of those, so my options are dwindling.

Also here in RI we have something called Hot Weiners. Don’t even ask, it’s disgustng. But the practice with those is to steam the bun.

I vastly prefer Nathan’s to anything else I’ve tried. I’m blown away by how good they are, except…

At 40 calories per frank, the Hebrew National 97% Fat-free Franks are astonishing. Very tasty, with a flavor profile actually more like that of sausage, and a fraction of the caloric freight. They don’t replace full-fat hot dogs, but they are a swell option. They also make a great topping for homeade pizza, if diced.

Buns on Chicago hot dogs are also usually steamed, but lightly so. I’ve had the “steamies” in Montreal that are more White Castle-like in their steaminess–such that the bun almost melts into the dog itself.

Wow. I gotta find these. Never seen the fat-free ones around here. Normally, I’m all for lots of fat in my sausages, but hot dogs are kind of my diet food snack.

We eat only hot dogs, to remind us of the totally tubular life our ancestors found when they reached the Promised Land.

Usually Hebrew National, but I’ll have to check out the Boar’s Head. I love their cold cuts.

I second the recommendation of the 97% fat-free Hebrew’s National. On a high-fiber type hot dog roll then can come in at right around 100 calories without feeling like a diet food.