What gross stuff is in hot dogs?

I know, the packages say beef, chicken, and turkey. But what part(s) of said animals is in your typical hot dog? Is it really disgustingly gross, or just ground up, pureed, artificially-colored hamburger? Am I eating pig intestine every time I chomp down on an Oscar-Meyer dog?

Always the hysteria with hot dogs, but nobody ever seems to worry about bologna or pressed ham.

If you’re really worried, just stick with kosher beef franks. There’s nothing horrifying in them and that’s why they cost more. Just remember- no ketchup. That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever found in a hot dog myself. :smiley:

Everything you wanted to know about hot diggity dogs and more.

Really, why is one part of the animal “grosser” than any other part? It’s all protein and connective tissue in one shape or another - and shapes are sort of moot in a hotdog.

Oscar-Meyer only wishes there were pig intestines in their dogs. That’s what “natural casings” are, and they’re not in cheap hot dogs.

But hotdogs are indeed made with meat scraps - when the steaks and hams and chops and ribs are all cut up, there’s little odds and ends left over that go to sausages and hotdogs of various flavors. (FormerMarineGuy, I find that site dubious - it’s not cited, for one, and “carefully selected” can apply to scraps as well as steaks.) Some of the big (steak and chop) meat is also used - generally stuff that doesn’t grade high enough for supermarket sales. Some cheap hot dogs also use mechanically separated chicken (that’s chicken meat that’s been blasted off the bones with water) and snouts, ears and organs. Some dogs use cereal fillers, like mom used breadcrumbs in her meatloaf - not only does it “stretch” the number of dogs you can make, but it gives them a softer texture.

But everything is (obviously) food grade meat and approved by the appropriate governmental agencies. There’s nothing disgusting about hotdogs.

(I’ve never understood why we glamorize “Native Americans” for “using every part of the animal” and then gag when we do the same thing. People is weird.)

No it isn’t. A mechanical separator uses a motor-powered worm to crush the meat and bones and force it through a series of perforated plates that separate the meat tissue from the bone fragments.

You’re right, of course.

Huh, I wonder what the water blaster/sieve contraption was that I noted during my last meat processing tour. I assumed they were blasting meat off the bones. I’ll have to call my butcher friend and clarify.

Well, I for one consider the intestinal tract “grosser” than, say, spare ribs or sirloin steaks, simply by the proximity to waste products. I’d much rather eat a hot dog made of “mechanically separated” beef than chitlins. And I’d rather not eat feet, ears, snouts, brains, tongue, etc., simply due to the preferences that were instilled in me by American cuisine standards.

Considering “grossness” is definitely a cultural preference, but hey, I wasn’t raised in a vacuum and I prefer certain parts over others.

Once when I was comparison shopping I noticed that for some reason the chorizo was labeled with the actual ingredients while the sausage was labeled with euphemisms. The first two ingredients of the chorizo I looked at was fat and lymph nodes. Yummy.

Lest there be any confusion (and you may know this, but your wording is vague to me), natural casings/intestines are not in the hot dog but rather, as the name would indicate, they are what the sausage is stuffed into.

Many quality fresh & smoked sausages you get at a good deli are stuffed into natural casings. They’re not quite the same thing as chitterlings, so far as I understand (and having worked both with chitterlings and sausage casings, they don’t look at all alike). Natural casings are just the submucosa/collagen layer of the small intestines, while chitterlings are the whole thing, to my knowledge.

Natural casing sausages have a nice “snap” to them, and tend to stay moister and jucier than ones stuffed into artificial casings.

And it won’t be long (if they haven’t done it already) that some quack will take all of this “gross stuff”, dry it up, grind it down, put it inside a capsule, write a totally bogus “scientific study” extolling it’s curative effects and sell it at outrageous prices to the new-age health nuts.

I’d do it but I don’t need the money.

My favourite is reclaimed facemeat. And arseholes and eyelids.

What I mean is, I don’t want to eat the intestines, and I don’t want to eat anything that has touched the intestinal linings. But that’s just me, YMMV.

Well, you should be fine with most mass-market hot dogs. You have to go out of your way to find natural casings on those. (Nathan’s and Vienna Beef both sell natural casing dogs if you look for them). However, if you eat Polish sausage, bratwurst, Italians sausage, etc., don’t be surprised if they’re stuffed into natural casings. I just came back from the grocery, and, surprisingly little labeling information is available on the casings, but the Eckrich Polish sausages were all stuffed into hog casings, and all the fresh sausages made in-house (chorizo, Italian sausage, and Polish sausage) were definitely natural casings. Johnsonvilles were collagen casings, and most other brands just skipped the info outright.

May prove be harder than skipping a few red hots. From Snopes (Bolding Mine):

Looks like hamburgers, meatballs, meatloaf, tacos and chili may be off your regular menu too.

Enjoy those salads.

Ah well, a guy can dream.

I’m gonna guess you folks don’t want to come over for some Scrapple? Yum!

Dude, scrapple is some good eats, although I will say that this is one of the rare foods I will not eat raw. Even I have to draw the line somewhere.

BTW, you forgot the quotes in your link. I fixed it for you.

Why do I see the link take me to the Scrapple page, but then in both cases, I get redirected to http://www.w3.org/Protocols/ ?

I get a “Page Cannot Be Displayed” error.

Because there’s an extra http:// in both posts.

This is the page they mean.