Everyday Food Blog

behind the scenes: our hot dog taste test

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Mmmmm, lunch...

File this under "the things we do for you," dear readers! A few months ago we dedicated our lunch hour to sampling dozens of America's best selling hot dogs in an effort to taste our way to the top three. Now, we all generally consider ourselves dog lovers (some more than others) but, after tasting the whole spread, even the biggest frank enthusiast could agree that everything truly is better in moderation! Nevertheless, we narrowed it down to the three that won over our taste buds. Read on to reveal the winners....

World's weirdest cocktail party?

Oscar Mayer Classic Beef Franks

Testers liked the snappy texture and simple, lightly smoky notes of this American standard.

Applegate's Great Organic Beef Hot Dog

Unsuspecting samplers didn't even realize these franks were the healthiest of the bunch (they contained less sodium and fat than the other dogs) and chose them for their seasoned, peppery taste.

Nathan's World Famous Beef Franks

These wieners were a hit, thanks to a sweet-savory flavor that made condiments optional.

Comments (10)

  • avatar

    After working at many and owning my own meat market I have tried a lot of different hot dogs over the years.
    In my refrigerator right now are Applegate's Great Organic Beef Hot Dog.
    Great choice


  • avatar

    I just happened to have some Applegate Great Organic Beef Hot Dogs when I read your review. I love the flavor - and the fact that they have less fat and naturally contain omegas (since they use grass-fed animals).

  • avatar

    I know you test national brands, however our local brands are good....very good. Especially when you want a natural casing hot dog, something you never find in a pre-packaged dog.

  • avatar

    I went to Trader Joe's last week and they were giving out free hot dogs and I think that was the best hot dog I ever ate.

  • avatar

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I never know which one to buy.

  • avatar

    Hebrew National outranks all three of those any day!

  • avatar

    I bet they didnt try Kogels hotdogs. you can only get them in the state of Michigan, I really think they would have won, hands down!1 :)

  • avatar Author Comment:

    Hi everyone, thanks for commenting! We DID only test national brands, but love hearing about local favorites, too. We'd love to seek out all these smaller specialty brands. (Although, after this taste test, I'm not sure when I'll be craving hot dogs again!)

  • avatar

    Come on Martha! Next time try the famous Vienna Beef Natural Casing franks in your test. I will be happy to send some your way. We are really proud of our work and the recipe we have used for 119 years has been a favorite in thousands of restaurants across the nation.

    You are renowned for your good taste and we would like to share our pride and joy with your readers.

  • avatar

    I'm with the reader who commented on the Kogel's. I bring them back to Oregon every time I get to Michigan. They are the best! However, Costco has some in natural casings at our local store that are good, too. Natural casings are a must, in my book.

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