Friday, June 13, 2008

As Temps Heat Up, So Do the Hot Dog Wars

Personally, I've never much liked either of the nation's top two brands of hot dogs: Oscar-Meyer (Kraft) or Ball Park (Sara Lee). Some of that is probably due to a lack of hot dog brand allegiance installed in me as a kid.

With three growing boys in our house my Mom typically bought whatever was on sale that week or the brand she had a coupon for. This resulted in an overall lack of product preference as it relates to things like hot dogs, spaghetti sauce or even cola. Hell, I was often more fond of the generic-y Triple Cola than either Coke or Pepsi.

These days I like Hebrew National Kosher Franks. Their 97% fat free dogs are tasty and I don't feel like I'm giving up too much flavor for the sake of fat and calories. If I'm going whole hog, so to speak, I like Nathan's, which have a spicier kick than the bland offerings from the big two wiener-makers.

What's your go-to brand of hot dog?

7 comments:

Louis Fowler said...

Hebrew National, 97% fat free, same as you. Not only did my doctor recommend them, but, to me, Hebrew National has always represented a high mark of quality. And they taste so good at a ball game!

John said...

Even though I now think they're mostly flavorless, I had a fierce allegiance to the local Esskay brand. But I do have a preference for Nathan's.

I do admit, I like Zack's. The best hot dog joint I think has got to be Pink's out in Los Angeles, which I was fortunate enough to eat at last month. I've heard people rave about Rutt's Hut up by Newark, but I find their "ripper" hot dogs to be very overrated.

Stephen said...

Sabrett dogs in natural casing. The snap, texture, garlicy meat... it just doesn't get better than New York's favorite street dog. Now, pass the grilled onions.

Dan said...

John: Glad you made it to Pink's! I was there almost two years ago while on a quick visit to LA. Great place and the chili dog was amazing. Cole slaw dog did not live up to the image I had in my head.

Rebel Girl said...

I grew up on Farmer John's, so they will always have a special place in my heart. but it's Nathan's - for life.

Dan said...

Nathan's were on sale the other day so I grabbed a pack of the Skinless, Bun Length variety. I have to admit that I think the 97% Fat Free Hebrew National are better and have more flavor.

Fidge Dextro said...

It seems that skinless (or naturally cased) hot dogs have a better taste and texture than your average Oscar Meyer variety (although I don't care for OM's deli-style dogs either). Nathan's, Sabrett's and Boar's Head offer a fine dog, but for me, Hebrew National tops them all. My fave way to have them? This won't appeal to anyone who's looking to cut down on fat, but it's delicious. Buy a package of dinner size franks, you know, the quarter pounders. Take a knife and make diagonal slits (not more than halfway through the dog) about one-inch apart along the length. Then (here it comes) drop into a deep fryer (using peanut oil) at 375 degrees. Cook until you see a little separation and crispiness around the slits (it won't take long, about a minute or two). Serve on a toasted bun with spicy mustard (I like Gulden's) and sauerkraut. The frying gives the dog a real snap and brings out every flavor. I don't make them this way very often, but every once in awhile I just have to indulge.