Move over apple pie, the hot dog is actually America’s darling. The weather may be frightful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep enjoying the simple but satisfying dish. In fact, if easy is what you’re after, you should probably be eating more — and higher caliber — hot dogs.
Let’s begin with the many praises tied to the hot dog. To begin, it’s a glorious vessel for all of your favorite condiments, from tangy relish and bright mustard to candy-sweet ketchup or a handful of caramelized onions. Sure, grilling may produce the best flavor, but a stovetop dog is plenty tasty, especially within a toasted bun. A good hot dog can come to fruition in just minutes and they’re blank canvases on which you can try all kinds of fun sauces, diced vegetables, fermented things, and more.
There are plenty of directions you can go when shopping for meaty links. Sometimes, you just want something cheap and salty, reminiscent of what you might munch on at the ballpark. Other times, you want something a little classier, whether it be a fancy hot dog of some kind or one made with a more exotic or flavorful protein bill. Look no further than these nine options for your next frankfurter fix.
The well-known Costco brand makes a pretty mean dog. It’s a relatively straightforward beef number that’s plenty savory and calls for a refreshing beer or nice zippy glass of white wine.
The crew at TJ’s does a pretty good job in the precooked category. These uncured dogs are low in fat but deliver in terms of flavor. Plus, they come in a variety of options beyond just beef, such as turkey and chicken.
If gourmet is your thing, Snake River Farms has you covered. These wagyu beef dogs tout great texture and endless flavor. It’s basically the prime steakhouse cut equivalent for a hot dog.
The classic beef franks from Omaha Steaks are plump and tasty and naturally encased. Coney Island in style, they’re even good microwaved and will have you thinking back to your favorite summer days as a kid.
Portland’s foremost outfitter crafts some of the best dogs in the field. The foot-long frankfurter is an instant classic, made with pork shoulder, housed in lamb casing, and wood-smoked.
Ever-popular in New York and elsewhere, the Sabrett link is the go-to for many a street vendor. That said, there’s nothing remarkable about the dog — it’s simply reliable and the perfect salty backdrop for your favorite additions.
Applegate has a vast lineup of good sausage options. The Natural Stadium takes the cake (or, bun), made of uncured pork and beef that’s been humanely raised and grass-fed.
Boar’s Head has been at it for well over a century and really fine-tuned its approach to the hot dog circuit. Its beef frankfurters are hit with a tidy spice blend and serve well on your favorite bun or diced up and thrown into some hearty mac and cheese.
Another more refined option, this New York company makes excellent specialty dogs. The classic is hard to beat, but also note that there are bison, gyro, and pepperoni varieties, among others.
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