Homemade Footlong Hotdogs - Best So Far!


Last week was our annual Drumline Cookout. Each year I try and do something with the food that has
a drumline theme, so this year I made f̶o̶o̶t̶l̶o̶n̶g̶ ... er... drumstick-sized hotdogs!

This was my fourth attempt at making hotdogs over the past two years. The challenge for me has been creating a good hotdog without using fillers/binders because I cannot have not-fat dry milk nor soy protein concentrate. I knew it was possible because Kosher Style dogs don't have dairy & fillers.

So, after tweaking ingredients, trying different processing techniques, etc. I think I finally have a really good hotdog with the right flavor, texture, and... NO FILLERS/BINDERS!

The seasonings:

Here's my recipe:

Kosher-Style Hotdogs

5 lbs Ground Beef - 80/20 (Do NOT try to go any leaner or they will be dry - trust me!)

4 tsp Pickling Salt
1 tsp Cure #1
4.5 tsp Sugar
3 TBS Ground Mustard
2 TBS Paprika
1 tsp Pepper (fine ground - white or black)
3/4 tsp Celery Seed (ground)
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Coriander (ground)

5 oz. Cold Water

Sheep Casings

The salt & sugar were dissolved in the water, then the rest of the seasonings were added and mixed into a slurry which was then thoroughly mixed with the ground beef.

Instead of trying to emulsify the meat, which is messy, hard on the food processor, and tends to heat the meat up, for the last couple of batches I ran the mix through the fine plate of my grinder twice.

By limiting the water, the mixture was thick enough that it ran through the grinder just fine without getting warm.

After running it through the fine plate twice we ended up with a mixture that was very fine and homogenous. Note: Next time I will add a little more water at this point so it's not so stiff for stuffing.

I like snap you get from natural casing hotdogs, so for me sheep casings are the way to go!
Of this 7 1/2 lb batch, about 2/3 were made into 12" lengths, the rest into 6".

Smaller diameter sausages do really well loaded onto jerky racks. A probe was inserted into a sacrificial hotdog to monitor the temp. After they were loaded up, I turned the MAK on to run in smoke mode with hickory pellets.

Hot-Smoke them (Smoke mode - or about 170°) until they reach an I.T. of around 145° (about 1 1/2 hours or so).

Next, time for a 152° swim. I used our Dorkfood Sous-vide controller set to 152° to control a roasting pan. It worked perfectly to allow the hotdogs to gently and evenly poach to a finish temp of 152°. This took about 20ish minutes or so, but the best part was I didn't have to babysit them since I knew they could NOT go over temperature!

Next, into an ice water bath to chill quickly down to around 100°.

Next, dry them off, let them cool to room temp on the wire racks then into a covered container (or vac seal - depending an what you are doing) and into the fridge/freezer.

I am very happy with their texture & flavor. These were definitely worth the time and effort!

I think this recipe would make an excellent ring bologna.

The drumline seemed to like 'em too! We setup a hotdog/nacho bar with all kinds of toppings: chili. cheese sauce, slaw, onions, etc.

I think I'll be making homemade hotdogs more often.



New member
I've been on a quest for many years to find a hotdog (flavor and snap)from my youth. If I ever get a "hit" I hope my taste memory recognizes it. Will give your recipe a try. Thanks for sharing this! Time to make some more "dogs".

Big Poppa

Tent this is a showstopper for me.....also the kindness and heart you put into these feeds for the young musicians is awesome!
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