Hot dogs are a classic American food, but let’s be honest, they can sometimes lack the flavor and texture of a good sausage.
But fear not, because with a few simple tweaks and techniques, you can transform your hot dogs into delicious sausages that will have your taste buds singing.
Whether you prefer to grill, roast, or boil your hot dogs, we’ve got you covered with tips on how to poach them in sauerkraut and beer, microwave them for a quick lunch, and even make your own hot dog mixture from scratch.
So get ready to take your hot dogs to the next level and make them taste like sausage!
How To Make Hot Dogs Taste Like Sausage?
1. Poach in Sauerkraut and Beer
Trying to cook sausages just by throwing them on the grill is a surefire way to end up with dry, sooty links. Instead, poach your hot dogs in a mixture of sauerkraut, mustard, and beer. This classic lineup of brat flavors will infuse your hot dogs with a savory, tangy taste that will make them taste like sausage. Once they hit 140 to 145°F—yes, you really ought to use a thermometer!—they’re ready to be transferred to the grill for a quick sear.
2. Microwave with a Twist
If you’re short on time and need a quick lunch, try this tweak to the microwave method: after giving your hot dog a couple of slashes across the top, put it in a good, soft bun and wrap it in a paper towel. Pop it in the microwave for 30-40 seconds (a minute if you’re doing two). Taking hot, steamy, perfectly cooked hot dog out and dress with condiments of choice. This method works great for a quick lunch or even if you gussy it up for a casual dinner.
3. Make Your Own Hot Dog Mixture
Compared to bratwurst, Vienna sausages have a finer texture that comes from the reduced coarseness of the fat. To get this texture, you may have to grind 2-3 times before your meat is ready for mixing. We recommend grinding the first pass through a 3/8″ plate then twice through a 3/16” plate. Once each of your proteins has been ground, you can begin mixing either by hand or by using a meat mixer. Whichever method you use, mix your lean trims first with half the ice water (with cure), followed by seasoning for hot dogs, fat trim, and remaining ice water. The end results should be sticky and pasty, with seasonings well incorporated throughout. For proper flavor and color development, refrigerate your hot dog mixture overnight or for several hours before stuffing.
4. Oven-Roast for Flavor
Oven-roasting hot dogs is a great alternative to grilling because you can brown them like you can on the grill. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and put your hot dogs in a pan or tray lined with foil for easy cleanup. Cook for 15 minutes or until they begin to brown and curl just a bit. Turn on the broiler if you like your dogs extra crispy. Serve with your favorite toppings.
5. Boil with Olive Oil
For an added kick of flavor try splitting the boiled dogs almost all the way in half. Open them up and add to a hot pan which a little olive oil has been added. Cook over medium heat until brown on both sides. Alternatively, add hot dogs to cold salted water and bring them up to a boil. Turn off the heat and keep them warm in the hot water until ready to serve.
The Difference Between Hot Dogs And Sausages
While hot dogs are a type of sausage, there are some key differences between the two. Hot dogs are typically made with a finely ground mixture of meat, fat, and seasonings that are then encased in a casing and cooked. The texture of a hot dog is often smooth and homogenous, with no distinguishable pieces of meat.
On the other hand, sausages can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they are typically made with a coarser mixture of ground meat, fat, and seasonings that are stuffed into a casing. The texture of sausages often contains distinguishable pieces of meat and can vary depending on the type of sausage.
Hot dogs are often served on a bun with various condiments and toppings, while sausages can be eaten as a standalone dish or used as an ingredient in other dishes. Additionally, sausages often have a longer history and cultural significance compared to hot dogs.
Grilling, Roasting, And Boiling Techniques For Hot Dogs
When it comes to cooking hot dogs, there are several methods to choose from, including grilling, roasting, and boiling. Grilling hot dogs is a popular choice because it adds great flavor and those beloved grill marks. To avoid exploding hot dogs, use the Indirect Method by placing them over the area of the grill that is NOT heated directly underneath. For oven-roasting, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place your hot dogs in a pan or tray lined with foil for easy cleanup. Cook for 15 minutes or until they begin to brown and curl just a bit. Boiling hot dogs is an excellent way to feed a crowd because you can have more hot dogs ready in no time. To boil hot dogs, cover them in water and gently place them in the cooking dish. Boil for four to six minutes if they are refrigerated until their internal temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid leaving hot dogs in hot water because this will cause them to get mushy.
Poaching Hot Dogs In Sauerkraut And Beer
If you’re looking to add a unique twist to your hot dogs, try poaching them in a mixture of sauerkraut and beer. This method infuses the hot dogs with a savory, tangy flavor that will make them taste like sausage. To start, simmer sauerkraut, beer, and mustard in a large skillet over medium-high heat for five minutes. Season with pepper.
Boil the hot dogs in beer for five minutes or until they are heated through and plump. Then, transfer them to the skillet with the sauerkraut mixture and let them poach for a few minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 140 to 145°F. Be sure to use a thermometer to ensure that they are cooked properly.
Once the hot dogs are poached, transfer them to a hot grill for a quick sear. This will give them a nice charred flavor and texture. Serve them on buns with your favorite toppings, such as mustard, ketchup, or relish.
This method is a great way to add some extra flavor to your hot dogs and impress your guests at your next cookout or barbecue. Give it a try and see how it transforms your ordinary hot dogs into delicious sausages.
Microwaving Hot Dogs For A Quick Lunch
If you’re in a hurry and need a quick lunch, microwaving your hot dog is the way to go. But how do you do it without sacrificing taste? Here are some tips:
First, wrap your hot dog in a damp paper towel and place it on a microwave-safe plate. If you’re only microwaving one or two hot dogs, cook them for 30 seconds to one minute. Check after 30 seconds to see if they’re plumped up and hot. If they’re not quite done yet, cook them in 30-second increments until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
If you want to add some flavor to your microwaved hot dog, try this twist: after giving your hot dog a couple of slashes across the top, put it in a good, soft bun and wrap it in a paper towel. Pop it in the microwave for 30-40 seconds (a minute if you’re doing two). Taking hot, steamy, perfectly cooked hot dog out and dress with condiments of choice. This method works great for a quick lunch or even if you gussy it up for a casual dinner.
Remember to use a microwave-safe plate instead of plastic ones that may not be microwave safe. Unsafe plastics chemicals can leach harmful chemicals into the food when heated, and these chemicals are responsible for causing certain cancers and other serious ailments.
Microwaving your hot dog is a quick and easy way to enjoy this American classic. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll have a delicious lunch in no time!
Making Your Own Hot Dog Mixture From Scratch
If you’re looking to take your hot dog game to the next level, consider making your own hot dog mixture from scratch. This will give you complete control over the ingredients and flavor profile of your hot dogs. Here’s how to do it:
1. Choose Your Meat
Start with 5 pounds of fully pastured/grass-fed beef that has been ground by your butcher or in cubes for you to grind at home. You’ll want to use a beef chuck roast with an 80/20 fat ratio.
2. Make Your Seasonings
In a blender or food processor, make a puree of 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of coriander, 1 tablespoon of marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon of mace, 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seed, and 1 tablespoon of paprika.
3. Mix Your Meat and Seasonings
Add the pureed seasonings to the ground beef and mix thoroughly with your hands. This tends to be a sticky procedure, so wet your hands with cold water first.
4. Add Binder Flour
Add 2.4 oz. of binder flour to your hot dog mixture. This will add protein value and help it bind. It also absorbs and holds water which leads to less shrinkage in the smokehouse.
5. Chill Your Mixture
Chill the mixture for half an hour then put the mixture through the fine blade of the grinder once more.
6. Stuff Your Casings
Stuff the casings and twist them off into six-inch links.
7. Poach Your Hot Dogs
Parboil the links (without separating them) in gently simmering water for 20 minutes.
8. Chill and Store
Place the franks in a bowl of ice water and chill thoroughly. Remove, pat dry, and refrigerate. Because they are precooked, they can be refrigerated for up to a week or they can be frozen.
By making your own hot dog mixture from scratch, you can create a unique flavor that is sure to impress your friends and family at your next barbecue or cookout.
Adding Toppings And Condiments To Enhance The Flavor
Now that you know how to make your hot dogs taste like sausage, it’s time to take it up a notch by adding toppings and condiments to enhance the flavor. While ketchup, mustard, and relish are classic hot dog toppings, there are many other options that can take your hot dog to the next level.
One popular option is to top your hot dog with sauerkraut. This tangy, fermented cabbage adds a delicious crunch and a sour flavor that pairs perfectly with the savory taste of hot dogs. Another classic topping is onions, either cooked or raw. Caramelized onions add sweetness and depth of flavor, while raw onions provide a refreshing crunch.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding guacamole to your hot dog. This creamy avocado-based sauce adds a rich, buttery flavor that complements the smoky taste of grilled hot dogs. You can also try topping your hot dog with chili, cheese, or bacon for a hearty and satisfying meal.
For a healthier option, consider adding fresh vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, or peppers to your hot dog. These toppings not only add crunch and flavor but also provide important nutrients and fiber.
Lastly, don’t forget about condiments! Homemade BBQ sauce, spicy mayo, or even cranberry sauce can add a unique twist to your hot dog. Experiment with different combinations of toppings and condiments to find your perfect flavor profile.