Hot Dogs—Our Thoughts On What’s Best and Why

Apr 25, 2013 | Beef, Tips and Tales | 0 comments

People have a lot of opinions about what constitutes a really good hot dog.  And at Mister Brisket, we’re no different. But here’s the thing–Mister Brisket is not just a Butcher Shop. We’re also a research institute. If we sell a product, it’s because through trial and error (hopefully not too much error) we feel it’s the best one available. Over the years we’ve sampled many hot dogs.  Best Kosher…Hebrew National….Sabretts….just to name a few. We’ve experimented with shapes and sizes. And we’ve tried them in various forms.  Two things are apparent to us. First, the best hot dogs are all beef. Specifically, they’re made from bull meat which is chopped, seasoned and then cured. Secondly, texture is as important as flavor.

In our experience, the best hot dog is an all beef Chicago Style dog in a sheep casing. The flavor is outstanding–not too highly seasoned or garlicky or somehow mucked up with gimmicky flavor enhancements. And the sheep casing provides a wonderful texture. You get a snap and a crack when you bite into a quality beef hot dog in a sheep casing. Larger dogs in hog casing will be more chewy. And skinless dogs, which are very popular in Cleveland, lack the firmness of a natural casing dog. The picture above shows exactly what we sell.  It is a fabulous dog and comes six to a pound.

Three Mister Brisket Natural Casing Hot Dogs grilled in shop on a bun with deli mustard (Batampte), sauerkraut and swiss cheese. Yes, we sell this at our shop!

The next issue with hot dogs is method of preparation. Sentiment often plays a big role. Some people enjoy them steamed because of memories from old Cleveland Stadium. Others boil them because that’s what Mom did. Some will put their hot dogs on a stick and hold them over a fire in order to relive camping adventures.  Ultimately, however, you gotta grill the dog. The reason? Texture. The natural casing dog on a hot grill will slowly expand then fissures will develop where the casing cracks. The picture above gives you a look at your model citizen. Consistent grill marks and cracks in the casing show that these are perfect for consumption. As to what to put on the dog, well, that’s up to you. Purists insist solely on mustard but if you like ketchup as well, it’s your prerogative.

Hot Dogs are often thought of as a summer item but true aficionados enjoy them year round. If you like hot dogs, Mister Brisket wants you to give ours a shot. In addition, to the ones in natural casing, we’ll get you skinless by request. Or, if you want, we carry a jumbo version of the same dog that comes two to a pound (aka Frankenwurst). We have a dog for all styles. Just tell us which one, and we’ll have it for you.  Please note–Mister Brisket Natural Casing Hot Dogs are a special order item. If you want a large quantity, give us several days notice so we can make sure to have them in stock.