Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts

Based on your review and the review from Rosengarten, I bought a pack of Boar's Head. I haven't had them in awhile.  I think I like them more than Best's, Sabrett , and Nathan's. Just a perfect spicing, casing and taste for this type of dog, which is New York/Chicago kosher style all beef. This dog, I think, best typifies this style. I still consider Usinger's my favorite beef dog, but it is not a perfect example of the style in that it is shorter and thicker, has a smokier taste which is not common in beef dogs (more typical of the beef/pork) and contains esoteric spices like cloves, nutmeg, black pepper (I think) and others whereas with a dog truer to style, garlic and paprika predominate. But the hell with being true to style. If something tastes good, eat it. That said, I thing the Liehs and Steigerwald dog is more in the German butcher style than Thumann's. It contains some veal (which Thumann's does not) and has a different spicing. It contains a spice called mace which I detect in many German butcher dogs.

Just caught up with this thread. Very interesting and sure to triple my hot dog consumption.

Wondering one thing. Suppose you want an all beef natural casing dog with garlic dominating (and possibly smoke) but little of the other traditional hot dog spices coming through? Recommendations? I ask because occasionally we like to depart from our fairly purest treatments and do a variety of "international" dogs, and sometimes the hot dog spices sort of clash. Garlic works with everything, of course.

michael

EDITED to add that, after reading more hot dog threads, I guess what I'm asking about is a mildly spiced dog that allows the condiments to be a big part of the focus, but with prominent garlic.

Edited by formerly grueldelux (log)

"Tis no man. Tis a remorseless eating machine."

-Captain McAllister of The Frying Dutchmen, on Homer Simpson

Link to post
Share on other sites
We have a  hot dog place called  Heid's which is sort of a local institution ("Food You'll Like" is the motto on their cool Art Deco building).  It was a major shock to purists and local hot dog fanatics when Heid's began offering ketchup as well as mustard.  For ficty year or so, since their inception, they offered nought but brown deli mustard and relish for their dogs. Many local dog-hards were outraged when the premises were desecrated with the red stuff  :laugh:

I grew up in Syracuse and a trip to Heid's on a Friday night was a real family treat. Hoffman hot dog, big pickle (on the side) and a chocolate milk. I learned at a young age mustard belongs on a dog-thanks mom/dad.

For three summers in the early 80's I sold Hoffman Franks and Coney's (white hots) in Franklin Square in downtown Syracuse. For my biased palate nothing compares to a finely grilled Hoffman on a new england roll and a nice line of mustard. I'm here to tell ya, a coney with sauerqraut was a great early morning cure for to much canadian brew the night before.

I'm overjoyed to have Wegman's here in Northern VA, so I no longer have to bribe and cajole friends to bring me a stash of dogs when they come and visit. Danny Wegman, I love you man.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you ever tried the franks from Liehs and Steigerwald? They've been in Syracuse since 1936. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I ordered some recently and loved them. What I didn't say was that I tasted them next to other franks in the German butcher style. Gaiser's, Union Pork Store, Schaller & Weber, Thumann's, and Hofmann's.

Thumann's and Liehs and Steigerwald were head and shoulders above the rest. Then the dog from the Union Pork Store was next followed by Hofmann's, Gaisers, and Schaller & Weber. Hofmann's is good by itself (I like the bigger 6 to a lb sold at the Bridgewater Wegmans) by mild tasting compared to the others. I've had the coneys, but don't like the particular spicing. If you go back to Syracuse, definitely stop at Liehs and Steigerwald.

John the hot dog guy

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

...shouldn't they be the best you can get?

Maybe this belongs over in General Food Topics, and I wouldn't mind if the moderators moved it, but since I'm dealing right now with locally available product in Philadelphia, this is where I'll kick off this discussion.

I know a lot of people in these parts swear by Dietz and Watson franks. And to be fair, they're okay. But they don't quite do it for me the way good old Oscar Mayer franks, which you can get anywhere, do. (Something about the way they're seasoned, though I think that seasoning involves some chemical flavoring; there's a pronounced taste of something besides beef in OM franks.)

I tried the nitrate-free hot dogs sold at the Fair Food Farmstand a while back, and found them a bit on the bland side.

I am generally impressed by the quality and taste of Hatfield meats (their scrapple excluded), but I haven't put their franks to the test yet. Nor have I tried any of the store brands--which is somewhat unusual for me, a big store-brand believer.

But I've finally found a local hot dog that beats the nationally advertised brand:

Dietz and Watson Eagles Franks.

These are bigger than their regular dogs (six to the pound instead of eight), and they are more flavorful, too--more of a beefy taste, and a better mix of seasonings. (I didn't read the ingredients list on the last package I bought, but I would not be surprised to see "oleoresin paprika" among them--they sure tasted like they had a little paprika thrown in.)

Anyone else tried these yet? (Unfortunately, they're not available year-round; they only come out around football season.) If so, do you feel me? Or am I off base? Is there something better out there I should know about?

(And don't tell me "Vienna Beef." This ain't Chicago.)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

Link to post
Share on other sites

When you're talking about Dietz and Watson, you should specify the all beef franks or the beef and pork mix. Two different animals. Two good brands to try are Hebrew National and Best's. I think you should find them in any supermarket in Philly. All beef, with a good spice mixture.

John the hot dog guy

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lately, because I like a dog with natural casing, I've been buying the Board's Head All Beef with Natural Casing. Not a bad dog at all, good snap, though the shape is not my ideal (they are long and thin). Some supermarkets carry them, but so does Harry Ochs at the RTM. If I could get the five-to-a-pound natural casing Best's in town, I'd go for them -- they're my favorite.

Of course, if you're at the RTM, you should consider the German style franks carried by Dutch Country Meats and L. Halteman; of course, they are not all beef. And they also tend to be long and thin.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to make things clear (thanks, John), I have been referring to all-beef hot dogs throughout.

I have eaten beef-and-pork and turkey dogs in the past, and I do not reject them on principle, but I generally prefer all-beef.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cook's Illustrated recently had a panel of its tasters compare several varieties of dogs available at supermarkets. If I recall corectly, Nathan's ranked at the top with Hebrew national a close second. I don't think Boar's Head or Oscar Meyer did particularly well.

Not that tasting panels should guide anyone's choices in food. Years ago, I cancelled my subscription to the Consumers Report because, when taste testing turkeys, some on their tasting panel declared that the fresh turkeys(e.g., recently alive and never frozen)did not taste fresh.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Cook's Illustrated recently had a panel of its tasters compare several varieties of dogs available at supermarkets.  If I recall corectly, Nathan's ranked at the top with Hebrew national a close second.  I don't think Boar's Head or Oscar Meyer did particularly well.

Not that tasting panels should guide anyone's choices in food.  Years ago, I cancelled my subscription to the Consumers Report because, when taste testing turkeys, some on their tasting panel declared that the fresh turkeys(e.g., recently alive and never frozen)did not taste fresh.

Funny, I'm making an italian hot dog right now and my vote hands down goes to Nathans. The best hot dog on the retail market. I love the spice mix and the overall quality of the product.

Not for nothing, I tried the Sabrett jumbo a few weeks ago and ended up throwing them out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nathan's and Boar's Head makes franks with the natural casings, and those are my favorites. I love that little snap I get when I bite into them. If I were to choose one without casings, it'd be Hebrew National.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

Link to post
Share on other sites

Check any kosher butcher shop or deli. They may carry Hebrew National with casings. I don't know about Philly, but New York and New Jersey have a few places where you can get them. Goldberg's Kosher Meats on rt 516 in Old Bridge is one place that I know of.

John the hot dog guy

Link to post
Share on other sites
Check any kosher butcher shop or deli. They may carry Hebrew National with casings. I don't know about Philly, but New York and New Jersey have a few places where you can get them. Goldberg's Kosher Meats on rt 516 in Old Bridge is one place that I know of.

John is spot on with the Hebrew Nationals with casing.

While I like the regular H.N.'s, it is well worth the trip to a kosher butcher to get them with the natural casing.

Thanks,

Kevin

DarkSide Member #005-03-07-06

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't let any discussion of home-cooked hot dogs go by without reference to Usingers which ships them out of Milwaukee.

Been trying to get a local purveyor to bring them in, but Lisa's not cooperating. :smile:

In the meantime, as needed, I bring some of their natural casing dogs - both black angus and regular along with a box of fresh brats.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Link to post
Share on other sites
Can't let any discussion of home-cooked hot dogs go by without reference to Usingers which ships them out of Milwaukee. 

Been trying to get a local purveyor to bring them in, but Lisa's not cooperating.  :smile:

Holly, you can often find them at Trader Joe's.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

Link to post
Share on other sites

Alas, in my experience, the Center City Trader Joe's only carries Usinger Knockwurst and Usinger Cooked Brats (not bad but a world of difference from fresh brats). I've written a couple of pleas to Trader Joe's but they just humor me with a form letter telling me to open my own supermarket if I don't like their selection - though not exactly in those words. :smile:

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've also tried to get my local Trader Joe's to stock Usinger's. A manager went into a long explanation about why they couldn't. I forget what he said, but it had to do with how well the product sold, what the company was willing to sell them at what price, etc. I didn't mention Usinger's here because they are generally not available in supermarkets in this area. I did see them at Foodtowns a few years ago. They were discontinued after awhile. There is one supermarket, a Super Stop & Shop in Madison, N.J. that carries skinless, 6 to a lb Usinger Angus beef franks. But they are low fat and not as good as the regular dogs.

John the hot dog guy

Link to post
Share on other sites
Cook's Illustrated recently had a panel of its tasters compare several varieties of dogs available at supermarkets.  If I recall corectly, Nathan's ranked at the top with Hebrew national a close second.  I don't think Boar's Head or Oscar Meyer did particularly well.

Your recollection is correct regarding the Cooks Illustrated tasting result. But the magazine's sample included only skinless franks. The natural casing franks, to my taste, are considerably different. The casing version of Boar's Head tastes just fine, although its casing is particularly tough compared to others I've had. But I hardly think it belongs in the "Not Recommended" category.

(I actually wonder whether the C.I. sampling got the wrong package of Boar's Head; although they listed it as skinless, the panel said although the flavor was good one taster complained biting into the dog was like biting into a bicycle tire. Hard to imagine that tactile quality in a skinless dog.)

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...