National Hot Dog Month - July


Hot Diggity Dog!  Or should I say dogs!  Now that weather has warmed up and gotten nice outside, grilling season is upon us yet again.  Time to fire up those grills and buy some nice juicy hamburgers, sausages…. and hot dogs, of course!  July is National Hot Dog Month according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage council. Grab your dogs and toppings, because here are some interesting bits on an American classic!
The exact origins of hot dogs are unknown, but likely their predecessor was brought over by immigrants.  What we do know, however, is how they are made (what they are made of).  Hot dogs are usually pork or beef, but they can be made from poultry as well.  The meat is put into a machine to be finely ground until it resembles a paste or batter (don’t look it up….trust us).  Spices and/or flavorings are added for flavor and some brands add sugar or corn syrup for sweetness. Some brands also add preservatives to extend the shelf life of the product.  After the meat has been finely ground, it is sent to a machine that pumps the meat into the casings.  A number of brands use cellulose casings, but some still use traditional natural casing.  After being pumped with meat, the casings go through another machine to link the casings into strands of hot dogs.  Afterwards, the strands of hot dogs are sent to an oven to cook. During this stage, smoke may be used to add extra flavor.  After cooking, the dogs are showered in water to let them cool before being sent to packaging. If cellulose casing was used, the hot dogs are sent to another machine to remove the casing.  Then they are cut into individual dogs, packaged and sealed ready to be sent to a store near you.

Some Fun Facts :

  • Joey Chestnut currently holds the world record in hot dog eating by eating 69 hot dogs (and buns) in 10 minutes
  • The Tokyo Dog food truck located in Seattle, WA has the record for the most expensive hot dog , costing $169
  • The longest hot dog on record, made by Novex SA of Paraguay in 2011, is 668 ft. and 7.62 in. (203.80m.)



Sausage Glossary
From the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

A Guide to Sausage Varieties

Sausage, whether fresh, cooked or cured, remains a staple of the diet around the world. Regions and cultures use various seasonings to make their sausages uniquely their own

The sausages and meats are listed alphabetically. The group to which each sausage belongs is indicated next to the name of the sausage.

Sausage Glossary
Andouille | France
In France the traditional andouille is composed primarily of the intestines and stomach. In the US the sausage is most often associated with Cajun cooking, where it is a coarse-grained smoked sausage made using pork, garlic, pepper, onions, wine, and seasonings. Traditional Andouille is heavily spiced and used as an ingredient where a smoked sausage version is more commonly available and consumed as is or on a bun.
Cooked, smoked sausage
Bangers | United Kingdom
Sausage-like product prepared with meat and varying amounts of rusk or other cereals.
Fresh or pre-cooked sausage.
Berliner-Style | Germany
Made of cured, coarsely ground pork and some mildly cured, finely chopped beef; contains no seasoning other than sugar and salt; available in rolls or packaged slices.
Cooked, smoked sausage
Blood and Tongue Sausage| Unknown Origin
Cooked pork, beef or lamb and tongues are added to blood sausage mixtures. Pork snouts are also sometimes added.
Cooked sausage.
Blood Sausage | Unknown Origin
Diced, cooked fat pork, finely ground cooked meat, and gelatin-producing materials mixed with beef blood and spices.
Cooked sausage.
Bologna | Italy
Made of cured beef and pork, finely ground, with seasonings similar to frankfurters; available in rings, rolls or slices of varying diameters; fully cooked and ready to serve.
Cooked, smoked sausage.
Boterhamworst | Netherlands
Dutch-style sausage made of veal and pork, finely chopped and blended with coarsely chopped pork fat and seasonings.
Cooked, smoked sausage.
Bratwurst| Germany
Pork or a pork and veal mixture; highly seasoned; made in links and available both fresh and fully cooked. Unique flavor is commonly derived from pepper, sage, and nutmeg.
Fresh or cooked, smoked sausage.
Braunschweiger | Germany
Liver sausage which must contain at least 30% pork, beef or veal livers. Can be smoked after cooking or include smoked meat as ingredients.
Cooked sausage.
Cervelat | Switzerland
General classification for mildly seasoned smoked, semi-dry sausages. Popularly termed “Summer Sausage”.
Semi-dry sausage.
Chorizo | Spain
Sausage from Spanish origin made from meat coarsely cut; smoked; highly spiced and has a size similar to large frankfurters, one-inch links also made for sausage balls. Also is a term to denote any type of Spanish style sausage.
Fresh, cooked or dry/semi-dry sausage.
Frankfurters | Germany
Combination of beef and pork or all beef which is cured, smoked and cooked; seasonings may include coriander, garlic, ground mustard, nutmeg, salt, sugar and white pepper; fully cooked but usually served hot; terms “frankfurter,” “wiener” and “hot dog” often used interchangeably; sizes range from big dinner frankfurters to small cocktail size; may be skinless or with natural casings.
Cooked, smoked sausage.
Frizzes | Italy
Cured lean pork, chopped coarsely and a small quantity of cured lean beef; highly spiced. Some varieties made with hot spices, some with sweet spices.
Dry sausage.
Goetta | Germany
A breakfast sausage primarily composed of ground meat (pork, or pork and beef), steel-cut oats and spices.
Partially cooked or pre-cooked sausage.
Kielbasa | Poland
Coarsely ground lean pork with beef added; highly seasoned with garlic. Also known as a Polish sausage.
Cooked, smoked sausage.
Knackwurst | Germany
Similar in ingredients to franks and bologna with additional garlic added for stronger flavor; made in large natural casings or in skinless styles; fully cooked, but usually served hot; also known as Knoblouch or Garlic Sausage.
Cooked, smoked sausage.
Linguica | Portugal
Portuguese sausage made from coarsely ground pork, seasoned with garlic, paprika, cumin seeds and sometimes cinnamon; brined with vinegar pickling liquid before stuffing; smoked; also called Longanzia.
Uncooked sausage.
Liver Cheese or Liver Loaf Germany
Ingredients and processing similar to liver sausage but with slight alteration to achieve a firmer texture more body for slicing. Wrapped with a thin layer of pork back fat. Molded in sandwich-size brick shape.
Cooked sausage.
Liver Sausage | Germany
Liverwurst comes in many flavors that vary by region; sliceable or spreadable. Liverwurst must contain at least 30% pig, beef or veal livers. Other ingredients are pork, beef or veal trimmings, fat, and spices including allspice, thyme, ground mustard seed, or nutmeg.
Cooked sausage.
Lebanon Bologna | USA
Semi-dry sausage that originated in Lebanon, Pennsylvania; made of coarsely chopped beef; heavily smoked; has a tart, tangy taste; dark surface appearance.
Semi-dry sausage.
Lola or Lolita | Italy
Made of mildly seasoned pork; contains garlic.
Dry sausage.
Mettwurst | Germany
Cured beef and pork, ground and lightly spiced with allspice, ginger, mustard and coriander; smooth, spreadable consistency; normally heavily smoked and sometimes must be cooked before serving.
Cooked or uncooked, smoked sausage
Mortadella | Italy
Italian-style sausage composed of very finely chopped, cured pork and beef with added cubes of white fat; delicately spiced with garlic, nutmeg and coriander; stuffed into larger diameter casing and sliced.
Cooked, smoked sausage.
Pepperoni | Italy
Pepperoni is a dry sausage that is characteristically firm, spicy, and bright red in color. Thinly sliced pepperoni is a popular pizza topping in American-style pizzerias. It is a variety of salami, usually made from cured pork and beef.
Dry sausage.
Pork Sausage | Various
Made from fresh pork cuts and/or trimmings; seasoned with salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and rubbed sage, or other spices; sold in links, pre-formed patties or bulk.
Fresh sausage.
Salami | Italy
General classification for dry sausage, sometimes highly seasoned, with characteristic fermented flavor. Usually made of beef and pork; seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and sugar. Some are dried to achieve 30-40% moisture loss. Some are smoked and cooked.
Dry sausage.
Dry sausage.
Refers to a style of pork sausage noted for being seasoned with fennel and/or anise as the primary seasoning. In Italy, however, there are a wide variety of sausages, many of which are quite different from the product commonly known as ‘Italian sausage’ in the United States. The two most common varieties marketed in US grocery stores as “Italian Sausage” are hot and sweet (or, depending on what region of the US, mild). The main difference between hot and sweet mild is the addition of hot red pepper flakes in the spice mix of
the former.
Fresh, cooked or dry sausage.
Thuringer-Style Sausage Germany
Sausages that would be made with spices and herbs found locally in the Thuringia region of Germany. Made principally of ground pork; may also include beef and veal; seasoning could included marjoram (stemless) and other herbs and spices; may be smoked or unsmoked.
Fresh or cooked sausage.
Vienna Sausage | Austria
A similar version of a frankfurter or hot dog that is smaller in diameter and usually softer in texture. Ingredients similar to frankfurters. Term most often applied to small, open end sausages packed in cans of water. These are made into 80-foot lengths and cut into two-inch portions for canning. The name, vienna-style sausage, may also be used interchangeably with wiener or frankfurter.
Cooked or smoked sausage.
Weisswurst | Germany
Means “white sausage;” made of veal
and pork; mildly spiced; links are about four inches long and plump; very perishable; sometimes cooked.
Fresh or cooked sausage.
Wiener | Austria
Both wieners and Vienna-style sausages take their names from the city of Vienna, Austria. Wiener-style, as originated, is sausage braided in groups of links. Vienna-style frankfurters are twisted into a chain of links. Terms are frequently used interchangeably with “frankfurter” or “hot dog” and formula may be the same.
Cooked, smoked or dried sausage.


Why did the frankfurter sweethearts tell the sauerkraut to get lost?

Because two’s company and three’s a kraut!


How Hot Dogs are Made: The Real Story

There are many tall tales about the way in which hot dogs are made, but the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council is eager to tell the real story.

First, specially selected meat trimmings of beef and/or pork – just like the meat you buy in your grocer’s case – are cut or ground into small pieces and placed in a mixer. When poultry hot dogs are made, poultry trimmings are used.

Watch the how hot dogs are made video.

First, specially selected meat trimmings of beef and/or pork – just like the meat you buy in your grocer’s case – are cut or ground into small pieces and placed in a mixer. When poultry hot dogs are made, poultry trimmings are used.

High speed, stainless steel choppers blend the meat, spices, ice chips and curing ingredients into an emulsion or batter. The mixture is continuously weighed to assure a proper balance of all ingredients. The mixture is then pumped into an automatic stuffer/linker machine, where it flows into casings. The most popular brands of hot dogs use cellulose casings, which are later removed. Some wieners use natural casings, which remain on the wiener when it is eaten. These wieners are considered more “traditional,” are frequently made by smaller manufacturers and tend to cost a little more.Once the casings are filled, they are linked into long strands of hot dogs and moved to the smokehouse, there they are fully cooked under controlled temperature and humidity conditions. They may be hardwood smoked for added color and flavor.

After passing through the smoke and cook cycle, the hot dogs are showered in cool water. If the hot dogs were made with cellulose casings, they are sent to an automatic peeler, where the cellulose “skin” is stripped away. The individual links are then conveyed to the packaging equipment. When cellulose casings are used, the hot dogs are of exact size and weight. They are vacuum sealed in plastic films to protect the freshness and flavor of the hot dog. Because the casings on natural casings wieners are made from cleaned and processed animal intestines, they are of similar, but not exact, size.

Each package of hot dogs contains an ingredient statement, which lists everything that goes into the product. These days, it is less common to use variety meats such as hearts in hot dogs. When they are added, the package will clearly state “with variety meats.” The particular variety meat used also will be listed in the ingredient statement. Nutrition labels also are included on hot dog packages, showing calories and nutrients per serving.The entire process, from meat and poultry trimmings to being boxed and placed on the truck for delivery toretailers, can be measured in a matter of hours. The process also is carefully regulated and inspected forwholesomeness by the U.S. Department of Agriculture

National Hot Dog and Sausage Council




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