How To Make Homemade Hot Dogs - Recipe
How To Make Homemade Hot Dogs
Watch the full video below, read the highlights here, and then post your comments or questions below.
What Is A Hot Dog?
Hot dogs, frankfurters, wieners, or whatever name you are familiar with…Is just a sausage with a very small meat particle size, typically emulsified to where the fat and lean particles in the meat are basically indistinguishable from one another. Hot Dogs can be made from beef, pork, chicken, poultry, wild game, or a combination of meats. Another staple feature of hot dogs is to make a skinless product. This is usually done by using a cellulose casing, and then stripping it off of the final product, but this is not a requirement and collagen casings or natural casings can still be used.
25lb 80/20 beef trim
1 package Excalibur Hot Dog Seasoning
1oz Sure Cure (packet included with seasoning)
6oz Sure Gel Meat Binder
2oz Smoked Meat Stabilizer
2 to 3 lb High Temperature Cheese (optional)
26mm Cellulose Hot Dog Casings
2 Quarts Ice Cold Water
Grind the meat 3 times. 1st through a 3/8in (10mm) grinder plate, then the 2nd and 3rd grind will be done with a 1/8in (3mm) grinder plate.
Always use a sharp grinder knife and plate to help retain a better particle definition, color, and help prevent any smearing of the meat.
Using a meat mixer is preferred to hand mixing when making hot dogs. Many other products like a fresh bratwurst can be adequately mixed by hand, but we need to make sure we get a lot of protein extraction for hot dogs. That is a bit more difficult to achieve in hand mixing but still a possibility to do if you don’t have an actual meat mixer. We are going to mix for about 8 minutes in total. When you start the mixer, just start adding all the ingredients, except the High Temp Cheese. This last ingredient can be added in the last 45-60 seconds of the cycle, or just long enough to evenly disperse. Over mixing the cheese can lead to smearing and loss of shape. When you are done mixing the product should be extremely sticking, which means you are getting a lot of protein extraction.
Load your sausage stuffer and be careful not to create air pockets. Begin stuffing until the casings are full with a smooth exterior. Stuff into as long of ropes as possible, and then you can cut them to length when you are ready to place them in a smokehouse or oven.
Whenever possible, try to separate the lean meat from the fat prior to grinding and mixing. Mix all of the seasoning in with the half of the lean meat and don’t add the remaining lean meat and fat until the second half of the mixing cycle. This will give you a temporarily higher salt content in the meat which will help with the emulsification of protein in the meat and the binding of the rest of the meat, fat, and water in the final product.
(If you do not use a cure accelerator like Smoked Meat Stabilizer, then hold in a refrigerator for approximately 12 hours or overnight before cooking)
Either hang on smoke sticks or lay on racks in your smokehouse or oven. Just be sure to leave a slight gap between the snack sticks. A simple cooking schedule you can follow is here:
120F for 15 minutes
130F for 30 minutes
140F for 30 minutes
150F for 30 minutes
175F until internal meat temp of 150F and hold temp for 5 minutes (or 160F)
(keep humidty as high as possible; add water pan to smokehouse)
Cooling & Stripping Casings
To help prevent wrinkling we need to shower the hot dogs when they are done cooking or put them in an ice water bath. It should only take around 10-15 minutes to get the temperature to drop down. After they are cool, you can easily strip the cellulose casings off the hot dogs. Then, we’ll let them set out for about 1 hour before moving to the refrigerator/freezer. After we are totally done with the cooling process, then we will package in vacuum pouches for longer term storage.
Walton’s has everything you need (except the meat) to make great hot dogs at home, plus we have the knowledge to help you perfect your own processes. If you have any questions or need help in your process, please share your questions or comments below.
Place a small pan of water in the bottom of smokehouse during entire cooking cycle to help increase humidity
If your smoker, smokehouse, dehydrator, or oven cannot reach temperatures as low as 120F, just start as low as possible and slowly increase the temperature over time
Watch WaltonsTV: How To Make Homemade Hot Dogs
Just an FYI, everybody that received snack sticks for Christmas last year loved them… I just ordered another batch of Willie’s Snack Stick spice blend to do it again this year!
Jonathon, I have to agree that 275 is too hot… If you have the time I’d shoot for 225, but if it needs to be “done”, then 250 would be the max I would do…
I have always filled the water pan for everything I smoke… 2 reasons, first it does tend to add moisture during the long cook thus keeping the bark from turning to shoe leather… and second because the water pan acts as a heat sink and helps maintain the temperature (in my vertical propane smoker) a bit more accurately… I’ve heard folks tout using apple juice in the water pan to impart a sweeter flavor, but I’ve never tried it…
On the other hand, my dad smoked for years, mostly in a converted fridge with an electric hotplate in the bottom… he never used a water pan and never had an issue with dry meat…
As for the type of wood to use, that’s just a trial and error, personal preference thing… I happen to like steaks cooked with oak… that may be too strong a flavor for your taste (my GF hates it)… Recently I have been using a lot of maple for NC bbq, chicken and even cheese… I like the maple for the meats, but next batch of cheese will go back to the hickory / cherry mix that I was using…
I followed the instructions on the video. It may have something to do with the sausage not getting as firm as it should. I used the cotto salami on duck breast with pork fat. It sure tastes good. But it’s a little soft.
I’ve done a lot both ways. I would highly recommend a stuffer and I have the Weston grinder with the auger stuffing attachment. It’s slow, but if you’re doing 5# or 10# batches, it’s not that bad. I’ve had small 5# stuffer, old school cast iron Enterprise, 11# vertical and now a 35# hydraulic. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade the hydraulic but the 11# vertical I got on amazon had a lot of versatility. I think your bigger decision should be what type of stuffer should I buy. I would recommend the taller, smaller diameter instead of the large shorter one. The smaller diameter allow for a higher pressure for doing sticks with cure in them. The large short ones would be great for doing pork sausage or larger diameter casings, not 19-22mm sticks with cure. It would be fine as long as you’re doing fresh like breakfast or something like that. If you go the stuffer route I’d get it from Waltons and get the Weston-they stock parts, other no name from amazon is a one shot deal, once ours broke couldn’t find parts. Plus they have so many tube sizes now and Walton’s does a great job helping with casing and stuffing horn sizes, they carry them all.
I purchased a stuffer off Amazon for under $100 and would never go back to using the grinder. With the grinder, it was always a two man job and took forever. The stuffer is much faster and have no problems doing it all by myself. Plus with a hand crank stuffer, no electricity usage and wear and tear on your grinder.
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