The first thing to consider when you’re building a hot dog is the type of hot dog itself, which varies from meat blends to casing. Warrington’s father chose to go with a blend of pork, beef, and veal, because he found that all beef was too soft. He knew what he wanted right from the start, no matter how many tries it took.
“My father, Walter, went down to a hot dog maker in [New York City] and told him exactly how he wanted them made, and kept telling him until he got it right. That’s how a Walter’s hot dog came to be. For 93 years, we’ve made it the same way.”
Most blends of meat come with a standard natural casing of sheep’s intestines, which is known for giving the dog its “snap” when you bite into it. Other hot dogs have no casings at all, which will produce a much softer dog to bite into, and some have casings that are dyed, like Maine’s red snapper dogs. Choosing the type of dog you’re going to work with all depends on personal preference, but it’ll make a difference down the road when deciding on other elements, so it’s good to have this decided first.