The Best (and Worst) Hot Dogs to Buy Slideshow
May 24, 2012
#8 Boar’s Head Beef Frankfurters
Bringing up the rear was Boar’s Head Beef Frankfurters. With absolutely no redeeming comments except the wishy-washy "OK taste," these franks earned their ranking of dead last. The majority of the objections came from the "very tough outside." One editor even complained that the "tough exterior made me gag!" Adding to the list are charges of "too salty," "too thick," "greasy," "chewy," and to tie it all together "tastes like cardboard." This was the only dog that all the editors seemed to completely agree on, which is very surprising considering the high quality typically associated with Boar’s Head products.
#7 Hebrew National Beef Franks
Hebrew National Beef Franks came in second to last in The Daily Meal’s hot dog taste-test. With crippling grievances from "it doesn’t taste like a 'real' hot dog" to "it reminds me of McDonald’s," these franks did not follow through. However, even with several complaints of "very processed," a few found the flavor satisfying, with praise such as "meaty flavor, good seasoning" and "good flavor to the meat." Overall, Hebrew National’s "very thick skin" landed it near the bottom, and one editor put it all into one word: "Yuck!"
#6 Ball Park Beef Franks
Surprisingly, Ball Park Beef Franks came in low on the list at number six. The hot dogs received overwhelmingly low scores, with several complaints of being too "mushy and soft." One high vote kept the franks in the running, with praise such as "good texture and flavor," and "not as oily as the others." However, with criticisms such as "tastes fake," "rubbery," and "slightly plastic flavor," there was no redemption. Yikes.
#5 Applegate Farms: The Super Natural Uncured Beef Hot Dog
Applegate Farms’ Super Natural hot dog received a middle-of-the-road score, coming in at number five. The dogs received a lot of praise for having a "meaty" and "sweet" flavor, but fell a little flat when it came to texture. The sweet taste had one editor remarking that it tasted more like a breakfast sausage than a hot dog. One of the highest compliments any of the samples received, "tastes homemade, not mass-produced," was trumped by a severe proclamation of "dirty water dog." Ouch.
#4 Trader Joe’s All Natural Uncured All Beef Hot Dogs
Although Trader Joe’s All Natural Uncured Beef Hot Dogs scored in right in the middle of the pack, coming in fourth, but this brand overwhelmingly received praise for having the best texture. While most of the scores fell into the average category, one editor was less than pleased, calling the hot dogs "salty, bland, and chewy," yet another referred to the dogs as "classic all-American."
#3 Sabrett Skinless Beef Frankfurters
Sabrett Skinless Beef Frankfurters came in third place, just edging out Trader Joe’s in fourth. The skinless quality of the hot dogs may not be doing this brand any favors, though, as the panel noted them as "mushy" several times. One editor even complained about the dog falling apart with nothing to hold it together. Many described the taste as "processed," but one said the taste reminded him (or her) of their childhood. Despite complaints of "gritty texture," the brand still pulled in some high scores due to its "sweet taste" and "interesting flavor."
#2 Oscar Mayer Classic Beef Franks
Coming in at number two, Oscar Mayer Classic Beef Franks were able to overcome such criticisms as "mushy texture" and "weird flavor." Despite being a time-honored brand, this hot dog was noted as "unusual" by one editor and was praised for its "very full flavor" and "flavorful juices" by others. Among the list of commendations were "good salty," "buttery," and "snappy." And the approval to end all debate — "it tastes like a baseball game!"
#1 Nathan’s Famous Beef Frank
Topping the list, Nathan’s Famous Beef Frank lived up to its name. With its "juicy" meat and "crispy exterior," this dog pulled in a majority of high scores. Editors liked that it "tastes like a classic dog" and is held together by a "snappy thin casing." One very low vote brought the overall score down, with complaints of a "very processed" taste as well as a "rubbery texture."