What makes a great homemade hot dog? The perfect ratio of lean to fat, an award-winning hot dog seasoning, snappy natural casings, and smoky goodness. We're showing you how to get all that and more at home with our classic Blue Ribbon Homemade Hot Dogs.
Selecting Your Meat
Making sure you have the right meat-to-fat ratio is important when making any type of sausage. For classic, juicy hot dogs we like to use a combination of beef and pork. For this recipe, we used 60% beef chuck roast and 40% pork butt. Beef chuck roast has great marbling, texture and flavor while the pork butt (with fat cap on) will add much needed moisture to the hot dogs.
Hot Dog Making Tips and Tricks
- Keep everything cold! Be sure to freeze your grinder parts overnight and place your meat in the freezer for at least 30 minutes prior to grinding (Under 45 degrees F is ideal). This will ensure optimal finished product and will make the meat much easier to work with.
- Soak your casings in advance. Follow the preparation instructions on your casing to ensure they're ready to use when you start stuffing. Most casings need to be soaked for 30-60 minutes in warm water.
- Season your meat after the first pass through the grinder. This will allow the grinder to do a lot of the mixing and seasoning distribution for you during the second pass.
- Rest Overnight! Get optimal cure color and flavor by allowing your hot dogs to rest for 12 hours before smoking. Rest after seasoning the first grind or after stuffing.
- Protein extraction is key for homemade hot dogs. Protein extraction pulls the protein out of the meat and binds it with the fat. Your hot dogs are ready to stuff when the meat mixture is tacky and sticky.
- Add water to your counter top or sheet tray while stuffing. This will allow the sausage to pass easily away from the horn without getting stuck or torn.
Classic Homemade Hot Dogs
Sausage / Hot Dogs
3 hours 5 minutes
7.5 lbs Beef Chuck Roast
5 lbs. Pork Cushion or Butt with Fat Cap
1/2 pkg No. 155 Blue Ribbon Wiener Seasoning with Maple Cure (included)
3/4 cup Distilled Ice Water
Sheep Casings Home Pack
Untangle casings and remove the necessary amount. Place remaining casings back into package and store in refrigerator or freezer. Rinse salt from casings and soak in warm water for one hour.
Cube chuck roast into inch pieces, then place on a sheet tray, cover, and freeze for 30 minutes. Keeping your meat cold (but not frozen) will make grinding easier and ensure optimal shelf life of your finished product.
Compared to bratwurst, hot dogs have a finer texture that comes from the reduced coarseness of the fat. To get this texture, you may have to grind 2-3 times before your meat is ready for mixing. We recommend grinding the first pass of chuck roast through a 3/8“ plate.
Feed meat back into the grinder and pass through a 3/16” plate twice. With each pass, you'll see the fat pieces become small and smaller.
Place meat in a plastic bowl, tub or any large, non-metallic container. In a glass measuring cup or bowl, mix the cure with 1/4 cup of water, then pour over the ground beef. Mix by hand until distributed.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the seasoning, binder flour, and remaining ice water. The binder flour will add protein value to your mixture and will absorb and hold water, leading to less shrinkage in the smokehouse. Pour seasoning mixture over the meat.
Continue to mix by hand for 5 minutes, until the meat is tacky. The texture should be sticky and pasty with the seasonings mixed well throughout
When ready to stuff, find the end of your casing, and run your sink head over it and let water run through. Thread onto a 1/2-inch stuffing horn and gently thread on the rest of the strand. Tie a knot at the end of the casing once it's fully on the stuffing horn.
Place a metal sheet tray underneath the nozzle of the stuffer. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water to the bottom of the sheet tray so that the sausage slides away from the stuffer without sticking to the bottom.
Slowly stuff the casings, making sure to not overstuff (test your fill weight by making a small link at the end of the casing, it should easily twist without bursting or creating large air pockets).
Once the casings are filled, twist off into desired lengths, about 6-6.5" long. To twist, grab one end and pinch a divot to make a sausage that’s about 6-6.5” in length. Grab the first pinch with your left hand and pinch another 6” down with your right hand so you have two links. Twist forward and repeat the process until you’ve linked all your strands. You can twist forward or backward or alternate as you go--whatever is the most natural to you. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat your grill or smoker to 190° F. Hang wieners on smoke sticks.
Dry at 190° F for 30 minutes. Add smoke and continue to process for one hour at 190° F. Once internal temperature reaches 158° F, immediately place in a cold-water bath for 20 minutes until internal temperature reaches 100-110° F. Dry at room temperature then grill, boil, roast