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homemade hot dogs 100% beef

How-to: Homemade Beef Hot Dogs

Try your hand at these all-American, snappy beef hot dogs and you'll be a wiener in no time. 

Let's be frank, if you've ever had homemade hot dogs, you know there's just no comparison to the store-bought version. From the snap of the natural casing, down to the smoky and savory bite, real homemade hot dogs just hit differently.

Follow this homemade hot dogs recipe and flex your beef hot dogs making skills. Our professional cooks show you how to make a hot dog with a few simple ingredients.

With this homemade hotdog recipe, you'll be the star of your next backyard BBQ in no time. 

Hot Dog Ingredrients

  • 5 lb. Beef Chuck Roast (80/20 fat ratio)
  • 1 package No. 155 Blue Ribbon Wiener. For a 5 lb. batch of hot dog meat, you'll need 3.2 oz of seasoning and 1.45 oz of cure (included). If you're making a larger batch, use 2 Tablespoons per pound, and 1 3/4 teaspoon of cure. 
    Cure per pound: 1 3/4 Teaspoon (1.45 oz)
  • 2.4 oz. Binder FlourThis will add protein value to your hot dog mixture and help it bind. It also absorbs and holds water which leads to less shrinkage in the smokehouse.
  • 3/4 cup Distilled Ice Water
  • Glass Bowl or Measuring Cup
  • Metal Sheet Tray
  • Sausage Stuffer 
  • Plastic Tub 
  • Sheep Casings Home Pack
  • Smoker: We used the Pro Smoker PK 100. This commercial-quality smokehouse will provide you professional results every time.

Selecting Your Hot Dog Meat

Are hot dogs beef or pork? Often made of a combination of different meats, the most popular hot dogs in the US are undoubtedly the 100% beef hot dogs and those are the ones we will focus on today. 

Good homemade hot dogs start with good meat. Making sure you have the right meat-to-fat ratio is important when making any type of sausage.

For hot dogs, shoot for a range between 70%-80% lean beef. For these all-beef dogs, we're using a high-quality chuck roast for the perfect ratio, but you can experiment with different trimmings of pork fat. For more on meat selection, read our blog on How to Make the Perfect Wieners.

How to Make Hot Dogs

1. Prepare Sausage Casings & Meat Block

For this recipe, we'll be making natural casing hot dogs for a snappier texture and ease of preparation.

First, untangle the natural casings and remove the necessary amount. Place the remaining casings back into package and store in refrigerator or freezer. 

Rinse the salt from the sausage casings and soak in warm water for one hour. 

Cube the chuck roast into one inch pieces

Place on a sheet tray, cover, and freeze for 30 minutes. Keeping your hot dog meat cold (but not frozen) will make grinding easier and ensure optimal shelf life of your finished sausages. 

hot dog meat being covered by a plastic foil

2. Grind the Hot Dog Meat

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.

hot dog meat being ground to prepare the hot dog sausage mix

 

Feed the beef back into the grinder and pass through a 3/16 inch plate twice. With each pass, you'll see the fat pieces become small and smaller. 

second round of hot dog meat grinding to prepare well mixed sausages


Place the 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 evenly distributed. 

meat cure and water being added to the hot dog sausage mix

In a separate bowl, whisk together the hot dog 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 the hot dog seasoning mixture over the meat. 

binder flour, water and sausage seasoning being added to the hot dog preparation mix



Continue to mix by hand for 5 minutes, until the meat is tacky. The texture should be sticky and pasty with the hot dog seasonings mixed well throughout. 

well mixed hot dog meat preparation



3. Hot Dog Sausage Stuffing

When ready to stuff your hot dogs, find the end of your casing, and run your sink head over it and let water run through. We are using natural casing for our hot dogs.

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 natural casing hot dogs slide away from the stuffer without sticking to the bottom.  

Thread your sausage casing 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.

a chef stuffing hot dog meat into natural sausage casings



Slowly stuff the sausage casings, making sure to not overstuff your natural casing hot dogs (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 sausage 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.

hot dog sausage twisting

4. Smoking Hot Dogs

Preheat your grill or smoker to 130° F

Hang wieners on smoke sticks, or from stockinette hooks hanging from racks to avoid links from touching. 

If you're using a vertical electric smoker or pellet grill, be sure to refer to the manufacturer's recommendations for smoking sausages. If using an electric sawdust smoker like the Pro Smoker PK 100: Run with dampers wide open for 30 minutes. Place ¼ pan of moistened sawdust on the burner. Increase temperature to 150 F. Set top damper ⅛ open, bottom damper ¾ open and smoke hot dogs for 45 minutes. Increase temperature to 170 F and smoke until an internal temperature of 155 F is reached.

Once internal temperature reaches 155° F, immediately place in a cold-water bath for 20 minutes until internal temperature reaches 100-110° F. Dry sausages at room temperature then grill, boil, roast or turn into mouthwatering Hot Dog Burnt Ends with our Blue Ribbon BBQ Sauce.

These natural casing hot dogs will keep up to 2 weeks when refrigerated and up to 3 months if frozen. 

hot dog sausages in iced water

 

And that's it! Now that you know how to make hot dogs at home, you unlocked bragging rights at the next BBQ! Enjoy your delicious homemade hot dogs

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7 comments

  • Hey Andy! To make your homemade hot dogs more tender, you can consider having a higher fat-to-meat ratio. This would make the wieners juicier and less likely to become dry during cooking.

    PS Seasoning
  • Hey Derrick! For this recipe, we used our Maple Cure to give these homemade hot dogs a sweet aroma that complements the smoky flavor better.
    You can find it on our website at the following address:
    https://www.psseasoning.com/products/maple-cure

    PS Seasoning
  • I made these and really liked them.
    However, they were pretty dense.
    And it was pretty difficult stuffing the casings.

    Any tips on how to make these less dense ( more tender)?

    Andy

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