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homemade beef hot dogs

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 beef hot dogs just hit differently. So how so you make a hot dog? Follow this homemade hot dogs recipe and flex your beef hot dogs making skills. 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

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, pork or a combination of the two. 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.

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 inch pieces, then 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. Get Grinding

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

a chef stuffing hot dog meat into natural sausage casings

Slowly stuff the 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.

hot dog sausages hung in a pro smoker

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! You are now ready to enjoy your delicious homemade hot dogs and brag about your cooking skills at the next BBQ!

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  • Thanks i am going to try it.. sounds great

    Jim Smith
  • Hey Jim, good call out! In this recipe we’re using our No. 155 Wiener which comes with our Maple Cure. Because this has a different ratio of cure, we recommend 1 3/4 tsp per pound.

    PS Seasoning
  • After reading your instructions on how to make beef hot dogs, I am confused about how much cure to use for 5 lbs. Your recipe says 1 3/4 tsp per lb or 1.45 ounces for 5 lbs. I always thought the rule of thumb was 1 level tsp of cure for 5 lbs of meat. Am I miss reading it?

    Jim Fourney

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