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 Flour: This 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!