First try at hotdogs from scratch

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by jaxrmrjmr, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    Had to try this.  I looked at many recipes and processes and decided on what I was going to try.  I was going after a "Nathan's" taste and I was pretty surprised at how close the flavor was.  The texture was very different - not super smooth like bologna or commercial hotdogs.  You could that tell you were eating meat but it was not at all tough to bite through or chew.

    Well, here's how it came together......

    5 lbs 80/20 ground beef (actually the package was labeled 81/19, I have no idea why)

    1 tsp cure #1

    3 Tbsp paprika

    2 ½ Tbsp ground mustard

    2 tsp ground white pepper

    1 tsp ground celery seed

    1 Tbsp garlic powder

    1 Tbsp sea or kosher salt

    1 Tbsp MSG

    1 Tbsp onion powder

    1 tsp ground mace

    2 tsp ground coriander

    2 Tbsp powdered dextrose (corn sugar)

    1 Cup milk powder

    1 ½ - 2 Cups of cold water

    [if gte mso 10]><style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-parent:"";mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0in;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";}</style><![endif]Here it is after one run through the food processor and adding the spices.  I ran it through a second time after letting it sit for about an hour.

    Pumping the "mud" into collagen casings.  You can see the four connected links sitting there that are twisted to separate the links.  Later, I found it much easier to tie them off with butcher string.  These collagen casings don't lend themselves to spinning or twisting like regular pork casings.

    A tray full of bun length dogs!  They are still twisted at this point.  I had not yet given into the idea that they needed to be tied.

    Trying to hang them in the smoker without the "twists" coming undone finally made me tie the links with butcher twine.

    Smoking away for about 1 1/2 hours at 160 degrees with hickory smoke.

    I forgot to grab a pic of finishing them off in a pot of water.  Took them to 155 in water that never got over 180 degrees.

    Casings came right off and here is the final product.  Ugly, yep, but it tasted really good.  I will do these again.  They tasted good and I know that they aren't full of "beaks and buttholes" as most processed meats are.  They did not have that processed taste either.

    I am very pleased with the taste as you could taste seasoned beef that tasted like a hotdog and not just "hotdog" flavored stuff, so check.  I think the texture is as smooth as I can make it with a standard food processor, so I give that a check as well.  One knock on the texture is that they didn't seem as plump and full of moisture as store bought dogs.  They were not dry but just didn't have a real snap when bitten through.

    As for things I would try and improve....

    - you can tell, my stuffing skills need a little work as I am still really new at this.

    - snappiness of the frank.

    - I think the frank needs to be a bit thicker, so I will buy larger casings next time.

    Thanks for taking a peek.
    foamheart and disco like this.
  2. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The dogs you made were caseless and wont have a snap. You will only get a snap with sheep casings where the hotdog is cased. I agree home made dogs dont have the texture and moisture like the store bought but if you watch some videos on how they process them they puree the meat so fine. I would add some pork to the beef or some more fat next time for more moisture.

    Great job for your first try at hot dogs.....

  3. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeap like Joe said, no casing, no snap, but they look good and sounds like the recipe worked for ya. Nice work!
  4. Sounds good! 
  5. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    jump in and get some sheep casings... learn to HATE THEM LIKE ME ...  HAHA HA ... but worth it. boykjo held my hand thru my 1st batch, every batch gets easier and you just cant beat the flavor. ALSO knowing your not eating ground lips and arse holes is quite a bonus ...  LOL

  6. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

      Thanks for the feedback.  I thought about sheep casings, but I've heard that they can be very hard to deal with.  Any suggestions on how to handle them?

    Also, my franks shrank up while they were in the water bath.  The only thing I can think of is that I used a little more water than the recipe called for to get it to emulsify easier.  Any ideas other than the extra water?
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can always try pig casings.... I use them for Andouille... and all beef kielbasa.... At least you know it home made and good for you.... The pig casings are a bit tougher.... a good rinse and soak overnight does wonders... not as "bite friendly" as sheep but a lot less expensive... if you try them, I suggest NOT getting the home pack... odds and ends and they can have holes in them.....

    About the shrinkage, If they taste good, personally, I don't worry about the looks.... that will come with time...
  8. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Dave,

    What do you mean by the "home pack"?
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    "Home pack" is a package of "odds and ends" of casings, most places sell, for a lot less money than the regular 100 yards of intestines that come in a "HANK"... the home pack has holes and are a bugger to use... different size casing in the same pack..... I have some casing packed in salt in the refer I have had for 15-20 years and they are still in good shape..... I rinse them in distilled water and repack in kosher salt if I don't use them.... They don't go bad if you take care of them....
  10. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I dont have problems with sheeps. You can see here with quality sheep casings and proper preparation the casings are easy to handle.

    I recommend the sheep casings from Butcher and packer. A little pricey but well worth the money........
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
  11. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Terrific looking project. It is something I have considered and you may have tipped me over the edge. Thanks.

  12. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    Nope, you can't do them.  You will make me look bad.

    Awww Hell, just go ahead and make me look bad, but you have to use sheep casings so you can at least share the details.
  13. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You never look bad when you are smoking!

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