Hot Dog advice needed

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lhendler, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. lhendler

    lhendler Newbie

    I have a great home made hot dog recipe. It is very versatile, and easy to make. The taste is great, but I have one problem. The mouth feel of the hot dog is a little different from store bought. The meat tends to be a little "gritty" for lack of a better word. I emulsify the meat and the food processor seems to do a good job. I upped the fat ratio a bit, thinking that might have an impact, but no, fattier hot dog, but similar mouth feel. I know the commercial manufacturers can emulsify whole cows, hooves and horns and all, but I dont think I am getting the emulsification wrong. I am thinking that adding a cup of water during emulsification might help. 

    Any suggestions out there. Will water help? Do I need a stronger processor? 

    Thanks for the help

  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Emulsify with crushed Ice and I guarantee the pro's use Binders. Nonfat Dry Milk, Soy Protein or other...JJ
  3. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Like JJ said, use ice while emulsifying to keep the mix cold and use a binder of some sort. that gritty feeling could be from smearing the fat.

    Ideally ( I don't know if you can do it with a processor) you should start with emulsifying the meat with the salt and spices, this will help with the final bind, then add the fat at the end, that way you have less of a chance of smearing the fat.

    Care to share your recipe?
  4. lhendler

    lhendler Newbie

    Thank you for your inputs. I will try the crushed ice this time, and try adding a binder next time if there is still a need. I will finish preparing my next batch tomorrow and update the thread.

    The recipe as it stands today (with the crushed ice correction):


    2 lbs ground beef 80% (or beef that you can get on sale and grind yourself)

    1/2 lb beef or pork fat

    1 tbs kosher salt

    1 tsp pink salt

    1 cup ice water

    1 tbs dry mustard

    2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika

    1 tsp ground coriander

    ¼ tsp ground white pepper

    1 tbs minced garlic

    2 tbs light corn syrup

    1 cup crushed ice

    Grind the beef and fat together using fine plate. Mix in the salt, pink salt, and the water. Place in a closed container and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

    After removing from the refrigerator mix in the mustard, paprika, coriander, white pepper, garlic, and corn syrup. Stiffen in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes, then grind with fine plate. Sautee a small portion to taste the spice mixture. Correct if needed. 

    Stiffen again for 20-30 minutes, then emulsify the mixture along with the crushed ice, adding the crushed ice in small quantities at a time. If your food processor cannot handle the full quantity of meat at once, emulsify in multiple batches. 

    When finished emulsifying, stuff the casings. Twist into links. Smoke the sausages (preferably while hanging) at 180-200F using a light smoke (I use hickory wood), until an internal temparature of 150F is reached (around 1-2 hours). Do not over cook as the fat will render.

    Plunge the smoked hot dogs into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. 
  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You might also try keeping your smoker temp under 170-175°. Above that and the fat will render.
  6. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds good, but like DanMcG said, temp no higher than 170-175°.

    Hang the links in the smoker WITHOUT smoke at 120° for a couple of hours to dry the exterior a bit, then bump up the temp 10degrees and add smoke.  Each half hour bump the temp 10° until you reach 170° in the pit.  smoke/cook at 170° until you reach an internal temp of 152° in the links.  Give them a cold water bath to stop the cooking process.

    Shouldn't dry out and shouldn't wrinkle up on you.  SHOULD make for some great dogs!
  7. lhendler

    lhendler Newbie

    This is some great input. I have to admit, that that is more or less the process I used to smoke Thuringer sausage. ( l will provide the recipe another opportunity). 
  8. lhendler

    lhendler Newbie

    Thanks for the input. I am keeping the temperature down this time, and we will see what impact it makes. 
  9. johnnie walker

    johnnie walker Smoking Fanatic

    I might be wrong here, but isn't that about twice as much pink salt as you need for 2 1/2 lbs, of meat?

    If I'm wrong someone else please say so !

    Other than that it sounds like a good hot dog recipe.
  10. lhendler

    lhendler Newbie

    Round 2 with the ice still failed the mouth texture test. The meat felt dry and crumbly. There was no lack of fat. The hot dogs were moist and plump. The taste was fine. 

    I need to read up on the function of binders and see if I need to add some to the meat. 
  11. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you use any NFDM?  That will help with some of that.
  12. lhendler

    lhendler Newbie

    My next round will use non fat dry milk as a binder.
  13. lhendler

    lhendler Newbie

    This is a follow up to all the great advice here. I just did another experiment, This time I added 1/2 cup of non fat dry milk to the recipe. During the emulsification (using ice) I made sure I emulsified for at least 2 minutes in the food processor. Smoked first at a very low temperature, with a very light smoke for about 3 -4 hours, then finished off at 180°F to an internal temperature of 150°F

    The hot dogs were smooth and juicy. The flavor profile was excellent, with just the right amount of smoke. 

    I want to thank all of you for your assistance and great advise. The recipe is a great success, and the only thing needed now is several more iterations to prove the repeatability of the process. 
  14. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Glad it worked out for you! A pic or 2 would be good though! We love pictures.

    This is a great place with LOTS of knowledge. I've learned more here in a few years than I did in the 30 years prior.
  15. lhendler

    lhendler Newbie

    Hot dog!!!

  16. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's what I wanted to see! They look great!
  17. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Glad the flavor and texture worked out for ya. keep your temp down below 170 and get them good and dry before you add the smoke.

    And this has been overlooked.
    Johnnies correct, Your 1 tsp is good for 5 pounds of meat so you should cut it it in half for 2.5 lbs.

  18. lhendler

    lhendler Newbie

    Point noted. Next time I will reduce the quantity of pink salt to 1/2 teaspoon.

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