When it comes to America’s ballpark snack, many people agree that hotdogs deserve the top spot. With the country eating around 20 billion hot dogs a year, it’s not surprising that there are those who question what hot dogs are really made of
You may have heard a lot of old tales about hot dogs, but today, we will take a close look at the truth about hot dogs and how they are made.
What Makes a Hotdog?
A hotdog can be described as a grilled or steamed sausage, whether a frankfurter or a wiener. Most of the time, they are created with selected meat trimmings of pork, beef, or both. In some cases, poultry products are used as well.
Much like other dishes, you can create hotdogs using different recipes. They can include various spices, tastes, and textures to cater to different preferences. In some situations, preservatives, additives, or binders are added as a food safety requirement, primarily if they will be sold for commercial purposes.
If you are curious about particular ingredients, here are some that you’ll commonly see in hotdogs, aside from meat:
- Beef stock from cooked beef bones
- Garlic puree
- Maltodextrin to create an even and consistent flavor
- Sugar or corn syrup
- Paprika extract
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Cherry powder
- Celery powder
- Citric acid
- Monosodium glutamate
What Does the Hot Dog Making Process Look Like?
If you’ve ever wondered what the hotdog-making process looks like from beginning to end, here is what usually happens.
1. First, the desired meat trimmings are collected—pork, beef, chicken, or whatever the recipe dictates. These pieces of meat are placed in a mixer to grind them down to even smaller pieces.
2. Next, the meat is combined with spices, ice chips, and other curing ingredients. They are all sent to high-speed choppers until a cohesive batter is formed. Quality and consistency are very important at this point, so the distribution of ingredients is weighed very carefully so that the taste will be balanced and the customers will be able to enjoy the same great taste every time.
3. Then, the mixture will be pumped into a stuffer machine to be enclosed in casings. Casings can either be natural ones that you can eat or cellulose ones that you remove before cooking.
4. Once the casings are filled, they will appear as long chains of connected hotdogs. For additional flavoring, they will be moved to a smokehouse where they will be left under the ideal humidity and temperature conditions until they develop good color and flavor.
5. After smoking, the hotdogs will go through cold water. Then, they will go through the conveyor belt towards the packaging area. Most of the time, they are vacuum-sealed so that the hotdogs will retain their freshness and flavors.
6. Once the hotdogs are packaged and boxed, they are ready for delivery. They will be moved to storage coolers and refrigerated trucks to avoid spoiling in hotter temperatures.
Hotdogs are a regular part of any American’s life. They bring comfort, and there’s just something nostalgic about enjoying them. However, you don’t have to worry about making them on your own. Every time you feel like having some, you can always get on from your favorite food spot.
If you are craving some hotdogs in Valparaiso, IN, drop by George’s Gyros Spot today. We offer Chicago dogs, Polish dogs, cheeseburgers, gyros, and so much more. Check out our menu and visit one of the best restaurants in Chesterton today!