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How to make homemade hot dogs

homemade-hotdogs

It’s officially summer, which means it’s time for fruit and mimosas by the pool, scoops of rocky road ice cream at amusement parks, Fourth of July cookouts with friends and family, and hot dogs. Lots of hot dogs.

But honestly, we’re over the store-bought pre-packaged varieties. Who knows what’s really even in those things? Now is the time to know what you’re putting in your body and, often, the only way to really do that is to make the food yourself.

That’s why we set out to make homemade hot dogs using tender brisket and bacon. We’ll be honest — this process isn’t hard, but it is definitely messy. Anyone can do it, though. If you’ve ever made a burger, you can make a hot dog. And now it’s even better because you can make it however the heck you want.

So, how do you make hot dogs? Start by prepping your casings. In a large bowl, add 6 cups of warm water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Add the edible sausage casings to the water and allow them to soak for a minimum of 1 hour.

While the casings are soaking, cut up 1 pound each of brisket and bacon into small cubes. Place the meat, salt, sugar, vinegar, eggs and water into a food processor. Process this mixture for 5-10 minutes or until it’s a liquid paste, adding water as needed. The finer the mixture, the better! Unless you want a couple chunks in your hot dogs. The power of choice is yours. Our hot dogs had a finer meat texture than traditional sausages but weren’t as fine as store-bought hot dogs.

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Once everything is properly combined, let the sausage mixture set in the fridge for at least an hour.

MORE: BBQ tips & tricks from a grill master

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Next, take the soaked sausage casings and load them onto the sausage stuffer, tying the tip to keep air out of the casing.

Carefully run the meat into the casing. Make sure not to overstuff the casing, as the meat will expand during cooking.

Once all the hot dog meat has been stuffed into the casing, tie the end and begin measuring and twisting out desired links.

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When finished, bring a large pot of water to a boil and reduce the heat before adding in the hot dog links. Continue to boil over low heat for 20-25 minutes. When the dogs are fully cooked, remove them from the water and separate the links by cutting them.

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MORE: How to make Fireball salsa

Allow them to sit for 10 minutes before grilling, frying or baking the links to finish cooking the meat and crisp up the casings.

Homemade Hot Dogs

Yield 8 hot dogs (varies with size)

Ingredients

Meat

  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 pound brisket
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 3 eggs
  • About 4 cups water

Casings

  • 6 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegarEdible sausage casings

Instructions

Casing prep

  • In large bowl, combine warm water and 2 tablespoons vinegar.
  • Soak sausage casings in solution for at least 60 minutes.

Meat prep

  • Cut up meat into small cubes.
  • Place meat and seasonings into food processor, but don't add water yet.
  • Process for 5-10 minutes, slowly adding water as needed until mixture becomes a liquid paste.
  • Once mixture has all become one color and consistency, let sit in fridge for at least 1 hour.

Stuffing

  • Load casing on sausage stuffer and tie tip, trying to keep all air out of casing.
  • Slowly run meat mixture through stuffer, filling the casing tight but not bursting.
  • Don't worry about tying links yet. Wait until all meat mixture has been stuffed.
  • Once all meat is in the casing, tie end.
  • Measure out desired link size and twist casing to tie links.

Cook

  • Bring large pot of water to boil.
  • Reduce heat and add in links.
  • Boil over low heat for 20-25 minutes.
  • Cut links apart and remove from water.
  • Rest links for 10 minutes.
  • Grill, fry or bake links, as desired, to finish cooking and crisp up outside casing.
  • Place in bun and top with favorite condiments.

Notes

  • Add additional spices, as desired, to match your favorite flavor profile: salty, sweet, spicy or savory.
  • Don't rush the stuffing. Be careful not to rip the casing or have too much air in the casing.

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