Homemade Hot Dogs

Hot Dog with Ketchup, Mustard, Relish, and Red Cabbage Sauerkraut, and a bad attempt food styling using the sauerkraut juice - Photo by J. Andrews.
Hot Dog with Ketchup, Mustard, Relish, and Red Cabbage Sauerkraut, and a bad attempt food styling using the sauerkraut juice – Photo by J. Andrews.

When I was diagnosed with the dairy allergy, I could still have Pearl and Boars Head hot dogs. And then came the corn allergy, and wiped out both of those choices too. So I was left with trying to make my own. The thing is you really need a KitchenAid Mixer with the Food Grinder attachment and the Sausage Stuffer accessory or a sausage stuffing machine (they have those, seriously, who knew?) to make this.  Or you can just make them into patties and fry them. We did that with a bit of the leftover filling and it tasted hot dog-like.

You can get a beef collagen casing from LEM Products, which is what I did (I’m not saying it’s not corn contaminated, it probably is, but I seemed to tolerate them okay, and I only plan to do this once in a great while) or you can get some DeWied Natural Sheep Casings.

By the way, we have no affiliation with Amazon, the above links are just so that you can see the product and look at the information.

I didn’t grind my own meat but you could. I decided to cheat and get some ground beef because this was going to be a big enough process all on its own without getting all Denise crazy. You may also want to use a food processor, as discussed below to get a better texture in the filling. This recipe does take two days, so please read the whole thing. 

Also before anyone asks, the hot dog bun pictured is not gluten-free or otherwise safe. I don’t have a safe hot dog bun yet, but I thought the pictures would look stupid if it was just a hot dog on a plate with condiments. Don’t worry, we fed it to my husband who has no food allergies.

Homemade Hot Dogs:

Again, this recipe does take two days, so please read the whole thing. 

  • 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef (don’t get any leaner than 80% or you’ll have really dry icky hot dogs)
  • 1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 cup of ice water
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of cane sugar syrup (You will need to make it ahead of time – there are two good recipes and I’ve used both before. The one from thekitchn.com makes about a quart, and the one from justapinch.com makes about two cups.) 
  • hot dog casings (see notes above for your choices)

On the first day, take the ground beef, the kosher salt and the ice water and put it in a bowl. Knead the ingredients together with your hands until everything is well incorporated.  Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Ground Beef Mixture
Ground Beef Mixture

On the second day when you’re ready to start stuffing, place the mustard, paprika, coriander, black pepper and garlic power in a small bowl and mix well.

Spices before mixing
Spices before mixing

Take the ground beef out of the fridge and pour the spice mixture and the cane sugar syrup over the ground meat. Knead the spices and cane sugar syrup into the meat until everything is well incorporated.

Knead spices and cane sugar syrup into ground beef mixture
Knead spices and cane sugar syrup into ground beef mixture

If you do not have a food processor, place the ground beef mixture into your KitchenAid mixer bowl, use the flat beater attachment and turn the mixer to high and beat for several several minutes. Just understand that the texture may be a bit more rustic than if you used a food processor. If you do have a food processor, in batches, process the ground beef mixture with the regular chopping blade and process into a fine paste.

Ground beef mixture in mixer
Ground beef mixture in mixer

When you have finished processing the ground beef mixture either in the food processor or the mixture, spread a piece of parchment paper, or cling wrap out on a cookie sheet. I like to lay a sheet of parchment paper down first, just for ease of cleaning and it makes it easier to remove the paste later to put in the food grinder to stuff the casings. Spread the paste out on the cookie sheet so that it is a even layer across the cookie sheet. Place it in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Ground beef mixture spread out on cookie sheet
Ground beef mixture spread out on cookie sheet

While you are waiting for the ground beef mixture to chill, set up your KitchenAid Mixer with the Food Grinder attachment and the Sausage Stuffer accessory. Depending on the size your casing you’ll need to choose the larger or smaller nozzle. I needed to use the smaller nozzle with the casing I chose, and I used very little of it.  I probably have enough casings left to do 5 or 6 more batches. Slide the casing on the nozzle.

KitchenAid mixer set up with Food Grinder, Sausage Stuffer and with casing on nozzle
KitchenAid mixer set up with Food Grinder, Sausage Stuffer and with casing on nozzle

When the ground beef mixture has chillled, take it out, and place small-ish meat ball sized blobs of ground beef mixture in the food grinder. Slide a bit of the casing forward and tie the end closed before you start the mixer. Put the mixer on speed 4, and as meat comes out, hold the casing on the nozzle so that more casing does not slide out until the casing has been filled by the meat coming out. It’s easier said that done, and I found that it was helpful to have my husband assist me at this point, as I needed the two extra hands. Make sure you shut off the mixer just before the last bit of casing is filled as you’re going to want to have room to tie it off. Add more casing if you have more ground beef mixture and repeat this process to fill the casing. I will say that is easier if you have one person run the Food Grinder and one person deal with the casing.

Holding casing while mixture fills it
Holding casing while mixture fills it

Once you have filled the casing, you are going to want to portion off your hotdogs by twisting the casing. Be careful, I broke one strand open trying to portion them off.

Twisting filled casing to portion hotdogs
Twisting filled casing to portion hotdogs
Hot dogs after portioning
Hot dogs after portioning

Preheat your oven to 225ºF and place your hotdogs on a rack on another sheet pan.

Hotdogs before cooking in oven
Hotdogs before cooking in oven

Place the hot dogs in the oven and cook until their internal temperature is 150ºF. This could take 40 minutes to an hour. Check them with a meat thermometer occasionally.

Hotdogs after coming out of the oven
Hotdogs after coming out of the oven

Transfer them to a bowl of ice water, and when cool you can store them in the fridge or freezer to use later.

Cooked hotdogs cooling in ice water bath
Cooked hotdogs cooling in ice water bath

We saved out a couple from the ice water bath, and fried them up immediately.  After all, all that hard work had to be rewarded right?

Homemade Hotdogs fried in a skillet
Homemade Hotdogs fried in a skillet

We froze the remainder and took them to a cook out and grilled them.

Hot Dogs on the Grill
Hot Dogs on the Grill – Photo by J. Andrews

 

Hot dog with ketchup, relish and mustard
Hot dog with ketchup, relish and mustard – Photo by J. Andrews

Enjoy!

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