This is just about the easiest recipe you will find for homemade hot dogs. By using pre-ground beef and store-bought tallow, we cut down on the time and the mess of grinding your own blend of meat (you could certainly still grind away if you want!). Using a food processor, we emulsify the meat with the fat so our dogs resemble the smoothly filled sausage we grew up eating, the darling of the industrialized food system. Double or triple the recipe to make a stock of hot dogs for the whole summer, just remember to store them in the freezer.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 2 pounds of 80/20 ground beef
- 2 ounces, or 4 tablespoons, beef tallow, refrigerated
- 3 tablespoons of nonfat milk powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
- ¼ cups ice water Sheep casings, fresh or preserved*
*sausage casings can be purchased from your local butcher, or ordered online
Equipment needed: food processor, sausage stuffer attachment for a stand mixer
- Soak and rinse the casings. Soak the casings in cool water for half an hour before filling to remove the excess salt. Run cool water through each of the casings by placing one opening over a faucet and filling like a water balloon.
- Process the meat. Combine the ground beef and the beef tallow in the food processor. Process for about a minute, until the beef and the fat are mostly combined. In a small bowl, mix the milk powder, ground coriander, garlic powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, mustard powder, salt, and brown sugar. Add the water and mix into a slurry. Add the slurry into the food processor and process with the meat mixture for another minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and continue to process until the mixture is homogeneous. You want the meat and the fat to emulsify into a smooth mixture. Transfer to a shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface, and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
- Set up your sausage stuffer. While the mixture is cooling in the fridge, set up your sausage stuffer. If there are two sizes, use the smaller piping tube. Tie a knot at one end of a 3-foot section of casing. Grease the tube and delicately thread the casing onto it, stopping when you reach the knot at the other end of the casing.
- Fill the hot dogs. With the mixer on speed 4, add pinches of the meat mixture into the hopper tube so that they can pass through to the bottom. Continue adding meat that way so the tube does not fill fully with meat and the mixture can continue to pass through. Once the meat mixture begins to pipe through the casing, guide it through the casing so that it is full, but not so much that you cannot twist the filled casing into links without it breaking. Use the stomper to push the meat mixture through if you need to. If any air bubbles form, you can prick the casing with a toothpick or small, sharp knife. When you have only about 6 inches of casing left on the piping tube, turn off the mixer and slide the casing off of the tube. Tie the end of the casing into a knot. Repeat this process until you have used all of the meat mixture; it should fill 2, 3-foot sections.
- Form the links. Gently twist each 3-foot section of filled casing into 6 hot dog links. To prevent the casing bursting, gently pinch the filled casing in the location you are about to twist. This will create a little bit of room and less tension on the casing while twisting.
- Cook. Place your hot dog links on a rack on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cook in a 250-degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until the internal temperature of the hot dogs reaches 160 degrees F, as measured by a meat thermometer. Let the dogs cool at room temperature for an hour, then store in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer.
- Cook again! At this point the hot dogs are fully cooked, but they need some direct, high heat to get to flavor town. Reheat your dogs on the grill, sautee them on the stove, or roast on a stick over a bonfire. Enjoy on the bun and with the toppings of your choice.
Quick Dill Pickle Relish
Makes about 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
- 1, 24-ounce jar of kosher dill pickles
- ½ of a shallot
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- Drain and chop the pickles. Drain the jar of all the liquid. Roughly chop the pickles into 2-inch long pieces. Transfer the pickles and the half of the shallot into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Alternatively, you can chop the pickles and shallot by hand.
- Mix in the mix-ins. Move the chopped pickles and shallot to a medium bowl and stir in the sugar, celery seed, and dill. Store in the refrigerator.