The Most Grilled Item – The Hotdog. Really?

Although I prefer to keep the grill going all year long, for most Americans, Memorial Day weekend apparently marks the official start of grilling season. And while I prefer to grill fish, vegetables and the occasional steak or burger, according to the latest statistics the most grilled item during the summer season is the All-American hotdog.  I will admit, I am not a hotdog connoisseur – at all.  So while I observed two different brands being placed on the same grill I thought it would be informative if not interesting to do a taste test.  Do different hotdogs actually taste different from each other? Would I, who could probably count on two hands how many hotdogs I’ve eaten in my life, even have a preference? After realizing how un-American that sounded, I thought it was time to find out.

The two dogs I compared were both “all beef franks” (I assumed that was at least a good start).  One was Dietz & Watson, the other Nathan’s.  I read the labels and decided that nutritionally speaking, they were pretty comparable:

                                  Diet & Watson            Nathan’s    

Calories  per frank                       150                       160

Fat                                               13g                        15g

Protein                                         7g                          6g

Sugar                                            2g                          0g

Sodium                                       480mg              550mg

While I will never understand the need to put sugar into a hotdog, I decided that two grams probably isn’t the end of the world (especially if you’re putting high fructose corn syrup-laden ketchup on it, but don’t get me started…)


The dogs came off the grill -well done- just the way I would like a hotdog if, in fact, I were going to like a hotdog.

The result? Sorry Nathan’s. I am going to have to change the name of your dogs from hotdog to “sodium stick.” Ew. Almost inedible. And I even like the flavor of salt. The Dietz & Watson dog was not only not bad, but was actually kind of good. At least it was somewhat nitrite/preservative/calorie-worthy.  In lieu of ketchup or mustard, on my 1/2 a hotdog, I put Hank Sauce cilantro hot sauce which I bought at the Haddonfield, NJ Farmer’s Market. This  hotsauce, my friends, is To. Die. For. and is delicious on literally… anything, well, except for maybe Nathan’s hotdogs.

So there you have it. My hotdog taste test to start off the summer’s grilling season. Stay tuned for much healthier grilling posts like Grilled Watermelon, Feta and Mint (I can’t wait) or perhaps grilled shrimp on the barbie with what else? Hank Sauce of course. Happy grilling!


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