MEATWATCH: Hot Dogs

An article by and    Hot Take Round Table        0

It’s a complex world out there of animal products, and Goonhammer is here to help. Whether it’s ranking the staple animal-based proteins on the market, or when a new type of meat drops and shakes up the game, we’re here for you, our loyal readers.

Look, we know what you’re thinking: This is by far one of our worst pun-based ideas. But Greg gets real pissy if we don’t let him just go to town roasting something, both literally and figuratively, every thirty days or so. And so we present: MEATWATCH, MID-NOVEMBER 2020 EDITION.

The humble but enticing hot dog. A trash meat, we all hate it and we know it sucks, but I’m also not going to sit here and pretend that I’m somehow above the Hot Dog Lunch, and writing this just before lunch time sure as hell isn’t making me less hungry.

I had one caveat when I wrote this, which is that I don’t want to read any takes about artisanal small-batch sausages and individually-portioned Haggis wraps or whatever. This is about Hot Dogs specifically. The people’s sausage. Attitudes toward food are changing, and I think it’s important to break out of assigning moral values to eating things. The production of some food certainly has a moral component – animal cruelty is inextricably part of factory farming, for example, but somewhat-less-gruesome meat options are out there – and all food exists on a sliding scale of nutritional value, but making a moral judgement on someone for their food choices is at least somewhat classist and mostly just a dickhead thing to do. Eating a hot dog instead of a bratwurst doesn’t make you a bad person, is what I mean. Chow down on that kosher bad boy, that all-beef natural case action, or whatever the hot dog cart guy fished out of his boiling pot of sewer water. It doesn’t matter.

One addendum here: James “Boon” Kelling is allowed to talk about bratwursts, but only Boon, and he can only talk about Brats. He lives in Sausagetown, USA, plus also he won a GT this month, so it didn’t feel right forcing him to go against his midwestern ways. 

Something else we aren’t going to discuss is whether a hot dog is a sandwich. It is, clearly, but don’t particularly care either way if you want to be wrong, because ascribing taxonomy to bread is a fake idea, and as a Bit it’s already been done to death.

Describe your local Hot Dog Covering Meta

Greg: Ketchup I guess. Just a little line of ‘chup running the full length of that bad boy, like what a child would eat. Delicious. Give it a bit of ‘stard if you want. Maybe have two, treat yourself.

Liam: I had hot dogs for lunch the same day as writing this, and I guess I’m just as boring as Greg because yeah I just need ketchup on there. I’ve had hot dogs piled with other stuff and what that really is is a separate meal that just happens to be served on top of the hot dog. You could say it’s like soup but I think that’s a different, even duller article than this one.

PierreTheMime: I have been sold on the Chicago dog. It’s a meal unto itself and offers a lot of variety to cover up the offal you’re consuming. Sports peppers required, if only because they have such a ridiculous name. Sauerkraut and onions is also a winning combo. From what I can tell if there’s a hotdog choice where strong opinions are involved I am always in the “pro” category.

Ilor: Chili. Chili is what goes on hot dogs. And cheese. Onions if you’re into that. “Coney Island” restaurants are big around here, and the “coney dog” is a staple.

Dan: For me, it’s simple: mustard, pickle relish, chopped onions. No need to get too busy or spend 6 hours making chili like some sort of homebound shut-in.

Kenji: I mean, it IS 2020… Anyway, for me, I like to go with 1 of 2 loadouts depending on mood and the local gastrointestinal meta of the week. My default pick is ketchup, mustard, relish, and some form of onion mixture (either a vidalia relish or just some diced onion), and possibly some jalapenos. If the meta seems particularly open, I’ll go much more exotic, combining grilled crisped skin with teriyaki mixes or okonomiyaki sauce, and perhaps Japanese mayo (the one with the Kewpie doll on the bottle usually). Chicago is fine, but hard to come by in my meta, but I’ll relish the opportunity, if I can.  

Rob: There are only two options here: If you’re doing bog-standard dogs they have to be slathered in chili and cheese. If you’re getting fancy and dressing up a proper sausage in a bun like a brat or something, then adding some spicy mustard to the roll is acceptable and peppers are a solid add. Do not put ketchup on your fucking hot dog. Christ.

Gunum:  As a powerful voice in the best Dakota, all I can say about our local meta is that it’s full of deer meat. Hunting is a way of life in this area and so is Ketchup. Ketchup goes on everything. Its a key ingredient to the majority of our food stuffs and nobody, anywhere, can say that it isn’t a key ingredient in your own meta. 

Ryolnir: I get more worked up about the hot dog meta than the 40k meta. I don’t know why I love these nasty boys so much. If you’re smart or lucky enough to have a Portillos near you, Chicago dog. If you feel like a dirtbag, chili and cheese – onions and mustard enhance this. If you’re lazy at home, just yellow mustard will do. 

PierreTheMime: I’ve had to call people out on ketchup before. Yes, it’s technically legal, but it’s a poor choice that reflects poorly on the participant. Usually organizers can get around this awkward subject by simply removing ketchup as an option at their tables.

Rob: I mean the issue there is that you’re usually doing dogs and burgs, and I think ketchup is very acceptable on burgs. Especially with the way people overcook the shit out of those. Though to be fair, burger meat is not exactly something you should eat rare.

Condit: Coward.

Greg: This is exactly the kind of house ruling that gets TOs into trouble. Banning ketchup for dogs is one thing, but it spills over into the burger meta because they didn’t consider the implication of the rulings. Until there’s an FAQ, I’d allow it.

Liam: You can only ban ketchup on dogs if you get your opponent to sign a pre-game contract specifying it. Otherwise it’s legal.

Soggy: I can’t imagine an environment where ketchup is controversial. What room does that leave for fried onions and sauerkraut?

Ryolnir: Ketchup is perfectly fine if you’re 4 years old and want to cover everything in sugar. Otherwise, get the hell out of here with that shit. Even Dirty Harry judges you. The only time it’s OK is if it’s 1AM, you just stumbled out of a concert in Los Angeles, and a nice woman with a cart full of hot dogs just puts every possible sauce onto it and you’re too drunk to argue. 

Ilor: ITC-level hot-take here: hummus. Try it and tell me I’m not a genius. I dare you.

PierreTheMime: I have tried this and it’s not bad. It also combos well with any vegetable sides you might bring along.

Raf: I firmly believe that most “Chicago style” dishes were kitchen errors that the chef pushed out due to dogged Midwestern stubbornness, but I’m a big fan of the Chicago style hot dog. Large tomato wedges that are annoyingly large, an entire pickle spear, additional pickles via a neon-green relish? It just keeps going and it keeps getting better.

Also gonna plug the Guatemalan “Shuco”, which translates literally to “filthy”. Guacamole, sauerkraut, and yellow mustard on a hot dog served from a cart that would curl the eyelashes of the most grizzled NYC food inspector. It sounds weird, but trust me. It’s worth trying.

PantsOptional: For my money, it’s mustard, relish, and onions all the way. The only exception is to replace the mustard with Inner Beauty, a mustard and tropical fruit based hot sauce that remains to this day the best hot sauce of all time. I made the mistake of getting the Seattle style once; a hot dog with about a quarter pound of cream cheese on a hot summer day is always a bad time but if there was a cart offering them outside the bars at 1 AM I would gladly eat my body weight in them.

Pendulin: Seattle Dogs are not a mistake. The mistake is getting a hot dog and not drowning it in cream cheese and onions.

head58: There used to be a guy with a hot dog truck here in Boston that served up these half pound all beef hot dogs that had been marinated in apple juice, covered in chili, raw onion, and bbq sauce. It was a religious experience. Strange to relate, the guy died of a heart attack. 

Dan: Huh. I wonder why?

Gunum: His hotdogs were as fully-loaded as his cholesterol levels. 

Mike: I’m with PantsOptional on this one and it’s gotta be at least two different condiments plus some fried onions. Also a mustard based hot sauce sounds incredible. 

James: Greg mentioned it but I scoff at the idea of a ‘hot dog’. What even is a hot dog in a world of the stately brat? By far the superior sausage. And what goes on a brat? Sauerkraut. Stone ground mustard is also acceptable in a pinch.

Bair: As an American in the UK, the extreme lack of hotdogs that aren’t just swimming in a jar of brine is infuriating. It sucks here. It’s also like impossible to find Martin’s potato buns. Martin’s Potato buns is the only thing you can put a hot dog on. PantsOptional gets it right one way though, the only other way of course being chili and cheese. 

What type of Hot Dog Events do you usually attend?

Greg: I usually go to Hot Dog RTTs in my backyard – which is actually the roof, because I live in the city and my “yard” is a sidewalk on three sides and someone else’s house on the fourth, so the grill is on top of the house, which I assure you is incredibly safe – but a couple of times a year I try to make it to a GT at the ballpark. The cost of entry is high, but you get the best variety and it’s mostly a social experience with fellow enthusiasts. There’s also something to be said for the casual garagehammer dog, bought from a cart and eaten while walking down the street. Messy as hell and extremely foul, but there’s a charm to it.

Dan: As one of Goonhammer’s resident baseball idiots, I can also recommend packing up your army (friends and family in this metaphor? This is so stupid) and hitting a local GT. The hotdogs won’t be cooked perfectly, and the bun will invariably be soggy, but god damn it, it’s a great thing to have a hotdog in one hand, a cold beverage in the other, and some friends to cheer on your team with. Maybe someday we’ll get to do that again.

head58: The minor league team in Ohio I used to frequent in the ‘90s had “Dime A Dog Nights.” This sounds like a great idea. It was not a great idea.

Dan: Hard disagree. Minor league, little league, or high school ballgames are all fantastic choices for low-cost hot dogs. They might be knock-off Chinese joints, but if you’re ballin’ on a budget, it’s the perfect situation.

PantsOptional: If I’m not absolutely blasted in my backyard grilling dogs, I want nothing to do with them. There needs to be an element of irresponsible danger above and beyond the fact that I’m eating processed pig taints or chicken eyes or whatever the fuck is in there.

Rob: As a grill haver, hot dog events happen whenever I want them to. The event usually starts in my backyard before moving to my kitchen table followed by a second day of events and a special side round where my son only eats the chopped up dog out of his hot dog and leaves the bun completely untouched.

Ilor: God damn, I’m glad I’m not the only one who has kids who don’t appreciate the bun. I keep trying to tell my kids that the bun is what turns hotdogs and hamburgers into finger-food, and they keep just refusing to get it. In terms of hot dog “events” around here, that’s sadly limited to efficiently feeding children, which to my everlasting shame usually means the microwave. But back when sporting events were a thing, my most frequent hot dog exposure was stadium dogs at the Big House. I have no idea what sort of black sorcery goes into preparing those, but they are hot and juicy and delicious – especially when it’s cold as balls in the bleachers.

Rob: Fun fact: Hot dogs are mad dangerous for kids if they aren’t chopped up. Inhaling a hot dog is like the number 1 cause of choking in kids under 3. Turns out Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams was actually kind of a shitty dad. Well, for reasons other than converting his family’s farm into a baseball field, not paying any of his bills, and then hauling off to New York on a road trip with James Earl Jones for a couple of weeks. So the moral of the story is: Always cut up the hot dogs for your kids under 5. Also grapes. 

Ilor: Yeah, my wife is super paranoid about it. Less of an issue now that they’re older, but it’s a habit that’s hard to shake.

Liam: I’ve got a kid on the way and I’m always on the lookout for dad advice, so I guess I’ll take this on board. Your choice whether you think I need help with appropriate food servings or not fleeing to another city and abandoning my family.

Kenji: Reading this exchange makes me happier. I’ve decided to never have children that aren’t actually my pets that I call my kids and make people frown. Anyway, while I am not a child-haver, I AM a grill haver, and I just prefer to cook my own hotdogs at home; my local meta is pretty barren. 

PierreTheMime: I prefer low-key events where you can finish your own dogs and wander around looking at other tables. It’s not only nice to be social, but you can also check and see how you’re faring in terms of the meta and get ideas to try next time.

Gunum: Venison dogs. Yes, that’s as terrible as it sounds. Oh, and not to be forgotten, but the Cadillac of hot dogs, the Bison dog. Gotta love hunting an animal to near extinction to only breed them in farms to fuel our Dakota pride. 

Raf: Once a year Costco tricks me into their $1.50 hot dog special and I spend the next 3 days experiencing gastrointestinal distress. The best Hot Dog events are baseball games, or Babe’s Hot Dog Stand in Joliet, Illinois where they make ’em in-house and they’re about as thick around as a Mega-Gargant (GREGNOTE: we assume he means the AoS Gargant here and not the 40k Ork titan, but who can know).

PierreTheMime: Shoutout to the Costco co-founder for threatening violence if they increased the price for their dog special. Some heroes don’t wear capes.

Rob: That is legit one of the best business stories I have ever read. “If you change the price of the fucking hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out” is such a massive flex. “Figure it out” is a legitimately underrated management strategy.

James: Brat fry’s, ballpark brats, Weber grill brats, beer brats, tailgate brats, there’s not a bad meta for the venerable brat. Have you ever found yourself driving past your local Piggly Wiggly and seen such a thing has a ‘Hot Dog Fry? I think not – the very idea.

head58: Rutt’s Hut in Clifton NJ is legendary for its deep fried hot dogs. It is a thing that you can drive 3 hours to purchase and consume, then turn around and drive home. Hypothetically.

Thanqol: In Australia, there is a national tradition of a cheap hot dog barbeque outside polling places on election day. We call them “democracy sausages”. I am otherwise vegetarian but I still consider it, like all true Australians, my duty to hold my nose and cram this foul mass of charcoal, white bread and sludgy ketchup down my throat. Ned Kelly did not fight and die for this country for things like “ideals” and “health” and “hygiene” to take precedence over democracy itself.

List-building: Preparing for your event

Greg: Imagine not grilling. Imagine some highfalutin’ dumbass about to stroll in here and talk about using a $300 sous vide machine to cook a fifty-cent thing of meat. Shameful.

Ryolnir: Greg, I will straight up microwave a dog. I don’t give a shit. I eat casual dogs. I eat grilled dogs. I will eat hot dogs in rice in weird Japanese konbinis. I used to get a burger that had hot dogs on it, that shit ruled. I took the ketchup off, though. Disgusting.

PierreTheMime: This is an event that revels in its mediocrity, so I keep it low-effort. Shorts and a t-shirt, a good char from the grill, beer, done. You are here to celebrate a slurry of truly terrible cuts, so embrace the trash.

Rob: I feel like it’s worth looking at premium options for your list here. Like yeah the standard codex dogs are fine but intro be damned: I’m gonna say go ahead and consider the Forge World option of some bratwursts or other meatier sausages to drop on a bun. If you’re going the chili route then note that the competitive play is always to go no beans.

Ilor: The hell you say. Chili without beans is just hamburger soup. If you don’t want the bean texture, the pro move is to add refried bean paste to your chili. Some might consider that to be chasing the meta, but I think it’s a solid play.

Raf: Rob there was one fucking rule about brats. Also “no beans in chili” is just more Texas bullshit.

Rob: No one is saying you can’t put beans in chili. It’s just not the play for the meat sauce you slather onto a hot dog. I’ll go one further and say don’t bother making good chili to throw on a hot dog; just get a can of fuckin’ Hormel and dump that on there.

Liam: Just spam dogs until you run out of points. It’s a simple list but an effective one.

Soggy: The rule of three certainly does not apply here.

Dan: Shitty charcoal grill, Martin’s potato buns, and condiments that I bought in 2004. The only way to play.

Gunum: Two at a time. Raw.  Down the gullet. I strive for excellence in everything I do,  that includes going for world records and smoking very, very thin men who eat “Meat” for a living in eating competitions.

Raf: Cook the entire pack. No one wants a half-empty open pack of hot dogs rolling around their fridge for a week. You know you’re going to eat them.

Soggy: It’s true, you should never field MSU hot dogs. If you’re going to plate them up, go for a horde.

head58: The “fire marshal” in my town decided that a grill on a wooden deck was a “fire hazard” despite my insistence that he had no jurisdiction over me due to the gold fringe on the flag in the town hall. Fascists. So now I have no grill, and I envy the dead.

James: I guess you can boil brats. I guess. If you do though, it’s required that beer be in that pot. Probably mostly beer to be honest. Probably more beer than anything. Onions are good too. Is it a waste of beer? No. That’s college-level frat bullshit. You don’t buy Miller Lite to drink past 22. But you really should just fry the brats like a goddamn adult.

Bair: Boiled is the only way to ruin a hotdog. No one likes meat swimming in hot water. Sliced down the middle, grilled or pan fried, in a Martin’s potato roll. And you better be having at least two of these guys. 

Kenji: I actually disagree. Although I like to grill mine with the spiral cut method (where you get a lot of surface coverage for crunchier, crispier skin and also juicy meat without the loss of the juices, if you cut it before grilling), I grew up eating hot dogs from carts and such from roadside places and boiled is totally fine. I think the difference is the quality of the hot dog: the higher quality the meat you’re using, the worse it is boiled. Pan fried is actually the worst option (I don’t even consider microwaving legal). I like brioche buns and potato buns, but no matter what you gotta toast them! Gummy, non-warmed bread sucks.

PantsOptional: I can think of a lot more ways to ruin a hot dog. Most of ‘em you don’t want to do around witnesses, though.

Thanqol: Most vegetarian sausages are total garbage and tasting them is the #1 reason why people determine that vegetarians are trying to bring down society. Out of 600 types of fake sausages, though, there is one good one. Imagine the highest quality sausage, both healthy and delicious and guaranteed not to be filled with rat anus. These are out of stock 100% of the time and the empty bay in the supermarket where they should be exists to fuel a locus of disappointment. Think of it as the food equivalent of a faction’s competitive power hinging off a single perpetually out of stock forge world model with extremely overpowered rules.

Good Doggo Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Good Doggo Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

List-building: How do you complete the Hog Dog Lunch?

Greg: There’s a lot of options here for filling out your list, but for me the winner is the classic potato bun, and some baked beans. Guaranteed to ruin your health and make you want to keel over, but if that’s not what you were here for, buddy you picked the wrong sausage-like meat product.

Rob: Ranch style beans are also a pro play. And chips are a money side here as well. The problem with beans is they make you shift between hand food and fork food unless you just hand-scoop beans into your mouth like some kind of fucking savage and that’s kind of a hassle I don’t want. If you’re grilling up dogs the only cleaning you want to do afterward is: 1. The grill, 2. The big meat plate, and 3. The tongs used to rotate the dogs.

Greg: True, sticking with a finger-based game plan is a good one, to avoid context-switching when you swap between subfactions. Chips are a strong play here, and while it can be messy I also get a lot of mileage out of corn on the cob. 

Rob: Corn on the cob is a great shout here. French fries are obviously great too, but no one is making those at home. I’m definitely realizing that there’s a lot of starch in the sides for the hot dog meal.

Kenji: I actually make my own fries! You can do oven fries on a grill really easily, but they kind of come out like wedges. Personally though I don’t tend to eat much if I’m having hot dogs; I like to just have 2 or 3 with a good mix of toppings. If I am having sides, it’s fries, chips if I’m lazy, and corn if it’s in season. Also, some Topo Chico, but that’s cause I don’t drink soda or beer.

Ilor: Since coney dogs are such a big thing here – and because they’re nigh impossible to eat in anything even remotely resembling a civilized manner with your hands – you’ll already have a fork handy. That opens up your options for allies lists. If you want to double-down on the chili (and why wouldn’t you?), then chili-cheese fries are a good match for your chili-cheese dogs.

Ryolnir: Listen, I have a very specific home hot dog ritual. It’s three hot dogs with mustard or chili+cheese, a small bag of Doritos and a Diet Coke. It’s the perfect meal and I will accept nothing else. I also have to use my platform here to call out the guy I know who literally slurps them cold out of the package. Shame on you. You’re a nice guy, but that’s just fucked up. 

PierreTheMime: Secondaries are always important and often overlooked. Hot dogs are one of those things that to properly commit to, you have to have a wide spread of options available to you. My preference being the gold standards, but certain new dog factions have specialized sides as well. Be prepared with a standard selection but keep your eyes out for options that will work best for you when it’s time to begin.

Dan: Look at these assholes. There is only one way to complete a Hot Dog Lunch, and that is with more fucking hot dogs. The best thing about hotdogs is that they’re less filling than burgers, so you can eat 4 and still drink most of a six-pack of shitty beer and still be “fine”. Miss me with this side dish bullshit.

Liam: They hated Dan, because he told them the truth. 

Greg: I’ve hosted a number of cookouts for friends, and it truly is wild how much the meta is meat-based. You make 30 hotdogs and a bowl of macaroni salad, and at the end of the day your only leftovers are the dang sides. I’ve sat down and eaten a big plate of potato salad and fruit purely because no one else was touching it, and I’m not sure if I did it to prevent food waste or just out of spite.

Rob: I can absolutely house half a dozen chili dogs without blinking.

Gunum: I think the true answer here is Tater-Tot Hot-Dish and Potato salad. Others may have other options, but those others are wrong. 

Raf: There exist multiple food-prep facilities that make macaroni salad by the metric ton, filling plastic grocery store tubs with the stuff knowing full well they’re just going to be opened and placed next to some hot dogs and never be touched. You gave that factory purpose, Greg. At least you can take pride in that.

Greg: Rude of you to assume I didn’t make that shit from scratch.

Raf: Oh, so then you can take pride in nothing I guess.

PantsOptional: I just tell whoever’s coming that they’re responsible for sides. That way they actually get a side they want to eat, and I can concentrate on getting hammered and grilling. Pure Dad energy.

Mike: See, Dan gets it. The side is beer, that’s it. You eat the dogs and drink the shitty beer otherwise what’s the point?

James: Brats pair well with other brats for redundancy. Sauerkraut is a must take. If you’re from Sheboygan you need a good ol’ Sheboygan hard roll but otherwise consider an Oostburger – a hard roll, a brat, and a burger in one. These are all acceptable brats and should pave your way to cardiac victory. Add beer as desired to bring your liver and kidneys into the circle for synergy. 

Bair: The only way to finish out a list of dogs is, maybe unfortunately, corn on the cob covered in butter and Old Bay, and Natty Boh. 

The Official GOONHAMMER ENDORSEMENT CIRCLE, sponsored by whatever grocery store wants to be associated with this gibbering nonsense.

Rob: I tend to buy Hebrew National all beef dogs. I don’t keep kosher or anything; they’re just solid dogs. I throw that shit on potato rolls.

Ilor: Second vote for Hebrew National all-beef dogs, but in my case it’s because my wife is Jewish. One important facet of these kinds of dogs is that the skin isn’t too thick. There’s nothing I hate worse than thick-skinned dogs. Also, if you’re not getting your basic-level dogs at the cheapest, most bargain-basement big-box establishment possible, I submit that you might be doing it wrong. Buy your dogs at Wal-Mart or Kroger – preferably in a t-shirt and flip-flops – is what I’m saying.

Greg: You also have to let out a little sotto voce hell yeah to yourself as you drop them into the cart, because you’re so excited about dirtbag grilling.

Raf: Unfortunately, these have been relegated to Legends since the mid 90s but I want to pour one out for Ballpark Singles. Nothing hits the spot like individually wrapped microwaveable hot dogs.

Source: Late 90’s Media Executives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ofLE4677iA

Dan: Real “Used Condom Energy” in that picture up there. Fuck.

Greg: Raf what the fuck.

Gunum: I wonder if you can get those for 25c out of a men’s restroom, ’cause it looks like it. 

Liam: Raf enjoys the nastiest possible hot dogs, and then the feel of them running straight through him like a river the next day.

PierreTheMime: I’m someone who’s going to be satisfied with whatever the results are, so my vote is for whatever is on sale. You’re already shooting for a quantity over quality, and no one is going to blink at your BOGO dogs as they shovel them into their face.

Liam: I’m vegan so it’s uh, vegan stuff. Also you are now required to let me call them hot dogs, the EU says so, and in any case you all gotta be nice to me because I’m the editor.

Greg: “Raf loves the worst and dumbest foods, but also I eat vegan goddamned hot dogs” sure is a Take.

Liam: I would punish you but running this site is punishment enough.

Rob: Looking forward to Greg getting revenge on Liam by violating GDPR with new site features

Ilor: No way, Liam, the UK isn’t even part of the EU anymore, so we don’t have to play by your shitty last edition rules.

Greg: Is that about the hot dogs or the GDPR thing?

head58: Anybody from New England who doesn”t immediately answer “Pearl Kountry Klub Beef Frankfurters” (quarter-pound or full oh my god it’s a baby’s arm half-pound version) should immediately walk into the sea. I will not be taking questions at this time. 

PantsOptional: They stopped carrying Pearls out by me some years back. Seppuku was a distinct option until I remembered I live in an intensely Polish area that’s ten minutes away from a smokehouse with all the house-made smoked hot dogs and kielbasa dogs you could ever want. Life was worth living again. For those of you who are not me, congratulations, and also just buy whatever is on sale.

Gunum: Is uh, there something called “Glizzys”? Cause I heard that was a thing. Kids these days have crazy new meat-tubes.

Ryolnir: Can someone send me this god damn Pearls? I’m sick of living off of Hebrew Nationals.

Mike: The second vegan dog defender has logged on. I will say though, Liam didn’t run any marathons this year which is why he has to mention being vegan. And Raf, those are nasty dogs, why do you do that to yourself? In terms of actual brands and stuff, Tofurky do some decent dog alternatives and I can vouch for the Kielbasa and Beer Brats.

James: If you’re in Minnesota you can access the Sheboygan brat company at any Twins game because of reasons? I’ll be honest, I didn’t know the Sheboygan Brat Company existed until I moved to Minneapolis but there it is. Piggly Wiggly has all your bratwurst needs covered and if it’s Saturday you can hit any parking lot any time of the year to find that glorious fried sausage. Obviously I’ll need to represent my hometown brats – Johnsonville is most widely accessible and known, and how can you go wrong with a company capable of making this ad – which speaks to everything, and I mean everything, you need to know about Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.

Bair: If, like me, you’re stuck in the country of the Great Oppressors who think hot dogs come in jars of brine, there’s no way of getting a good hot dog. Just don’t try. On your next trip to the USA you’ll be able to have some though. 

Kenji: I live in Florida so that means unless I decide to make my own fucking hot dogs everything I buy has to come from a store because we lack actual butchers, apparently. I just tend to go for “Organic” in the sense that I’m looking for higher quality beef with less preservatives and thinner skinned sausages. This isn’t because I think “Organic” is a real thing with a hotdog, but generally more just “how close can I get to buying a handmade sausage”. Boar’s Head makes good ones but they tend to come in packages of 7, and I’m not Steve Martin in Father of the Bride so this sucks ass. I usually go with Hebrew Nationals or Ocar Meyer stuff. While I’m Jewish, I’m pretty bad at it, but I do try to avoid pork product hotdogs – I just think they aren’t as good as beef. Bread’s the same situation, but thankfully our local grocery stores (Publix and Keyfoods) have good internal bakeries so I just get whatever hot dog buns look the best, and then get Martin’s if nothing’s available. 

Thanks for your valuable input, Goonhammer contributors, we couldn’t have done this – a 15-page post about hot dogs on a tabletop gaming website – without you. You are providing a public service to the community. Readers, if you have questions about how to cram additional hot dogs into your local meta or mouth, let us know at contact@goonhammer.com, or right here in the comments. We are here to help.

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