Photo by Catherine Downes.

Taste Test Thursday: Hot Dogs

D Magazine staff tasted a handful of beef, store-bought wieners.

This week, in honor of Memorial Day weekend, D Magazine staff tasted a handful of beef, store-bought hot dogs. Here’s what happened.

The hot dogs:

A. H-E-B Original Beef Hot Dogs
B. Oscar Mayer Angus Smoked Uncured Beef Franks
C. Sabrett
D. Brooklyn Classic Beef Dog
E. Applegate Natural Uncured Beef Hot Dogs
F.Hebrew National Beef Franks

Tasting notes:

H-E-B Original Beef Hot Dogs

  • Mild flavor. A little fatty tasting.
  • Good beefy taste. A little spongy, otherwise nondescript.
  • Pretty standard hot dog.
  • Kind of unexceptional, maybe too wet?
  • Pretty decent, nice flavor.

Oscar Mayer Angus Smoked Uncured Beef Franks

  • Light flavor, a little watery.
  • Good taste, lighter. Could eat a handful of these. A little bit of smoke to it. I like!
  • Nice smoky flavor.
  • Texture is more Vienna sausage than anything.
  • Unpleasant consistency and texture.


  • Thick skin. Too thick. Made it taste gummy.
  • Disappointing, lackluster flavor, but airy and easy to eat. Feels weak, needs copious condiments.
  • Casing seems legit, although a bit chewy.
  • Experimental hot dog, weird texture but it works.
  • Beefy.

Brooklyn Classic Beef Dog

  • Watery center. Too soft inside, and too thick outside.
  • More of a sausage with classic sausage skin casing.Odd aftertaste, but the ingredients feel a little fresher.
  • Super greasy, but in a good way.
  • This is a pretty juicy production, good by itself but would love with a bun and toppings.
  • Strange, mushy insides.

Applegate Natural Uncured Beef Hot Dogs

  • Perfect texture. Good flavor.
  • Good pepper flavor. Tastes like Hebrew, truthfully. Fresher, a little less processed, and definitely different.
  • Aftertaste grosses me out a little.
  • This is OK.
  • Has the nicest beef flavor.

Hebrew National Beef Franks

  • Good texture, best flavor.
  • Almost exactly average in every way. Tastes exactly like a pork dog. Mouthy, greasy, but not overpowering in any way. American.
  • Pretty good.
  • I’m thinking the most like a classic, good hot dog.
  • Ugh.

Tally up:

H-E-B Original Beef Hot Dogs 0

Oscar Mayer Angus Smoked Uncured Beef Franks 2

Sabrett 1

Brooklyn Classic Beef Dog 0

Applegate Natural Uncured Beef Hot Dogs 1

Hebrew National Beef Franks 1

The wiener is:
Well, it looks like Oscar Mayer won this week’s taste test challenge. Now, before you go poking fun the tasters for their choice, keep in mind that these were the Selects Angus Beef Franks — making them a tad more highbrow than the original, pork medley dogs. Or, maybe not.

So what do you think about the outcome? Do do you have a favorite grocery store dog? Let’s talk about it.


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