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Has anyone here ever made hot dogs or bologna?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've been reading about sausage making off and on for months now, whatever google might show me for whichever keywords sprang to mind for 20 minutes when work was slow or our baby was quiet.

I've seen some recipes for both of these, but really don't go into any of the finer details. Are these possible to make without expensive commercial machinery?

(I know, I probably need to start buying and reading some real books, and not half-assed blog articles.)

When I look at hot dogs, it's kind of obvious that they had some sort of casing on them (probably plastic), that was then removed.

The meat is apparently ground really fine (if "grind" is even the right word anymore). Whatever it is or however it is prepared, it seems like some of the sausage stuffers that you guys have linked to could do the rest once you got that far.

But what are the tricks here? Can you just puree it all in a blender until it's a paste? If you do that, how/why does it set up and become firmer?

Most other sausages I'm really starting to get some idea what's involved in making them... the grinding, stuffing, smoking and so forth, but for these hot dogs and bologna it's just not making complete sense. Any insight is appreciated.
post #2 of 8
The only trick with a hot dog is you want to emulsify the meat in a food processor to make it a paste like you mentioned above, but you need to keep it cold at all times so the fats don't smear. That requires you to do small loads in the processor and add ice to it while grinding if it gets warm.
Once you have your paste, you stuff it into a casing like any other sausage.,
The skinless ones you see in the store were stuffed in a plastic casing and cooked to firm up them the casing is removed. I use a natural or collagen casing and leave them on.
I hope this answers some of your questions.
post #3 of 8
I've been experimenting with making hot dogs and I've tried it both ways; ground then emulsified or just ground and reground, and have found that I don't need to go the extra step in a food processor. Plus, it almost burned up my food processor too! The last batch I did I ground the meat mix 3 times and added more water than the recipe called for, it made a nice paste and all that tried the finished product said the texture was just fine.
You do need a stuffer and you'll need 24-26mm sheep casings (or collagen, which I've never tried). I got mine at Syracuse Casing Co. and 1 tube made approx. 4 lbs. of dogs (they load them onto plastic tubes that you can slip onto your stuffing horn all at once). It was about $37 for a hank that would do 100 lbs. of product; that's a wholllle lot of hot dogs at 8 to a lb. about 800 of them, or a year's worth or so; so in comparision it's a small investment.
On Sausagemaker.com they give a recipe from Rytek Kuta's book on making 20lbs. of hot dogs; that's what I used. They were good; a little hefty in the soy protein in my opinion; next batch I'll cut that in half, probably. Plus, I prefer more pork than beef, about 2 to 1. Not quite a white hot but trending that way, lol!
post #4 of 8
Does anyone have the 5th printing (or higher, not sure how many there have been?) of Ruhlman's Charcuterie? Mine is before the 5th printing.

On Ruhlman's blog here: http://blog.ruhlman.com/2006/11/the_fifth.html, he talks about never being satisfied with his original hot dog recipe and after visiting Vienna Beef, he took what he learned and went back and worked on his hot dog recipe again and came up with something that he was much more satisfied with using home equipment.

Ruhlman discusses the updated recipe on E-gullet here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?...st__p__1266821, but he doesn't really spell it out step-by-step. He refers to the old recipe, and how the new recipe differs.

A couple years ago, I tried to piece the recipe together as I interpreted the differences and made about 25 lbs of hot dogs. I thought they were very good, but emulsifying that amount of meat in a food processor in small batches was no fun. Although I really liked the hot dogs, I thought they were a lot of trouble and not worth all the effort. Maybe if I'd done just a 5 or 10 lb batch I would have thought it was no big deal?? Heck, maybe I was mistaken and maybe his updated recipe doesn't even call for using a food processor??

Anyway, can someone that has the 5th or later printing of Charcuterie please share the all beef hot dog recipe and full instructions? You'll know it's the new recipe if it calls for beef short rib meat.
post #5 of 8
Panther your first like doesn't work, for me anyways, and thanks or the second.
FWIW I have a first edition dated 2005 so the fifth edition must be very recent
post #6 of 8
I have tried several recipes for this and really haven't had a great sucess with this. I started with a recipe that I found on-line that is very similar to Rytec's recipe and wasn't happy with the mace and celery seed taste and I only did a single grind on it so it was really grainy. For all of these recipes I used sheep casings. I also tried an additional recipe I found on the internet that was largely bland but again I single ground it and it was falvorless and grainy.

This year when we butchered, I did 5# of Curly's weiner mix that tasted really good in my test batch but later developed or I noticed it more of a bologna taste for this and my second experiment this year I did a double grind which helped the texture to an old fashioned wiener recipe.

My second experiment with this year was using this recipe:
with the exception of I substituted 2 t of black pepper for 2 of the white pepper t's and added 2T of paprika as well. I also only smoked to 135 degrees and parbroiled to temp listed. I think this is the close as I've gotten to my desired finished result as I've gotten. I think next time I will add a little sugar or dextrose to this as this will bring a little more of the salt flavor out and magnify some of the spices.

For all of this I didn't emulsify with a food processor as I was looking for an old fashioned weiner like you can buy Ambassador wiener's in most stores or like some butcher shops sell not like a Oscar Meyer or Farmland varieties many people consider wieners.

All of this was done with the grinder and stuffer listed below, not commercial equipment. Hope this helps.

Also if anyone else has a better idea on this let me know as I still haven't found exactly what I am looking to create with this yet either.
post #7 of 8
When I click on the 1st link, it works for me. Try going to http://blog.Ruhlman.com and type "Hot Dog" in the search box. Then open the topic that's named "The fifth". The topic is from Nov. 2006, so the 5th printing can't be that new.
post #8 of 8
I make what are called "old fashioned weiners" and stuff them into cellulose casings. After smoking, the casings are easily cut off, removed, and discarded. You stuff them into long links and can tie them off into individual weiners for cosmetics. I simply leave them whole, like a snack stick, and then after smoking will cut them into 3-4" links. It just saves a lot of work and tastes the same- the kids still love them. They are similar to a hot dog. The kit I use is sold at Curleys Sausage Kitchen:

Another suggestion to make "little smokies": I do this same process with the same recipe, or sometimes will use their "smoked sausage" recipe, and just cut the into 1" links. Crock pot them with some BBQ sauce and they work great for ballgames or get togethers.
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