Dave in AZ "Red Dogs", Flavorbursting, Keto, no-heat hotdogs!

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Dave in AZ

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Oct 2, 2022
386
472
Phx, AZ
1718682882995-videocapture_20240617-205332.jpg
1718682883080-videocapture_20240617-205326.jpg

While researching commercial hotdogs, I came across a regional type called “red dogs” or “red hotdogs”, or just hotdogs but a real red color. Mostly it is just red dye, but some folks love the look, so I went for that. I thought it would be a fun thing to make, and
I wanted to make a hotdog bursting with flavor, but without any spice-heat. A special hotdog that you want to eat plain it’s so flavorful.


I thought the redder color could be used to set these more robust flavored hotdogs apart from my normal hotdog recipe. These are normal hotdogs or “hot dogs”, but with the flavor ingredients boosted 2x to 3x most weiner/hotdog/frankfurter recipes, including Marianski and Kutas.




TRIGGER WARNING FOR SAUSAGE PURISTS! These have a wee bit of red dye for fun and to match a regional hotdog! Just skip the color if my drink-mix fun, or food coloring, gets your undergarments in a bunch.

Here are some pictures of these commercial products for reference:
1718994415743-internet_20240617_220707_168.jpg
1718994415765-internet_20240617_220707_132.png
1718994415784-internet_20240617_220707_150.jpg
1718994415808-internet_20240617_220707_96.jpg
1718994415881-internet_20240617_220707_63.jpg
1718994416024-internet_20240617_220707_140.jpg
1718994416047-internet_20240617_220707_110.jpg
1718994416062-internet_20240617_220707_76.jpg


Additionally, some ingredients are traditional in franks or weiners, but not US hotdogs, but I used them for more flavor. So they are very similar to a flavorful Ring Bologna. These are onion powder in weiners, dry mustard in hot links, coriander in frankfurters, garlic and celery seed in hotdogs.
A common method to boost flavor is to add a bit of cayenne or red pepper, 1g per kg meat would work. But I have family who can’t have cayenne, so I went with boosted white pepper and mustard powder. But this dog is not too spicy or hot, as so many folks won’t eat Hot Links or Red Hots or Hot Guts due to the cayenne.

RECIPE FORMULATION, 1000g:
FLAVOR

For that quality hotdog flavor and darker color, I went mostly beef. But added pork butt for the bacon flavor.
Beef: 625g or 62.5%, 73/27
Pork butt 375g, 20% fat.
Total fat thus about 25%.
salt: 1.8% added, plus cure1 for 2.0% total. More flavor perceived.
Sweetness: Bacon is usually 1.5% to 2.5% sugar, and 2-2.5% salt. To get that bacon flavor, you need some sugar, and a LOT of commercial hotdogs use more than 2% of dextrose/sugar/corn syrup. HOWEVER, I decided to make these KETO. Plus I wanted some Red dye…
1718670069586-20240617_150226-resized.jpg

SECRET INGREDIENT! Crystal Light Cherry Pomegranite drink mix was used as the sweetener! Okay, I know all the purists like myself are rolling their eyes right now, I was too! BUT, BUT…pretend it’s 2 drops red food coloring, you gots to expect some non-kosher ingredients in something called “Red Dogs” lol! And as pointed out below, let’s just ignore the whole pomegranite thing…
After weighing and comparing their sugar vs no-sugar products and calculating, I came up with 0.8g of sugar free drink mix being equivalent to 1.5% sugar. This gave me the KETO, sweetness without sugar/carbs, as well as a hint of extra red color, AND a hint of cherry flavor in background. Obviously you can just use sugar for 1.5% instead, or any sweetener, or none at all here. But it’s a pretty awesome taste!
1718672862419-20240617_180653-resized.jpg


Color: I added sodium erythorbate and ascorbic acid below USFDA allowed amounts, as cure accelerators. This also gives strong cure color and good color fixing, as well as strong antioxidant for good flavor retention when freezing. Plus the wee bit of red dye in the drink mix. You could get as much red from 1 or 2 drops of red food color if desired. Also, high amounts of sweet paprika were used.

Here is the meat mixed with all ingredients, showing just a tiny bit more red than usual, it’s a pretty subtle red, not gross red .
1718670355150-videocapture_20240617-171855.jpg

This is normal hotdog meat for comparison:
files%2F1717813035450-videocapture_20240607-191635.jpg


Recipe, 1kg or 1000g, or 2.2 lbs
1250g ground beef, 73/27. Probably 5mm grind about.
750g pork shoulder, about 20% fat
(Total fat about 25%)
3mm grind mostly frozen pork and ground beef. Hard protein extraction via Kitchenaid mixer 4 min.
Salt 18g, 1.8%
Cure1 2.5g, 0.25%, 156 ppm NaNO2
– USDA FSIS ground meat max, std.
Sugar 15g, 1.5%. Replaced here with 0.8g of Crystal Light Cherry Pomegranate sugar-free drink mix.
Paprika 5.0g, 0.5%
White pepper 4.0g, 0.4%
Note: strong wh pepper flavor, bit of heat, reduce to 2.0g if normal hotdog amount desired
Coriander 2g, 0.2%
Mace 0.5g, 0.05%
Onion powder 1g, 0.1%
Garlic, granulated, 4g, 0.4%
Celery seed, ground, 1g, 0.1%
Black pepper 0.5g, 0.05%
Dry Mustard, Colmans, 4g, 0.4%
Binder, Walton’s suregel 10g, 1%
Water, 120g, 12%
Optional Accelerators, to mix/stuff/smoke in 1 day without overnight curing
Sodium Erythorbate 0.5g
Ascorbic acid, vitaminC, 0.4g

Casings:
For these Red Dogs, optimally the red cellulose 30mm casing would rock! You can leave on of you only smoke, it will have a good bite and snap. Or if you sous vide, you can peel off. I didn’t have any when I stuffed today, but look what showed up 2 hours later while smoking! I think these were courtesy of Jonathon, when I forgot to add them to my order, what a great company Walton’s is! I actually ordered some more of these just yesterday too, so expect some red ones and Hot Links soon!
1718673565884-20240617_181510-resized.jpg

So I used the fantastic 28mm cellulose with black stripe, probably the very best big skinless hotdog casing. Non-edible, smoke permeable, strong, strip off easy after smoke. Can be sous vide if desired. These casings will not hold a twist, so you MUST tie individually OR better, use a double-link or triple-link technique, which will hold the twists. Here I used a double link to allow maximum smoke access. Triple link is good for 21mm to 26mm sausages, but blocks too much smoke if larger. I hung from my grate, could have just tied in 2 places but did 4 to keep all sausages at same level. I also had a bit left, so stuffed into 34mm hog casing for a bologna ring.
1718670652903-videocapture_20240617-171957.jpg


Smoke schedule: 140f for 1 hr, 150f 1 hr, 165f until IT > 145f, about 3 hrs.
Cherrywood smoke while time.
Optional: pull when enough color, toss in sous vide at 165f for 30-45 min to speed up cook.
1718670917341-videocapture_20240617-172010.jpg


After 4 hours, IT 139 (needs 15 min at 139 for pathogen lethality):
1718680897836-20240617_201909-resized.jpg


Pulled at 4hrs 30min, IT 145f:
1718682947942-20240617_203425-resized.jpg

I am starting to feel that a good bit of salt and flavor is lost when sous-vide finishing sausages, if not bagged, so didn’t SV these, for MAXIMUM flavor .

TASTE: Fantastic! I like the pure-smoked hotdogs much better than the sous-vide with smoke flavor. Those are great, but these are just bursting with flavor and cherrywood smoke. Maybe best hotdog I’ve eaten. Probably mostly due to the real smoke, and I like cherry better than hickory. The 1.8% salt (2.0% when accounting for salt in cure1), is spot on for commercial dogs too.

TEXTURE: The 3mm grind, single grind, using regular ground beef and pork chunks, plus 4 min Kitchenaid mix, gave a very emulsified texture, seems perfect to me. I would never take the effort to food process more than this. Exactly what you expect from a hotdog, and quite easy compared to bowl chopper or full emulsifying in processor.
1718748956003-20240617_212514-resized.jpg

1718748997825-20240617_212148-resized.jpg


I was able to serve these next day when my daughter had friends over!
1718994701343-20240618_153124-resized.jpg


Hope folks find this recipe helpful!
 
Last edited:
Fantastic work there Dave.
Thx much. These are the ones I mentioned in the thread with your bologna recipe, that were influenced by your recipe. I was wanting to boost the flavor, but wasn't sure about bumping garlic and white pepper so high as 2x to 3x. But your bologna recipe convinced me it was within reaonable taste range. I didn't go as high as you do for onion powder, as I could taste it fairly strong in my normal hotdog recipe at this 1g/kg level, about as much as I'd want, and didn't want to get outside of "hotdog" levels.

Then I added the dry mustard for a bit of Czech central TX taste. You see mustard listed as a separate line item on labels, just "contains mustard", but maybe not even on ingredients, so it's amounts are hard to pin down. I went fairly high, as a replacement for cayenne and red pepper heats.
 
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Thx much. These are the ones I mentioned in the thread with your bologna recipe, that were influenced by your recipe. I was wanting to boost the flavor, but wasn't sure about bumping garlic and white pepper so high as 2x to 3x. But your bologna recipe convinced me it was within reaonable taste range. I didn't go as high as you do for onion powder, as I could taste it fairly strong in my normal hotdog recipe at this 1g/kg level, about as much as I'd want, and didn't want to get outside of "hotdog" levels.

Then I added the dry mustard for a bit of Czech central TX taste. You see mustard listed as a separate line item on labels, just "contains mustard", but maybe not even on ingredients, so it's amounts are hard to pin down. I went fairly high, as a replacement for cayenne and red pepper heats.
All very nice work up on your flavor profile. Everyone’s taste buds are a bit different but that’s the beauty of home sausage production, you can dial it in for you and those you are feeding. In almost all my recipes where I use garlic I can just about match amounts of gran onion but then again we eat onion and garlic with almost every meal. Again Dave, very nice work up on your part. I’d tear those up for sure.
 
Bookmarked for future reference.
I'm working on a low salt beef hot dog recipe.
Not sure your Cayenne restrictions, but black pepper can also be on the list.
Daughter is irritated by black pepper, but white pepper is OK.
Not a red dog person. Avoid all red dyes due to reactions in my children years ago.
 
View attachment 699181 View attachment 699182
While researching commercial hotdogs, I came across a regional type called “red dogs” or “red hotdogs”, or just hotdogs but a real red color. Mostly it is just red dye, but some folks love the look, so I went for that. I thought it would be a fun thing to make, and
I wanted to make a hotdog bursting with flavor, but without any spice-heat. A special hotdog that you want to eat plain it’s so flavorful.


I thought the redder color could be used to set these more robust flavored hotdogs apart from my normal hotdog recipe. These are normal hotdogs or “hot dogs”, but with the flavor ingredients boosted 2x to 3x most weiner/hotdog/frankfurter recipes, including Marianski and Kutas.




TRIGGER WARNING FOR SAUSAGE PURISTS! These have a wee bit of red dye for fun and to match a regional hotdog! Just skip the color if my drink-mix fun, or food coloring, gets your undergarments in a bunch.

Here are some pictures of these commercial products for reference:
View attachment 699183 View attachment 699184 View attachment 699185 View attachment 699186 View attachment 699187 View attachment 699188 View attachment 699189 View attachment 699190

Additionally, some ingredients are traditional in franks or weiners, but not US hotdogs, but I used them for more flavor. So they are very similar to a flavorful Ring Bologna. These are onion powder in weiners, dry mustard in hot links, coriander in frankfurters, garlic and celery seed in hotdogs.
A common method to boost flavor is to add a bit of cayenne or red pepper, 1g per kg meat would work. But I have family who can’t have cayenne, so I went with boosted white pepper and mustard powder. But this dog is not too spicy or hot, as so many folks won’t eat Hot Links or Red Hots or Hot Guts due to the cayenne.

RECIPE FORMULATION, 1000g:
FLAVOR

For that quality hotdog flavor and darker color, I went mostly beef. But added pork butt for the bacon flavor.
Beef: 1250g or 62.5%, 73/27
Pork butt 750g, 20% fat.
Total fat thus about 25%.
salt: 1.8% added, plus cure1 for 2.0% total. More flavor perceived.
Sweetness: Bacon is usually 1.5% to 2.5% sugar, and 2-2.5% salt. To get that bacon flavor, you need some sugar, and a LOT of commercial hotdogs use more than 2% of dextrose/sugar/corn syrup. HOWEVER, I decided to make these KETO. Plus I wanted some Red dye…
View attachment 699191
SECRET INGREDIENT! Crystal Light Cherry Pomegranite drink mix was used as the sweetener! Okay, I know all the purists like myself are rolling their eyes right now, I was too! BUT, BUT…pretend it’s 2 drops red food coloring, you gots to expect some non-kosher ingredients in something called “Red Dogs” lol! And as pointed out below, let’s just ignore the whole pomegranite thing…
After weighing and comparing their sugar vs no-sugar products and calculating, I came up with 0.8g of sugar free drink mix being equivalent to 1.5% sugar. This gave me the KETO, sweetness without sugar/carbs, as well as a hint of extra red color, AND a hint of cherry flavor in background. Obviously you can just use sugar for 1.5% instead, or any sweetener, or none at all here. But it’s a pretty awesome taste!
View attachment 699192

Color: I added sodium erythorbate and ascorbic acid below USFDA allowed amounts, as cure accelerators. This also gives strong cure color and good color fixing, as well as strong antioxidant for good flavor retention when freezing. Plus the wee bit of red dye in the drink mix. You could get as much red from 1 or 2 drops of red food color if desired. Also, high amounts of sweet paprika were used.

Here is the meat mixed with all ingredients, showing just a tiny bit more red than usual, it’s a pretty subtle red, not gross red .
View attachment 699193
This is normal hotdog meat for comparison:
View attachment 699194

Recipe, 1kg or 1000g, or 2.2 lbs
1250g ground beef, 73/27. Probably 5mm grind about.
750g pork shoulder, about 20% fat
(Total fat about 25%)
3mm grind mostly frozen pork and ground beef. Hard protein extraction via Kitchenaid mixer 4 min.
Salt 18g, 1.8%
Cure1 2.5g, 0.25%, 156 ppm NaNO2
– USDA FSIS ground meat max, std.
Sugar 15g, 1.5%. Replaced here with 0.8g of Crystal Light Cherry Pomegranate sugar-free drink mix.
Paprika 5.0g, 0.5%
White pepper 4.0g, 0.4%
Note: strong wh pepper flavor, bit of heat, reduce to 2.0g if normal hotdog amount desired
Coriander 2g, 0.2%
Mace 0.5g, 0.05%
Onion powder 1g, 0.1%
Garlic, granulated, 4g, 0.4%
Celery seed, ground, 1g, 0.1%
Black pepper 0.5g, 0.05%
Dry Mustard, Colmans, 4g, 0.4%
Binder, Walton’s suregel 10g, 1%
Water, 120g, 12%
Optional Accelerators, to mix/stuff/smoke in 1 day without overnight curing
Sodium Erythorbate 0.5g
Ascorbic acid, vitaminC, 0.4g

Casings:
For these Red Dogs, optimally the red cellulose 30mm casing would rock! You can leave on of you only smoke, it will have a good bite and snap. Or if you sous vide, you can peel off. I didn’t have any when I stuffed today, but look what showed up 2 hours later while smoking! I think these were courtesy of Jonathon, when I forgot to add them to my order, what a great company Walton’s is! I actually ordered some more of these just yesterday too, so expect some red ones and Hot Links soon!
View attachment 699195
So I used the fantastic 28mm cellulose with black stripe, probably the very best big skinless hotdog casing. Non-edible, smoke permeable, strong, strip off easy after smoke. Can be sous vide if desired. These casings will not hold a twist, so you MUST tie individually OR better, use a double-link or triple-link technique, which will hold the twists. Here I used a double link to allow maximum smoke access. Triple link is good for 21mm to 26mm sausages, but blocks too much smoke if larger. I hung from my grate, could have just tied in 2 places but did 4 to keep all sausages at same level. I also had a bit left, so stuffed into 34mm hog casing for a bologna ring.
View attachment 699196

Smoke schedule: 140f for 1 hr, 150f 1 hr, 165f until IT > 145f, about 3 hrs.
Cherrywood smoke while time.
Optional: pull when enough color, toss in sous vide at 165f for 30-45 min to speed up cook.
View attachment 699197

After 4 hours, IT 139 (needs 15 min at 139 for pathogen lethality):
View attachment 699198

Pulled at 4hrs 30min, IT 145f:
View attachment 699199
I am starting to feel that a good bit of salt and flavor is lost when sous-vide finishing sausages, if not bagged, so didn’t SV these, for MAXIMUM flavor .

TASTE: Fantastic! I like the pure-smoked hotdogs much better than the sous-vide with smoke flavor. Those are great, but these are just bursting with flavor and cherrywood smoke. Maybe best hotdog I’ve eaten. Probably mostly due to the real smoke, and I like cherry better than hickory. The 1.8% salt (2.0% when accounting for salt in cure1), is spot on for commercial dogs too.

TEXTURE: The 3mm grind, single grind, using regular ground beef and pork chunks, plus 4 min Kitchenaid mix, gave a very emulsified texture, seems perfect to me. I would never take the effort to food process more than this. Exactly what you expect from a hotdog, and quite easy compared to bowl chopper or full emulsifying in processor.
View attachment 699200
View attachment 699201

I was able to serve these next day when my daughter had friends over!
View attachment 699202

Hope folks find this recipe helpful!
Great work and write up man!
It's amazing how close to emulsified texture we can get just by good thorough mixing.
Also I agree that a smoke finished sausage is so much more flavorful than the SV stuff I've done. Even when I bag my SV sandwich meat (a new thing I've done recently), it's not as flavorful due to still having much more liquid vs when the sandwich meat was done completely in the smoker and dries out more. The drying concentrates the flavors more due to less liquid plus more smoke time usually :D
 
These look and sound amazing! Bookmarked for the future. I have used the water flavor packets in sauces and rubs. Creative use you came up with.
 
Not a red dog person. Avoid all red dyes due to reactions in my children years ago.

Could you go into more detail on this red dye issue, what kind of reactions? My wife had intestinal issues this am, and all she had was 1 of a red-dyed casing (not this recipe, a different one I used the 30mm red casings on). She thinks the red dye may be the issue. None of rest of family had any reaction. Trying to gather more info on red dye reactions, thx!
 
Could you go into more detail on this red dye issue, what kind of reactions? My wife had intestinal issues this am, and all she had was 1 of a red-dyed casing (not this recipe, a different one I used the 30mm red casings on). She thinks the red dye may be the issue. None of rest of family had any reaction. Trying to gather more info on red dye reactions, thx!
Wife has gone to bed so I'll ask her tomorrow.
I'm not sure which # red dye my wife figured out was bad for the kids as in causing reactions.
We have avoided ALL artificially dyed products for the past 25 years.
 
A Great post. Look delicious. I have never had the red dogs before but I remember seeing them when I lived in South Carolina. One brand I remember seeing was called " 3 Little Pigs Weiners". And that's the reason I never tried the red dogs, lol.
 
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