• Last year I made a batch of hot dogs out of some deer meat and we really loved them. I wished they were a little larger in diameter, they were a little skinny and seem to dry out easily, but I have a couple things I’m going to tweak this time, along with making sure I really stuff the casing full and also ice bath them well. My main question is the seasoning. I used the hotdog/ bologna seasoning pack, flavor was fine just a normal plain tasting hot dog but I’m looking for a little more flavor this time, thinking maybe polish? What have others used? I’m going to make a couple flavors of brats also, and I want these to definitely be more along the lines of a hot dog than something fancy, just looking for something with a touch more flavor.

    Any help or tips are really appreciated

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Parksider is a huge proponent of the Chili Dog Seasoning…in fact, I think that is all he uses anymore for dogs. Polish would definitely work but so would the Hot Link or maybe even the German though I have never personally made hot dogs out of that.

    What casing are you planning on using? the 26mm cellulose is my current obsession! Tie off between each link or use something like the automatic linker and it gives beautifully closed ends, even has the casing ridge marks at the ends. I do wish they were just a little bigger but the 26mm is currently the only one that we sell in less than case quantity and a case is enough to do thousands of lb of meat so I don’t think you need a case!

  • Jonathon Yes I am going to use the 26mm cellulose casings. I wish you sold smaller quantities of the 28mm so I could get them a little thicker but like I said Im going to try and just make really sure I get the casings good and full. Those casings are so easy to use and remove, it sure makes making hot dogs a breeze. The sausage linker would sure be handy, that was about my only frustrating part last time was twisting links and having them end up coming undone. Chili dog does sound like a really good one to try also, as do hot link or german, thats where I’m struggling here 🤔

  • Masterbuilt

    weatherbow21 when making sausages of any kind with deer meat I use 30-40% pork fat in the mix. Also, soy protein concentrate to help hold moisture and bind the meat.

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    weatherbow21 I agree with knifemaker3 I started using carrot fiber in just about everything to help keep the moisture content up. I also use the 26mm cellulose. I hand link them into a “globe” Jonathon does a video on how, I then smoke them for 2 hours ish… then into the turkey fryer water bath at 170F to finish them. Ice bath, then use scissors to remove the casings.
    Yes, I’m a huge fan of the chili dog seasoning, I don’t understand how they do it but it tastes just like a chili dog. If you want to go fancier, blue ribbon brat mix is #1 on our brat list. Good all around brat, add pepper jack cheese for some kick.

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    Jonathon I know you spent some quality time in the ROC, we were just talking about making some “white hots”. I’m sure you know they are all white hot dogs, Zweigles are the locally made favorite. Just wondering if Excaliber could whip up some white hot spice mix? From my research they say they are based on Weisswurst.



  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Parksider Ahhh white hots and garbage plates, that along with Cariglios Pizza and especially Otto Tomatoes are things I miss the most, though to be honest, I wasn’t always an enormous fan of a garbage plate when sober!

    Excalibur does have a weisswurst seasoning, it is case minimum. I will see what information I can get on it. I am not sure how white it will be as I am pretty sure that depends more on how it is processed (no cure) than anything else but I will find out what I can.

  • I made 25lbs this weekend, using the polish seasoning. 30% pork fat to lean venison. The flavor is great, I do like it a lot more than the regular hot dogs I made last time but I messed something up, as the fat cooked out of the meat and essentially boiled the little dogs in fat, leaving me with a mess when I took the casings off and some pretty ugly looking dogs. Last time this was such a simple process and they looked really great. Any ideas what I did wrong? I used sure gel and mixed the meat really well with good protein extraction, maybe cooked too hot too fast? I don’t have a great cooker that starts low and can gradually go up in temp as the recipe suggests so I’m wondering if thats where I went wrong

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Only other thing it could be is cooking schedule if you used sure gel and mixed until everything was really sticky. When the fat renders out like that the #1 culprit is lack of protein extraction (im gonna get a tattoo that says protein extraction or something) but if you are really sure it wasn’ that then cooking is the only other thing I can think of.

    Can you give us your smoke schedule?

  • Jonathon I mixed it for 10 minutes with a meat mixer, it was mixed really well and very sticky, so I don’t think that was the issue. I think its likely my cooking schedule, my traeger will only go up to around 130-140 on smoke, then I have to go up to 180 which often spikes up as high as 230, which I figure is high enough to render the fat out. I kept an eye on it and kept turning it down but probably still got too hot too fast. My oven will go pretty low on “keep warm” but it acts weird and I think its possibly getting hotter at times also, but that I don’t know for sure as I didn’t have a temperature probe in there, only in the meat. Then I also had a batch in the sous vide at 150, it cooked REALLY fast and probably just got too hot too fast, I’m guessing. But I know it never got over 150

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    weatherbow21 Has to be the cooking, ten minutes with a mixer is more than enough to get your extraction. If your traeger spikes that hard I don’t know what to tell you. Propping the lid on the oven with a probe thermometer is probably your best bet, then after a few hours you can move to the traeger or water. I actually wonder if you could do the initial drying phase in a dehydrator set at somewhere around 120° and then finish it up in water. I just got a new sous vide circulator and I was looking for something to do with it and I think I just found it!

  • Jonathon I agree. I’m going to buy a new cooker and hopefully that solves a lot of my problems. I thought the sous vide was going to be perfect for the hot dogs but I was really surprised it “fatted out” or whatever the term is. I should have probably started at 120 or so and worked up but for some reason I spaced out. I’ll be curious how your turn out and what kind of schedule you use for the sous vide

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    weatherbow21 Yeah, my thought is that after an initial hour drying that I can move pretty much right on to my normal thermal processing schedule with a little allowance for the fact that it will take a little longer for the water to heat up. Im gonna try to do this in the next 2 weeks. We’ve got a TON of great content (or at least I think it’s great) all shot and being edited so the next few weeks here should be pretty fun!

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    weatherbow21 Are you using a temp probe in the meat? If not, I’d highly recommend a dual probe, one in the water if you use a turkey fryer like I do and one in the meat submerged. I usually go to around 153-155F then out into a water shower just to take stop the carryover cooking process. But I do take dogs from the smoker which I try to run below 150F until I get the smoke I want, then straight into 170F water bath. I don’t monkey with the fryer control I just let the temp dip and then come back up. Don’t over manage the temp, I think the natural reaction is to jack the burner up when the temp drops but that intense heat could be what fats out the meat.
    When you are new to this or doing experimental batches, change on thing at a time. If you revamp the entire process you’ll never find where it’s broken. If you do a 10# batch, split it up into 4-2.5# and work the process. Also take good notes! The fellas make fun of me but I have a composition book that I record all of what we do. Including smoke time/temp and wood.
    Stick with it!!! Once you iron it out you won’t want to stop!

  • Parksider I do use a temperature probe in the meat yes. I’m going to do another batch again soon and try and perfect it, I will for sure try and do a smaller batch and see what I can do to improve it. Should you always smoke the dogs first or could it go right into a sous vide?

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    weatherbow21 If you are going to smoke, do it first. If not, straight to the water. Now my brother has a traeger and he’ll use that to cook sausages and get smoke that way.

  • Team Orange

    I just got the chili dog mix will let you know

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