I love hot dogs to an embarrassing extent. I blame it on a long-standing family hot dog obsession 😉
In the past, this love conflicted with my values of supporting sustainable, pasture-based farms and choosing whole foods over heavily processed ones, since this is what conventional hot dogs contain:
But not anymore!
Thanks to a few stellar brands making high-quality, minimally processed options, we hot dog-lovers get to enjoy the best of all worlds.
Below are the three hot dog brands I like most and why.
Applegate’s “Great Organic Hot Dog” is completely free of preservatives and made with organic, grass-fed beef. It also comes in turkey and chicken, so there’s a hot dog option for everyone. You can find these at many conventional grocery stores now, as well as at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.
Ingredients: Organic beef, water, sea salt, spices, dried garlic, dried onion, paprika, celery powder.
Fork in the Road
Fork in the Road uses the highest-quality meat for all it’s products: heirloom pork, sustainably-raised beef, and free-roaming chicken & turkey. Though not organic, animals are humanely raised and never given antibiotics, growth enhancers or added hormones. All their meat is U.S.-grown (very unique) and they work super closely with their farmers. You’ll about die when you read farmer Russ Kremer’s story!
Ingredients: Pasture-raised beef, water, sugar, salt, fresh onions, vinegar, spice, paprika, fresh garlic, celery powder in a natural sheep casing.
We also love Fork in the Road’s mini hot dogs, which Lucy frequently requests in her lunch:
Organic Prairie dogs are made with organic, 100% grass-fed beef. Just like Organic Valley (Organic Prairie’s parent company), this brand is a cooperative of farmer-owners who are passionate about raising animals in the most sustainable way possible.
Ingredients: organic beef, water, sea salt, evaporated cane syrup, celery powder, spices, onion powder, garlic powder.
With these incredible options, you’ll never again have to resort to highly processed hot dogs from factory-farmed animals.
KarenJune 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm
My family dont like Applegate. Oscar Mayer make hot dogs now without nitrites and nitrates which we like.
SarahJune 21, 2014 at 6:14 pm
I really appreciate these “you can trust” posts! Definitely takes some on the guesswork out of grocery shopping.
Amelia WinslowJune 22, 2014 at 11:57 am
So glad you find these helpful, Sarah!
Caroline @ chocolate & carrotsJune 22, 2014 at 4:27 pm
I too am a major hot dog fan, but have avoided them for many years because I didn’t like to think what was in them or where they were coming from. This is such a great list! Thank you so much Amelia!
AnitaJune 22, 2014 at 5:26 pm
Unfortunately none of these are available in Canada 🙁
Amelia WinslowJune 22, 2014 at 9:25 pm
Bummer! Do you have any brands that offer grass-fed beef hot dogs without nitrates & nitrites?
Amelia WinslowJune 22, 2014 at 9:26 pm
Thanks, Caroline! Hot Dog Lovers unite 😉
DiannSeptember 8, 2015 at 12:53 pm
What about those N/N free but have subbed in celery juice which is loaded with the stuff and still have a high salt content? Also what about chicken or turkey dogs w/o nitrites and nitrates?
Amelia WinslowSeptember 10, 2015 at 11:25 am
Sodium will be high in all hot dogs, particularly the nitrate/nitrite-free dogs b/c salt is the only preservative. N&N in celery juice doesn’t concern me as much since they’re naturally occurring. Same goes for chicken & turkey dogs – I’d recommend the same brands. Also Nature’s Rancher are good.
MimiMay 29, 2017 at 12:08 pm
Here’s another question. For severe gastric issues, the fodmap diet is recommended, and two of the jillions of things that we can’t eat are onions and garlic, which are in everything! I really miss hot dogs! Have you come across a hot dog with no onion or garlic?
Amelia WinslowJune 13, 2017 at 12:40 pm
Hi Mimi, Hmm…I honestly have never seen a hot dog without these spices added. If I do I’ll let you know. It must be hard to avoid those seasonings! (and for the record, I would miss hot dogs a lot too!)
Wendy WardMay 19, 2018 at 10:37 am
Celery powder has nitrates in it and free glutamates– false advertising- you are not eating any healthier b eating these