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3 Hot Dog Brands You Can Trust

best hot dogs

I love hot dogs to an embarrassing extent.¬†I blame it on a long-standing family hot dog obsession ūüėČ

best hot dogs

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:

organic hot dogs

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.


best hot dogs

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

best hot dogs

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 hot dogs

Organic Prairie

best hot dogs

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.



  • Karen
    June 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    My family dont like Applegate. Oscar Mayer make hot dogs now without nitrites and nitrates which we like.

  • Sarah
    June 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 Winslow
    June 22, 2014 at 11:57 am

    So glad you find these helpful, Sarah!

  • Caroline @ chocolate & carrots
    June 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!

  • Anita
    June 22, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Unfortunately none of these are available in Canada ūüôĀ

  • Amelia Winslow
    June 22, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Bummer! Do you have any brands that offer grass-fed beef hot dogs without nitrates & nitrites?

  • Amelia Winslow
    June 22, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks, Caroline! Hot Dog Lovers unite ūüėČ

  • Diann
    September 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 Winslow
    September 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.

  • Mimi
    May 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 Winslow
    June 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 Ward
    May 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

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