The Reason You Should Never Make Your Own Hot Dogs

The sun is out, so the grill is hot, all fired up to conquer all of our favorite easy-to-make, easy-to-eat meals like pork ribs, hamburgers, and of course the iconic hot dog. There are few things more satisfying to enjoy outdoors on a back porch or lawn with a cold one in hand than a hot dog. But besides its obvious deliciousness factor, the hot dog does come with some issues. It may seem tempting to make your own, especially considering how bad store-bought dogs are for you.

As reported by USA Today, The World Health Organization's International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) claims that the ingredients and preservatives in hot dogs may cause cancer. They are also remarkably high in saturated fat and sodium, which if they become a regular part of the diet, can have a poor effect on your health. 

For that reason, and due to a heightened interest in making authentic foods from scratch around the world, you might be tempted to try and make your own hot dogs at home. But unfortunately, that's easier said than done.

Leave it to the professionals.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, "Hey, it's just ground meat! I can make that easily at home." And if you're willing to put in some serious elbow grease, you're not wrong — but it isn't as easy as making your own sausages. According to the Food Republic, a majority of hot dogs on the shelves today are made of skeletal meat, which are the muscles attached to bones, so you'll need to find a source of those. 

In addition, if you don't already have the tools for making simple sausages, such as a sausage stuffer (yes, we know it is rather saucily named), you'll have a lot of difficulties. Making a hot dog is especially tricky because it is made of emulsified meat. The texture separates a hot dog from a sausage, and if the meat reaches a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above you'll be left with a disappointingly gritty product. 

Food Network says that when trying to use the incredibly tough meat usually used in hot dogs, the emulsified meat is incredibly difficult to blend, and the texture is more often than not disappointing when compared with the spongy feel of store-bought products. So, if you're truly concerned about having healthy and safe products, it's probably easier to do some research and find some quality, local hot dog makers rather than trying to make your own.