The Best Type Of Hot Dog To Use If You're Going To Deep Fry It

Deep frying a hot dog may not be first on your list of cooking methods, but if you haven't tried one, you are missing out. We aren't talking about a battered, corn dog concoction — we are talking about frying your dog plain in a thin pool of oil. Cooking a hot dog in oil crisps up the outside far better than any grill, and no form of steaming or normal pan frying is going to get you the flavor that oil does.

Naturally, deep frying goes well with any hot dog, but if you're already thinking about that pack of dogs you have in the fridge, let us convince you to slow down for a moment. There is a specific type of hot dog that fries up best, and it may not be the ones you already have.

Conveniently the best hot dog for deep frying is also the best version of any hot dog, although we'll admit that judgment is a little more subjective. That style of hot dog would be one with natural casing, as opposed to skinless or collagen-casing frankfurters that are most common on grocery store shelves.

Natural casing hot dogs produce a superior texture when deep fried, getting crispy and crackly while producing a deeply flavorful sausage that can hold up to a mountain of toppings. All that comes thanks to a traditional casing that goes back to the very beginning of sausage making.

Natural casings give deep fried hot dogs the best snap

Any hot dog lover will tell you that the best ones produce a clear "snap" when eaten. Deep fried, boiled, or grilled, that hot dog snap comes from the casing — and you get the best snap from natural casings using pig or sheep intestines. It may sound a bit off-putting, but butchers have been using intestines to make sausages for thousands of years. And even though modern production techniques have made them unnecessary, they are still valued for the great texture they bring, and the way they protect the flavor and juiciness of the hot dog during cooking.

Natural casing dogs that are deep fried will not only get the most crispy, but the casing itself will tear, creating edges that add even more crunch. This is the source of the apt nickname "ripper," from Rutt's Hut in New Jersey, which helped popularize deep-fried hot dogs.

While natural casing hot dogs are not found as often as skinless, several national brands like Boar's Head, Nathan's, Dietz, and Watson do sell them. You can also check local brands for the "natural casing" label, as many regional hot dog companies like Chicago's Vienna Beef also make them. Wherever you find them, they will be worth the hunt, because you will be on your way to the snappiest, juiciest bite of a hot dog ever.