Vibrant Pickled Hot Dogs Recipe

Pickled hot dogs might sound like an odd concept unless you're familiar with the kind of old-timey dive bar that features a jar of them right next to the pickled eggs. You might also see them in gas stations and convenience stores right next to the Slim Jims. Whether you've tried them and liked them or never had the pleasure, developer Tess Le Moing tells us that her recipe is "easy to make, and the ingredients list is so short" — indeed, all you need to make the dish is hot dogs or smoked sausages, vinegar, and a few seasonings.

Le Moing describes the pickled hot dogs as having "a briny, vinegary layer of flavor [with] ... a little kick of spice, but not too much." She says you can eat them straight from the jar or enjoy them as part of a more elaborate snack or meal. You can also try changing things up by using another type of pre-cooked sausages. If you prefer leaving the links whole, you can do that, too, as long as your jar is tall enough to fit them.

Collect the ingredients for the vibrant pickled hot dogs

Le Moing makes these with Lousiana-style hot links and red wine vinegar. She then seasons the mix with sugar, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes to make for a tangy-sweet, slightly spicy pickle brine.

Step 1: Put the sausage and pepper in a jar

Place the crushed red pepper flakes and sausage in a 16-ounce, wide-mouth jar.

Step 2: Heat the liquids with the salt and sugar

Add the red wine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a small pot and bring to a simmer.

Step 3: Cover the sausages with the seasoned vinegar

Pour the vinegar mixture over the sausages.

Step 4: Refrigerate the pickled sausages

Bring to room temperature, then cover and store in the fridge for 3–4 days before eating.

Step 5: Eat the pickled sausages

Serve straight from the jar as a snack, or cook the sausages to add them to your favorite recipes.

Are pickled hot dogs safe to eat raw?

It might seem a bit weird to eat hot dogs without cooking them — or the Louisiana hot links Le Moing prefers, for that matter — but the truth of the matter is that both types of sausages are actually pre-cooked and thus pretty safe to eat straight out of the package. "As an extra measure of precaution," Le Moing points out, "the hot liquid of the pickling brine will reheat and cook them further to prevent any food-borne illness."

As for changing up the types of sausage used, you will need to exercise a little caution. Le Moing chose hot links and wine vinegar because she wanted the pickles to have "a beautiful red color so they look more appetizing," but assures us that regular hot dogs (here are our picks for the best grocery store brands) or other sausages will work, as well. One caveat, though, is that this only applies to ready-to-eat ones. The kinds of sausage that are made from raw meat, like Italian sausages, would not work because the hot vinegar alone won't be enough to cook them.

How can you serve pickled hot dogs?

As pickled hot dogs are a classic American bar food, they naturally pair well with a domestic beer. To make a complete (if not overly nutritious) meal, you can also add some peanuts, pretzels, and pickled eggs. Of course, if you're feeling fancier, Le Moing suggests that you could include them on a charcuterie board along with crackers and cheese.

Another thing you can do with these pickled wieners is treat them like the hot dogs (or sausages) that they are — if they are left whole, you can plop them on buns and smother them with sauerkraut, ketchup, or chili. If they're cut in slices, you can put a toothpick in each piece and serve them with a mustard dip. Le Moing has added some pickled sausage pieces to a potato hash and others to a bowl of rice and beans, while you could also use them to make kebabs or stir them into an omelet.

Vibrant Pickled Hot Dogs Recipe
5 from 18 ratings
Red-hued pickled hot dogs, a classic dive bar snack offering, are simple to make at home, requiring just six ingredients and a few days of patience.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
5
minutes
Servings
1
(16-ounce) jar
sausage chunks in liquid
Total time: 10 minutes
Ingredients
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 ounces Louisiana brand hot smoked sausages, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
Directions
  1. Place the crushed red pepper flakes and sausage in a 16-ounce, wide-mouth jar.
  2. Add the red wine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a small pot and bring to a simmer.
  3. Pour the vinegar mixture over the sausages.
  4. Bring to room temperature, then cover and store in the fridge for 3–4 days before eating.
  5. Serve straight from the jar as a snack, or cook the sausages to add them to your favorite recipes.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 1,019
Total Fat 84.4 g
Saturated Fat 25.8 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 238.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.0 g
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
Total Sugars 7.5 g
Sodium 2,526.4 mg
Protein 52.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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