Hot dogs. Just the thought of them effects images of unmentionable, grotesque body parts that are then chopped up and packed into a bun. But Porter Road Butcher’s hot dogs are something else entirely…no lips, no buttholes—in fact, our hot dogs are made from 100% beef short rib meat!
As a whole animal butcher, we insist upon not only using local, sustainably-raised animals, but also make sure that every edible morsel is put to great use. The meat that surrounds the ribs has the perfect ratio of meat to fat, which makes them ideal for creating the best hot dogs you’ve ever wrapped your lips around. But we don’t just grind it up and stuff it into casings; that would be too easy. Making hot dogs at Porter Road Butcher is a labor-intensive seven-day process.
It all starts on day one when we trim the meat from the rib bones and cut it down into cubes. Then we toss it with a special salt blend to begin a curing process. The cure helps balance the moisture levels in the meat, provides flavor, and helps the emulsification process that makes those dogs so dog-gone good!
After a full 48 hours of curing, day three begins the three-day grinding process. But we don’t take this grinding lightly; each day, we grind the meat not just once, but twice. Using a manual grinder we feed each icy cold piece through the gears to create the proper consistency before sending it right back into the fridge. When day five rolls around, they go through this process once third and final time, further grinding and emulsifying the meat and fat before chilling yet again.
On the sixth day, the process gets a little more exciting: the meat finally begins to resemble the hot dogs you know and love. We remove the meat from the cooler, grind it twice again (of course), and then add a blend of special seasonings. While we’re not willing to give away all our secrets, we can tell you that among the seasonings are ground coriander, garlic, and ground mustard, among others. We then finish our dogs with a house-made thyme simple syrup before filling all-natural lamb casings. These casings are key to giving our dogs that sought-after ‘snap’ when you bite into ‘em.
But wait- we ain’t done finished yet…we return the links of hot dogs to our cooler to allow them to air-dry before the final step on day seven.
Our smoker is fired up with local cherrywood and we smoke them dogs on high heat. This not only provides that signature smoky flavor, but it also cooks the hot dogs so that they’re ready to go into our meat case, chillin’ once again, but this time ready for guests to snap them up and take ‘em home!
If you’ve ever tried a Porter Road Butcher hot dog, you certainly know why they’re so popular. The blend of seasonings and 100% short rib meat makes them criminally delicious…and knowing that they are free from organs or extremities only helps enhance that enjoyment!
Hot dogs are just one of many unique homemade sausages we make here at Porter Road Butcher. Knowing how much attention we put into making a simple hot dog, you can only imagine the love and care we put into everything we do here at PRB.