GalleryTaste Test: Hot Dogs
Ah, hot dogs. Meat tubes bursting with stars-and-stripes patriotism and, when they're good, a poppy snap with salty-garlicky-beefy juiciness. Even if you're not a "hot dog person" they just taste better on the Fourth. We went grocery shopping for the most nationally-available brands of all-beef franks, both skinless and with natural casing. Hot dogs get very regional—you have Sabrett in New York, Vienna Beef in Chicago—but we stuck to the easiest-to-find-anywhere dogs.
A team of 11 Serious Eaters and one slobbery pooch (who has quickly become the official four-legged SE mascot) tried nine different hot dogs, sans condiments. Toasted buns were around as palate cleansers.
Tasters tried samples and scored each for: snap factor, spice balance, juiciness, and appearance.