Serious Eats

Koegel's Vienna Dogs from Flint, Michigan Give Sabrett a Run for Their Money

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Having been raised in New York, I'm a hardcore Sabrett fan all the way, particularly the surprisingly tough to find natural-casing variety. Anything else just ain't a hot dog*.

*OK, the Hebrew National and Boar's Head that won our office tasting aren't bad either).

But a recent trip to Flint, Michigan, gave me some food for thought. You'll find Coney Island-style chili dogs all over Detroit and the surrounding cities, and it's widely agreed upon that the best are made with Koegel brand hot dogs from Flint. Combined with a thick, beef-heart-enriched chili, chopped onions and a squirt of mustard, it's a tough snack to beat (See our hot dog columnist Hawk Krall's illustration here for a more detailed view).

Even on their own, Koegel's natural casing Vienna dogs compete with the best hot dogs in the world. Snappy and well-seasoned with a pleasantly springy texture, their only flaw is they're a little too soft for my taste, which takes me to Koegel's Polish Sausage-style hot dogs.

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More robust and a little more heavily seasoned, the Polish dogs have a much more robust texture with small chunks of meat and fat that add textural variety. The only problem—they're skinless. Are you listening Koegel?

Take your Polish Sausage, stick'em in some natural casing, and you may have just created a hot dog that's—dare I say it?— better than Sabrett.

If you're not going to be in Michigan any time soon, not to worry, you can order Koegels products online, including the rather frightening sounding "Ring Bologna."

Any of you Michiganders with me on this one?

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