“What Even is in a Hotdog?”

We find ourselves asking this question plenty of times, but never really know the true answer… No worries! Nathaniel Gonzales is here to help!


Flickr, ​Yahoo!, 25 Oct. 2020, www.flickr.com/.

Many American grocery stores carry various types of hotdogs. The hot dog is a meat based sausage with a reputation for being a mystery among consumers. The salty pink substance inside the casing leads to an important question. “What even is in a hot dog?“

Hot dogs are usually composed of processed meats such as beef, pork and various poultry. Other less common meats include goat, lamb or even reindeer. The meat is often mechanically separated and preserved with sodium. Kosher hot dogs, found in packages labeled with a “K”, contain only poultry and beef. Minor non-meat ingredients are water, spices, corn protein and the sweetener dextrose.
However, certain hot dogs contain animal parts usually considered waste. Examples include snouts, stomachs and lips. Organs found in hot dogs include livers, hearts, kidneys,gullets and spleens, all from various animals. Uncured hot dogs use celery juice in place of sodium.
The USDA provides information about hot dog ingredients from various companies. So, when eating a hot dog, reading the ingredients if possible might be a good idea.