What’s Really Inside the Hot Dog You’re Eating?

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We are in full-blown hot dog season right now. Actually, hot dog season is all year long, but the summer is when we’re all going to cookouts, baseball games, and food trucks to load up on wieners.

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But have you ever taken the time to sit back and think about what’s actually in all those hot dogs that you’re stuffing your face with?

All of us have heard the rumors over the years about the disgusting ingredients inside that foot long. But trust me – they may not be the most healthy concoction ever dreamed up, but hot dogs are 100% FDA approved.

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So what’s in them? Well, a whole lot of “trimmings”, which are discards of meat cuts leftover at the slaughterhouse (that’s a nice image). Think a lot of fatty tissue, sinewy muscle, meat from an animal’s head, and even the liver sometimes. These trimmings can also contain animal blood, skin, and feet (but it’s all edible). All of these leftovers are cooked to kill bacteria, made into a paste, and then ground up.

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It’s also at this point that other ingredients are added for flavor and to help with curing the meat that will one day be a delicious hot dog. After this process, the ground up paste is put into casings and cooked all the way. Then there’s a water rinse, the dogs are removed from the casing, and they’re packaged for all of us to buy. So now you know, and you can put some of the (more) disgusting rumors to rest. Enjoy your summer dogs – I know I will!