Category Archives: Death Match

Death Match: Hot dogs

On Sunday, we had our second death match.  We took on the herculean (not!) task of taste testing five hot dogs to determine the best hot dog you can buy in the Capital Region.  I just want to say that no one was more surprised by the results than myself.  We purchased the following brands from the store and local shops:

1.  Hoffman’s Hot Dogs

2. Oscars Adirondack Smoke House Hot Dogs

3. Rolf’s Pork Store Hot Dogs

4. White Eagle Hot Dogs

5. Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs

We focused on local products but thought it would be a good idea to throw in a national but still New York brand into the mix.  We had a total of six participants in the death match.  It was a blind test to all but J.  He grilled all of the hot dogs on a gas grill.

The first part of the taste test consisted of eating a plain sample of each brand without any of the fixings.  The second part of the taste test consisted of eating another sample of each brand in a bun (Freihofer’s) with each person’s preferred dressings.  We provided the following toppings:

–  Fresh chopped white onion

– Chopped pepperocini’s

– Sauerkraut

– Green relish

– A variety of mustards

– Ketchup (J is a purist and does not believe that ketchup belongs on a hot dog but I vehemently disagree)

We then compared scores and dun dun dun…Nathan’s won out.  I WAS FLABBERGASTED.  I mean really, Nathan’s?  But here’s why:  it was the most flavorful, also the only beef hot dog in the mix.  It was just salty enough and tasted almost like kielbasa. It’s really delicious.  White Eagle was a close second, also with a nice flavor, a little spicy, again, not too salty.  Hoffman’s came in third, the consensus was that it tasted like warm bologna.  Weird.  The hotdog from Oscars was predictably smokey and people liked it but it didn’t really stand out.  I also personally didn’t like the texture too much, I found it a little mushy.  And finally, that left Rolf’s in last place.  It was bland, and it had a weird after taste.  I really disliked that one.

So I guess that’s why Nathan’s is famous in the first place but you know what? I’m still always going to support my personal favorite brand, White Eagle.  I like the idea of a local brand and it’s a really delicious hot dog.

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