Frankfurters, and by default it’s sandwiched form the hotdog (yes, hotdogs are a sandwich) - are one of the most versatile of sausages. There are numerous global varieties from Sweden to Australia, countless add-ons, and condiments - sauerkraut, relish, mustard, ketchup (yes, ketchup) - and of course the meat itself - beef, pork, beef and pork, beef and pork and veal, chicken, veggie, etc. - have made the hotdog an accessible, portable, and tasty treat.
The Frankfurter’s origin is uniquely German and while itʻs thought that many of the first German immigrants came from the region around Frankfurt, the Palatines, we do know that the sausagesʻs arrival coincided with the arrival of the first German immigrants in the mid-1800’s. In 1867, a Brooklyn entrepreneur, one Charles Feltman, began selling hotdogs out of a converted pie cart on Coney Island. It wasn’t until 50 years later, after a subway line extension transformed Coney Island from a ritzy destination to more boardwalk kitsch and a bun-slicer by the name of Nathan was hired on, that the hotdog truly became it’s iconic self. Present-day, over 20 billion are consumed in the US every year.
So, naturally, we thought - wouldn’t it be great if we could make that 20 billion and one? Well, hopefully more than one more. We’ve been working non-stop at the Maui Nui Venison Meat Lab, crafting what we think is a one-of-a-kind sausage - hickory smoked in small batches with balanced spice that ensures the delicious flavor of Maui Nui venison shines through. And that’s all you’ll be getting with this hotdog: 100% wild-harvested venison, with all the nutrients and protein you’ve come to expect. And while you may think the absence of added fat might make these hot dogs prone to overcooking, we’ve got a couple of methods to help you heat them just right. Whichever method you choose, the best way to start is to thaw on a plate in the fridge over night.
Method #1 - Poach:
Poaching a frankfurter is always a great idea. Grilling sausages on an open flame can turn into a flame-inducing, case-bursting disaster resulting in all that flavor being incinerated. Adding a bath of liquid is a gentler, more even cook and it can add additional flavor. Try beer, cider, sauerkraut, stock, even water will do the trick. Over direct heat, bring your liquid to a bubble (not boil). This should take about 5 minutes or so. Drop in your frankfurters and cook for about 6-8 minutes (if heating from frozen add about 2 minutes). After that, if you want some char, pop them on the grill.
Method #2 - Pan-Fried:
Heat a cast iron pan over direct heat with your choice of fat (preferably tallow, lard, grass-fed butter, or ghee). While that’s heating, slice your frankfurters any way you like. Once the fat is hot enough, move the pan off direct heat. Cook for approximately 4-6 minutes. If you prefer it, go ahead and slightly warm or toast your buns, dress your hot dogs how you like, and enjoy!