5 Healthiest Hot Dogs For You And The Planet

We've got the best way to celebrate the season: humanely raised, hormone-free, grass-fed beef hotdogs.

May 24, 2017
Hot Dogs
JAMES ROSS/GETTY

It's that time of year again—summertime, eating outside, and lots of grilling! So pass the processed meat, please. You've probably heard all the urban legends about hotdogs: They contain pig ears, snouts, tails, and every other animal entrail you'd never touch with a 10-foot pole. (Here's how to clean your grill the right way to keep scary toxins off your food.)

But they're not all bad! We searched high and low for the best hotdogs out there, made with 100 percent real beef, not "variety meats," as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) likes to call them. And ours are organic or grass-fed, higher in omega-3s and vitamins, and untainted by the genetically modified animal feed, hormones, or antibiotics in unhealthy factory-farmed fare. Grab your tongs and hit the grill with these healthy dogs.

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*prices and nutritional content may change

Related: Your Ultimate Guide To Grass-Fed Beef

1. Applegate Farms The Great Organic Uncured Beef Hotdog

Calories: 110
Fat: 9 g (4 g saturated)
Sodium: 500 mg
Find a retailer: applegatefarms.com

Good to know: Not only are these hotdogs the lowest calorie 100 percent grass-fed dogs out there, but they're also the most widely available.

2. Organic Prairie Organic Uncured Grassfed Beef Hotdogs

Calories: 160
Fat: 13 g (5 g saturated)
Sodium: 450 mg
Buy online: organicprairie.com

Good to know: All the meat products sold under the Organic Prairie brand are raised on certified-organic U.S. family farms. Order online in bulk, or look for smaller packages at grocery stores nationwide.

Related: Clean Your Grill The Right Way To Keep Scary Toxins Off Your Food

3. Rocky Mountain Organic Meats Organic Grass-Fed Beef Hot Dogs

Nutrition info isn't available because the cost of getting that information was too high for this small, Wyoming-based ranch, says the company's president and founder Rod Morrison. "All of our hotdogs are completely grass-fed, and everything comes from Wyoming," he says. "We’re the cowboy state. We know how to do this."
Buy online: rockymtncuts.com 

Good to know: Per USDA guidelines, hotdogs that list "by-products" or "variety meats" on their ingredients labels need only contain 15 percent muscle meat to be called hotdogs. Don't worry—none of our picks contain "variety meats."

4. U.S. Wellness Meats Sugar Free Garlic Beef Franks

Calories: 140
Fat: 9 g (4.5 g saturated)
Sodium: 590 mg
Buy online: grasslandbeef.com

Good to know: Canadian researchers have found that daily intake of omega-3s in the amounts that exist in the average serving of grass-fed beef (about 35 mg per 3 oz serving) lowered triglycerides, blood fats that contribute to heart disease, without affecting cholesterol levels.

 

Related: 6 Healthiest Meats For You And The Planet

5. Just FreshDirect 100% Grass-Fed Organic Uncured Beef Hot Dogs

Calories: 150
Fat: 12 g (5 g saturated)
Sodium: 420 mg
Buy online (in select areas): freshdirect.com 

Good to know: If FreshDirect delivers to your neighborhood, you can experience these delicious organic, grass-fed beef hot dogs from family-run farms in the Pacific Northwest. Succulent, plump, and with no added nitrates or nitrites, they're equally good dressed up with onion and sauerkraut or eaten simply with mustard and ketchup.