It’s now officially summer and hot dogs are an American favorite at ballparks and backyard grills with over 20 billion consumed in the U.S. annually. There has always been a mystery about what is inside of the dogs with 43% of Americans claiming to be frightened about their contents according to a PR Newswire poll from 2018.
There really is no reason to be scared because it turns out that water is the main ingredient in hot dogs, with 57% of the median weight according to another 2008 study. Of course, meat is another main component and comes from beef, pork and chicken. The casings are made from animal intestines or animal-sourced collagens and binders and flavorings like cherry powder and celery are used as well as nitrates and nitrites according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC).
Not all hot dogs are created equal, so be sure to check packaging to see exactly what you are getting with your favorite brand of hot dog.