Get America's Test Kitchen All Access — become the Smartest Cook you know, guaranteed. Toasting hamburger buns is a common practice in restaurants, and hot dog buns benefit greatly from the same treatment. With its only additive a negligible amount of salt, the only truly natural peanut butter in the lineup elicited comments ranging from mild dissatisfaction ("needs enhancement with salt and sugar") to outright disgust ("slithery," "chalky," "inedible"). Get FREE ACCESS to every recipe and rating from theis season of our TV show. Doesn't take up much space in cupboard or on countertop. Our best guess as to the culprit? When shopping for a hot dog toaster, use the same criteria as you would for a standard bread toaster: an accessible drip/crumb tray, a cleanable housing, and a compact design. A drip tray should capture and retain this grease until it can be emptied. New England-style split-top hot dog buns can be hard to find outside the region, but now you can make them at home. jar (15 cents per oz. Experiment with different brands of hot dogs and buns. The cooking process in a hot dog toaster ends well before the hot dog reaches the unpleasant “cremation” stage that can happen on a charcoal grill. Does the placement of the bun slice really make a difference? On the other hand, the side-sliced buns had almost twice the amount of bread on top as on the bottom, making for awkward, unbalanced bites and a risk of condiments leaking out through the cut side of the bun. The sweet spot for family cooks who want to prepare up to four hot dogs at one time is $25 to $35. Models with top-loading toasting elements are generally limited to standard hot dogs, not bratwurst, kielbasa, or other forms of sausage. If you like your hot dogs plump or bigger than the regular size, this is the unit for you. Here are some important features to consider as you shop: Removable drip and crumb tray: As the hot dogs cook, excess grease and oil naturally drip to the bottom of the machine. Grease capture: The toasting element heats vertically, which means the excess grease and oil naturally drain off into a convenient drip tray. Some hot dog toasters are stylish enough to leave out on the kitchen counter, while others are compact enough to store in a cabinet. Adjustable heat settings. Our favorite received merely average scores. 2, 2020. Many people seek out grilled hot dogs first at picnics, and they’re a staple food for grand openings and other special events. Won't keep food warm for long period of time. Flavor: Toasted hot dogs also acquire a unique flavor not diluted by water or other cooking liquids. Extracting the finished product can be difficult, so look for a toaster that comes with small tongs designed for removing the hot dogs safely. Many commercial hot dog cookers contain a special cabinet where the hot dogs buns are either heated or steamed. Great for fast dinners and lunches for the family. The big favorite in satay sauce, this peanut butter's "dark, roasted flavor"—helped by the addition of molasses—stood out particularly well against the other heady ingredients, and it made cookies with "nice sweet-salty balance." Is there really any discernable difference between popular brands of bun? Q. I prefer the oversize hot dogs that plump while cooking. Toasting often creates grill marks, too, which give the finished product additional visual appeal. A. Perfect for the Snoopy and Peanuts fans or collectors. The entire process only takes a few minutes, and the result is a satisfying snack, lunch, or even dinner on the fly. If you’re a fan of hot dogs but want to avoid the hassle of grilling, broiling, steaming, or boiling, consider our list of candidates and read the following shopping guide for more detailed information. Some users also prefer toasted buns because they don’t absorb condiments such as ketchup and mustard as quickly as untoasted buns. More akin to a hot dog-flavored mousse, the interior of these dogs was a scientific marvel in texture best explored by no one. Q. I’m concerned about consuming an undercooked hot dog if I prepare it in a fast-cooking toaster “gadget.” Do hot dogs really get thoroughly cooked in a hot dog toaster? Here are 10 brands you'll enjoy. The temperature controls should be more customizable, so different users can adjust for personal preferences. The only other palm oil-based peanut butter to make the "recommended" cut, this contender had a "looser" texture than its winning sibling but still won fans for being "super-smooth." The hot dogs themselves might need to be toasted repeatedly to be cooked to your satisfaction. Fun gadget if you like novelty items. Almost all tasters thought the bun was too big and bulky, with the wrong bread to dog ratio. Makes grill marks on hot dogs for unique appearance. Get exclusive content, advice, and tips from BestReviews delivered to your inbox. It should capture any crumbs from the buns as they toast. After all, the bun is just a vehicle for the dog and condiments, right? Q. There are also noticeable variations between commercial bun brands on store shelves. Some tasters liked the bun’s crusty exterior, sturdiness, and nice “yeasty” taste—one taster declared it a “good dog vehicle.” On the other hand, many found the bun dense and lacking in flavor. The compact design works well for small kitchens. Some hot dog buns may not fit. Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases. Unit comes apart for cleaning. While some may consider a dedicated hot dog toaster to be more of a novelty than a serious kitchen appliance, others who experience midnight cravings or want to make a no-fuss after-school snack for kids might see the machines as a lifesaver. Red color looks good in kitchen. This is what peanut butter should be like, " declared one happy taster, noting specifically this product's "good," "thick" texture and "powerful peanut flavor." Homemade hot dog buns aren’t exactly a common baking project, but if you’re looking for buns that taste like fresh-made white bread, then Franz is your best pick. Texture: There are many ways to prepare a standard hot dog, including broiling, grilling, pan-frying, steaming, and boiling, but toasting has some tactical advantages over other methods. On the other hand, eating it straight from the jar was nearly impossible; its "loose," "liquid-y," and "dribbly" consistency had one taster wonder if it was "peanut soup.". Cord is in odd place in the front of the unit versus on the side. Cookies were "dry and crumbly" with a "hockey puck" texture, and the satay sauce was "stiff," "gritty," and "gloopy.". Here in New England, we’re accustomed to finding top-sliced hot dog buns at our supermarkets, as opposed to the side-sliced buns available elsewhere in the country. Makes good hot dogs and warms buns. Fun appliance, and useful if you eat a lot of hot dogs. The standard Niman Ranch hot dog is approximately the same length as many other brands' "bun-length" varieties, and thicker too—not as thick as a jumbo dog, but enough to notice. Most hot dog toaster models that cost between $15 and $25 hold two hot dogs and two buns. And this is where a clever kitchen appliance known as a hot dog toaster comes into play. )*, 25 years of Cook's Illustrated, Cook's Country, and America's Test Kitchen foolproof recipes, In-depth videos of recipes and cooking techniques, Up-to-Date reviews and product buying guides. The Results, from ' Meh ' to ' Seconds, Please ' By Taryn Pire | Jul. This effect can be challenging to duplicate in a home kitchen. Makes a unique gift for college students, grandparents, or anyone who enjoys hot dogs at home. In a contest that hinged on texture, tasters thought this "smooth, "creamy" sample was "swell" and gave it top honors, both plain and baked into cookies. Ribs and burgers on the grill are always summer favorites. Good-size hot dog toaster that can cook up to 4 dogs and 4 buns at a time. A hot dog toaster vertically toasts two to four weiners at a time, along with an equal number of hot dog buns. Most models in this range are vertical toasters, but there are also some horizontal models that include a bun warmer and a top grill plate for other kinds of sausages. Easy to use and easy to clean. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5. There are two different designs when it comes to hot dog toasters. Tasters thought it made an especially "well-balanced," "complex" peanut sauce. BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. © 2020 America's Test Kitchen. If the hot dog doesn’t fit into the toasting slot, it could get stuck after cooking. It turns out it does. In the top-sliced buns, the bread was evenly distributed on each side of the dog, and it held the hot dog and condiments securely. Inexpensive. Buy It 75 Percent Lean, 25 Percent Fat Ground Beef. Many hot dog toasters have variable temperature controls, so individual users can select their preferred level of doneness. Attractive enough to leave out, or it can be stored away easily in a cupboard. Many manufacturers overcome this challenge by including special holding baskets to keep the hot dogs in place during cooking. Stop mechanism: Much like a standard toaster, a quality hot dog toaster should have an emergency stop mechanism. Some hot dogs might not fit. It depends on the hot dog toaster’s design. However, it turned out a respectable batch of cookies—"chewy in the center, crisp and short at the edge"—and made "perfectly good" satay sauce. Tasters rejected their “processed” taste but thought the buns stood up to the condiments well. We instructed tasters to fill each type of bun with a hot dog, load it up with their favorite condiments, and eat it. We recommend starting with a less-expensive model unless the demand for quick hot dogs is exceptionally high in your household. The same holds true for toasting the buns. Both styles produce excellent results, but we recommend top-loading vertical toasters for easier use and cleanup. When it comes time to hunt for a healthy hot dog that actually tastes good, it can be daunting to find one that fits the bill. Unit works better if preheated before cooking hot dogs. New England Split-top Frankfurter Hot Dog Bun or Lobster Rolls - Pack of 6, 12 or 24 count Not just a fun novelty appliance, it offers up tasty dogs and buns in a flash. ... pop it in a bun. Convenient hidden cord storage. Learn real cooking skills from your favorite food experts, The iconic magazine that investigates how and why recipes work, American classics, everyday favorites, and the stories behind them, Experts teach 200+ online courses for home cooks at every skill level, Kid tested, kid approved: Welcome to America’s Test Kitchen for the next generation.

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