GFCF guide to hot dogs

I love hot dogs, and so do my kids. But, with the host of food issues they have, including the gluten - casein free diet and soy, finding an OK hot dog is tricky. We don't follow Feingold strictly, but we also try to avoid the dyes and preservatives. We bend the rules for hot dogs, since they don't get much of this elsewhere. However, we are in the process of switching hot dogs, to a brand that does not have the preservatives. I think it's worth the extra money. I'll be buying those in bulk to cut my cost. So, here's a look at some OK hot dogs with a few notes on each. Also note, there are turkey dogs and chicken dogs and tofu dogs out there. We can't do tofu, so you won't find that here.

1 - Best's Kosher: This is the brand we use. It is kosher. It is gluten/casein free. It is soy free. We can't find it in a local supermarket, but we can buy it through Sam's Club. You could also find it in a Jewish grocery or deli in your city. The only downside is that it contains preservatives, which we try to avoid. Otherwise, it's perfect.

2 - Hebrew National: This is the brand we used to use. It's similar to Best's Kosher in every way, except it contains soy. That's a no-no for us. If it's OK for you, it's a great hot dog, and you'll find it in your local supermarket.

3 - Applegate Farms: This is an excellent brand that is gfcf, soy free, and does not have the preservatives. It is sold organic and a non-organic package. Your choice. We buy it at a local food co-op but I imagine you'll find this at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's too.

4 - Wellshire Farms: This is the brand we're switching to. The reason is it's gfcf, soy free and preservative free. I can get this in bulk for the same price as the kosher hot dogs, which have preservatives.

5 - Shelton's: If you're looking for an alternative to beef, Shelton's is among the best, selling turkey and chicken hot dogs. My kids will eat this.

6 - Others: I've been told, and I've read, that other supermarket hot dogs are OK, such as some -- not all -- Hillshire Farms, Oscar Meyer, Ball Park, etc. This may be true. I've tried to steer away from those, not for any reason based in fact. I tried to head for hot dogs held to stricter ingredient guidelines, like the kosher dogs. Now, I'm going even farther in buying the preservative-free. Just trying to keep as much junk out of my kids bodies as possible.

Now, for buns, you're on your own -- for now. But, I've made hot dog buns using the Noah's Bread recipe. And for ketchup, Heinz is gluten free, but we buy Muir Glen brand, which is organic and does not have the high fructose corn syrup. Again, I buy bulk to cut costs. Annie's also sells a healthy ketchup. Mustard -- French's.


GFCF Mommy said…
I think this will really help people sort things out. We are hot dog lovers here too and came to the same conclusions as you.

Your blog is so great! I am really glad you started it and I think it will help so many people.

jim said…
Katherine -- hot dogs were a life saver early on -- just after our kids were diagnosed. There was so much they couldn't eat and I didn't know yet how to cook very much for them. So, hot dogs it was :)

Sue said…
In the last few days, I have been scouring the Ball Park Frank ingredients, website, etc. for info on gluten. I came to the conclusion that they were gluten-free, so your information is so timely. Thanks for taking the time to call the manufacturer. I love this website. I just started my son on a gf/cf diet (last week) and this has been the best source for me! Thank you, thank you!
jim said…
Ball Park finally responded to me by phone. With no specifics, they simply said they would indicate a gluten source on their ingredients. I believe they likely are gluten free. I wonder about MSG though. Thanks for the nice words about the blog. That's why I do this. So many people helped my wife and I out early on, and there's so many people looking for good info out there. I thought I could contribute something.
Anonymous said…
I've been buying Coleman Naturtal hot dogs. The packaging states they are gluten and dairy free. I noticed you didn't list these, any reason for that?
A's Mom said…
I buy Coleman's too, what does anyone else know about them? They're delicious, and no preservatives or nitrates!
Anonymous said…
new to GFCF This has been the best site I have found for recipes. I am looking forward to trying them. My kids have been troopers so far.

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