If you want to impress your guests at your next barbecue, you should avoid the worst Walmart hot dogs.
The store has a big selection of franks. Unfortunately, some of them are mostly water and have ingredients you probably don’t want to think about.
How do you know which brands to avoid? We’ve done the groundwork for you.
Let’s get grilling!
The History of Walmart
Walmart opened in 1962 as a discount department store. It started in Arkansas and opened shops throughout the southern U.S. by the 1980s. Today, the chain exists in 27 countries and has over 11,000 locations.
Walmart strives to bring the lowest prices on goods to its consumers and has the motto Every Day Low Prices. They offer a little bit of everything, including electronics, clothes, and groceries.
They operate different stores like Neighborhood Markets and Supercenters with various services such as optometrists and nail salons. Walmart can be a convenient and easy one-stop shop for customers trying to save time.
The Scoop on Hot Dogs?
We’ve probably all had a hot dog, but how much do you know about them?
Pork sausages originated in Frankfurt, Germany, in the 13th century, hence the name frankfurter and the nickname frank. They were given to people during imperial coronations. You might’ve also heard them called a wiener, after Vienna, Austria, where they came from.
People started serving these in buns around 1900. The story goes that a food peddler ran out of wax paper for the sausages and improvised by tossing them in a bun instead.
Vendors used to call them dachshund sausages and would holler to advertise their hot food. Eventually, they shortened the terminology to hot dog, and that’s what we still call them today.
How Are Bulk Hot Dogs Made?
It takes many steps to make a hot dog. This is partially because hot dogs at grocery stores must be fully cooked before they hit the shelves.
First, the manufacturer will finely grind up pork and sometimes beef trimmings. They’ll mix in seasonings like garlic and pepper before adding water to find the perfect texture. The meat mixture will be similar to a batter.
Then, they’ll fill up hot dog casings with the batter using a linking machine. Next, the sausages are cooked with smoke. Finally, they’re ready to be packaged and delivered to your local grocer.
Unfortunately, not all franks are created equally. Walmart is home to delicious hot dogs, as well as some of the worst ones we’ve ever tried.
Pro Tip: Get the inside scoop on The Weird History of the Wienermobile RV.
5 Worst Hot Dogs from Walmart
We want to help you avoid making a disappointing choice, so we’ve compiled a list of the worst Walmart hot dogs. These may be cheap, but we don’t think saving a few pennies is worth the compromise in taste.
#1 Lightlife Smart Dogs
This brand tops the list of worst hot dogs at Walmart. This plant-based brand advertises its sausage as a healthy alternative. But the product you get will be chock full of canola oil and artificial sweeteners. Don’t fall for their marketing schemes.
Lightlife gets its protein from soy protein isolate, a chemically engineered product. As the name suggests, they remove the protein from the soybean for use in the hot dog, stripping away other nutrients like fiber and vitamins. Beyond that, it also kind of tastes like a sponge.
#2 Bryan Juicy Jumbos
Most people don’t consider this food to be healthy. But this common Walmart option fully embraces the worst aspects of hot dogs.
Bryan Juicy Jumbos have even less protein than the plant-based sausages mentioned previously. One link has more fat than a tablespoon of butter and as much sodium as a slice of pizza. These hot dogs aren’t very filling, so you’ll probably eat more than one for your meal. Put these links back on the shelf and make another selection for your next cookout.
#3 Bar S Classic Chicken Franks
If you don’t eat red meat, you may be on the hunt for a chicken-filled hot dog. Unfortunately, this one falls flat. The company tried to make it taste like beef using additives, but ultimately the flavor doesn’t hold up.
If you’re interested in the health benefits of skipping red meat, these links will also disappoint. They have about the same amount of saturated fat as their beef counterpart and a similar amount of protein.
We recommend you skip the Bar S Classic Chicken Franks and look for a better option.
Pro Tip: Looking for a new hot dog recipe? Find out how to make a Sonoran Hot Dog.
#4 Ball Park Classic Bun Size Hot Dogs
Ball Park hot dogs advertise no fillers and no artificial flavors. However, the company lists corn syrup as one of the primary ingredients and has “natural flavors” later down on the list.
If you want a genuine, pure frank, you’ll want to find one that’s all beef or, at the very least, one mixed with pork. The package lists “mechanically separated” chicken and pork as the protein source, whatever that means. This sausage uses stock as a natural flavoring instead of actually using the meat.
Do yourself a favor. Opt for Nathan’s all-beef links if you want a classic ballpark hot dog.
#5 Bar-S Classic Jumbo Franks Hot Dogs
We’ve probably all had our fair share of Bar S franks. They’re easy to find in grocery stores nationwide for around $1 per package.
Like the Ball Park Dogs, these have a mixture of chicken and pork as primary ingredients, with beef making up less than two percent of the sausage. We attribute the lack of flavor to the fact that these are filled with water. Each link contains only a few grams of protein. Honestly, we think any other option you pick will be better than this.
Should You Buy Hot Dogs from Walmart?
This store is famous for its incredible selection of foods at Every Day Low Prices. But Walmart also stocks some of the worst hot dogs you’ve ever tasted.
We recommend looking for an all-beef dog. Check the nutrition facts before you buy, and if water’s listed first or second, put it back on the shelf.
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