The folks at Consumer Reports evaluated some 620 full-fat and lower-fat hot dogs from 23 well-known brands and major retailers to determine if there were any we could eat without guilt.
While no hot dog tested was deemed excellent, a number were considered very good. It was no surprise that the best-tasting dogs were the full-fat beef varieties, but several of the "light" dogs were nearly as good and were significantly lower in fat and sodium.
Bottom line: According to nutritionists consulted during the evaluation, those who indulge only occasionally can enjoy the dogs that taste best. Those who eat hot dogs often would be wise to choose a lower-fat variety.
A word about safety: While hot dogs are cooked during production, they do need to be heated to an internal temperature of 165 F before eating to destroy any harmful bacteria that may have developed. Keep them refrigerated.
Here's an overview of the best-rated franks. The entire article can be found in the July 2007 issue of Consumer Reports.
Very Good Overall
If You're Going for Taste
If You Want to Cut the Fat
If Kosher is a Must