The humble hot dog gets a makeover using beef from the world's most celebrated cows.


Pretty much everyone loves a hot dog, right? From foot-long dogs to cocktail weenies, these puppies are a fun food almost everyone can agree upon. And they've stayed mostly the same over the years. Sure, now there are vegetarian dogs, cheese-stuffed dogs, and lots of untraditional toppings, but relatively speaking, hot dog technology has remained unchanged. 

dressed dogs
Credit: Photography by Katie Currid

But now KC Cattle Company, a veteran-owned company that employs veterans and gives back to various veteran foundations, has taken our humble frankfurter upscale with their Wagyu hot dogs. Made from cows of the prestigious Japanese breed raised in America without hormones or undue stress, Wagyu beef is noted for its well-marbled meat, omega 3s and 6s, and superior flavor.

At first glance, KC Cattle's Wagyu franks certainly look different than your average dog. They're fatter and darker than other brands. I prepared them on a skillet and finished on a cast-iron grill pan for some nice char marks. They cooked up quickly, the skin blistering nicely, but I started to get hungry and impatient, so I gave up trying to achieve photo-ready grill marks. (Sorry, Instagram)

Wagyu Beef Hot Dogs

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Credit: Tara Cox

Getting ready for tasting

Credit: Tara Cox

Getting grilled

Credit: Tara Cox

Cooked to perfection

I opted to eat them plain to get the full effect, and these red-hots did not disappoint. Although I missed the snap of the with-skin hot dogs I usually eat, my teeth sunk right in to start what I immediately realized was going to be a flavor journey. At first I tasted the familiar hot-dog-y flavor, but that quickly morphed into a deeper, spiced-beef flavor, something more sophisticated than your usual stadium frank. From there, a subtler flavor emerged and lingered—a finish, if you will. This is a dog to be savored.

I tried another with my usual toppings to see how it would stand up with the standard fixings. Deli mustard and sauerkraut did not interfere with the experience at all. In fact, those humble dressings actually complemented the beef. This Wagyu weenie can probably wear anything, and its unique flavor lends itself to experimenting with outside-the-box toppings. At $14.99 for a pack of eight, it's certainly a fun way to sample premium meat on a budget.