The staff of the New York Times taste-tested ten hot dogs, most of which are available at your local grocery store. The ten were all-beef franks, so they will cost a little more than average, but you should get some idea of what you're looking for from their descriptions, in case you're hosting a picnic for the Fourth of July.
First, the hot dogs would be cooked on a gas grill until well browned.
Next, each would be tasted plain to evaluate the intrinsic qualities of the hot dog: seasoning, beefiness, snap, texture.
Last, each would be eaten in a bun with the judge’s preordained condiments — the same for each dog, to keep the flavor profile consistent.
This important final step would allow us to assess the melding of meat and bread, sweetness and spice, salt and juice that makes up a perfect hot dog. The bun should hug the hot dog closely; there should be enough juice in the hot dog to keep the whole package together; condiments should complement the hot dog, not overwhelm it.
If you ask my opinion, any hot dog is great when it's cooked on a grill outdoors in summertime, served with mustard and some potato salad (or even just chips) while you eat outside. I guess that's why they didn't ask me to be a judge. Read the results of the taste-test here. -via Digg
(Image credit: jeffreyw)