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Taste Test: Hot Dogs

Photo: Randy Mayor
We wanted tasty franks that had less than 450mg sodium, 200 calories, and 5g saturated fat per dog.

OUR FAVORITE: All-Beef Dog Boar's Head Skinless Beef Frankfurters 120 calories, 4.5g sat fat, 350mg sodium. This wiener's authentic beef flavor made it stand out among its beefy brethren. Although it was one of the lowest in sodium of the ones we tried, you won't feel like you're missing a thing: Salty-garlicky notes are rounded out by a hint of spicy smoke. It's sans skin, but still snappy. $6.59 (10 per package)

OUR FAVORITE: All-Poultry Dog Applegate The Great Organic Chicken Hot Dog 70 calories, 1g sat fat, 420mg sodium. Turkey dogs may get bypassed because shoppers fear trading flavor for health, but we were delighted by this all-chicken version: It's a tasty frank that is pleasantly salty with a mild, delicately smoky chicken flavor. $6.49 (7 per package)

Hot Dog Toppers

Caramelized onions are good, as is hot artisanal mustard. Try heaping on spicy Korean kimchi or sweet-tart Indian chutney. Or give my son Matthew's favorite topping a go: Spoon on some smoky baked beans. -Julianna Grimes, Senior Food Editor