What Makes a Great Turkey Dog?

Turkey dogs are a delicious treat, especially in the summer! High quality turkey hot dogs have a fine grind that is tender to bite and moist and rich when chewed. They have notes of smoke, turkey and spice in the aroma and flavor. Specifically, the hot dog has a fine grind, a pink color, and appears moist. The aroma and flavor profile includes turkey meat, smoke, and warm spices like clove. Supplemental notes from vegetables like onion, celery and garlic may be present. There are no off notes from burnt ash and/or poultry liver or offal (organ meat). Hot dogs are salty with some sweetness and umami. There may be low bitterness or sourness. The hot dogs are tender and may offer a “snap” from the skin when bitten. They have a moist, moderate chew and some richness. The hot dog flavor comes through when it’s eaten in a bun.

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Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • off notes

    Inappropriate flavors, such as rancid or oxidized oils, freezer burn, plastic, metallic or other flavors acquired from a food’s packaging and storage. Example: Canned pineapple that picks up a metallic flavor from its can or stale flavors from freezer burn in a frozen entrée are types of off notes.

  • umami

    One of the basic tastes; the savory flavor in meat and broths; sometimes an additive (MSG). Example: Natural Parmesan cheese, meats, seaweed, fish sauce and sesame exhibit an umami taste.

  • snap

    When a food breaks apart cleanly. Example: Fresh corn, grapes, carrots and the casing of a hot dog will have a snap when bitten.

  • chew

    The texture of a food as it is being chewed, as opposed to the texture of the first bite. Example: High-quality beef jerky should be tender but have a long chew.

  • richness

    Associated with creamy and dense mouthfeel; often evident in products containing significant amounts of butter or cream. Example: Alfredo sauce, coffee and super premium ice cream can be described as rich.