The Cruelty-Free Review

A review of compassionate products, foods, and recipes

Doggone It!

We’re just one day away from spring! Although that doesn’t mean much in these parts (Colorado is notorious for having some wicked spring blizzards) it does mean we are one day closer to summer and I am so ready! So to get everyone in a summery mood, I present a review of Tofurkey’s vegan hot dogs.

Vegan chili cheese dog!

Vegan chili cheese dog!

Before I get to the review, let me clarify a few things, mostly to do with the lame picture above. I’m not the world’s best planner when it comes to my posts (hence my sporadic posting schedule) so although I knew I wanted to review these, I didn’t get around to taking the picture until I had already thrown out the package and was out of hot dog buns. I actually took the picture at work, thus the paper plate. Thankfully my blog isn’t about pretty pictures but honest reviews, right? 🙂

My go-to for vegan hot dogs has been Lightlife Smart Dogs. I’ve tried Field Roast’s Frankfurters and thought they were better than Lightlife’s in both texture and flavor, but they are more expensive and each dog contains 8 grams of fat compared to the Smart Dogs, which have just 2 grams.  I’ve stayed away from Tofurkey because honestly it is my least favorite mock-meat products. I’ve only tried the deli-style slices once and was horribly put off by them. I occasionally use the Italian sausage or Kielbasa in a jambalaya recipe, but can only use a very small about. I just don’t like the texture or taste. I always assumed that I wouldn’t like the hot dogs based my dislike of their other products but they just happened to be on sale so I threw caution to the wind and picked up a package. I figured even if they were awful I would be adding copious amounts of Daiya and vegan chili so it wouldn’t really matter.

Here’s where you learn an important lesson, kids—never assume that you will dislike everything a company makes until you try it all. I was so prepared for a bland, mushy offering that I was afraid I had accidentally served myself one of Robert’s beef dogs when I took my first bite. It had spice and texture. It didn’t taste like an extension of the bread, but rather an ingredient all its own. I grilled mine on an indoor grill and it actually developed a nice crispness to the outside, providing that satisfactory ‘snap’ when I bit into it. The flavor is almost exactly how I remember non-vegan dogs tasting; a perfect balance of salt, garlic, and smokiness, and it stood up well to the chili, cheese, and red onion I adorned it with. I do believe that Tofurkey has made a perfect vegan hot dog, and I almost let my own narrow-mindedness pass it up.

I make sure to label leftover dogs to aviod any unwanted meat consumption.

I make sure to label leftover dogs to aviod any unwanted meat consumption.

Nutritionally speaking they fall right in the middle of the pack between Field Roast and Lightlife. Lightlife dogs are 50 calories each, with 2 grams of fat, no saturated fat, and 330mg of sodium. Tofurkey comes in at 100 cals per dog, 4.5g fat, no saturated fat, and 330mg of sodium (Keep in mind these are for the regular dogs, not the jumbo ones). Field Roast’s dogs will set you back 180 cals each, 8g of fat with 2g saturated fat, and 690mg of sodium.

Definitely check the puppies out (no pun intended) if you haven’t already and keep thinking happy, summery thoughts; it will be here before you know it!