ABOUT US & GENERAL QUESTIONS
What makes these hot dogs and sausages special?
Aside from the fact that our franks are the most delicious around, there are several answers to this question. First, our dogs support the Let's be Frank mission of supporting family farmers who are using traditional, humane practices to rear animals in a sustainable way. Raising cows on grass makes for a healthier animal, a healthier planet, and healthier beef. Raising animals without hormones, steroids, or antibiotics is healthier for both the animals and the people who eat them. Crafting dogs without nitrates or nitrites, as we do, isn't the easiest option, but it results in a safer and more delicious product. Providing a consistent customer for the cuts of meat less cherished by restaurants (which are perfect for our dogs) enables our farmers to stay in business. Buying from local sources means less fuel is used to get our dogs to you. So, when you buy a Let's be Frank dog, you really are helping change the world, one hot dog at a time!
Why are these hot dogs more expensive than others?
Good food takes time to produce, and time is money! Grass-fed cattle take longer to mature than grain-fed cattle, and the ranchers need to be paid a fair price for spending more time to raise less beef. We pay the ranchers who raise our cattle more than they could get selling at commodity prices, and this increased revenue enables them to sustain their ranches and support their families. And, our hot dogs and sausages have no fillers, no junk, less water and more high-quality meat than comparably-sized hot dogs from other producers. Finally, don't forget the delicious flavor and great snap in our dogs. We use herbs and spices rather than chemicals to season our meat. The snap comes from the lamb casing, which is more expensive than the plastic used to form skinless dogs. We think (and hope you agree) that snap is priceless!..
Why is grass-fed beef better?
Grass fed beef yields solar-powered protein--an elegant and sustainable relationship between the sun, the cattle and you. When cattle are raised on grass, the need for huge amounts of fossil fuels used to grow grain and manage cattle in confinement is eliminated, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint. When cattle eat just grass, the meat is higher in healthy Omega 3 fatty acids and lower in unhealthy Omega 6 fatty acids. Plus, the meat tastes better! Our cattle are raised in California by families who have been ranching for generations. Without them, this farmland would disappear.
Where do you get your beef?
Our beef comes from cattle raised by Panorama Cooperative of Ranchers in northern California.
Where do you get your pork?
Our pork comes from Heritage Acres, a cooperative of family farmers in Missouri.
What cuts of meat do you use?
Our third-generation sausage-maker tinkered for months until he found just the right blend of meat and trim, and the perfect cuts to make our hot dogs delicious! The beef we use is shoulder clod, chuck roll, plate and shank. These are cuts that are used for steak sandwiches and stew meat. The pork in the sausages is the "picnic" cut and belly.
Why isn't the pork from California (ie, "local")?
Pigs love corn and need to eat some grain, so our hogs are raised where corn and grain can be grown nearby (ie, Iowa!)
Are your products kosher?
Our beef is not kosher, as there are no California ranchers who raise their animals on grass and then have them processed in a kosher facility. Current kosher certification laws have essentially no bearing on the ethical or environmental standards by which animals are raised or processed. We only use meat that is raised and processed humanely, from animals that are never fed hormones, antibiotics or chemicals. We like to say that our dogs are "beyond kosher."
Why aren't your hot dogs organic?
While Let's be Frank supports organic farming, we also consider an important part of our mission to find and support producers who are following the time-honored, careful protocols of traditional farming even when they are not certified organic. The organic certification process has become extremely time-consuming, difficult, and expensive, and consequently is impractical for many smaller farmers and ranchers. We feel it is important to enable our customers to eat the highest quality, most delicious foods as well as to help them understand why organic certification may not be an indication of quality.
Because our cattle range freely on open pasture, it is impractical and consequently very expensive to have all that land certified organic. Our cattle eat only grass that has never been chemically fertilized or treated with pesticides or herbicides, and the cattle never receive antibiotics or hormones. Our pork is raised by a cooperative of family farms that are held to strict protocols for animal treatment, feed, and care. The pigs, like the cattle, are not given any hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. Our hot dogs and sausages do not contain nitrites or nitrates.
From a perspective of humane animal treatment, environmental sustainability and human health and safety, our hot dogs meet or exceed organic standards.
Why do your hot dogs have a different texture than I am used to?
A genuine frank, made in the traditional way (ie, before the food industry invented all kinds of strange things to speed up and simplify the cooking process) was made like a French boudin. The hot dog is an emulsification (ie, a blend) of protein and fat. This old-fashioned method requires great care to a) balance the fat to protein ration, b) use the right kind of fat, since not all kinds will blend smoothly, c) keep the temperature of the mix very cold during the mixing, and d) smoke the dogs just right: not too hot, not too cold.
In today's industrial food world, most hot dog makers add a number of things to speed up and simplify the production process. Water and milk powder are the most innocuous, but all those other ingredients listed on the package of many other dogs, with all those words that no one can pronounce, both speed the emulsification and hold the texture through thick and thin, hot, cold and boiling. Because our Frank Dog doesn't contain any stabilizers or fillers, its texture is a bit different (and more authentic) than conventionally-made dogs.
What allergens do your products contain?
Full nutritional panels, ingredients, and allergens are linked to specific product descriptions.
Where can I find nutritional information about your products?
Full nutritional panels, ingredients, and allergens are linked to specific product descriptions.
Do your hot dogs and sausages contain nitrites or nitrates?
Neither or dogs nor our sausages contain nitrates, and the hot dogs have only the naturally occurring nitrites in sea salt.
Do you use a casing for your hot dogs?
We use lamb casing for our hot dogs and sausages. It provides that great snap that folks love, keeps our dogs juicy and contributes to the delicious flavor. It's part of the reason our dogs cost a little more, but we spare no expense for that snap.
What is the shelf life of your hot dogs and sausages?
All our meat products keep frozen for up to one year and keep eight weeks in the refrigerator. Because we ship our dogs frozen, you can refreeze them upon arrival (even if they are slightly defrosted upon arrival), or put them directly into the refrigerator. The quality will be excellent either way.
How do I know when they should be eaten? Why isn't there an expiration date on the package?
To obtain the best texture and flavor, our meat products must be smoked in batches of at least 400-800 lbs at a time. We generally freeze our dogs and sausages right after production, so that we can defrost them as needed. Because of our production methods, freezing doesn't detract from the quality of our dogs at all. As a small company, sometimes we keep our products in the freezer for more than 8 weeks, so if we put a use-by date on our packages on the production date, we'd end up having to discard perfectly good and delicious dogs! We ask our retail partners to date code the packages as they defrost them, and we do the same in our retail shop. If you purchase a package from one of our retail partners that is missing a best before date, please let us know, so we can remind the store to apply a best before date. If you order from us directly, you can choose whether to place the dogs in the freezer and keep up to one year, or directly into the refrigerator and use within eight weeks.
Where are your products sold?
Please visit our Locations page for details on where and how you can find our dogs!
What's the best way to prepare your hot dogs and sausages?
Because our dogs are leaner than most, they cook faster and will dry out if overcooked. We recommend steaming them until hot throughout (5-7 minutes) then finishing on a hot griddle or grill pan. Barbecuing also works quite nicely, but watch carefully to make sure they stay plump and juicy. If the dogs start to shrivel, they're overcooking.
Our hot dogs and sausages can also be microwaved if wrapped in a moist paper towel (which provides a nice steaming effect.) Boiling is not recommended, as it toughens the skins and dries out the meat.
Do you cater?
Absolutely! Frank loves to party. For more information, including how to contact our catering manager for details, please visit our Catering page.
How do I place an order?
You can place an order with us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I pay for my order?
Currently, we process payment using Paypal. After receiving your order, we'll email you an invoice (via Paypal). Simply submit your credit card info after clicking the link in the invoice (it's secure!) and we'll take it from there.
How long will my order take to arrive?
We ship out via second-day air on Mondays and Wednesdays. Depending on when your order is received, you can expect to receive it on either the following Wednesday or Friday, but always within 7 days. Please let us know about any special circumstances or rush orders in your order email.
Why are your shipping charges so high?
Our shipping charges are covered to calculate the actual cost of shipping and our packaging materials. As a small company, we don't qualify for a heavily discounted shipping rate. Because we need to send our products via second-day air in insulated boxes (and include ice packs in each package), our costs for both shipping and packaging materials are very high.
How do you package items for shipping?
Our perishable items (hot dogs and sausages) are shipped in insulated bags inside corrugate boxes, packed with ice packs. We searched high and low for an environmentally responsible alternative to Styrofoam coolers. Our packaging is made from compostable plastic that insulates with air and is inflated upon use. It takes up less space in transport, storage and in the garbage, and is re-usable. We ship the dogs frozen with as many ice packs as necessary to keep them cold until they reach you. While they may be slightly defrosted upon receipt, you can easily refreeze them with no detriment to quality or put them straight into the refrigerator!
Non-perishable items, including apparel and Devil Sauce, are packaged as appropriate and shipped via UPS ground.
Why don't you have a real e-commerce site?
Patience, my friends! We're getting there, but with everything going on this year, including the opening of our new store in San Francisco, the growth of our catering business, and the expansion of our product line, we just haven't been able to get it all done yet! Keep watching our site to see it grow.