The Year in Hot-Dog Innovation

By Alexis C. Madrigal
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A person in a hot dog suit poses with two women at a roller derby match (flickr/9stars).

The Fourth of July, high holy day of the hot dog, is upon us. It may seem the fourth marks the eternal return of barbecues and fireworks, a seasonality for those without fields to tend. But time's arrow shapes even the cookout. Here, we survey the year in hot dog innovation through patents filed since the last time we celebrated the nation's independence with fire and processed meat.

Let it never be said that our nation stood still while others carried forth the banner of progress.

The Double Dog doubledog.jpg

"The present invention relates to a meat product used in conjunction with a bun for the consumption of elongated cylindrical meat products comprising: a dual elongated cylindrical meat product, where the meat product is served within the bun. The bun includes a first half; a first well within the interior of the first half, where the first well provides a means for the placement of a first portion of the meat product; a second half, where the second half adjoins the first half along one side the second half; and a second well within the interior of the second half, where the second well provides a means for the placement of a second portion of the meat product."

Inflatable Hot Dog Marketing

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"The inflatable decorative receptacle may also be useful in environments other than tailgating parties. For example, vehicles used for food or other vending purposes depend on their visibility to passing motorists and pedestrians. After setting up in a parking lot, street corner or fairground, the inflatable decorative receptacles are deployed on the ground or on the roof of a vehicle to attract attention. For example, a hot dog vendor may deploy a large inflated hotdog or even inflatable words such as 'HOT DOGS!' "

A Printing Press for Corn Dogs (Or Any Stick-Mounted Food Item)

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"The cooking appliance includes a pair of opposed heated cooking plates. Each cooking plate includes a primary reservoir/cavity and a secondary reservoir/cavity for receiving the batter and the food item therein. The cooking plates are hinged together whereby the plates can be abutted together such that the reservoirs and the cavities create a cooking enclosure to cook the food item and the batter therein. A stick receiving bung retains the stick in an orientation such that the food item is coaxial with the primary reservoir. Each secondary reservoir includes raised and recessed surfaces which cooperative define a recognizable image. Upon pouring and cooking batter within the secondary reservoirs, this image is transferred to the outer surface of the cooked battered food item."

A Better Sweet Onion Condiment

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"The most well-known of all commercially available sweet onion sauces is manufactured by Marathon Enterprises, Inc., of Englewood, N.J., under the brand SABRETT. While SABRETT sweet onion sauce does very well commercially, due to its frequent packaging with a more potent hot dog, its ingredients are largely unnatural and include a significant number of chemicals (i.e., preservatives, etc.), which lead to an undesirable flavor. Thus, there is a need for an improved sweet onion sauce and a method for manufacturing the same."

The Hot Dog Innovation Ecosystem dogecosystem.jpg

"More recently, such roller grill units have been utilized to heat food products other than hot dogs in a vending situation. For example, burrito products have been manufactured to roll on and be heated by a roller grill. Such other products, however, have not been very successful because of the relatively short product life experienced by such products. While hot dogs and sausage type products are traditional and well understood and have dimensions and structures that work well on roller grills and for grab-and-go eating, other food products are a challenge to adapt for roller grills and for grab-and-go consumption... The present disclosure relates to novel and advantageous food products comprising, a filling substrate and a batter and breading layer surrounding the substrate, wherein the food product is cylindrically shaped, and wherein the food product maintains its shape when the food product is held at one end."

Disrupting the Hot Dog Roaster

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"The conventional hot dog roaster is disadvantageous in that when the number of the gears is much greater than three, the length of the hot dog roaster will be too long for a small space and that since the hot dog roaster cannot be rotated relative to the grill, uneven cooking of the hot dogs may occur due to hot spots of the heating action of charcoal in the grill. Therefore, an object of the present invention is to provide a cooking device that can overcome at least one of the aforesaid drawbacks associated with the prior art."

Disrupting the Elongated Food Market dogdisrupt2.jpg

"'[F]ood shaping' is generally limited to the restricted food types as set forth above or to frozen food products. However, there is a desire for cooking devices which are capable of customizing a variety of different food products into potentially utilitarian configurations. Such shaping of food products may also be more appealing from an aesthetic point of view as well as providing certain practical features, which make the consumption and handling of the specifically shaped food product more enjoyable. By way of example, the conventional "hotdog" or sausage type sandwich is enjoyed in many countries throughout the world not only because of the flavor and texture but also because of the elongated configuration allows a hotdog, sausage, etc., to be picked up and consumed without the need for forks, knifes, or like eating utensils."

Biomedical Hot Dog Roller

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"One embodiment of the present invention provides a method of applying a coating to a luminal surface of an implantable medical device. The method comprises providing the implantable medical device defining a lumen and having a longitudinal axis; rotating the medical device about the longitudinal axis; applying a first polymer in liquid form to the luminal surface; and at least partially solidifying the first polymer while rotating... The implantable medical device is rotated about its longitudinal axis by any suitable means, including a bed of rollers. In one aspect the rotation means is a hot dog roller such as the Lil' Diggity Hot Dog Roller or Hot Diggity Hot Dog Roller available from Gold Medal Products, Cincinnati, Ohio. The rollers are preferably made of stainless steel."


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/07/the-year-in-hot-dog-innovation/277507/