Kentucky Bourbon Dogs

February 15, 2011

A favorite in our house, these Kentucky bourbon dogs make the best party appetizers!

  Kentucky Bourbon Dogs | Fake Food Free | Sliced grass-fed hotdogs slow cooked in a sauce spiked with bourbon.

Earlier this week when I bragged…sorry, shared about my access to the wonderful world of local meats that is Marksbury Farm, I mentioned that we recently bought some hot dogs there. I really thought after I began focusing my meat purchases on naturally raised and processed meats that hot dogs would be a distant memory.

Not that I gave them up completely. I had one at a Cubs game last summer and they are difficult to pass up at a summer BBQ. However, I can’t say I felt good about buying or eating them and found myself doing so much less often, if at all.

Then I saw them smiling at me in the smoked meat case at Marksbury Farm Market.

Welcome back, hot dogs.

These dogs are a bit different than your standard grocery store variety. The texture was a bit tougher and the circumference a bit larger, but they still have that same familiar hot dog flavor.

We checked out the label and they are not completely without preservatives, but I doubt that is even possible with a hot dog. They are made with all beef and I feel a lot better knowing the origin and processing of that beef back when it was a cow roaming the grasses of Kentucky.

We found the hot dogs just in time for the Super Bowl so we added one of our favorite game snacks to the menu – Bourbon Dogs. This recipe came from my mother-in-law, but after doing a search there are lots of others out there that are similar.

Kentucky Bourbon Dogs | Fake Food Free | Sliced grass-fed hotdogs slow cooked in a sauce spiked with bourbon.

I’ve switched out a few ingredients such as organic ketchup because it is the only variety that I have easy access to that also does not have HFCS in it. And it must be Kentucky bourbon. Any mixer-friendly brand will do.

The longer these dogs sit in their hot tub of barbeque-like bourbon sauce the better they are. Cook them on high for about an hour to get them bubbling, then on low for another hour or two. After that, turn them to warm and serve.

Football may be over, but these will come in handy if you are planning for a little March Madness!

Kentucky Bourbon Dogs

Makes: 6 to 8 snack servings


1 lb. grass-fed hot dogs 
1 ½ cups organic ketchup
1/3 cup water
½ cup mascavo sugar (or brown sugar)
½ cup Kentucky bourbon
1 tbsp onion, grated


Slice your hot dogs into pieces at least a half inch wide. Place in a 5 quart slow cooker. 

In a medium bowl, stir together the ketchup, water, sugar, bourbon and onion. Pour this over the hot dogs and stir so that all pieces are happily coated. 

Cook on high for about 1 hour, then reduce to low for 1 to 2 hours. Serve or allow them to sit with the slow cooker on the warm setting so that they absorb even more flavor.

Kentucky Bourbon Dogs | Fake Food Free | Sliced grass-fed hotdogs slow cooked in a sauce spiked with bourbon.

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  • Velva February 15, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Cheers to your new hot dog find. You are right, a good do g is hard to pass up. What’s important here, is that you bought them locally and they were not your standard, loaded with preservatives hot dog.


  • Peggy February 15, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Well if that doesn’t look like the most amazing hot dog dish, I don’t know what is! There’s just something about KY Bourbon that adds flair to even the simplest things! But maybe we’re partial because we reside in the state =)

  • Danielle February 15, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen hot dogs look so glamorous!

    I will only buy the nitrate-free, organic hot dogs that Whole Foods or the Coop carry. Even those I try to limit. But they do taste so good.

  • cathy February 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Yay for a good hot dog! We buy a great local hot dog made by Country Natural Beef here. Like yours, the flavor is a bit different (better!), and it’s a bit bigger, but oh so good. Best of all, we get to actually meet the ranchers that raise the beef a couple of times a year at local harvest festivals. It’s always nice to have a connection to the food you’re eating.

  • emily (a nutritionist eats0 February 15, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    March Madness is almost here and this sounds like the perfect Sat afternoon BBall food! I just need to figure out if we have Kentucky Bourboun!

  • Eliana February 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Talk about kicking up the flavor on a boring hotdog! This looks and sounds delicious.

  • Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) February 15, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    There’s just something about a good hot dog every know and then that is totally worth it, even if they have a few preservatives in them. The fact that you can get locally raise and produced ones is awesome.

  • Deb in Hawaii February 16, 2011 at 12:47 am

    What great hot dogs–love the bourbon. I love an occasional hot dog too, much as I try to limit them.

  • Michelle @ Find Your Balance February 16, 2011 at 10:52 am

    I find it easy to pass on hot dogs UNLESS they are cooked over an open fire and I am camping 🙂

  • bunkycooks February 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I love your healthier version of Smokies! I bet they are awesome with the bourbon, but then, aren’t most things? 😉

  • 5 Star Foodie February 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    The hot dogs sound amazing with the bourbon sauce, I am definitely bookmarking this for March Madness, great idea!

  • Joanne February 17, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I’m actually not the biggest hot dogs fan but it’s good to know that a high quality version actually exists! you’ve done good things with them.

  • MelindaRD February 17, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I like how you made these look fancy!

  • kat February 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Ohhh Matt wanted to buy a bourbon sauce this weekend & I said you can make your own…well here’s the recipe for him

  • Tangled Noodle February 26, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Way to give these dogs a bit of zing! My only disappointment is that Kentucky bourbon may be a bit tough to get a hold of here. But where there’s a will – and I am determined to give this a try! 😎

  • OysterCulture March 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Yum, I love the KY bourbon addition that could be dangerous in my book. I’d want one, two,…oh don’t get me started

  • Denis March 13, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Up in the province of New Brunswick we call these Drunken Dogs. It’s an old hunting camp favorite. We do it equal parts brown sugar, ketchup and rye whiskey. Great on a bed of rice!

    Denis S.

    Ottawa, Canada