We’ve all, in our desperate moments, eaten the odd hot dog without a bun (or even a folded slice of sandwich bread) to accompany it. But we think it can be agreed that bunless franks are far less satisfying than their more classic, bun-cradled cousins. A delicious, grilled hot dog deserves to be cradled by a soft, pliable bun, capable of absorbing any sauces or toppings you might decide to pile on top. And with ready-made hot dog buns available at several price points, it’s easy to pick up a pack or two in anticipation of your next family barbecue.That’s why we decided to sample seven brands of hot dog buns, all available in stores or online.
While most of the varieties we’ve sampled were white bread, we also included a few additional varieties available to customers. Here are our rankings, from best to worst.
Oroweat’s Potato Hot Dog Buns ($3.99 for 8)
We’ll admit it; we’re suckers for potato bread. We’re also quite the fan of soft buns, and there’s no better bread for soft-yet-hearty bites than potato. Oroweat’s product is a particularly good take on potato bread, as it has a bit less sweetness than some commercial varieties. If you’re a fan of potatoes, these are sure to go over well at your table.
Signature Select’s Artisan-Style Hot Dog Buns ($2.09 for 8)
If you’re in the market for buns that look fancy and taste great without breaking the bank, then Signature Select’s Artisan buns are the choice for you. Not only are these the best picks in terms of both low price and high quality, but they also were among the best white bread varieties we tried for this taste test. If you’re a fan of toasting your buns, these would go over great if basted in butter and grilled or put in the oven for a few minutes. But even as is, these are still a delicious option for Safeway customers.
Most Nostalgic Buns
Ball Park’s Hot Dog Buns ($3.19 for 8)
If you’ve ever been to a large cookout, a baseball game, or visited a local hot dog vendor, then you likely know the taste of these buns already. Ball Park’s buns are soft, while still have some texture and heft. The bread doesn’t have a ton of flavor, but the texture is pleasing and likely to spark nostalgia. If you’re just looking for sure-fire a crowd-pleaser, then Ball Park’s buns will do just fine.
Wonder Bread’s Classic Hot Dog Buns ($3.09 for 8)
Wonder Bread, at least among our testers, was divisive. Some felt the buns were too soft and flavorless; others thought they tasted like childhood, despite their admitted squishiness. If you’re a fan of extra soft texture, then this will be the bun for you, but if you’re looking for a bun that’s a bit more present at a similar price point, you might as well go with Ball Park.
Best White Buns
Franz’s Hot Dog Buns ($2.59 for 8)
Homemade hot dog buns aren’t exactly a common baking project, but if you’re looking for buns that taste like fresh-made white bread, then Franz is your best pick. The buns are comparable to Ball Park in terms of softness, but they have more flavor for only a bit more cost. White bread lovers will thank you for splurging on their behalf.
Best Whole Grain Buns
Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Whole Grain Hot Dog Buns ($3.29 for 8)
Extreme lovers of wheat bread, rejoice: your new favorite hot dog buns have arrived. Angelic Bakehouse’s buns are admittedly tasty, but they are also inarguably whole grain — to the point of being more filling than the hot dogs we paired them with. The heartiness of the bun might be a little much for those who prefer a softer (and much less nutritionally rich) option. But for those who are acclimated to, or even prefer, sprouted breads, this brand is a fantastic option.
Not Our Favorites
Value Corner’s Hot Dog Buns ($1.39 for 8)
As we’ve said (several times) in this round-up, we love soft buns. There’s a limit to all things, however, and Value Corner hit it. These buns are more air than flour. The bun essentially disappears when you bite into it. Times are tough, so if these buns are the best thing to fit your budget, we get it. But we hope the brand does its supporters the favor of actually including some bread in the future hot dog buns it produces.
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