Introduction: Spicey Pickled Dogs or Homemade Bahama Mama's

Picture of Spicey Pickled Dogs or Homemade Bahama Mama's

This all started because of a talk with a friend about pickled bologna, which I had never heard of but was apparently well known where he comes from. How did I get to hotdogs and bahama mama's you ask? Well the bologna is supposed to be cut into 1/2" chunks and thats a LOT of bologna (no pun intended) then I noticed my local grocery had all beef hotdogs on sale and I thought about those jars of pickled sausage I like and the Bahama Mama's sold at convience stores, of course those are seldom really spicey so if I made my own... hmmm,  1+1+1+1 somehow equaled 2 and here we are !

Step 1: Simple Ingredients

Picture of Simple Ingredients

Your going to need a clean wide mouth jar
1 or 2 packs of hotdogs depending on size, I used 1 1/2 packs
 2 teaspoons of pickling spice (could have probably used 1)
 2 teaspoons of hot pepper flakes
 1 teaspoon of italian seasonings
 1 teasppon of minched garlic
  1/2 teaspoon of salt
 1 1/4 cups of vinager
  1/2 cup water

 fresh hot peppers

Step 2: The Brine

Picture of The Brine

put the vinager, water and spices in a pot and bring 2 a simmer, reduce the heat and just keep it simmering while the next step is done

Step 3: STUFF IT !

Picture of STUFF IT !

I used a fork and pierced hole up 2 side of the hotdogs, I don't know if you really need to do this but what the heck, and stood the weiners up in a wide mouth jar, in this case it took 12 hotdogs to tightly pack the jar, I then cut the tops from the red chilies and slipped them in the open spaces, the jalapenos were quarted and also used to fill some of the spaces

Step 4: Finished for Now

Picture of Finished for Now

Pour the hot brine and spices over the hotdogs and screw on the lid, turn the jar upside down and back a couple times to help spread the spices around and then refrigerate for at least a day, a week would be better, I can't comment on a month because they aren't going to last that long !

 before you ask:

 hotdogs are precooked although we prefer to boil or grill them before eating they are safe from the package.

 Safe canning proceedures: These aren't intended to be stored for any length of time but with all the vinager and salt theres little chance of spoilage. If you prefer to store yours or are just leery then by all means use appropriate canning jars and procedures


paizley (author)2016-08-12

A pkg of dogs, Thai chiles (lots), mustard seeds, peppercorns, garlic seasoning, vinegar. All made at room temp. I let it sit out at for the first day, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Really good grilled and served cut up as a warm party snack or just stuff a hoagie roll with 2 grilled dogs and add your favorite toppings!

paizley (author)paizley2016-08-12

I've also pickled Spanish chorizo and breakfast sausage links. With
all the vinegar I use, they can be stored at room temp. I have a jar of
mixed sausages that have been "stewing" for 4 months. I thinks they may
be ready now! Lol!

paizley (author)paizley2016-08-12


gringo316 (author)2015-07-25

My sausage doesn't have the snap in the skin I am wanting, that the commercial Hot Mamas have. I've tried various brands of hot dogs and sausage prior to pickling. Suggestions?

AlexandraA7 (author)gringo3162015-08-31

You need a compound called alum. Amazon sell it as 'Fatakdi powder, potassium Suphate'. It has quite a few uses apart from culinary ones, and is used extensively in the commercial pickling trade to maintain colour and CRISPNESS in vegetables. Yopu'll only need about a 1/4 of a teaspoon per jar, so you'll have plenty left over. Hope this helps.

gringo316 (author)AlexandraA72015-08-31

Yes, I've used the alum each time. I'm beginning to think after watching some shows on smoking sausage that I might be cooking them at too high of a temperature.

AlexandraA7 (author)gringo3162015-08-31

You don't cook them. You pickle them directly from the packet. Cooking comes AFTER the pickling process, not before. If I'm reading you correctly....

Do you mean you cook them before pickling, or after? It should be after....

gringo316 (author)AlexandraA72015-09-01

Every recipe I have seen calls for the dogs/sausages to be boiled along with the other ingredients.

SteveH96 (author)gringo3162016-04-11

My recipe doesn't require any heating, so long as the sausages are pre cooked. I suggest you only heat the liquid, put the sausages in the jar first then pour the warm liquid over them in the jar.

Note: Do this in the sink as the hot liquid can cause the jar to shatter, heat the jar up with hot watter before pouring.

wixi (author)gringo3162015-12-30

look up Koegels hot dogs out of Flint Michigan. they have the snap

JoeO22 (author)wixi2016-01-04

Koegels is the best!

crichard43 (author)gringo3162015-08-14

Gringo316 I am not one to comment but going up in a polish family and having pickled everything pickled. The only way I have found to get the snap is natural casing only. I have to pierce the skin with a toothpick and they come out great. Almost as good as pickled Bologna.

l8nite (author)gringo3162015-07-28

sorry I have no idea, it was never a concern for me. It could be anything from the type of casing they use to the way they cook them. I understand chicago dogs have a snap when you bite them perhaps you can try those?

RobM8 made it! (author)2016-01-31

I used a 80oz pickle jar, about 12 jalapenos. Combined hot links and long hot dogs.

I added a can of pickel beets to add color and a bit of sweetness.

I combined all except dogs, and began to simmer.

the brine was simmering, I used a chopstick to poke right through the
center, then forked them on two sides (really four sides because I let
the fork go all the way through. I then added the franks to the brine
and simmered another 10 minutes.

I have two layers of dogs in the jar, all have jalapenos quarters inbetween them.

I seperated the layers with pickel beets. Cooled on counter then in the fridge.

I had 5 dogs and a hot link left over, with the leftover beets it made a great dinner.

I actually started to break a sweat.

RobM8 (author)RobM82016-02-01

I just grilled 3 hot links and 3 hot dogs with some of the jalapenos from the jar I made yesterday. Pored bake beans over them. Oh man so good. jalapenos were a bit tough. The hot links were the best. I will not use anything other than the hot links from now on. The winners turned out a bit limp. The hot links were nice and firm.

One thing I can say that eating this with the jalapenos had tastbuds screaming and sweat beading down my brow. My mouth was on fire and I had to drink a glass of milk. Very good! I will be doing these every week.

RobM8 (author)RobM82016-02-01

I am also thinking of cutting the jalapenos into slivers and stuffing the hot links before pickling

RobM8 (author)RobM82016-02-01

just so you know the 24 pack (2lb) of hot links was $3.99. The long winners (3lb) was also 3.99. Jalapenos (12) was $1. Pickled beets $.88. Everything else was on hand and cost about 50 cents.

I will be doubling the brine mix so there is lots of juice left over so that I can add brine each time I remove a link. Otherwise the remaining links are not covered. In this case I had to add vinigar each time I removed a link.

TrueEyes (author)2015-05-20

Multiple questions most notably have you done the boil n brine method yet?

My entire reasoning for doing this is to be more cost effective than the singles at gas station so I'm gonna stick with hot dogs rather than sausage...with that being said, have you tried different variations like turkey, beef, or pork dogs and if so which mimicked gas station variety?

Most cheap hot dogs come with a casing, with that said wouldn't it be more logical to cut them in half before pickling so juices can get in?

And last question, have you experimented with red wine vinegar?

Thanks for any info you can provide!

l8nite (author)TrueEyes2015-05-21

the quick answer is "it depends" First off, the store bought type are little more than red pepper and vinegar with mostly a vinegar "bite".

Second, I've tried several types of wieners, depending on what was on sale, but I've settled on the cheapest available at Wallyworld at like 89cents a pack, by the time they are "pickled" it doesn't make really any difference.

Third, I actually make them several ways.

Quick and easy and great for parties is to dump a large jar of pickled jalapenos and a jar or 2 of hot pepper rings, juice and all in a crock pot, add some sliced onions and the hotdogs and cook on low for 8-10 hrs, I cut the dogs into thirds for that method. Most mortals can handle the amount of heat in these.

2. I make a pepper medley using jarred, frozen and fresh sweet and hot peppers, although this has changed over the years here is the basics

I cook the franks along with the peppers, stuff them in a jar and cover with cooking liquid, bring it back to a bubble in the microwave for about a minute, wipe the rim and cap allow to cool on the counter then refrigerate.

3. When I've eaten all the franks in the jar I just add more to the pickling juice in the jar. I usually have extra juice because I pack the peppers in tight and the juice also makes a great hot sauce so I jar it up as well but you can just add more italian seasoning and hot sauce or even plain vinegar, stuff a pack of wieners in the jar, make sure they are covered with juice and microwave 5-6minutes then wipe the jar and cap, allow to cool on the counter and refrigerate.

Of course, these are great right out of the jar but I also like to give them a bit of a browning in the toaster oven, in a frying pan or on the grill and eat like a hot dog with slaw or OMG.. a chiliNcheese dog...

threefires (author)2015-05-18

use pink salt. its for brining brisket.

TrueEyes (author)threefires2015-05-20

Not to mention all those trace minerals people pay to get in vitamins, i use Himalayan pink salt for everything now

l8nite (author)threefires2015-05-19

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, that's a good suggestion (author)2014-12-10

I am going to make some pickled sausages today for my daughter and her friends. I think I will smoke various sausages (Vienna, Hot Dog, Kielbasa) with pecan wood on my smoker prior to pickling. I made smoked pickled eggs yesterday along with regular pickled eggs and pickled green beans. I never use table salt due to the impurities so its either kosher or pickling salt. I will use dill weed, celery seed, fresh jalapenos, red crushed pepper, black peppercorns, bay leaves, fresh crushed cloves of garlic, and a blend of apple cider and white vinegars.

l8nite (author)

I like the idea of smoking the sausage. I've made several versions of these dogs over the past few years and I've hit upon a way I really enjoy. I make a hot pepper medly although even that has changed some over the years, and I cook the dogs in with the peppers then jar them with some of the juice

mike.arons.1 (author)2014-08-01


I have a question for all the hotdog picklers out there....I've been using a recipe very similar to this and I also add red food coloring. But what I've been noticing is that the pickling brine isn't fully absorbed into the hot dog. I've tried the fork method....Doesn't work....Any suggestions? Would like my hot dogs fully red like the commercial versions.



l8nite (author)mike.arons.12014-09-18

I missed when you posted this, I'm more concerned with the heat than the color but what Mike says seems to make sense

RisleyL (author)mike.arons.12014-09-17

Get the red hot dogs. sometimes they have a little more fat in them but there several companies that make them. that's why some of the pickled dogs are still pink in the middle that you buy an some are red all the way through also if you could try a thinner dog as well

trecenters made it! (author)2014-06-12

I will never buy a manufactured pickled sausage again. Below is the recipe I use.

Bahama Mama is a cheap product compared to what the company use to produce. The story is below, but I am willing to bet that they quit making Penrose "which was much better quality and sold in a jar" and started making Bahama Mama because it was more cost effective to sell single sausages and cost effective to stop using quality meats.

The Story is as follows.
Penrose Hot Sausage was discontinued by ConAgra foods in 2009 after the factory burned down. So if you're a fan, you're either SOL or you have to make them yourself. Pre ConAgra Foods the sausage was made from Beef and Chicken, once ConAgra bought the company they changed the recipe somewhat and the sausage was made from beef chicken and pork.

Penrose Hot Sausage Recipe.

This recipe makes a one quart jar of pickled sausage. Scale up or down as desired.

*1/2 cup water
*2 cups white vinegar, For milder flavor use Apple Cider Vinegar.
*1 tbsp salt (Pickling or Non iodine if available)

In each 1 qt jar: (Mild) For HOT add 50% more to each jar, for WILD, double.
*1/2 tbsp Ground Cayenne Pepper.
*1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper.
*1 tbsp red pepper flakes.
*1 tsp minced Garlic, or, 1 or 2 garlic cloves minced with a check faced framing hammer.
*1 tbsp dried minced onion, or a small diced white onion.
*1 tsp Paprika.
*A pinch all spice for mildly hot recipe, or for HOT recipe, add Ghost or your favorite HOT chili/pepper.

*28 oz pkg Hillshire Farms 'lil Smokies, or other precooked link sausage, cut in two. (MUST be precooked!) Kielbasa sliced about 1/2 inch thick works also. Hot dogs just don't work.
Or, use to pickle Boiled Eggs, just add a little sugar to the brine or they're SOUR!!


1* On medium-high heat, combine the water, salt, and vinegar.
2* Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer for a minute in a well ventilated area.
3* Place precooked sausage into a 1 qt sterile jar. Fill jar but don't pack tightly.
4* Place spices, onion, garlic etc., on top of the sausage in the jars.
5* Pour the hot vinegar mixture in with the sausage, If there isn't enough, mix a bit more brine. Secure the lid while brine is still HOT!!
6* Let cool, then place in the 'frige. keep Refrigerated after opening.
7* Ready to eat in 5 to 7 days.

When opened for the first time, there will be a layer of fat on top of the sausage and the underside of the lid, remove if you want too.

The last batch I made, I mixed in some sliced banana peppers that I had pickled, I was very pleased with the result! I'm sure jalapeno would work well also.

Great with crackers, chips, etc., and of course your favorite brewed adult beverage.

l8nite (author)trecenters2014-09-18

I some how missed this when you posted. I'll have to try the recipe with the keilbasa. Since I started making these I'm seldom without at least one jar in the refrigerator. I seldom follow a recipe and lately have been using habanero peppers

trecenters (author)trecenters2014-06-12

Also, If you don't use Non-Iodized salt the garlic will turn blue/green. This is not a bad thing just a chemical reaction that may scare people. Not harmful to digest.

cloudifornia (author)2011-06-27

I bet these taste great on the grill. Good job.

l8nite (author)cloudifornia2011-07-11

Well I didn't grill the dog but the idea haunted me, yesterday I heated some bacon drippings in a frying pan and cooked one, it was very tasty.

l8nite (author)cloudifornia2011-06-27

WOW ! I never thought about grilling them, they probably would be great ! I intended them to be eaten like a packaged redhot or other pickled sausage, straight from the jar but now Im going to have to try them grilled or maybe fried .... Thank you for the thought invoking feedback !

cloudifornia (author)l8nite2011-06-28

Welcome! The pickling should make it taste similar to a kraut dog. These dogs are definitely grill worthy.

branonls (author)2011-07-07

Yes, yes I think I'll try this tonight.

l8nite (author)branonls2011-07-07

please let us know what you think of the results. Mine have been "pickling" for about 2 weeks, they have a good taste but still aren't really hot, but then I use a habanero hot sauce on just about everything. The hotdogs are still very firm, I'm seriously considering simmering the weiners in the brine for the next batch, so they can absorb more of the brine and be a little softer. Thank you for leaving a comment...

branonls (author)l8nite2011-07-11

I didn't have pickling spice handy so I went with more of a Caribbean theme by adding curry, allspice berries, a bay leaf and turmeric along with onions, black pepper corns, garlic and hot peppers. I'll find out this weekend it I ruined $1.76 worth of hot dogs. I plan on making some pickled sausage next. Thanks for the inspiration.

l8nite (author)branonls2011-07-11

That sounds like a great seasoning combo ! When I made these I didn't have pickling spices either, I was kind of surprised at how small the jar was when I bought it, in retrospect it may not have been needed at all. Now into about week3 of the soaking/pickling and the weiners have picked up a bit of spice, taking my asbestos coated tastebuds in to consideration they may actually be hot to some, so don't allow the 1st or 2nd taste test discourage you. Please check my 2nd comment to cloudofornis as well.. and please come back and post your results

bajablue (author)2011-07-05

Gotcha! Good Luck!!!!

nikon20 (author)2011-06-28

These look great cant wait to try them. I eat Bahama Mama's a few time a week but these look way better. I am in agreement with cloudifornia i bet these are awesome on the grill or try stuffing one in a potato bomb.

l8nite (author)nikon202011-06-28

WOW are you a mind reader? I was just thinking about stuffing them in a potato a little while ago ! I'm still thinking these are a snack food but all these ideas have me reconsidering.

atombomb1945 (author)2011-06-28

you might get some better saturation by slicing the ends off the dogs in addition to piercing the sides.

l8nite (author)atombomb19452011-06-28

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I had considered cutting the hotdogs into 2 or 3 pieces but they fit so well in the jar whole that I decided not to, it probably would speed up the pickling process though. I also thought about cooking the hotdogs in the simmering brine but again they fit so well in the jar, I decided not to. I may try each of those options in the future.

Kaptain Kool (author)2011-06-26

THis looks incredibly awesome sauce!

l8nite (author)Kaptain Kool2011-06-26

thank you, I think... if you delete the pickling spices and italian seasoning, it is a lot like the NE arkansas hot sauce they used in my friends families BBQ shack but in my opinion would be to vinagery for most applications

poofrabbit (author)2011-06-25

This sounds so good! I really want to give this a try. Super 'able

l8nite (author)poofrabbit2011-06-25

Thank you for the comment, it really takes longer to read this "ible" than to make the hotdogs...except for the waiting for them to pickle of course...

PATSY001 (author)2011-06-25

How long ago did you make these? Have you sampled them yet?

Please follow up and let us know how they turned out!
Great idea, and good instructable.

l8nite (author)PATSY0012011-06-25

Thank you for the comment ! I made these last night and by this afternoon , I couldn't wait any longer! I tried 2, they were good and definately spicey but like I said in the "ible" next time I'd only use half the pickling spice

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