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 !
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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 !
pickled weiners (13).jpg
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 months ago

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) months ago

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.17 months ago


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.16 months ago

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

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!9 months ago

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)  trecenters6 months ago

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

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.

I bet these taste great on the grill. Good job.
l8nite (author)  cloudifornia3 years ago
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)  cloudifornia3 years ago
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 !
Welcome! The pickling should make it taste similar to a kraut dog. These dogs are definitely grill worthy.
branonls3 years ago
Yes, yes I think I'll try this tonight.
l8nite (author)  branonls3 years ago
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 l8nite3 years ago
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)  branonls3 years ago
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
bajablue3 years ago
Gotcha! Good Luck!!!!
nikon203 years ago
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)  nikon203 years ago
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.
you might get some better saturation by slicing the ends off the dogs in addition to piercing the sides.
l8nite (author)  atombomb19453 years ago
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.
THis looks incredibly awesome sauce!
l8nite (author)  Kaptain Kool3 years ago
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
poofrabbit3 years ago
This sounds so good! I really want to give this a try. Super 'able
l8nite (author)  poofrabbit3 years ago
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...
PATSY0013 years ago
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)  PATSY0013 years ago
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