September 25, 2009

Lightlife Smart Dogs, second try

This week is the second attempt at Lightlife Smart Dogs. I didn't have high hopes for these, I'll be honest. They have been in my fridge since the first attempt, just waiting for me to give in to my journalistic integrity and give them a second shot. I promised you all I would, so here goes.

In preparation for this, I made up some homemade coleslaw, and cooked some corn on the cob. I was ready to have a real, American cookout experience. With my Foreman grill. Too lazy for charcoal, sorry guys. Maybe next time I get my hands on some fake hot dogs.

Since I microwaved these last time, I decided to try a couple different cooking techniques, keeping in mind that the goal is not to cook them, but merely to warm them. First, a pot of boiling water. Dropped a couple dogs in there to warm up. I also cooked a couple on the grill, next to some backup real-meat hot dogs (but not touching - the experiment is still valid!). I threw them all in buns and topped with ketchup (my only condiment of choice for hot dogs of any sort). Took a moment to center myself, while wondering what the hell I was doing, then took a big bite of the boiled dog.

When I tried it before, it was a completely naked dog, no bun, no ketchup, and it was foul. With both bun and ketchup, it was slightly better. It tasted a little like barbecue sauce, but with a background flavor of... something else. Probably soy sauce. It was not terribly pleasant. And the texture... oh the texture. Super mushy. My mouth was not pleased. I think it may have taken on some of the water it was boiled in.

So I abandoned that one, took a deep breath, and got ready to try the grilled dog. It had an ever-so-slightly better texture, but the flavor was identical. I'd like to say I was really let down by these, but I wasn't expecting much. At least I had some real hot dogs to accompany my (only so-so) coleslaw and (super awesome) corn, and I don't have to continue ignoring the package of Smart Dogs in my fridge. *phew*

The experience:
Texture - mushy
Flavor - sorta BBQ, sorta soy sauce, mostly ick

Final grade: D-


  1. The ingredients on the package state soy sauce & natural smoke flavor so that's why it smells like it does plus with the paprika for color that's why there's an orangey color instead of pink; not sure of any pink spices, lol! I think your review of the dogs in the wave stating they were rubbery was misleading considering you appeared to overcook them in the wave; same thing happens to meat dogs. You also state "They have been in my fridge since the first attempt" well, I certainly hoped the taste tests were performed within days of each other (not the month difference of the posted reviews, ha)because otherwise you were using outdated & expired dogs from which to sample which of course wouldn't be the most honest review of a product, eh?

  2. Ok please don't contribute to people's loving efforts towards a less cruel country. Alot of people really like these vegetarian hot dogs so there are people out there trying to be vegetarian that would have tried these and actually liked them, but thanks to your wierd blog they wont.

    If you don't like a product, cool, but when you get into putting down vegetarian meats and saying thank goodness you had beaten pig butt instead is just tacky and lame. Be an actual person and stop giving money to factory farm bullshit.

  3. I think your tastebuds are broken. Lol. We love these things.

  4. Mine didn’t have an odor and looked and felt like a real hot dog. I put mine in the skillet - less than five minutes. Tasted great - not rubbery at all. You can’t over cook them.

  5. I read the package after I threw them on the skillet, because I was concerned after I read the do not overcook statement on the package I looked to see what happens if you do and ended up here... because mine blistered slightly on the skin reminding me of a real hot dog, I was curious about this statement. But with no luck I endulged while reading this silly review. I crisped the outside like I was toasting bread on the skillet, nice and warm on the inside the smell is very similar and taste was similar as well. Went “vegan/vegetarianish” a month or so ago so let looking to better our health. With the knowledge I acquired on ingredients I like/ prefer to cook all fresh vegetables and make my own veggie “fake meats” to avoid any processing. I’d say this product would be one I’d be willing to have as my guilty pleasure because it was delicious and it reminds me to the t of a real dog didn’t notice anything that stood apart including texture IMO! I think lightlife hot dogs are an excellent shortcut to eating healthy but microwaving any hot dog veggie or not is not an acceptable shortcut to cook anything... yuk!!! Threw my pan on low “3” to cook. 3 minutes should on first side while the pan warmed up or until the dog started rolling and blistering then rolled it slowly onto four sides like 3o-45s each side or to get that blistered look or browning of the skin on all sides. Then kept rolling it quickly for like another minute to make sure it heated all the way threw. And it was awesome can’t wait to eat more!