Ball Park Franks Review

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While no pork-based hot dog passed the enjoyment test with our tasters, the Ball Park (Original) garnered the least criticism. The flavor was acceptable but the consistency was lacking.

A Ball Park franks review of the beef and original pork-based varieties by our panel of judges in a blind tasting awarded the products a failing grade and a passing grade, respectively.

Whereas beef hot dogs were always preferred to the pork-based wieners under review, Ball Park's (Original) Frank -- a blend of turkey, pork, and beef, along with other hot dog ingredients -- scored the highest in the latter category. In other words, the Ball Park pork-based frank garnered the least amount of criticism. When pressed, our tasters declared it the "best" non-beef dog. One said "the taste is just okay and it's still a weird consistency" while another likened the flavor to bologna but called it "the best of the bunch." Other Ball Park franks reviewers mentioned "good flavor, but not juicy" and "good taste, but texture is off." These remarks actually seemed like compliments given the general consensus about the pork-based wieners in our sample.

Ball Park Beef Franks, on the other hand, failed to impress our review panel at all. When asked to comment, one taster said the franks were "lacking a good beef flavor and had a weird texture." Added another: "It's not great, kind of a fake taste, and very bologna-flavored." Reviewers at Good Housekeeping found Ball Park's beef franks more to their liking, describing them as mildly salty with a sweet offset and side of garlic although the interior consistency was a downer.

The original, pork-based frank (starting at 31 cents/serving) packs 180 calories and 15 grams of fat (5 of which are saturated) and 480 milligrams of sodium, or 20 percent of the recommended daily value. A Ball Park beef frank (starting at 62 cents/serving) contains 190 calories and 16 grams of fat, including 7 of the saturated kind. There's a whopping 550 milligrams of sodium (23 percent of the recommended daily value) in these dogs.

Ball Park launched in 1957 in Detroit when the owner of the Tigers baseball team sought out a frank specifically for his stadium. The brand has since expanded its reach and now shows up in grocery stores, convenience stores, and, of course, Comerica Park (home of the Detroit Tigers). The product lineup also includes beef patties, Angus brats, and Angus beef hot links.

Looking for a budget-priced pork-based frankfurter? Try the Ball Park brand. If your palate runs to beef hot dogs, don't bother.

Raechel Conover

Raechel Conover is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on Yahoo, blogs, and other websites. She's a self-confessed shopaholic and frugal mom, always scouring the sale and clearance racks for deals and taking full advantage of free community activities and events with her husband and young sons.

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