Oscar Mayer's New Stuffed Dogs Line Lives Up To The Hype

stack of hot dogs
stack of hot dogs - Michael Palan / Static Media

By nature, hot dogs are all about filling, whether they are made of beef, pork, turkey, or chicken. Cheese entered the picture -- within hot dogs --  in 1956. The fine meat purveyors of Oscar Mayer got cooking with its own cheese dog line a few decades later. Now, in 2024, Oscar Mayer is taking that cheesy filling feeling a step further by spicing things up with its new line of Stuffed Dogs. The Stuffed Dogs -- decked out in that iconic yellow-banded logo -- come in three varieties: Cheese, Chili Cheese, and Jalapeño Cheddar.

In a Kraft Heinz press release regarding the stuffed hot dogs, Molly White, vice president of marketing for Oscar Mayer, said: "Our ambition is to spark smiles and be the indisputable leader in taste, which is why we reimagined the iconic Oscar Mayer wiener to meet the evolving preferences of our consumers. Whether seeking a spicy twist or pop of creamy cheese, we strive to feed fans' appetite for category offerings that are currently only available from quick service restaurants."

So, are Oscar Mayer's new Stuffed Dogs filled with awesome flavor, or should the company stick to regular hot dogs? I got cooking with a pack of each to find out, and I promise to be frank with my thoughts. This chew and review is based on flavor, appearance, uniqueness, and overall lovability.

Some recommendations are based on first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer.

Read more: The 11 Best Frozen Burger Brands Available

What Do Oscar Mayer's Cheese Stuffed Dogs Taste Like?

Cheese stuffed hot dogs
Cheese stuffed hot dogs - Michael Palan / Static Media

As I free the wet (not in a Wienerschnitzel way) Cheese Stuffed Dogs from their packaging, I feel a little suspect about their salmon pink hue, dotted with yellowish pimples looking to burst. But I safely assume those are the pockets of cheese waiting to shake things loose.

I cooked the dogs in the microwave and saucepan methods outlined on the packaging. The microwave retained that odd pink coloring, while the boiling method gave them more of a brown shade. Boiling allowed for more of a full flavor that combined the meaty talents of mechanically separated chicken, turkey, and pork. What I didn't find much of is the titular cheese. It's in there, and more visible when I sliced the dog lengthwise to get a closer look. However, the tiny teardrops of grainy cheddar cheese failed to live up to how I dreamed it up in my head — exploding oozy splashes into my mouth. That sort of did happen once, but a tiny squirt went the opposite way and landed on my plate. Lucky plate!

A single Cheese dog contains 110 calories, 10 grams of total fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 420 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, and 6 grams of protein.

What Do Oscar Mayer's Chili Cheese Stuffed Dogs Taste Like?

Chili Cheese stuffed hot dogs
Chili Cheese stuffed hot dogs - Michael Palan / Static Media

Oscar Mayer's Chili Cheese Stuffed Dogs don't look that different from the plain Cheese flavor. The chili version has the aforementioned cheese pimples but its exterior is perhaps a bit more red than its pink sister.

The stove cooking method here required using a skillet and then adding a ¼ cup of water to keep things sizzling. While it was heating up, a familiar aroma filled the air. I was transported to 7-Eleven, where I used to load a Big Bite hot dog with as much chili and cheese as possible. Oscar Mayer's stuffed dog had a taste to match that rich chili smell. It had a beefiness to it, even though there was no beef to be found within this chicken-turkey-pork concoction. Cutting open the dog lengthwise, I didn't even see any actual "chili." It's like a flavor trick Oscar Mayer is pulling and it's working. Is tomato powder this dog's secret weapon? The same amount of cheese was contained here as in the Cheese Stuffed Dog. However, the cheese stood out more when paired with the great chili flavoring. For the best taste, opt for the microwave cooking method.

One of these hot dogs nets 150 calories, 13 grams of total fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 580 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, and 7 grams of protein.

What Do Oscar Mayer's Jalapeño Cheddar Stuffed Dogs Taste Like?

Jalapeño Cheddar Stuffed Dogs
Jalapeño Cheddar Stuffed Dogs - Michael Palan / Static Media

The Jalapeño Cheddar Stuffed Dog doesn't look like its stuffed brothers. Its exterior has an already browned, cooked look to it. And, instead of cheese pimples, it contains blackish-green freckles. Its casing also has a smell reminiscent of a Slim Jim.

This dog is pure pork, and, when heated by skillet or microwave, its beef stick smell evaporates into thin air. After that, the mild scent left over isn't so enticing, but that matters little once I have a nibble. As with the other dogs, I split this one lengthwise to see the interior stuffing. This one almost looks like a quality sausage, filled with numerous specks of dried jalapeño peppers. Those jalapeño bits -- combined with ground mustard seeds -- help to create a delayed taste reaction that unleashes a super sneaky spice. This spice isn't overpowering, but it gives the mouth quite a kick -- especially when heated up in the microwave. Don't forget to apply the paper towel trick (in which you wrap the dogs to retain moisture) when doing so. Since this stuffed hot dog has such a great flavor profile, I will accept a good old kick in the mouth.

A single Jalapeño Cheddar hot dog is good for 180 calories, 16 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 560 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of total carbohydrates, and 7 grams of protein.

How To Buy Oscar Mayer's New Stuffed Dogs

stack of hot dog packages
stack of hot dog packages - Michael Palan / Static Media

The new Stuffed Dogs are permanent additions to the Oscar Mayer line-up and are currently rolling out nationwide, into grocery stores like ShopRite, retail stores like Walmart, and various convenience stores. They are also available for delivery through services like Instacart. For better availability information in your area, head to the Kraft Heinz website and utilize the company's handy product finder to search for Oscar Mayer products in your area.

As we discussed, the Oscar Mayer Stuffed Dogs come in Cheese, Chili Cheese, and Jalapeño Cheddar varieties. All three are available in 16-ounce packs, while the standard Cheese one also comes in a 32-ounce pack. In their respective 16-ounce packs, you'll get 10 Cheese dogs or eight Chili Cheese and Jalapeño Cheddar dogs. The suggested retail price of the 16-ounce packs is $4.99, and the max base price of the 32-ounce pack is $9.24, but prices may vary by retailer.

The hot dogs come refrigerated and are already fully cooked. They should be stored in a refrigerator or freezer until they are cooked. The package suggests using the hot dogs within seven days of opening.

The Final Verdict

three packs of hot dogs
three packs of hot dogs - Michael Palan / Static Media

I tasted the Oscar Mayer Stuffed Dogs in alphabetical order -- and I'm glad I started with just the standard Cheese one. This is because, as I moved to the other dogs, I realized the plain cheese variety was missing a second flavor to boost its appeal. A double dose of cheese probably would have been nice, but I'm unsure that would propel it into the league of the Chili Cheese or the Jalapeño Cheddar dogs. The Cheese Stuffed Dog is fine, but it may require some condiments like mustard or ketchup. For that, you may need to seek the blessing of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

Even with no real chili meat in sight, the Chili Cheese dog pulled off quite the magic trick of making me believe it was packed somewhere within. That smoky 7-Eleven Big Bite taste it gives off is some triumph of food science. Oscar Mayer should think of packaging that essence into a scented candle, as it could rival the ones once made by A1 Steak Sauce.

The Jalapeño Cheddar Stuffed Dog ultimately proved to be the true champ of the bunch. With its sneaky spice, it enlivens the taste buds and hangs around long after it's been eaten. Hours after munching on a couple of the dogs, the snappy jalapeño flavoring kept popping back up from the back of my throat. It was a welcome reminder that it tasted darn good.

Read the original article on Daily Meal