The third in our series of reviews of gluten-free vegan hot dogs is the Yeah Dawg review. Because all of the hot dogs reviewed in our series are vegan, they are also considered gluten-free veggie hot dogs (or gluten-free vegetarian hot dogs, if you want to be precise). Regardless of what you call them, Yeah Dawg is one of three brands of gluten-free vegan hot dogs available on the market: Yeah Dawg, Sweet Life, and Moving Mountains. Lightlife is not gluten-free, although they are headed in that direction (we have that straight from Lightlife, who cautions that while they are phasing out gluten, there is still stock out on the shelves that contains gluten).
Yeah Dawg explains, on its website, that “At Yeah Dawg we believe people can be healed by food. Our food is made from love and a conscience for a better tomorrow for people, animals, and the environment. We offer a refreshing new take on food that engages you with vibrant colors, smells, textures and flavors and we invite you to participate in an experience of sensory enhancement. When you bite into a Yeah Dawg your taste buds are elevated and your consciousness raised. This dawg is delicious! We invite you to give it a try!”
Yeah Dawg is very proud of the fact that everything that they make is vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, and soy-free. And what they make, primarily, is gluten-free vegan hot dogs and brats (bratwurst sausage). In fact, their ingredients are not only gluten-free and vegan, but they are very clean! The ingredients in their veggie dogs are potato, beets, sweet potato, carrots, sunflower seeds, a gluten-free flour blend (made of chickpea, brown rice, potato, and tapioca flours), onion, garlic, and herbs and spices, along with smoke flavoring. The brat ingredients are similar, with the addition of mushrooms and nutritional yeast (“nooch”).
Our Review of Yeah Dawg Gluten-Free Vegan Hot Dogs
Given the above, we really really wanted to like the Yeah Dawg hot dogs. In fact, as we eagerly awaited their arrival (we had to order them from the Yeah Dog website, and they arrived very carefully packed in ice in a small styrofoam cooler box), we expected them to be our favorite of all of the commercially available gluten-free vegan hot dogs (and remember we tried and reviewed all three of them, plus added our own homemade fourth, for this review series). Our motto in this gluten-free vegan hot dog review series became “We tried them all so you don’t have to.” :~)
But, much to our surprise, we actually liked these Yeah Dawg hot dogs the least. The only resemblance they bear to any hot dog is the shape.
The Yeah Dawg hot dogs taste nothing like an actual hot dog, veggie or otherwise – in fact the overwhelming flavor (if this can be said to be a ‘flavor’) is that they are really sweet. Of course this makes sense, their second ingredient is beets, and their third ingredient is sweet potatoes. Followed by carrots. Sweet, sweet, sweet.
And the texture is oh-so-mushy, no doubt also a function of the ingredients (the first ingredient is potato, followed by the beets and sweet potato).
The crazy thing is that for their hot dog carts which are found around New York City and Brooklyn, their reviews are off the charts. We can only guess that something (a lot) is lost in the transition from street cart vending, along with all the toppings, to shipping frozen product.
According to the package, you can cook your Yeah Dawg dogs any way other than boiling or steaming them. There are directions for grilling, pan frying, oven baking, deep frying (!) and air frying them. We baked them in the oven according to the directions. Honestly, we can’t imagine that any of the cooking methods would overcome the taste and texture issues, although we supposed that grilling them might contribute a nice char flavor to offset the sweetness.
Even if these had been the least costly of the vegan hot dogs we were evaluating, we would not have ordered them again. And they aren’t, they are in fact the most expensive, even before you add in shipping. The lowest price you can get them for, in the largest quantity (24 hot dogs for $74) brings the cost-per-dog to a bit over $3 each, and that’s before shipping. Contrast that to the Sweet Earth hot dogs at just $1.88 per hot dog, or the Moving Mountains hot dogs at about $2.20, and we just can’t get behind Yeah Dawg, even though we love their ethos. Still, if you want to check them out you can do so at YeahDawgVegan.com.
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