Cooking,  Local Products

Find it Local Friday: Hot Dogs and Brats

Nothing says 4th of July like grilling hot dogs, brats and sausages. Thankfully, Minnesota has some great choices for locally produced sausages. Sometimes I have a hankering for spicy Italian, other times a straight up all-beef hot dog is the only thing that will do. With a local hot dog you have greater control over what ends up on your plate. I always try to avoid the nitrates, extra sodium, and other preservatives in national brands. Organic and grass-fed add benefits too.

This weekend we had planned to camp in a state park, but our plans were derailed by the government shutdown. Instead, we’ll be picking some more strawberries, watching fireworks, and grilling on the patio. Here’s a few choices for some local hot dogs and brats. Don’t forget a local or homemade bun!


Prairie Pride Farm roughly 85 miles from St. Paul, is a 5th Generation family farm with a huge selection of sausages, ranging from the traditional wiener to an italian sausage stuffed with mozzarella cheese. They offer fully cooked brats, simply drop them on the grill until browned.  Order online or check out Linden Hills and Mississippi Market co-ops in the Twin Cities. Both carry Prairie Pride Farm products.

University of Minnesota Meat Lab located on the St. Paul campus of the U of M is a secret source for homemade sausages.  Every Wednesday from 2-5 pm, a line of people form out the door of the Meat Lab for great hot dogs and brats.  All are made on the U of M campus from local ingredients and are part of the Food Science department’s research.  Try the apple or the wild rice brats (they’re excellent!), then bring home andouille for later!

Kramarczuk’s It’s hard to talk about Minnesota sausages without mentioning Kramarczuk’s.  A Northeast Minneapolis legend, Kramarczuk’s mentions over 40 varieties of sausage on their website!  All are made with more than 50 years of experience and a knack for what local Minnesotans want from a good hot dog.  If you happen to be out at Target Field this summer, Kramarchzuk’s sausages are in the lineup there as well.  The brats and hot dogs are made fresh daily and brought the the ballpark before home games.  Their polish sausage can’t be beat!

Happy 4th of July everyone!  Celebrate the weekend with some good local food!





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