High Plains Bison Hot Dogs at Costco: Mixed Impressions

I spotted the High Plains bison hot dogs at Costco the other day and decided to try them out.  For as long as I can remember I have been reading that bison is much healthier for you than beef so I was excited to try some healthier hot dogs.

The bison dogs cost about $1.25 per dog which isn’t cheap but I don’t mind paying for quality.

Uncured Bison Dogs from Costco

If you are short on time then what you need to know is that, while the bison dogs are delicious, they are less healthy than a standard Oscar Mayer all beef hot dog.

How Do The Bison Dogs Taste?

If you are worried about a bison dog tasting gamey or funky then put your mind at ease.

You could serve these bison dogs side by side with an all beef hot dog and nobody would be able to taste the difference.  Serve these on a soft bun with pickle relish and yellow mustard (or whatever your freak happens to be) and you will be eating a mighty fine dog.

Cured Meat Flavor

Even though the package says that these dogs are “uncured” that is simply a marketing trick that takes advantage of a loophole in FDA labelling requirements.

These dogs have been cured with the nitrite that is naturally present in celery powder. (For more information please read this article “What Does Uncured Mean?“)

As  a result, the bison dogs have the same flavor profile as traditional hot dogs.

Are Bison Dogs Healthy?

Bison dogs can be a healthier alternative to traditional beef hot dogs.  Let’s look at a side by side comparison of the nutritional value of these bison dogs compared to an Oscar Mayer All Beef hot dog.

Bison Dogs vs Beef Hot Dogs (Per Gram)

NutritionHigh Plains Bison DogOscar Mayer All Beef Dog

Fat, g0.290.29
Saturated Fat, g0.090.12
Trans Fat, g0.010.01
Cholesterol, mg0.310.48
Sodium, mg7.238.57
Protein, g.170.10
Side by Side Nutritional Comparison on a Per Gram Basis

Each gram of bison dog has less saturated fat, less cholesterol and more protein than an all beef hot dog.  This looks like a clear win for the bison dog.

However, there is an issue that completely flips the script.

Serving size.

Bison Dog vs Hot Dog

The High Plains Bison Dogs are over 50% larger than an Oscar Mayer All Beef hot dog (65 vs 42 grams).

This means that you will be consuming a lot more calories, fat, salt and cholesterol when you eat one of these bison dogs compared to a traditional beef dog.


Bison Dog Nutrition vs Beef on a Per Dog Basis

Yes, you could flip the script back again by comparing the bison dog against a Jumbo sized all beef dog but that isn’t my game.  I was just looking for a tasty, healthier alternative to eat instead of a regular hot dog.

What About Other Bison Products

I am not giving up on Bison.

Bison is delicious and we have some great bison steak recipes listed below:

I plan on looking for more opportunities to replace beef with bison in my diet.

It just won’t be with hot dogs.