Oh. Damn. That there is one hell that a sales pitch. Gambling that’s exactly how David Cronenberg cooks his hot dogs.

You are watching: Vintage hot dog cooker

From what I can tell (there’s no a ton of firsthand details out there), the Presto HotDogger resided in that glorious time the unbridled kitchen hubris between the end of human being War II and also the widespread fostering of the microwave. It gets a quick mention in the official Presto agency history, but that’s around it.

For a firsthand take on this wondrous appliance, ns turned come Doug Sohn, hot dogger emeritus, vault guest of The Takeout, and also walking warm dog museum in stylish glasses.

“We had one on screen at and also I remember, as a kid, as soon as things choose this to be introduced,” the told me via text. “My favorite component was the molten warm razor-sharp spikes that impale the warm dog. I guess Presto didn’t have very an excellent lawyers back then.”


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Doug, stop, no must put the tough sell on. To the digital auctions!


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Photo: man Carruthers

Riding the Lightning

For a kitchen appliance the did specifically one thing, and was made obsolete in brief order, yes sir a surprising number of these HotDoggers out there because that aftermarket purchase. Us sprung for the pre-tested design (I’d say my time is valuable, buuuuut....) and eagerly awaited that is arrival.


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In life, together in Ryan’s photo, it important does look prefer the puzzle box of the damned that turns hedonistic warm dogs into agonized warm dog Cenobytes. It’s also spectacularly attention by contemporary standards. There’s no strength indicator, no one the creature comfort of an on/off switch. When you on slide on on the lid and also plug the in, this thing’s sending out 120 volts right into the hellteeth, complete stop. Her doomed tubes of meat finish the circuit and incant the unholy summoning. All in 60 seconds, as the hilariously scant instruction hand-operated tells us.

The recklessness of security was the finest thing about the HotDogger for all of 40 seconds, before we discovered this:

MEAT SWEATS! That’s how you recognize it’s working! it’s literally the only way you know it’s working! A single tear fell down my cheek at exactly the 56-second mark.


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Of food I had to take this thing right into the brewery wherein I work. My coworkers, together fond of totally free food as most officemates, verified up because that science. Every one of them provided thumbs as much as the finished product save Luis, ours HR rep, who could only speak that a vague feeling of dread and also foreboding.

Celery salt assisted in that, though.

In texture and also flavor, this electrified warm dogs were around the very same as those cooked through zero foolish science. Yet they’re sort of... Wetter? This could be a point you have to try for yourself and find your own magical ax for. Either way, an extremely passable hot dog. You could definitely open a stand v a fleet that HotDoggers if you could find a crooked enough insurance company.


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Inadvisable off-manual use

Look, if one is walk to acquisition a exponentially unsafe hot dog novelty, the an extremely least that one have the right to do is take it in a couple of irresponsible directions. So that’s what happened.

I hereby absolve the well folks in ~ Presto from any type of disasters and also injuries below this point.

Experiment 1: 61 secs or longer


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Starting simple, we gave one the the hot dogs about a minute’s worth of extra juice. And that’s as soon as we learned the after a certain point, hot dogs start to sizzle and also make significantly alarming noises. Previous a specific point, the strength cannot it is in contained and also the hubris the mankind sunders the warm dog in twain.


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(The warm dog represents society.)

Result: Explodey

Experiment 2: Hostess Twinkie


Photo: john Carruthers
Another pointer from a colleague. Ns say “colleague” below to sound less like ns electrocuting random foods while being typically egged on. It simply sounds an ext respectable.

Twinkie was a big ol’ miss. It short the important hotdogginess to convey the awesome power. The sponge cake and also treat goo didn’t conduct electricity, for factors you shouldn’t be questioning an English major about. You have actually no idea exactly how disappointing the was no to have actually an exploding napalm Twinkie chaos to transaction with.


Twinkie, she a well snack cake, but here you’re just Star-Lord trying come lift Mjolnir.

Result: DNF

Experiment 3: Chunk that zucchini


This one’s a pointer from Takeout editor Marnie Shure, possibly worried that i don’t get sufficient vegetables in the food of these things. Again, similar to the Twinkie, nothing law here.

Another failure. I certainly ate one of this failures.


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Result: additionally DNF

Experiment 4: Plant-based sausage


Photo: john Carruthers
I am generally in assistance of plant-based meat alternatives. I’ve got some vegans in the family, and the taste has actually grown leaps and also bounds in recent years. (I seize White Castle difficult Sliders top top the semi-regular!) Purveyors the faux meat have stepped approximately the “treat this favor actual meat” challenge, and so into THE box these go.

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Temperature-wise, this sausages cook to whereby they needed to. Texture-wise... Ehhhh. A puddle more than likely isn’t a good sign. Meat choices tend to do better when you warm them to the suggest where they show the textural selection of the real deal. Electrocution provides them one uniformly hot tube that meat-flavored goop. Not their finest hour. Sorry, buddies.

Result: Unsettling

Experiment Omega: Uncooked bratwurst

So regardless of Doug’s earlier advice come me the the dogs could not warm all the way through, we were getting solid temperature results. For this reason why not throw a bratwurst in there and see if we could carry it come a reasonable approximation the “cooked”? This is a good and an extremely advisable idea.