Frozen Pigs In A Blanket, Ranked From Worst To Best

pigs in a blanket with dip
pigs in a blanket with dip - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

Is there a better, easier one-bite appetizer than pigs in a blanket? Some quick bites might be fancier or use more ingredients to impress your guests, but if we're all being honest, these crowd-pleasing snacks are always welcome at a party. You can make your own pigs in a blanket recipe to up the ante a little bit, but it never hurts to have a stash of frozen ones on hand. For hosting emergencies, sure, but also for that personal midnight snack. Almost every grocery store will have at least one kind of pigs in a blanket to choose from — and some might have several options. If you've got multiple to pick from, which one do you get?

We set out to find the best frozen pigs in a blanket on the market by visiting seven grocers in the Northeast and gathering 11 different brands. We defined pigs in a blanket as any hot dog wrapped in some sort of dough, whether it be traditional puff pastry, cornbread, pretzel dough, or even bagels. The focus was on appetizer-sized pigs in a blanket, though we tried some full-size options for comparison as well. We taste-tested each one individually and also gathered insights from a group of eight adults for their opinions. We also compared the cost for each brand (all prices are accurate as of publication, though they might vary by location or sale prices). At the end, one brand of frozen pigs in a blanket was clearly the best.

Read more: Frozen Pizzas, Ranked From Worst To Best

11. State Fair 100% Beef Corn Dogs

State Fair corn dogs box
State Fair corn dogs box - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

There's good news for those of you who favor traditional pigs in a blanket over corn dogs: None of the piggies in puff pastry took the worst spot. That distinction goes to a surprising contender, given how ubiquitous the State Fair brand is when it comes to corn dogs.

We originally picked this brand to compare it with mini corn dogs, and we expected to like the flavor since the hot dogs inside are made with 100% beef. The marketing on the box for a "honey sweetened" batter also drew us in. The value is good, too: A box of five retails for $4.59, or about 92 cents apiece. But none of those factors could make up for the main issue that they were one squishy texture the whole way through.

Part of the problem could be that the cornbread coating — which tasted okay on its own — was entirely too thick for the proportion of the hot dog inside. Meanwhile, there was no resemblance to a meaty texture or that "snap" you get from a perfect hot dog bite. These corn dogs could be better fried to handle the one note texture problem, but we prepared all of the products in the oven according to their baking instructions for better comparison. Alas, this legendary brand just didn't hold up compared to others on the list — including a plant-based version.

10. Super Pretzel Pretzel Dogs

mini pretzel dogs on plate
mini pretzel dogs on plate - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

Super Pretzel has a long history of selling frozen soft pretzels, so it makes sense the brand would get into the appetizer game with these mini pretzel dogs. A box of 12 sells for $5.99, which at 50 cents each is on the lower end — especially for brands that use beef in their hot dogs. Despite the value, these just didn't hold muster compared to others on the list. Some of the pretzel dough split while frozen, and it wasn't evenly distributed around the hot dog. Instead, the meat was stuck at one end of the pretzel dough, leaving a bite of crunchy pretzel at the end.

We thought the hot dog was overly spiced compared to some other brands, but the surprising main issue was the pretzel dough itself. Despite baking for the lowest cook time in the instructions provided, the outside of the hot dog bites were extremely crunchy and hard. In addition to that, the dough tasted mildly freezer-burnt, even though the appetizers didn't show signs of that before baking. We wanted to love these as a unique twist on the original pigs in a blanket, but we'd recommend making your own mini pretzel dog recipe before adding these to your shopping list.

9. Great Value Mini Corn Dogs

mini corn dogs on plate
mini corn dogs on plate - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

The best part of these mini corn dogs was the cornbread exterior. We used the upper end of the cooking time range, and the outside got wonderfully browned and crisp while still remaining soft on the inside. The flavor was sweet without being overpowering, though we'd prefer savory dips to balance out the sweetness for a party. The other factor in these mini bites' favor was the cost: As the Walmart store brand implies, these truly are a great value. A box of 40 cost just $6.97, or about 18 cents apiece. (For reference, the next cheapest version on our list came out at 42 cents each.)

Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends. The hot dogs were made with chicken instead of beef or pork, and the flavor quality suffered as a result. Since the meat was encased in the cornbread instead of sticking out like traditional pigs in a blanket, it also didn't get any caramelization, and the pale color wasn't as appetizing as other versions. Though the flavor of the cornbread exterior was tasty, it also tended to crumble off as we ate and sometimes fell off the hot dogs entirely.

Some members of the tasting group thought these were a nostalgic nod to the corndogs they grew up eating and really enjoyed them. But the overall quality and flavor just didn't cut it compared to the rest of the brands higher up the list.

8. Bagel Bites Bagel Dogs

Bagel Bites pigs in a blanket
Bagel Bites pigs in a blanket - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

We didn't realize the Bagel Bites brand was in the pigs in a blanket game until this article had us hunting for appetizers in the freezer aisle. This particular brand is the first on our list that we would actually eat again — if we were at a gathering and someone else bought them.

We could tell on first bite that these hot dogs weren't made completely with beef, though the pork and beef mixture was well-seasoned and flavorful. They weren't quite as succulent as some other options on the list, but they also weren't greasy which was a plus in our book. (The box prominently promotes these are made with Oscar Mayer hot dogs, which could be a selling point if you're a fan of that brand.)

The Bagel Bites were at a moderate price point for pigs in a blanket, costing $6.99 for a box of 12, or about 58 cents each. The reason these didn't rank higher on our list was the bagel casing itself. It might work for pizza bites, but the directions on the box for baking yielded a very hard crust. The interior stayed somewhat soft, but the texture wasn't what we were looking for. As with most Bagel Bites products, there was also a tray for microwaving. We didn't try that method since we stuck with baking for consistency, but it might yield a softer bite-sized snack.

7. MorningStar Farms Veggie Corn Dogs

MorningStar Farms veggie corn dogs box
MorningStar Farms veggie corn dogs box - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

We did not expect to like these as much as we did, since we presumed the "hot dog" would be an obvious imposter. Instead, these ended up being the best of the corn dog options we tried. For starters, the breading to "hot dog" ratio was very good. These required a slightly longer baking time than other corn dog versions, which gave the exterior a crisp edge that paired with the fluffy interior of the shell. Meanwhile, the believable hot dog consistency provided a welcome texture variation in each bite.

These were also a reminder that plant-based options have definitely improved from their reputations even just a few years ago. The "hot dogs" were made with ingredients like wheat gluten and pea protein. The texture likely wouldn't win in a head-to-head contest with a regular hot dog, but it worked well in these corn dogs. The cost wasn't prohibitive either; a box of four full-size corn dogs was $4.99, or about $1.25 each.

No one is eating pigs in a blanket for their nutritional value, but these also had significantly less fat than comparable brands like State Fair. (Overall fat for the MorningStar Farms veggie dogs was just 3% of the recommended daily value, while the State Fair beef version contained 20% in a similar-sized serving.) If you have vegetarian guests or are trying to cut out meat products yourself, these are a decent option.

6. 365 Everything Pastry Wrapped Uncured Beef Franks

everything seasoned pigs in a blanket
everything seasoned pigs in a blanket - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

This Whole Foods store brand had us initially excited. For one, what would a premium pig in a blanket taste like? Of the appetizer-sized brands we tried, these were in fact sold at the most premium price. A box of 10 cost $6.49, which worked out to about 65 cents apiece.

The first impression was that the hot dogs were very good. They were succulent and full of beef flavor with a nice texture. There were a few issues with the end product, however. Despite baking them for the recommended duration, the puff pastry didn't develop its full layered texture, and some of the interior layers seemed a tad gummy as a result. Baking them for slightly longer than the box directed could help this issue.

The main problem with these was the "everything" seasoning on them. Whole Foods' mix included Parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion powder, and caraway seeds. The Parmesan flavor was nonexistent; we didn't even realize it was part of the flavoring until we read the ingredient list. The caraway seeds, however, overtook the entire flavor profile of each bite, rendering them almost unpalatable. Caraway seeds are often used as the dominant flavoring in rye bread, and it just didn't complement these bite-sized apps. Others in the group really enjoyed these, however, making them the most polarizing option on the list.

5. Good & Gather Parmesan Pastry Wrapped Uncured Hot Dogs

plate of pigs in a blanket
plate of pigs in a blanket - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

Perhaps the most shocking thing about Target's store brand pigs in a blanket was their similarity to the Whole Foods version. In fact, we had to label them for the tasting group so they could tell them apart. Though the branding on the box is slightly different, the overall appearance before baking was identical, and the brands used the same "everything" mix of Parmesan cheese with sesame, poppy, and caraway seeds.

Target's hot dogs were slightly larger than the Whole Foods version, which made the entire appetizer look bigger. The puff pastry also developed its full flakiness after baking. When they were prepared according to package directions they became golden brown on top and slightly caramelized on the bottom, placing them among the most enticing option on our list.

As with the Whole Foods version, the Parmesan flavor was very subtle. What gave these a step up compared to Whole Foods was the ratio of caraway seeds to everything else in the seasoning mixture. They were present (and frankly still not very welcome in our opinion), but weren't so prevalent that they overwhelmed the rest of the flavor profile. The other factor is pricing; these were $5.79 for 10 pieces, or about 58 cents each, slightly less than the Whole Foods option. If you're making a special trip for apps, we'd head to Target for these instead.

4. Spring Valley Cocktail Beef Franks

puff pastry pigs in a blanket
puff pastry pigs in a blanket - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

The top four pigs in a blanket brands we tried are ones that we would actually choose to buy and serve again, including this version from Spring Valley. We found this brand at Giant, but it has a wide distribution in grocers including Kroger, HEB, Fairway, and more.

The box of 12 cost $7.09, or about 59 cents each — in line with the upper price range of the brands we tried. The most distinguishable element about these appetizers was the puff pastry. Each one had perfectly flaky layers that puffed up to a crisp golden brown on the outside while still remaining somewhat soft and pliable inside. One note of caution for this brand: We followed baking instructions for the oven temperature but needed to pull these a minute or two early to prevent them from becoming overly browned. The hot dog inside was still perfectly cooked and juicy despite that alteration.

This was one of the few pigs in a blanket we found that didn't come with many frills. It didn't have a unique dough, nor did it boast a special seasoning on top. For people looking for a straightforward option, these were a terrific example of a classic pig in a blanket done well.

3. Auntie Anne's Classic Pretzel Dogs

Auntie Anne's pretzel dogs box
Auntie Anne's pretzel dogs box - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

It's no secret that Auntie Anne's soft pretzels are a delicious treat anytime, and the brand's at-home pretzel dogs from the freezer aisle are no exception. The pretzel dough cooked up perfectly in the oven, and although it was slightly split in some places, the flavor was still reminiscent of the one you know and love.

The beef hot dog had a perfect snap in its bite, with tasty beef flavor and perfectly balanced seasonings when paired with the pretzel dough. Auntie Anne's boasts that it partners with Nathan's Famous hot dogs for the products it sells in the kiosks. The frozen version doesn't confirm that for sure, though the flavor and texture of the hot dog is very similar.

A box of four pretzel dogs cost $6.99, which made it one of the more expensive options overall. That said, a single pretzel dog from an Auntie Anne's kiosk costs $4.99, so you'll save money if you purchase the at-home version. The trade-off is the at-home dough wasn't quite as buttery as you'd get at the pretzel stand. If you're missing that element, brushing melted butter over the top would likely elevate this tasty option even more. The only reason this didn't take one of the top two spots was its large size (to our knowledge, Auntie Anne's only sells the mini pretzel dogs bites in kiosks).

2. Crav'n Flavor Mini Uncured Beef Franks

plate of pigs in a blanket
plate of pigs in a blanket - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

This nationwide brand of appetizers didn't disappoint when it came to pigs in a blanket. Crav'n Flavor's version used puff pastry wrapped diagonally around the mini hot dogs for a bit of extra flair. (This wrapping style was common in some of the other brands we tried, but this is the first one like it on our list that we'd actually serve at a party.)

The puff pastry was perfectly laminated without getting too flaky after baking, and the beef hot dogs were juicy without being greasy. They were also perfectly seasoned to stand up to the everything seasoning sprinkled on the outside of the pastry. The cost was in the middle among the brands we tried, with a box of 10 pieces costing $5.69, or about 57 cents per piece.

This was by far the best everything seasoning blend we tried. There were no caraway seeds in sight, and the predominant flavors came from garlic flakes and poppy seeds. The only reason this didn't take the top spot was because everything seasoning can be a bit polarizing in a group setting. If you like it though, this brand could be number one in our book.

1. Taste Of Inspirations Pigs In A Blanket

plate of best pigs in a blanket
plate of best pigs in a blanket - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

We finish our ranking of the best frozen pigs in a blanket with the best of all worlds. These appetizer-sized bites had a perfectly flaky exterior, a delicious beef hot dog inside, and a fancified appearance to add a little pizzazz to the typical wrapped hot dog game.

This variety from Taste of Inspirations — a Northeastern brand found in stores like Giant, Stop & Shop, Hannaford, and Food Lion, to name a few — did all the essential things well. The puff pastry transformed to a buttery, golden brown crust around the perfectly seasoned and succulent hot dogs. A with the Crav'n Flavor brand, the franks were also wrapped diagonally in puff pastry for an extra touch of party readiness. The other factor in their favor was the cost. At just $4.99 for 12 pieces, these were about 42 cents apiece — notably cheaper but still just as tasty as other similar competitors.

What set these particular pigs in a blanket over the top was the puff pastry seasoning, which was a mix of crumbled Parmesan cheese and herbs. It didn't overpower the flavor of each bite but added an eye-catching, unique element. And since the Parmesan was a welcome flavor profile without being a notoriously polarizing ingredient, it's likely to be a winning combination with your guests.

How We Selected The Best Pigs In A Blanket

several boxes of pigs in a blanket
several boxes of pigs in a blanket - Nikelle Murphy / Mashed

We visited seven major grocers in a Northeastern town and gathered as many frozen varieties of pigs in a blanket we could find. Brands were chosen for broad appeal: If they weren't carried nationally (such as a Walmart or Target store brand) they needed to be widely available in a significantly-sized region. The baseline criteria required the bites to start with a hot dog in some kind of outer dough. In this case, that included traditional puff pastry, corn bread, bagel bread, and pretzel dough.

Factors like the cost and whether the food was appetizer-sized were considered for each product. However, the main factors that went into the ranking were appearance and overall flavor. To maintain a consistent taste-test throughout, we baked all products according to the instructions on each box, including preheating the oven to correct temperatures and monitoring baking times. After a brief cooling period, we taste-tested each product separately without any dips or sauces. Before finalizing out ranking, we made notes about the taste of the breading and the hot dog, the overall appearance, and any other distinguishing factors.

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