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Sausage vs. Frankfurter: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 4, 2024
Sausages are a broad category of meat products, while frankfurters are a specific type of finely ground, smoked sausage originating from Frankfurt, Germany.

Key Differences

A sausage is a general term for meat that is ground, seasoned, and encased in a skin, offering a wide variety of flavors and textures. On the other hand, a frankfurter, also known as a hot dog, is a specific type of sausage that is finely ground, seasoned, and often smoked, originating from Frankfurt, Germany.
Sausages come in many forms, such as fresh, smoked, or cured, and can be made from different types of meat including pork, beef, chicken, and turkey. Frankfurters, however, are traditionally made from pork or beef, and are known for their fine, homogeneous texture and distinctive seasoning.
The preparation of sausages varies widely, with some needing to be cooked before eating, while others are ready to eat as is. Frankfurters are typically precooked and can be served after being heated through grilling, boiling, or pan-frying.
Sausage recipes differ globally, reflecting regional tastes and ingredients, such as chorizo in Spain or andouille in France. Conversely, the frankfurter, while popular worldwide, has a more consistent recipe, closely associated with American cuisine as a staple of barbecues and baseball games.
In terms of consumption, sausages are often served in a variety of dishes, from breakfast items to main courses. Frankfurters are commonly served in a bun with condiments like mustard, ketchup, onions, and relish, epitomizing the classic American hot dog.

Comparison Chart


Global, varies by region.
Originates from Frankfurt, Germany.


Can vary from coarse to fine.
Typically finely ground.


Made from various meats and seasonings.
Usually pork or beef, with specific seasonings.


Cooking methods vary; some need cooking, others are ready-to-eat.
Precooked, heated through grilling, boiling, or pan-frying.

Serving Style

Served in diverse dishes, from breakfasts to main courses.
Commonly served in a bun as a hot dog.

Sausage and Frankfurter Definitions


Sausage is ground meat encased in a skin or casing.
He grilled sausages for the barbecue.


Frankfurter is a popular American fast food.
They sell frankfurters at every baseball game.


Sausage can be fresh, smoked, or cured.
She prefers smoked sausage for its rich flavor.


Frankfurter is a finely ground, smoked sausage.
He topped his frankfurter with mustard and onions.


Sausage comes in various forms like links, patties, or loose meat.
Breakfast burritos often include sausage crumbles.


Frankfurter is commonly served in a bun.
She loaded her frankfurter with relish and ketchup.


Sausage is often seasoned with herbs and spices.
The sausage had a hint of sage and pepper.


Frankfurter is a type of hot dog.
The kids love having frankfurters at picnics.


Sausage is a common ingredient in many cuisines worldwide.
Italian sausage is essential for an authentic pasta dish.


Frankfurter originates from Frankfurt, Germany.
Authentic frankfurters remind him of his trip to Frankfurt.


Finely chopped and seasoned meat, especially pork, usually stuffed into a prepared animal intestine or other casing and cooked or cured.


A smoked sausage of beef or beef and pork made in long reddish links.


A moist sausage of soft, even texture and flavor, often made from mechanically recovered meat or meat slurry.


A smooth-textured sausage of minced beef or pork usually smoked; often served on a bread roll


What is a sausage?

Meat that's ground and encased in a skin or casing.

Can sausages be made from poultry?

Yes, sausages can be made from meats like chicken or turkey.

What makes a frankfurter different from other sausages?

It's a specific type of finely ground, smoked sausage.

Is there a difference in texture between sausages and frankfurters?

Frankfurters are typically more finely ground than many sausages.

Can sausages be part of a healthy diet?

In moderation, especially leaner varieties.

Are frankfurters always made from pork?

They are traditionally pork or beef, but variations exist.

Do all sausages need to be cooked?

Some require cooking, while others are ready-to-eat.

Can you grill frankfurters?

Yes, grilling is a popular cooking method for them.

How are frankfurters typically served?

Often in a bun, as a hot dog, with various condiments.

What are common spices in sausage?

Herbs and spices like sage, garlic, and pepper are common.

Are there vegetarian sausages?

Yes, made from ingredients like soy or vegetables.

Can sausages be used in pasta dishes?

Absolutely, they're a popular ingredient in many pasta recipes.

Are frankfurters only popular in America?

They're popular globally, but particularly iconic in American cuisine.

Is a frankfurter the same as a wiener?

Yes, they are often used interchangeably.

What are traditional German sausages?

Varieties like bratwurst, weisswurst, and others.

Do sausages come in different sizes?

Yes, from small breakfast links to larger bratwursts.

Can frankfurters be eaten cold?

They can be since they're precooked, but are usually heated.

Do frankfurters need to be pierced before cooking?

It's not necessary, but some people do to prevent bursting.

What's the best way to store sausages?

In the refrigerator, or frozen for longer storage.

How long do frankfurters last in the fridge?

Usually a few days if they're precooked.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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