FLINT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) -
(07/01/14) - July is National Hot Dog Month - and for Koegel's Meats in Flint Township, there's no busier time than the days leading up to Independence Day.
"I tell my crew 'this is what we work for. This week of the year, Fourth of July,'" said John Koegel, owner of Kogel's Meats.
This week alone, out of its headquarters right next to Bishop Airport, Koegel's will produce, pack, and ship more than 2 and a half million hot dogs across Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.
"It's a lot of hot dogs. I, of course, would love to see three million. We sell a lot of hot dogs and we're very appreciative of the customers that buy our product and keep us working so hard," Koegel said.
That grinding, chopping, seasoning, stuffing, smoking and cooling is happening from 6:30 a.m. until late at night.
"There's probably 85 people, mostly full time. We have hired some college students, about 20, to help out with our seasonal demand, and we're working with every piece of equipment that we can right now and just getting it out the door," Koegel said.
Koegel's is a family-owned and operated business, mastering the art of the hot dog for 98 years.
"Grandpa built the first place in downtown Flint as a butcher shop in 1914. Towards 1930, built a plant in downtown Flint. The University of Michigan sits there now. 1972, my father built this plant, and it's going strong," Koegel said.
As for all those Fourth of July celebrations, Koegel has some tips on how to man the grill.
"I think low heat, cooking it slowly," he said.
And forget about gas. Koegel prefers to use a charcoal grill instead. He even heats up his coals on the side.
"I've been using the chimney. I like to use that now, use a little paper instead of throwing lighter fluid on it. It seems to add a little flavor," he said.
We'd like to know your secrets for grilling the perfect hot dog. Feel free to share some Fourth of July celebration tips on our Facebook page, HERE.