Abstract The sensory and physiochemical properties of frankfurters with varying fat and salt levels were investigated. Twenty frankfurter formulations were produced with varying concentrations of fat (10%, 15%, 20%, 25% w/w) and salt (1%, 1.5%, 2%, 2.5%, 3% w/w). Frankfurters were assessed instrumentally for colour, moisture, fat, cooking loss and texture profile analysis. Consumers (n=25) evaluated each product in duplicate for colour, coarseness, tenderness, juiciness, salt taste, meat flavour, off-flavour and overall acceptability using a hedonic scale. Salt levels below 1.5% were shown to have a negative effect on consumer acceptability, with 2.5% salt concentration being the most accepted (P<0.001) by consumers. However, frankfurters containing the lower fat levels 10% and 15% fat with higher salt levels (2.5–3%) were significantly the most acceptable variants to consumers. Samples containing less fat and salt were found to be tougher, less juicy and had greater cooking losses. Thus salt perception is very important for consumer acceptability, but fat levels can be potentially reduced without significantly affecting overall acceptability.