Can you Freeze Hot Dogs? And More!

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Can You Freeze Hot Dogs

No matter if you have a package of unopened hotdogs, a package of open hotdogs, or cooked hotdogs it is important to know, can you freeze hotdogs? 

We are going to look at the answer to this question in detail as well as provide step-by-step instructions on how you can safely freeze hotdogs.

Plus, we will cover many other questions related to freezing hot dogs. You don’t want to miss out on a thing! 

frozen hot dogs top down packet

Can hot dogs be frozen?

The short answer is yes, hotdogs can be frozen. No matter if you are looking to buy hot dogs ahead of time, save leftover hotdogs, whether they are unopened still in the original packaging, or cooked, hotdogs can be frozen.

Below we will go into the details of how you should freeze hot dogs for the best results, as well as how to thaw hot dogs, how to cook hotdogs, how to tell if your hotdogs are bad, and other questions related to hot dog storage.

Be sure to check out the following sections, as you are likely to find a helpful answer to any question related to hotdogs. 

What are Hot Dogs?

Dogs are a type of meat or sausage that are typically served in an open-faced bun. Another name for hotdogs and some locations is frankfurter. 

Hot dogs can be made from various types of meat and are typically labeled with the kind of meat on their packaging. Hotdogs can come from meat trimmings from beef, chicken, or pork. Some hotdogs are a combination of these meats. 

Frozen Hot Dogs

There are many different reasons why you might want to freeze your hotdogs. To freeze your hotdogs, you are going to want to follow a couple of simple tips that will help your hotdogs last the best in your freezer without turning bad, or becoming freezer burnt. 

Freezing Hot Dogs

Below we’re going to show you the different steps we recommend following when freezing hot dogs. These steps apply to unopened hot dogs, opened hot dogs, and cooked hot dogs. Freezing hotdogs is straightforward. 

However, if you are freezing open hotdogs, you want to be sure to check out the best storage practices for hotdogs, and whether they can go bad, in the section below. This will ensure that your hotdogs are still good, and are okay to be frozen.

Step 1: Seal them

First, make sure your hotdogs are sealed in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag. Remove any excess air. If you are freezing unopened hotdogs, you may simply freeze them in their original packaging, or you can divide the hotdogs into serving-size packages before freezing. 

Step 2: Describe and date

Once your hotdogs are sealed in an airtight container, or plastic freezer bag, you’ll want to be sure to label and date them. This means that on the container, whether on a piece of tape, or directly on the plastic freezer bag, write a description of what’s inside, and the date you are freezing them. 

Step 3: Freeze the hot dogs

Once the hotdogs are sealed, labeled, and dated, you can go ahead and place them in your freezer. It’s a good idea that your freezer is at 0°F or below. As long as your hotdogs are properly stored, they will last between one and two months in the freezer. 

frozen hot dog packet close up

How to Thaw Hot Dogs

There are four main ways you can thaw hotdogs once they are frozen. Some methods are faster than others, and some may result in better hotdogs than others. Below are the four main methods, as well as how to use this method to thaw hotdogs. 

In Cold Water

The first thing you can use to thaw hotdogs that are frozen is to place them into a bowl of cold water. To do this, you will leave the bowl of cold water at room temperature, but you’ll want to change the water every 30 minutes so that it stays nice and cold. 

Refrigerate

Another way you can thaw hotdogs which is very easy is to simply remove your hotdogs from the freezer and place them in the fridge overnight.

Depending on how many hotdogs are in your package and how thick your package is your hotdogs may be thawed in the fridge in as little as a few hours, or a couple of days. 

Boil

Another way you can thaw hotdogs is to boil them. Please note that with this method you are likely to cook them as well.

Simply pour some water into a pot, and place the pot over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, remove your hotdogs from their packaging, and add them to your boiling water.

The amount of time it takes to warm your hotdogs can vary, however it’s likely to take between 10 and 15 minutes for your frozen hotdogs to warm in the boiling water. 

Microwave

You can also defrost your frozen hotdogs in the microwave if desired. To defrost them in the microwave, you will want to remove your hotdogs from their packaging, transfer them to a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on defrost function for a few minutes. Typically microwaves will ask you for the weight of your food to determine how long it should defrost. 

Please note that when you are thawing frozen hotdogs using the microwave method, boil method, or cold water method, you will want to cook your hotdogs immediately after they are thawed. 

After thawing hotdogs using any of these methods except for the refrigerator method, should not be stored back in the fridge once thawed and have not been cooked. Rather, they need to be cooked right away. 

Cooking Frozen Hot Dogs

How to Cook Frozen Hot Dogs

There are several different ways you can cook frozen hotdogs whether frozen or thawed. Please note that if you are cooking your hotdogs directly from frozen, you will likely want to increase your total cook time by 50%. 

This means if thawed hotdogs usually take 10 minutes to cook using your preferred method, you want to plan on cooking frozen hotdogs for 15 minutes (10 minutes x 50% = 5 minutes. 5 minutes + 10 minutes = 15 minutes). Now, let’s look at the different methods you can use to cook hotdogs.

Microwave Frozen Hot Dogs

Microwave frozen hotdogs, place your hotdog on a microwave-safe plate or bowl. 

Next, we strongly recommend that you poke a hole into the hot dog so that it does not explode in the microwave. 

Then microwave for approximately 2 to 3 minutes, or until the internal temperature of your hot dog reaches 165°F (74°C). Hotdogs are likely to take only one to two minutes in the microwave. 

Remove your hotdog from the microwave, add to your hotdog bun, add any condiments you desire, serve and enjoy! 

Prepare Frozen Hot Dogs in Air Fryer

Remove your hotdogs from their packaging, and place them into your air fryer basket. Poke holes into the hotdog so that they don’t explode. 

Air fry at 350°F for approximately 7 to 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of your hotdogs reaches 165°F (74°C) and they are warmed through. 

hot dogs top down two of them

Fry in a Pan on the Stovetop

Another easy way you can cook your hotdogs is in a frypan on your stovetop. Place your pan over medium heat, and melt a tablespoon of butter in the pan. 

Remove your hotdogs from their packaging, poke holes in the hotdogs to keep them from exploding, and place them into your warmed pan.  

Cook the hotdogs over medium heat turning them occasionally until they are warmed through, and the internal temperature of your hotdogs reaches 165°F (74°C). 

Remove your hotdogs from the pan when they are fully cooked, and add them to your hotdog buns. Add any condiments you desire, serve and enjoy. 

Boil them in a Pot of Water

Fill a medium pan part of the way with water. Place it over a burner and turn it to high heat. Bring your water to a boil.  

Remove your hotdogs from their packaging, and place them into the boiling water. 

Boil the hotdogs until they are warmed through, and the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F. 

Remove the hotdogs from the boiling water, add to the hot dog buns, add any condiments you desire, serve and enjoy. 

Grill to Perfection

One of the best ways to enjoy hotdogs is fresh from the grill. To grill hotdogs, first, preheat your grill so that it reaches approximately 350°F. 

Next, remove your hotdogs from the packaging, poke holes into them, then add them to your grill grates. Grill your hotdogs, until they are cooked through. Then serve and enjoy. 

Smoke the Hot Dogs

If desired you can add a rub to your hotdogs. See our recipe for smoked hotdogs for details

To smoke your hotdogs, preheat your smoker to 225°F. Remove your hotdogs from their packaging, poke holes in them, or cut cross hatches in the hotdogs. 

Place your hotdogs directly on the smoker grate, and smoke at 225°F for approximately one hour, or until your hotdogs are warmed through. 

Bake in the Oven

To bake frozen hotdogs in the oven, first, preheat your oven to 400°F. Remove your hotdogs from their packaging, poke holes in each hotdog, and arrange them on a cookie sheet with sides in a single layer. 

When your oven is preheated, add your cookie sheet, and bake in the oven for approximately 6-10 minutes, or until the hot dogs are cooked through. 

Cook Over a Campfire 

Another fabulous way to cook thawed or frozen hotdogs is to cook them over the campfire. There are many different campfire utensils you can use to cook your hotdogs in the campfire, but the general idea is that you want to roast your hotdogs over the fire until it is warmed through, and the outside is browned to your liking.

frozen hot dog packet from the side

Do Hot Dogs Go Bad

So do hotdogs go bad, and how do you tell? Yes, hotdogs can go bad, and if your hotdogs are bad you should not eat them.

First, we will look at some good storage tips for your hotdogs and approximately how long they will last in each storage method. Then we will look at different signs you can use to tell if your hotdogs are spoiled or have gone bad. 

How long are hot dogs good for?

How long hotdogs are good for depends on how hot dogs are stored. You can use the expiration date on the package as a rule of thumb, however, once your hotdog package is opened, the expiration date may not apply.

How long can you freeze hot dogs?

How long do your dogs last in the freezer? If stored properly, as we have instructed above, your hotdogs will last between 1 and 2 months when frozen properly at 0°F or below and sealed in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag. 

How long do hot dogs last in the fridge?

How long hotdogs last in the fridge depends if they are sealed in the original packaging, or if they have been opened.

Unopened hotdogs that are stored in the fridge at 40°F or below can last up to 14 days in the fridge.

However, once your hotdogs have been opened, they will last up to 7 days when stored in the fridge at 40°F or below. 

How long are hot dogs good for after opening?

Once your hotdogs are opened, they should only be stored in the fridge for up to 7 days. After one week has passed your opened hotdogs should either be cooked, frozen, or thrown away. 

How long can hot dogs sit out?

Hotdogs should not sit at room temperature for any more than two hours before they go bad. This two-hour rule applies to a room temperature that is between 40°F and 90°F.

However, if your room temperature is 90°F or above, hotdogs may only last up to one hour at room temperature. 

How to tell if hotdogs are spoiled?

There are several different signs that can point to your hotdogs having turned bad. No matter if your hotdogs are thawed or frozen, you can use these five signs outlined below to determine if your hotdogs are still safe, or if they have gone bad and should be thrown away. 

1: Package Expiration Date

First look at the package expiration date. If the date has long passed, then this is a good sign that your hotdogs are likely bad and should be thrown away. 

2: Smell of the Hot Dogs

Next, take a good whiff of your hotdogs. If there is an odd smell to your hotdogs, if it smells rotten or off in any way, then your hotdogs have likely spoiled. 

3: The Color of the Hot Dogs

You can also examine the appearance of your hotdogs to tell if they are discolored at all. If the color of your hotdogs does not appear normal, they are gray, green, purple, or have any sign of mold, throw them away. 

4: The Texture of the Hot Dogs

You can also examine the texture of your hotdogs. If it does not feel normal at all, then it is likely bad. 

5: Slimy feel on the Hot Dogs

Finally, feel your hot dog and see if it is slimy. If your hotdog feels slimy at all, this is another sign the hot dog has turned bad.

If any of these apply to your hotdogs, they are signs that your hotdog has turned bad, or is in the process of turning bad, and should be thrown away. 

hot dogs with condiments and buns

FAQs

How long is a hot dog?

Did you know that hot dogs can come in different lengths? Actually, they can! Your average hotdogs are typically between 4 ½ inches and 6 inches long. However, there are exceptions to this rule with what are called foot-long hotdogs. 

Can you eat hot dogs cold?

Although most hotdog packaging says that they are partly cooked, this does not mean that they are OK to eat cold or raw. Instead, you need to fully cook your hotdogs before eating them. 

How long are cooked hot dogs good for?

Once hotdogs have been cooked, they can last in the fridge if stored properly for up to 3 to 4 days. 

Can you freeze hot dog buns?

Although you can freeze hotdog buns, it’s typically not a preference to do so. Once hotdog buns have been frozen and thawed, they sometimes turn out mushy and just don’t taste very good. 

Can you grill frozen hot dogs?

Absolutely, you can grill frozen hotdogs. Please note that when you do grill frozen hotdogs it will likely take approximately 50% more time for them to cook on your grill than thawed hotdogs, but it can be done by simply allowing extra time. 

Can you eat raw hot dogs?

No, it is not safe to eat raw hotdogs as hotdogs are only partially cooked, and you could ingest unwanted or harmful bacteria by eating raw hotdogs. 

Can you refreeze hot dogs?

The safe way to refreeze a hotdog is to first cook the hotdog before it is frozen a second time. For example, if you want to refreeze a hotdog, you can take a frozen raw hotdog, cook it, and then freeze the cooked hotdog. A raw hotdog that was once frozen should not be frozen again while still raw. 

Can You Freeze Hotdogs?

In summary, we have discussed that yes you can freeze hotdogs if desired. Hotdogs can be frozen in their original packaging and unopened, after they have been opened, sealed in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container, and cooked hotdogs can also be frozen.

The amount of time hotdogs last in the freezer may vary depending on if they are cooked or raw. Now that you know all about freezing hotdogs, go ahead and begin. 

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