You probably think to yourself: “Can you freeze hot dogs?”. Maybe you just got them in bulk at the supermarket. Or perhaps you are preparing for a BBQ party next weekend. Whatever it is, now you must store them properly to prevent them from going bad.
Storing a large amount of hot dogs in the refrigerator is not ideal since they will only last a week or two. Frozen hot dogs, however, can stay fresh for 2 months or longer. So don’t waste another second, learn all you need to know about freezing hot dogs right now!
What Are Hot Dogs, And What Are They Made Of?
Hot dogs (or frankfurters, wieners, or bologna) are cooked or smoked sausages (1). Sometimes, the term “hot dogs” can be used to describe the assembled dish itself. But I will only focus on the sausages today.
In the United States, hot dogs are made from the skeletal muscle of animals (mostly beef or pork, sometimes poultry meat)(2). Some hot dogs may contain extenders such as fat-free dry milk, cereal, whole milk, or isolated soy protein.
Do Hot Dogs Freeze Well?
Most of the time, any typical sort of hot dogs can freeze very well! Some may differ, based on the ingredients and how they were prepared. However, if you store them properly and consume them within 2 months of freezing, you won’t notice much change in texture or flavor.
Although, keep in mind that once they are defrosted, they should be eaten right away. Is it possible to refreeze hot dogs? It’s not easy to answer this question since doing so can make them develop harmful bacteria or become mushy.
In general, you can refreeze them. But you must be mindful of the possible health risks that result from refreezing hot dogs.
The Ultimate Guide To Store Hot Dogs In The Freezer
Do hot dogs spoil easily? Hot dogs’ shelf-life is quite lengthy, and they can last for quite a long time in the fridge or freezer.
However, if you leave them outside for too long, they will definitely go bad. So be sure to store them as soon as you get home from the supermarket.
This section will show you 3 methods to freeze your hot dogs and extend their shelf-life. Depending on the state of your hot dogs, choose the method that suits you the most and try it out!
Method 1: Unopened Hot Dogs
If your hot dogs are unopened and you want to keep the original package, this will be the quickest option for you.
Step 1: Wrap It
Use some aluminum foil or wax paper to wrap it around the sausage package. Alternatively, you can put the package in a heavy-duty freezer container. This will prevent freezer burn and extend the shelf life of the hot dogs.
Step 2: Label It
Before putting the package in the freezer, write the date on the bag so you can know how long the hot dogs have been in there. Hot dogs can last for years in the freezer, but consuming them within two months is the best option.
Step 3: Freeze It
Place the hot dogs in the freezer and leave them there until they are completely frozen. This might take up to 24 hours.
However, this method won’t prevent the sausages from sticking to each other. So if you don’t plan on using all of them the next time you cook, I don’t recommend this method.
Learn how to separate 1 hot dog from a frozen package with this!
Method 2: Opened Hot Dogs
Putting the entire package in the freezer is simple and quick, but thawing a whole block of hot dogs is extremely time-consuming.
With this method, you can take the sausages out individually, saving you lots of time in the thawing process. Plus, you don’t have to risk injuring yourself trying to get 1 sausage out of a frozen pack!
Step 1: Put It In A Container/ Freezer Bag
Drain the hot dogs on a paper towel to remove excess moisture, if necessary. Then place it in a freezer bag or airtight container. Keep them separate and place a sheet of wax paper between them so they won’t stick.
Alternatively, you can wrap the hot dogs individually with wax paper and put them in a container or freezer bag. Make sure that you seal them well, the cold air can lead to oxidation and give the sausages freezer burn.
Step 2: Label It
Put a label of the freezing date on the storage container. You can keep them for as long as you want but remember that hot dogs remain at their best quality for two months.
Step 3: Freeze It
Put the hot dogs into the freezer and wait for 24 hours. And just like that, it is done! With this method, you won’t have to defrost an entire pack of sausages whenever you want some.
Method 3: Cooked Hot Dogs
Usually, cooked hot dogs kept at room temperature for more than 2 hours should be thrown away. But you may extend their shelf life by keeping them in the freezer.
Step 1: Wrap It
Like before, wrap the sausages in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. If you don’t have those, an airtight container will also do the trick.
Remember to freeze them within two hours after serving to minimize bacterial development and prevent food poisoning. The freezer does not destroy bacteria, but it can keep them from spreading.
Step 2: Label It
Note down the freezing date on the wrap or container. Cooked hot dogs freeze quite well, maintaining their full flavor for up to 4 months. But unlike raw hot dogs, you can’t keep them in the freezer forever. Discard them right away after this time limit.
Step 3: Freeze It
Put it in the freezer, and you’re good to go! Now the hot dogs will survive another 4 months. These frozen cooked hot dogs can easily be thawed to make mesmerizing dishes with leftover hot dogs. Pair them with a few side dishes, and you have a savory meal to indulge yourself in.
Which Is Better, Refrigerating Or Freezing?
Refrigerating or freezing both have their upsides and downsides. Depending on when you want to eat it or how you plan to prepare it, choose the most suitable option to store your hot dogs. Take a look at this chart to know more about the storage time of each method.
|Unopened||2 weeks||Indefinitely (Best consumed within 2 months)|
|Opened||1 week||Indefinitely (Best consumed within 2 months)|
|Cooked||4 days||4 months|
According to Hot Dogs and Food Safety, sticking to the best-by date on the package is recommended to ensure the best quality. However, if stored correctly, they can stay good for much longer.
4 Methods To Defrost Frozen Hot Dogs
Once the hot dogs are frozen, they will become hard as rock. Before cooking or grilling them, you must first defrost the hot dogs unless the packaging says otherwise.
So if you want to know the ways to thaw frozen hot dogs, this section will give you some helpful tips.
1. Using A Microwave
Place the hot dogs on a plate and drape a paper towel over them. Put it in and microwave them using the defrost setting. The recommended time to heat up hot dogs with a microwave heavily depends on their size, type and state.
For frozen hot dogs, you should microwave them for 30 seconds first. Take the plate out and check to see if they are thawed. If it is not, put it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds. Keep doing so until they are fully thawed.
2. Cover Them With Cool Water
Fill a bowl with cool water and put the sausages in it. Let it sit for 30 minutes. You know hot dogs are fully thawed if they become cool and flexible. If it is still cold, change the water and defrost it for another 30 minutes.
If you want to keep the sausages dry, you can put your hot dogs in a sealable bag (a new one). Place the bag in a large bowl of cool water and wait until it becomes softer.
While you wait for the hot dogs to thaw, it’s a good idea to take a few steps to steam hot dog buns or prepare side dishes for hot dogs. This should help you create a satisfying meal with enough healthy nutrients to keep you energized for the day.
3. Put Them In The Fridge
Place the hot dogs on a plate or bowl and put them in the refrigerator. After 24 hours, they are ready to be cooked. The hot dogs will stay good in the fridge for about 5 days.
This is perfect in that it’s suitable for any cooking method for hot dogs. Planning to try out the technique to prepare hot dogs with toaster ovens? It’s best to thaw hot dogs in a fridge. This is also the same for if you want to smoke, boil, grill, or microwave the hot dogs.
4. Boil Them
Pour some water into a pot and bring it to a boil. How much time does it take to boil the hot dogs? Just like before, it is hard to be specific about the total cooking time. You must take into account the size or type of the sausages.
But in general, it takes 10 minutes to cook frozen sausages thoroughly. Once done, you can simply eat the sausages or grill them to add flavor and texture.
If you have further concerns, feel free to take a look at some FAQs to see if you can find the answers you need.
Freezing Hot Dogs Is That Easy!
Who can resist a good hot dog? I certainly can’t. It is cheap, delicious, and convenient – it’s truly an American staple.
Hot dogs already have a long shelf life, but you can keep them forever in your freezer with just a few minutes of preparing. So don’t let the hot dogs go to waste and give the methods a try.
Remember to like and share this article if you find it useful. And if you have any more questions, please leave them in the comments section below. I wish you all the best and goodbye!
- Wikipedia, 2021. Hot dog
- USDA, 2013. Hot Dogs & Food Safety