Boiling is one of the most common cooking methods to enjoy hot dogs, but most people don’t know how long to boil hot dogs or the proper way to do so.
There are many ways to prepare hot dogs, like roasting, grilling, searing, or microwaving. You can even prepare hot dogs in toaster ovens with a few steps However, if you need to cook a handful of hot dogs in a hurry, boiling is the best option for you.
After reading this, you will get to learn 4 different methods to get perfectly boiled sausages for your fast lunch or dinner. So don’t waste another second, let’s dive right in!
The Truth About Hot Dogs
According to the USDA, regular types of hot dogs are pre-cooked sausages made from beef, pork, turkey, chicken, or other types of meat (1). Extenders such as fat-free milk, whole milk, cereal, or isolated soy protein may also be found in some hot dogs.
Even though they are pre-cooked, you must reheat them before eating. Processed ready-to-eat items, like hot dogs, can contain Listeria monocytogenes that can damage your health (2).
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Why Should You Boil Hot Dogs?
Boiling is by far the easiest and quickest way to cook sausage.
You might prefer the crunchiness of hot dogs when they are roasted or grilled. However, grilling sausages can be pretty troublesome and time-consuming. Plus, grilled hot dogs are not as plump and juicy as boiled ones.
The boiling water will cook the hot dogs evenly without the risk of burning them. Plus, if you season the water before adding the hot dogs, they will soak up the flavor from the water, giving you a savory and delicious afternoon snack with little to no effort.
How Much Time Does It Take To Boil Hot Dogs?
Don’t think that the time required to boil hot dogs is the same as the time it takes to smoke hot dogs. As the principles behind each cooking method differ, it’ll stand to reason the cooking time between different cooking methods will vary as well.
It is proven that boiling your hot dogs for around 6 minutes is the best. This amount of time allows the hot dogs to cook to perfection without splitting. If your hot dogs split while boiling, they will become unappetizing to look at and less flavorful.
This time may vary depending on the number of hot dogs you’re boiling. If you only have a few, say 2 to 4, they may be ready to eat before the 6 minutes are up. But if you want to boil a large pack of hot dogs, you should wait longer to make sure that they are fully cooked.
Shorter cook times will make a softer hot dog, whereas longer ones will make them more snappy, depending on the brand and casing.
4 Ultimate Ways To Boil Hot Dogs
Do you know that there is more than one way to make an exquisite boiled sausage? Read the tutorials below and find out!
1. Using The Stove
Of course, this is the easiest and most popular way to boil hot dogs. So fire up your stove, and let’s get cooking!
Step 1: Prepare The Pot
Pour water into a large pot and turn on the stove. The pot should be big enough to hold all of the hot dogs you’re going to cook. Remember to leave a few inches at the top of the pot to prevent overflowing.
Step 2: Boil The Hot Dogs
As the water begins to boil, take a pair of tongs to submerge the hot dogs. Do it carefully so the hot water won’t splash. Cook the hot dogs for 6 minutes on high heat. If you’re boiling a large batch of hot dogs, cook them for another minute or two.
This method also works on frozen hot dogs. Now, how can you thaw frozen hot dogs? Luckily, with this method, you just need to throw them directly in the pot. With this, you also won’t have to worry if it’s okay to refreeze hot dogs. You might have to cook them for a bit longer tho.
Step 3: Take Them Out
Use tongs to remove them from the heat, shaking off the water as you go. Let them sit on a paper towel to drain excess moisture. Alternatively, you can pour the entire pot of dogs through a strainer to drain all the water.
Tip: Only take out the ones you’re going to eat. Let the rest sit in the pot on the lowest heat to keep them warm.
For a lively demonstration on cooking hot dogs on a stove, check this out!
2. Using A Microwave
You don’t need a stove and a pot to boil sausages. Your microwave can also do that with ease! Take a look at the steps below and give it a try:
Step 1: Prepare The Hot Dogs
Before boiling them, gently slit the hot dogs lengthwise with a knife. This is an essential step since the sausages can explode in the microwave if you don’t do this.
Step 2: Boil Them In The Microwave
Fill a microwave-safe bowl halfway with water. Again, be sure that the bowl is big enough to hold all the hot dogs you want to cook. Then, place the sausages in the bowl and put it in the microwave.
During the cooking process, you might need to add more water to protect the sausages from drying out.
“How long should the hot dogs stay in the microwave?”, you may ask. Well, the required cooking time can vary since not all microwaves have the same size and not all sausages have the same thickness.
However, for this tutorial, you should cook them for at least 75 seconds on high.
Step 3: Check The Hot Dogs
Afterward, check to see if the hot dogs are fully cooked. You can do this just by looking at the texture (thoroughly cooked hot dogs will have wrinkled skin and dark color). Or you can cut off the tip to check the inside of the hot dogs.
If they are not done, put them back in the microwave and cook them for another 30 seconds.
Step 4: Take Them Out
Put on a pair of oven mitts and get the bowl out of the microwave. Be careful since the water is extremely hot! Use a fork or tongs to take them out and drain them on a paper towel.
3. Using A Crockpot
If you already have a crockpot at home, then hey, you’re in luck! This is the ideal tool to boil hot dogs.
It takes a bit longer than the traditional method. But if you’re having a party, the crockpot will not only help you cook a large number of hot dogs at the same time, it will also keep them warm for a long time.
Step 1: Put Them In The Crockpot
Put all the hot dogs in your crockpot and set the temperature to low. Let it sit for 3 hours until the hot dogs are heated. While you wait, you can prepare the buns, the toppings, and the condiments.
Step 2: Take Them Out
When the sausages are well-cooked, take out the ones you want and enjoy. Leave the rest in the crockpot to prevent them from cooling off. Change the setting to “keep warm” and the hot dogs will last for hours!
Meanwhile, you can make use of the steam from the crockpot to warm up your buns. This is also one of the best ways to steam your hot dog buns.
This can help you learn more about cooking hot dogs with a crockpot! Watch this video:
4. Using A Skillet
Do you know how to make the hot dogs crunchy but still juicy and plump? Grab a skillet and follow the tutorial below:
Step 1: Prepare The Skillet
Place a skillet on the stove and pour some water into it. Don’t pour too much since you only want half of the sausages to be submerged in the water. Then, turn on the stove to bring the water to a boil.
Step 2: Add The Hot Dogs
Take a pair of tongs and slowly put your sausages in the water. Add some butter while cooking to add flavor (1 hot dog = 1 teaspoon of butter). Continue to cook them until they are crispy.
The sides of the hot dogs will touch the hot skillet so keep an eye on them and move them around frequently. If you don’t, they might stick to the pan and burn.
Step 3: Take Them Out
Take the dogs out of the skillet and drain them on a paper towel. Then serve with the buns and toppings of your choice.
3 Methods To Add Flavor To Your Boiled Sausages
The casings of the hot dogs are not “waterproof”, which means they can quickly soak up the seasonings from the water. So if you want your sausages to be more flavorful, the water itself has to be well-seasoned. It is as simple as that!
Try out these tips below to improve your sausages’ flavors. Thanks to this, even dishes made from leftover hot dogs will taste heavenly. Why hesitate, when you can jazz up your hot dogs with steps so simple that even little kids can do?
1. Season The Water With Spices
Just by adding ½ teaspoon of salt to the water, your hot dogs will taste way better than traditionally boiled sausages. Additionally, you can use garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cumin seeds, or Italian spices to add depth and flavor to your hot dogs.
2. Add Garlic
If you love the taste of garlic as much as I do, this is the best way to level up your hot dog game.
Simply toss 1 or 2 unpeeled garlic cloves in the water while it is boiling to give the hot dogs an earthy, garlicky taste.
3. Use Stock
Besides seasonings, there is another way to spice up your hot dogs: Use stock! The hot dogs can soak up the seasonings from the stock and become more flavorful.
If you don’t have stock, just add a pinch of bouillon into the pot. Beef or chicken bouillon are preferred, but veggie bouillon will also do the trick.
4. Use Beer
I have read a LOT of articles about the secret recipes of famous hot dog stands in the US. And there is 1 special ingredient that is claimed to make a massive difference to the dish – beer!
In a pot, replace 1½ cup of water with 1 whole bottle of beer and bring it to a boil. Then cook the dogs using the same method mentioned above. Different beers will give your sausages a different taste.
Note: The alcohol will mostly be boiled out when the hot dogs finish cooking. So you can feed beer-boiled hot dogs to your kids without fearing that they will get drunk.
Boiling Hot Dogs On A Stove – The Dos And Don’ts
It’s true, boiling sausages on a stove is the easiest way to get a classic hot dog. But if you want to improve the overall taste of your traditional hot dogs, here are some extra tips you should keep in mind.
Before you put the hot dogs in the pot, spice up the water with some seasonings. This will make them much tastier.
Splitting the sausages will make them less juicy and flavorful. If you want to avoid bursting, poke holes in them instead.
Usually, the hot dogs won’t explode after only 6 minutes of boiling. But if you want to be careful, use a fork to poke a few holes in them.
Boiling hot dogs when they are still in their packaging is not recommended. Chemicals from the plastic package may leak into the water and spoil your hot dogs.
You should always dry the hot dogs with a paper towel before putting them in the hot dog buns to prevent them from getting soggy.
If hot dogs are cooked too long, their texture will harden, and the color will turn grey. Not appetizing at all!
When the hot dogs finish cooking, and you don’t want to eat them yet, just put on a lid to keep them warm. No one wants a cold sausage!
Do you need more information about this topic? Have a look at these FAQs to see if you can find the answers you’re looking for.
There You Have It, Perfectly Boiled Hot Dogs!
Hot dogs are, without a doubt, one of the most popular foods in the USA, so knowing how to cook them properly is rather important. It is not hard to boil sausages, you just need to know the proper tips to do it properly. And now you got it!
Be sure to like and share this article if you find it helpful. Also, if you know other methods that I haven’t listed in this post, please leave a comment below. I wish you the best of luck and goodbye!
- USDA, 2013. Hot Dogs & Food Safety.
- FDA, 2018. Fact or Fiction from Food Safety for Moms to Be.