When it comes to convenience and ease of perpetration, the hot dog reigns king. This popular backyard griller is also a hit late at night for a snack or on-the-go when you just need a quick bite to eat. And when you’re cooking for one, a microwave hot dog cooks much faster than waiting for the grill to heat up.

Cooking Hot Dogs in Microwave

When hunger strikes, the last thing you want to do is watch water boil on the stovetop. That’s why cooking hot dogs in microwave is such a popular method. The key to a good microwave hot dog is to wrap it in a paper towel before heating it up. This helps keep in moisture, ensuring you end up with a juicy hot dog.

  1. Take the hot dog out of the package.
  2. Pierce the hot dog with a sharp knife three times.
  3. Wrap the hot dog in a paper towel and place it on a microwave-safe plate.
  4. Put it in the microwave and cook on high for 40 or 50 seconds for one hot dog. Cooking more than one hot dog requires an additional 20 to 30 seconds.
  5. Check to make sure your hot dog is thoroughly heated. Use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit before eating.
  6. Unwrap it and serve your microwave hot dog on a bun with your favorite condiments. Heat your bun for a few seconds in the microwave (again, wrapped in a paper towel) if you prefer your bun heated.

Best Way to Cook Hot Dogs

If the microwave is not your favorite kitchen appliance to use, you might be wondering, “what’s the best way to cook a hotdog?” While the answer varies depending on whom you talk with, most people agree that the grill or stovetop win out. Both methods provide the ability to control the heat and keep an eye on the hot dogs while they cook.

Cooking Hot Dogs on Stove

When you cook hot dogs on stove, you end up with a dog that is crispy on the outside, yet soft on the inside. Follow these steps to cook hot dogs on the stove.

  1. Use a skillet or frying pan large enough for the number of hot dogs you are cooking.
  2. Add enough water to cover 1 inch of the bottom of the pan.
  3. Heat the stove on medium-high heat. Wait until the water comes to a boil.
  4. Add the hot dogs.
  5. Cook the hot dogs on the stove for 2 to 3 minutes, rolling them frequently.
  6. Use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit before eating.

Cooking Hot Dogs on Grill

It comes as no surprise that the top answer to, “what’s the best way to cook a hotdog,” is, of course, your backyard grill. Grilling hot dogs should result in a dog that is smoky on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside. Follow these steps to cook hot dogs on the grill.

  1. Spray the grill grates with cooking spray.
  2. Heat the grill to medium heat.
  3. Place your hot dogs on the grill. For perfect grill marks, place your hot dogs perpendicular to the grill grates.
  4. Grill 7 to 9 minutes, rolling frequently to help heat them all the way through.
  5. Use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit before eating.

Hot Dog Safety

Even though packaged hot dogs are pre-cooked, you still need to follow food safety guidelines. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, you can safely store unopened hot dogs in the refrigerator for two weeks, and opened packages last for one week. After cooking your hot dog, make sure it does not stay out at room temperature for longer than two hours. And when the weather heats up over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, reduce that room temperature time to one hour.

About the Author

Sara Lindberg

Sara Lindberg is a lifestyle, health, wellness, and fitness freelance writer.