Frankfurter, wiener, sausage–all of these terms into one universal name: hot dogs!
Whether it’s on a bun or chopped up for a casserole, hot dogs are the go-to when you want a quick, delicious, and protein-rich meal. Better yet, these meat links seem to last forever!
Not that we can resist eating them all up in just a few days. But what if you want to keep your hot dogs for long-term storage? Can you freeze hot dogs to make them last longer?
Yes, you can! According to the USDA, hot dogs last “indefinitely” in the freezer.
But, of course, no food lasts forever.
Keep on reading to learn how to freeze hot dogs, how long you can keep hot dogs in the freezer, and how to thaw them properly.
First things first:
Can You Freeze Hot Dogs?
Yes, of course! Just like other processed meats, you can keep hot dogs in the freezer for long-term storage.
The USDA says that hot dogs are safe indefinitely in the freezer. But for optimum quality, it’s best to consume your hot dogs within 1 to 2 months. (*)
Nevertheless, your hot dogs will last way longer than that in the freezer, although long-term freezing may cause a change in texture, taste, and overall quality.
In the fridge, an unopened package of hot dogs can last for up to 2 weeks. Once opened, you can keep your hot dogs in the fridge for only a week.
So, if you want your hot dogs to last for months instead of weeks, here’s what you need to do:
What’s The Best Way to Freeze Hot Dogs?
Freezing hot dogs is easy. If you bought pre-packaged hot dogs, simply stick them directly into the freezer before opening.
For opened hot dogs or deli-bought hot dogs that don’t come pre-packaged, here’s the best freezing technique:
- Wrap each hot dog in cling wrap or wax paper. This will prevent them from sticking together in the freezer, which will save you time from having to wrestle a single hot dog from a big frozen block.
- Arrange your hot dogs in a freezer bag or airtight container. The latter is best to use so that your hot dogs don’t get jostled around and potentially stick to each other.
- If you are using a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
- Label your hot dogs with today’s date and the expiry date on the package.
- Put your hot dogs in the freezer. Store for up to 6 months for best quality.
Hot dogs freeze very well, so you don’t have to worry about doing any extra steps. But if you want to make thawing easier, we suggest storing your hot dogs in small individual bags rather than one big bag or container.
Once your hot dogs are frozen, they will be solid as ice. So, you have to defrost them properly before you pop them on the grill or into a boiling pot of water.
How Do You Defrost Frozen Hot Dogs?
No matter the cooking method you choose, you have to defrost your hot dogs before cooking them. The best defrosting technique is to put your hot dogs in the refrigerator at least 12 hours before you plan to cook them.
By thawing your hot dogs slowly, you don’t run the risk of them being cold in the middle even after you cook them.
But what if you are in a hurry? Here are other methods you can try:
- Put your hot dogs under the tap and run cold water over them for 30 minutes or until they are thawed all the way through.
- Microwave your hot dog at 30-second intervals using the defrost setting. Check your hot dog every 30 seconds to see if it has thawed out completely.
- Soak your hot dogs in cold water for about an hour.
If you’re chopping up your hot dogs for cooking, you don’t have to worry about defrosting them completely. Once they are soft enough, you can cut them and toss them in the pan; they should thaw and cook quickly.
The answer to the question “Can you freeze hot dogs?” is a definite yes. All you have to do is put them in an airtight container, and they should last for months in the freezer.
But to make life easier, take the extra step to separate them using wax paper or individual bags. You’ll thank yourself when you’re craving a hot dog and won’t have to break a finger trying to separate one from a block of frozen franks.
And that’s all you need to know about freezing hot dogs! For more informative guides like this, check out our blog where we talk about everything food-related, including nutrition, cooking, food safety, and so much more!