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Yes, you can face hot dog buns that are homemade, store-bought or the uncooked dough for three plus months without losing quality. Simply wrap each bun well and place it in an airtight container in the freezer.
How to Freeze Hot Dog Buns
The key to the perfect hot dog is wrapping it in a fresh and delicious hot dog bun. Hot dogs are the perfect food for cookouts, easy dinners or big get togethers.
Hot dog buns tend to go on sale during regular cookout occasions such as the 4th of July. So, if you find them on a great sale you may be tempted to stock up. However, fresh store-bought hot dog buns typically only last for anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks depending on how they've been prepared.
Additionally, you may have your favorite go-to hot dog bun recipe and want to make a whole bunch and advance of an event but know that they only last for around 3 to 5 days. This is another reason you may be needing to extend the shelf life of your hot dog buns.
Luckily, hot dog buns freeze exceptionally well and it only takes 5 minutes or less to do it. There are several different methods you can use all listed below. The best way to decide which one to use is to know how long your buns will be frozen and how many you will use at a time when you thaw them.
In the package
If you have purchased a whole package of hot dog buns from the store and haven't opened them yet You may want to freeze them in their store-bought package. Only use this method if you know you'll be using all of the buns at once when you thaw them since they'll be frozen together.
- Make sure they're fresh. Don't let them sit on the counter until the last minute and when they start to get stale. Go ahead and freeze them as soon as you get them home if you know you'll be freezing them.
- Freeze them. You can literally just toss the buns in the package straight into the freezer.
- Note: the package that they come in won't be as protective as an actual airtight container or freezer bag. So, if you know you'll be keeping them frozen for more than three or four weeks you might want to take the additional step of popping the store-bought package straight into a freezer bag for a little additional protection.
Perhaps you have baked your own buns at home, eaten a few from a package already, or know that you'll only use a few at a time when you defrost them then your best bet is to freeze them individually.
- Super cool. If you've baked your buns at home make sure that they have had ample time to cool down. Warm buns will create condensation in the packaging which will lead to mushy thawed buns.
- Flash freeze. This step is optional if you are doing the next step of wrapping. The main benefits of flash freezing your buns is to keep them from getting smushed later in the freezer and also to keep them from sticking together. If you choose to flash freeze, simply lay the buns in a single layer on a cookie sheet, pop it in the freezer for a few hours until they are frozen.
- Wrap them up. This is an optional step, but I highly recommend it if you know you'll be freezing your buns for longer than a month or so. You simply tear off a sheet of plastic wrap wrap it securely and completely around each individual bun. Then, repeat this step for every bun. If you prefer to use aluminum foil instead of plastic wrap you can do so.
- Package them. Toss your wrapped or flash frozen buns into an airtight container or freezer bag.
- Seal and label them. Go ahead and press any air out of the freezer bag and then zip it shut. If you're using a container instead, simply place the lid on top of it. Then, make sure to write the date on the container or bag so you know when they were frozen.
- Freeze them. Toss your container or your bag into your freezer. Especially if you are using a bag and did not flash freeze, make sure that your buns are in a place where they won't get smashed.
Another way to freeze your hot dog buns is by freezing the uncooked dough.
- Prepare it. Use your favorite recipe and whip up a batch of hot dog bun dough.
- Portion it. You can either go ahead and shape your dough into the hot dog buns or you can simply portion it into the size balls you'll need for baking a batch later.
- Flash freeze. Take your portioned dough and place it in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Then pop the cookie sheet into the freezer for several hours until the dough is frozen.
- Wrap it. The step is optional and I recommend it if you are going to be freezing the dough for several months. Simply tear off a sheet of plastic wrap large enough to fully and completely wrap each ball of dough with it. Been complete this step for each piece of dough.
- Package it. Go ahead and pop your portions of dough into an airtight container or a freezer bag.
- Seal it and label it. Press any excess air out of your freezer bag without smushing your balls of dough and then zip it closed. If you're using an airtight container instead, simply place the lid on the container. Next, right the date on the bag or container.
- Freeze it. Place your container or bag into the freezer.
Top freezing tips
No matter which method you are using, apply the following tips to make sure that you maintain maximum quality and freshness when thawed.
- Fresh is best. Make sure to freeze them when they are as fresh as possible so that you can retain the best quality. Hot dog buns tend to get stale pretty fast and if they've already become stale freezing them won't fix this problem.
- Don't smush. When you put them into the freezer make sure they're not being crushed or smushed by anything next to them. If they get smushed while frozen this will impact their fluffy texture when thawed.
- Always cool. Make sure that if you've made that home that they are not in the least bit warm when you start the process. Warm buns will create condensation during freezing which will lead to mushy buns upon thawing.
- Decide how long. Make sure that you know how long about you'll be freezing them for before getting started. This will dictate whether or not you should do any extra wrapping to help keep them fresh longer.
- Know portion size. Make sure you know how many you'll be using at a time when you defrost so that you can decide if you should freeze them all together or separately.
How to Defrost Hot Dog Buns
Defrosting hot dog buns is rather simple. But, you do have a couple options to choose from based on how much time you have and how important the texture and quality is to you.
On the counter
Defrosting your buns on the counter will take several hours depending on how thick they are. However, this method helps to have the temperature change slowly over time and will result in the best overall texture for your buns.
To use this method, simply remove them from the freezer and place them on the countertop. If they want frozen very long and don't have much freezer burn or anything on the packaging, you can leave them wrapped while defrosting. If they've been frozen longer they probably have some moisture build up and it's better to unwrap them and place them on a paper towel to help absorb some of the moisture as they thaw.
In the oven
Using the oven to defrost your buns will be faster than the countertop but slower than the microwave method below. However, this method gives you a little more control over the amount of heat being added than the microwave and therefore usually ends up in a slightly better texture of bun.
This method is particularly good if you like your buns a little toasted when you eat them. To use this method, simply remove your buns from the freezer and unwrap them. Then go ahead and place them on a cookie sheet and into the oven at 350°.
Depending on how thick your buns are will make the time vary but usually they are defrosted within about 5 to 10 minutes. If they seem to be getting dried out make sure to flip them halfway through and you can also sprinkle a little water on them to help them gain a little moisture back.
In the microwave
Using the microwave to defrost your buns will be the fastest method. But, it comes with the drawback that you can easily start to make them a little rubbery or dry.
To use this method, remove your buttons from the freezer and unwrap them if they were wrapped. Then, place them in the microwave and set your microwave power to 50% or the defrost setting.
Heat your buns at 15 second intervals until they have defrosted. It's best to turn them after each heating so that one side doesn't defrost faster than the other. Additionally, if they feel like they're getting dried out you can either sprinkle some water on top or add a microwave safe mug of water to the microwave while heating them.
Freezing Hot Dog Buns FAQ
Can you freeze hot dog buns in the package?
Yes, you can freeze hot dog buns straight in the package you purchased them in. Do be aware that they won't have quite as much protection this way and it may have some texture degradation after the first month or so.
Can you freeze store bought buns?
Yes, you can freeze store-bought hot dog buns for at least 3 to 6 months as long as they are kept in an airtight container.
How long do hot dog buns last?
Homemade hot dog buns typically only last for 3 to 5 days. Fresh baked store-bought buns have a similar lifespan. Store-bought hot dog buns that are on the shelf tend to at last for a few weeks.
How long can hot dog buns stay in the freezer?
Hot dog buns can stay in the freezer indefinitely still be safe to eat. However, after 3 to 6 months the texture and taste will start to decrease slowly over time.
How to Freeze Hot Dog Buns
- airtight container
- marker or pen
- freezer bags
- plastic wrap
- aluminum foil
- cookie sheet
- Hot Dog Buns baked or unbaked dough
- This method is not highly recommended, but will work if you need to get things done fast. Simply toss the closed package straight into the freezer and done.
- Note:if you want to give a little additional protection you can toss the whole package in a freezer bag before putting it into the freezer.Only use this method if you won't have them frozen too long and will want to use the whole package upon defrosting.
Individually or Unbaked Dough
- Allow them to cool if they are home baked.
- optional: flash freeze them to prevent them from sticking together once packaged up. Lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet (baked or unbaked dough portioned into sizes you will want to bake when defrosted). Pop into the freezer for an hour or so until they are stiff.
- optional: if you flash freeze and aren't freezing for super long, you can skip this step. It simply provides additional protection. If you did not flash freeze, you should do this step so they don't all stick together.Wrap your buns (baked or unbaked dough) in the portions you will want when defrosted. Use a sheet of plastic wrap and/or aluminum foil to secure completely around each portion.
- Toss them into a freezer safe container or a freezer bag.
- Zip the bag closed after pressing any air out of it. Or, place the lid on top of the container.
- Label the package with the date and pop it in the freezer.