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Yes, you can freeze cooked or uncooked hot dogs for up to 3 months without losing their texture taste or quality. They can then be easily defrosted and then reheated in the microwave, on the grill or in the oven.
How to Freeze Hot Dogs
Hot dogs are a yummy, easy to make and relatively cheap lunch, dinner or snack. They are commonly used for cookouts and other large occasions since you can grill up a bunch at once.
Often times they go on sale around certain holidays like the 4th of July when people buy them for large parties. If you're a hot dog aficionado you might want to stock up while they're on sale.
But then you're faced with either eating hot dogs for all three meals of the day or figuring out how to extender shelf life since they're only good for a few weeks in the fridge.
The good news is that hot dogs freeze well and you can do so in just a few minutes. Additionally, once they're thawed you can reheat or cook them for the first time and they taste almost the same as fresh ones do.
There are three main methods you can use for freezing your hot dogs. Choose the one that best suits the needs you will have for how you'll prepare the hot dogs once they're defrosted.
Freezing an entire package
If you have unopened packages of hot dogs and no that you will eat them pretty quickly once you cook them then it's best freeze the entire package. This works well if you don't mind eating them for a couple days in a row, have a larger family or are planning some parties.
It's important to note that with this method you will have to defrost them all at once and therefore you have to use them all at once defrosted
- Freeze them. Literally all you have to do is toss the entire unopened package into your freezer and you're good to go.
- Extra protection. If you'd like to provide a little extra protection for your hot dogs it's best to pop the package into a freezer bag before putting it into the freezer this way if the package isn't completely airtight it has a little extra protection and it also protects the package from getting any cuts or tears if it gets jostled around in the freezer.
If you won't eat a whole package at once or perhaps you've already opened your package and used a couple hot dogs you might want to freeze them individually.
- Dry them. Hot dogs usually have a little bit of liquid or water in the package and it's best to pat them dry with a paper towel before freezing them so that they won't stick together.
- Flash freeze. Flash freezing them for their helps them to keep from sticking together or clumping once frozen. Simply place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and pop them into the freezer for a couple hours until they've frozen solid.
- Wrap them. This is an optional step especially if you've already flash frozen them. But if you want to give them a little additional protection you can wrap each individual hot dog and plastic wrap or aluminum foil to help keep air from creating frostbite.
- Package them. Place your individually wrapped hot dogs into an airtight container or a freezer bag.
- Seal and label. Press all the air out of your freezer bag and zip it shut. If using an airtight container, simply place the lid on top of the container. Then, using a pen or marker write the date on the outside of the bag or container.
- Refreeze them. Finally, toss your container or bag back into the freezer.
Freezing them cooked
If you have grilled up a bunch of hot dogs and you're not going to finish them all the same day or the next day then it's best to go ahead and freeze them.
- Flash freeze. Place your cooked hot dogs in a single layer on a cookie sheet and tops them into the freezer for a few hours.
- Wrap them. This is optional just to provide an extra layer of protection. Once they have been flash frozen, go ahead and wrap each individual hot dog in either plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Pack them up. Place your wrapped hot dogs into an airtight container or a freezer bag.
- Seal them and label them. Go ahead and place the lid on your container. If using a freezer bag, squeeze out any excess air and zip it shut. Then, write the date on the outside of your bag or container.
- Refreeze. Finally, go ahead and toss your container or bag of hot dogs into the freezer.
Top tips for successful freezing
No matter which method above you choose, use the following tips to make sure that you have the highest quality hot dogs when thawed.
- Do it fresh. Make sure that they are either completely unopened in a fresh package or that you freeze them immediately after cooking to maintain maximum quality.
- Wrap it tight. Making sure to wrap and seal your hot dogs well so that no extra air gets in will ensure that you have no quality degradation.
- Know portion size. Decide if you'll be eating just a few at a time or an entire package so you know if you should freeze the package together or wrap them individually.
How to Defrost Hot Dogs
You have a few choices when it comes to defrosting your frozen hot dogs. The first method you can use is to simply take them out of the freezer and place them in the refrigerator overnight. Once they have thawed you can then cook or reheat them.
If you don't want to have to wait several hours or overnight for your hot dogs to defrost, you can choose to defrost them in the microwave. Use the defrost setting and slowly heat them at 30 to 60 second intervals until they have defrosted.
Note: due to the fact that hot dogs are meat, you should not try to defrost them by sitting them at room temperature on the counter.
Once you have defrosted your hot dogs you can either cook or reheat them in any manner you choose. Some common ways are grilling them, microwaving them or boiling them on the stove top.
Freezing Hot Dogs FAQ
Can you freeze an unopened pack of hot dogs?
Yes, you can freeze and unopened pack of hot dogs simply by tossing it into the freezer.
How long do hot dogs last in the fridge?
Opened hot dogs usually last around 5 to 7 days in the fridge. Unopened hot dogs typically last around 2 weeks in the fridge, but it's best to follow the best buy date on the package.
Can you freeze cooked hot dogs?
Yes, you can freeze cooked hot dogs just the same as you freeze uncooked hot dogs.
Can you refreeze hot dogs?
No, you should not refreeze hot dogs as both the texture and safety will decrease.
How long can you store hot dogs in the freezer?
You can store hot dogs in the freezer for upwards of 3 to 4 months without them losing much quality. They stay safe indefinitely in the freezer, but as more time passes they will start to decrease in quality.
How to Freeze Hot Dogs
- airtight container
- marker or pen
- freezer bags
- plastic wrap
- aluminum foil
- Hot dogs cooked or raw
- If you want to use the entire package when defrosted and you won't be freezing them for an extended time, you can freeze the whole thing at once.
- Simply toss the whole package into the freezer.
- If you want to provide them a little extra protection, pop the unopened package into a freezer bag first.
- Open your package and lightly dry the hot dogs.
- Flash freeze them so they don't stick together later by laying them on a single layer on a cookie sheet and popping them into the freezer for a few hours.
- Optional step: Once frozen, you can wrap them in plastic wrap and/or aluminum foil if you want to give them a little extra protection. Wrap them in portion sizes you will want to use when defrosted.
- Pop your hot dogs into a freezer bag or an airtight container. Press the lid onto the container or squeeze the air from the bag and zip it closed.
- Write the date on the bag or container and pop it into the freezer.
- Remove your hot dogs from the packaging and cook them in your favorite way: grill, stovetop, microwave etc.
- Allow them to thoroughly cool before moving to the next step.
- Flash freeze them by placing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Pop it into the freezer for a few hours.
- optional: to provide them some extra protection, you can wrap them in portion sizes in plastic wrap and/or aluminum foil.
- Pop your hot dogs into a freezer bag or an airtight container.
- Secure the lid onto the top of the container. Or, if you used a freezer bag, press any air out and then zip it closed.
- Use a marker and write the date on the container or bag and toss it into the freezer.