There’s only so many hot dogs you can reasonably eat in one go. The bad news is that most hot dog buns come in large packets, so what do you do with the buns you haven’t used?
You might have even bought a few packets because they were nearing the end of their shelf life, and they were on sale, but now you’re not sure what to do with them.
Maybe you had a party, and your guests weren’t as hungry as you estimated. Maybe you bought more hot dog (see also ‘Can you Freeze Hot Dogs?‘) buns than meat, and now you’re stuck with a glut of them.
You’ll be glad to know that you can freeze them with no fuss. But what’s the best way to freeze them? How do you defrost them? Keep reading to discover the best way.
Can You Freeze Hot Dog Buns?
Usually, there’s a difference in how well store-bought and homemade food freezes.
In the case of hot dog (see also article on freezing sausages) buns, both versions freeze well. It’s the best way to prevent them from losing quality when you know you’re not going to be using them for a while.
This also goes for hamburger buns (see also How To Freeze Hamburger Buns), and other bread products. It’s the best way to stop these buns from going stale when you know you’re not going to eat them before they start losing quality.
It also helps that there’s very little loss in quality once you thaw frozen buns. They tend to be a little drier than their fresh counterparts, but that’s the only difference really.
If you thaw them properly, you won’t notice once they are ready to eat, hot dog and all.
But if you freeze them the wrong way, hot dog buns can either get soggy, or a level of dry equivalent to trying to eat cardboard.
While you can technically eat either, it wouldn’t make for a great hot dog. Life is too short for sub-par food, hot dogs included.
Also, I’m going to spare you the experiment of trying to freeze hot dog buns that are past their best to try to make them better.
It doesn’t help, and they’ll be just as bad once you defrost them, if not worse, as they will have lost some moisture.
Shelf Life: Should You Freeze Hot Dog Buns?
The shelf life of hot dog buns largely depends on whether they are homemade or not.
If they are ready-made hot dog buns, they have a significantly longer shelf life than homemade hot dog buns, and will easily keep for a couple of weeks, and at least several days after opening.
If you’ve just bought them, and you feel you might use them before they start to lose their quality, there’s not much point in freezing them, unless you’d like to stock up in the freezer.
Homemade hot dog buns have a shorter shelf life. If you’ve made more than you need, you should definitely freeze them as soon as they’ve cooled.
The sooner you do, the fresher they will stay.
The Best Way To Freeze Hot Dog Buns
Before you put the buns into the freezer, you’ll need to cover them to stop them getting freezer burn. That, and to stop the buns from tasting like freezer. Lovely.
The method is the same for both homemade hot dog buns and store-bought.
You can put them in aluminum foil or freezer bags, which you can use more than once, but the latter will reduce waste.
If you bought hot dog buns, and you haven’t opened them, you can put the whole bag in the freezer, no problem. These will last a couple of weeks before they start to lose quality.
They may last longer if you individually wrap them, leaving as little excess air in the container as possible.
Label the container with both what you’re freezing and the date. You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget!
If you think they may be in the freezer for more than a month, adding an extra layer of wrapping will help stave off any freezer burn.
How Long Will Hot Dog Buns Last in The Freezer?
Hot dog buns will last up to three months in the freezer before the quality noticeably declines, but it also depends on your freezer, as well as your taste buds and your personal preference.
Over time, all food will lose its quality in the freezer, and the longer it isn’t used, the more quality, texture and taste it will lose.
It also largely depends on the quality of the hot dog buns to begin with. Homemade hot dog buns are superior by far in every way, and they will most likely weather the freezer better than the ones you buy.
It’s also a great way of extending the shelf life of homemade buns, as these don’t have any added preservatives to keep them fresh.
It’s better to use your hot dog burns as soon as possible. If you do forget about them in the freezer, they will still be okay to eat. However, they might not be as nice as they were when they were fresh.
How to Defrost Hot Dog Buns
There are two ways that most people use to defrost their hot dog buns: in the microwave, or leaving them out on the counter to thaw.
Both are pretty low effort, though the second option requires planning ahead.
While you won’t need to babysit them as they thaw slowly, it can take around 4 hours for them to defrost, depending on your kitchen’s temperature and the size of the buns.
Obviously, if you could do with them on short notice, microwaving them is the better option, though it is the more hands-on option, and if you have a lot of other things to prepare, you could easily overcook them.
Defrosting Hot Dog Buns On The Counter
While you might be tempted to just take the buns out of the freezer and leave them out on the counter, it’s worth asking yourself if you should let them defrost in their wrappers or unwrap them first.
If there’s a lot of ice or frost covering the container or bag your hot dog buns are in, it will take less time to defrost if you remove them from the wrap.
Otherwise, you’ll also risk ending up with soggy hot dog buns, and that’s a disappointing situation no matter how you look at it.
If there’s hardly any ice or frost, you can leave the hot dog buns wrapped as they were. This also helps to keep the moisture inside the buns as they thaw, and this will stop them drying out.
It’s also worth turning the buns upside down after half an hour. This will prevent soggy hot dog buns, so long as you do this around every 30 minutes.
It’s not necessary, but it’s just an extra step to prevent any loss in quality or texture, ensuring that they are nearly as good as they were before you froze them.
Defrosting Hot Dog Buns Using A Microwave
While microwaving only takes a few minutes, it can very easily change the texture of your hot dog buns, so there is a better way of doing it than just shoving them in there and turning it on for 3 minutes or so.
Turn your microwave to medium power. While you can use the defrost setting, this has a bigger chance of dehydrating your hot dog buns.
Unwrap the buns and put them on a microwave-safe plate. Only microwave them in short bursts of around 20 seconds at a time. Check them after each, and if they’re still frozen, turn them upside down and do it again.
If you accidentally cook them into what will taste like cardboard, you can rescue it somewhat. Wrap a slightly damp paper towel around each bun, and microwave it for 5 seconds.
While this will help rehydrate the hot dog buns, it’s not a miracle fix.
Can You Refreeze Hot Dog Buns?
Yes, you can refreeze hot dog buns. But just because you can refreeze something, it doesn’t mean that you should.
As freezing and then thawing a hot dog bun means that it loses moisture and therefore some quality, the more you do it, the worse they will get.
Freeze and thaw a hot dog bun once (see also Should You Freeze Brioche Buns?), and you’ll hardly notice any drop in quality. It will be much more noticeable the second time around, and it’s not recommended a third time.
The best way of preserving hot dog buns is to only take out what you need from the freezer, instead of defrosting a whole bag’s worth at a time.
If you’ve just warmed up a hot dog bun, and you need to refreeze it, wait until it’s completely cool before you try and freeze it.
This will help stop freezer burn and condensation. It will also prevent the temperature of your freezer rising, which could even partially defrost other items in your freezer.