Hot dogs are a very popular food. In many cities, you can buy them from a vendor on the sidewalk. They are often served at a barbecue or you might serve them for dinner with fries when you don’t have time to cook.
You could even make a hot dog casserole with potatoes, onions, and cheese. It will be a meal in itself. Alternatively, you could add the hot dogs to a stew with different beans.
If you don’t open the packet of hot dogs, you probably won’t need to freeze them as they have a long shelf life. However, what do you do if you open them and don’t think you can use them in time?
Opened packets of hot dogs will last for three-five days in the fridge. So what do you do if you think that you aren’t going to be able to use them up within this time? The answer is simple. Freeze them.
Hot dogs freeze remarkably well and you can keep them in the freezer for up to three months. In this article, we will tell you how to freeze hot dogs and how to defrost them.
Freezing Hot Dogs
Most hot dogs are pre-cooked before packaging. If this is the case, you can keep them in the fridge for up to four days before freezing even if they are opened.
However, if you buy raw hot dogs, which are usually purchased from the butcher, they need to be frozen almost immediately. If they’re not, unhealthy bacteria can develop and you could become sick when you come to eat them.
If you are dealing with an unopened packet of hot dogs, be it raw or cooked, you can put it straight into the freezer, remembering to write the date frozen on the packet.
If you have opened a packet of cooked hot dogs and don’t feel that you can use them within the next few days, use this method to freeze them.
- Portion out the hot dogs. It is a good idea to divide the hot dogs into portions that you think you will need for one meal. The hot dogs will stick together if you don’t and you could end up defrosting more than you need. Wrap each portion in cling film.
- Put the hot dogs in a freezer bag or airtight container. If you are using a freezer bag, make sure that you squeeze out as much air as possible otherwise freezer burn may occur. This could discolor your sausages (see also ‘Can you Freeze Sausages?‘) as well as making them dry. They probably won’t taste that good either and their time in the freezer will be reduced. Make sure that you label the container or bag with the date the hot dogs were frozen on.
- Put the hot dogs in the freezer.
The most common type of hot dog is made out of ground pork (see also ‘Can You Freeze Cooked Pork?‘). However, you can get beef hot dogs.
These are usually a mixture of ground beef and pork, mixed with salt, onions, and spices. Beef hot dogs can be frozen in the same way as pork hot dogs (see also Freezing Bratwurst Sausages). It’s also possible to get lamb hot dogs and these can be frozen in the same way.
Freezing Tinned Hot Dogs
If you buy tinned hot dogs and look at the use-by date, you will see that it is a long time like most tinned goods. It could be a year ahead, if not two. There is no point opening a tin of hot dogs and freezing the contents as they will only last for a few months in the freezer.
However, if you do open the tin and use some, but have some left over, you can freeze them. If you keep them in the fridge, they will only last for a couple of days. However, if you freeze them in the way we have suggested, they can last for up to three months.
Don’t ever freeze the hot dogs in the tin as the metal will degrade in the freezer and this will affect the hot dogs both in flavor and even in safety. The metal can permeate the sausages and they can then make you sick.
Tips For Freezing Hot Dogs
- Freeze your hot dogs in serving sizes. For example, if you and your partner plan to eat two hot dogs each, freeze four hot dogs together. You don’t want to freeze more than you can use as the hot dogs will only last for up to three days in the fridge.
- Make sure that you label the bag with the date frozen as you don’t want to keep the hot dogs in the freezer for longer than three months. If you freeze both meat and vegetarian hot dogs, it is important to write what you have frozen as you won’t be able to tell the difference by just looking at them.
- You can also freeze hot dog meals like hot dogs in a pasta sauce, a pie, or a stew. A great meal to freeze is a casserole of hot dogs, onions, potatoes, and cheddar cheese.
For How Long Can You Freeze Hot Dogs?
You can freeze hot dogs for up to three months. They probably won’t go bad after this time, but they will lose taste and texture. Hot dog meals can be frozen for up to two months.
Defrosting Hot Dogs
Because hot dogs are generally made of meat, it is important to thaw them out completely before you cook them otherwise you might get a fully cooked outside and a partially cooked inside which can cause food poisoning.
It is best to defrost the hot dogs slowly, so put them in a bowl and put them on the bottom shelf of your fridge. It will take about four hours to defrost. You could leave them to defrost overnight.
Refreezing Hot Dogs
It’s not a good idea to refreeze hot dogs. The time that bacteria can form is when food is being cooled or warmed up so to keep doing this isn’t safe.
Freezing also makes food deteriorate so you want to do this just once. If you have bought frozen hot dogs and have thawed them out, don’t refreeze them.
Is it a Good Idea to Freeze Hot Dogs?
Yes, it is as long as you follow our instructions and defrost them within three months. They won’t taste much different than if you eat them fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully we have answered all your questions about freezing hot dogs, but if not, here’s a frequently asked question.
Is it possible to freeze an opened packet of hot dogs?
Yes, you can freeze an opened packet of hot dogs, but make sure that you do it within a couple of hours of opening to stop bacteria from forming.