How To Boil Hot Dogs: Learn in 5 Easy Steps

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We love hot dogs. In America, eating hot dogs is an important part of our culture, with a hot dog cart on every corner, people enjoying them at big games, or even grilling them in their backyard. Grilling hot dogs and sausage is a national past time.  Who doesn’t love a good grilled hot dog on a toasted bun.

Historians believe that the frankfurter was created in the German city of Frankfurt in 1487. This is before Christopher Columbus sailed to the continent of North America. However, the city of Vienna claims that they created this beloved American tradition and they point to the “weiner” as proof.

However, the most likely story is that the American hot dog as we know it today came from a different source. Hot dogs most likely started as a common European sausage that arrived in the U.S. when butchers of several different nationalities immigrated here. It may have been a German immigrant who sold the first hot dog.

Learn To Boil Hot Dogs in 5 Easy Steps

Hot dogs are also served up for Fourth of July celebrations, at theme parks, and there are hot dog eating contests! As such an integral part of our culture, you will need to know how to make the best hot dogs.

Lucky, we have a guide of how to make our favorite fast food, in just 5 steps. 

With our help, you can make hot dogs at home just like your favorite street vendor! Making hot dogs really is not that difficult, and can be done in just a few minutes, with results bursting with flavor and those hot dog juices that we all enjoy so much!  If you’re looking for how long to boil hot dogs, you’ve come to the right place. We might even show you how to cook your “hotdog” in an instant pot, slow cooker, air fryer, crock pot, frying pan, and grill. The perfect hot dog recipe is not far away.

Easy Hot Dogs in under 5 minutes

How to boil delicious, American hot dogs in seconds! and How to make tasty, juicy hot dogs in the microwave in under 5 minutes!
We have one final cooking method for you to try out; boiling the hot dogs in a small skillet. This method is a little different, but so simple and easy to follow.
4.89 from 89 votes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 210 kcal


  • Microwave
  • Bowl
  • Pan
  • Skillet
  • Tongs


  • Hot dog sausages
  • Hot dog buns
  • Water
  • Condiments ketchup or mustard


How to boil hot dogs in the microwave

  • Place your hot dogs in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Fill the bowl with water, leaving about an inch of space at the top.
  • Put the bowl in the microwave and cook the hot dogs for about 2-3 minutes. Some microwaves will need longer, and you may have to add water during the cooking process to prevent the hot dogs from drying out.
  • Once done, remove the hot dogs from the bowl with tongs and place on a plate with some paper towels to dry off excess liquid.
  • When dry, put the hot dogs in the buns, and top with condiments to serve!

How to boil hot dogs in 5 easy steps

  • Fill a large pan with water.
  • Place the pan on a high heat burner and allow it to come to the boil.
  • Once water is boiling, use tongs to immerse the hot dogs in the water.
  • Reduce the heat to a low setting, and allow the hot dogs to cook for 4-6 minutes depending on how firm you want them to be.
  • Once cooked, remove from the water and dry off with paper towels and place them in the buns, topping with preferred condiments before serving.

How to boil hot dogs in a skillet

  • First, boil some water in a shallow skillet, and heat the water until it begins to give off some steam. The water should be filled to the point where only half of the sausages are covered in the water.
  • Using tongs, add your hot dog sausages to the water, and let them cook evenly.
  • As the sausages cook, the water will steam up and boil off them, and they may cook very quickly. Therefore, you will want to keep a close eye on the hot dogs.
  • Whilst they cook, add a little spoonful of butter on each hot dog and allow to cook and roast until they start to blister and crisp up. Keep watching in case they stick and burn in the pan.
  • Once done, remove the hot dogs from the pan and serve up with the buns and your favorite condiments such as mustard, onions or ketchup.


Calories: 210kcal
Keyword Easy Hot Dogs (boiled), Easy Hot Dogs in under 5 minutes, Hot Dogs (boiled), Hot Dogs in under 5 minutes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Our Top Tips

When cooking hot dogs, some instructions will tell you to prick the sausages with a fork before cooking. We recommend that you do not do this as this can cause all of the juices to leak out when cooking, and you may be left with dry sausages, which nobody wants! 

In addition, try to remember that these recipes are for ready to cook hot dog sausages, and so if you are using frozen hot dogs, you will need to allow for a little extra cooking time!


Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell when hotdogs are done boiling?

If you weren’t already aware, hotdogs are sold pre-cooked. However, eating a cold hotdog isn’t the best way to enjoy the dish. Boiling hotdogs is one of the best ways to quickly reheat your dogs and make them that extra bit tastier!

The perfect way to boil your hotdogs is to boil them for around six minutes. This is enough time for the hotdogs to cook to perfection and without splitting the dogs. If your hotdogs split when boiling, this could mean that you have lost some of that delicious flavor. 

Depending on how many hotdogs you are boiling may mean that you need to adjust the boiling time. If you have only a few to boil, let’s say two to four hotdogs, then they could be ready to eat before the six minutes are up. However, if you have a large pack to boil, they could take a little longer.

How do you cook hotdogs on the stove?

We have spoken about boiling your hotdogs which is a fantastic way to quickly cook your hotdogs to perfection. However, there are other methods that you could try out. For example, pan-frying is another popular method. 

Pan-frying your hotdogs allows the meat inside to cook thoroughly but adding a crispy outer layer to the hotdog. This type of cooking method is popular in many restaurants. 

If you’d also like to try it out, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Add half an inch of water to a skillet or frying pan and turn up the heat to medium. 
  2. When the water starts to boil, it is time to add the hot dogs. 
  3. Frequently roll the dogs in the pan to get them evenly browned on the whole surface area.

A top tip for this method is to only cook a few hotdogs at one time. This will allow you to get the best results. Also, add a touch of butter to your skillet for an extra flavor boost. 

Are boiled hotdogs safe to eat?

As we have already touched on above, boiling hotdogs is completely safe. It is one of the quickest methods of reheating your hotdogs before consumption. Boiling hotdogs makes them almost irresistible to taste and they will be ready to eat within minutes.

One thing that is frowned upon is boiling your hotdogs before grilling or frying them. This method can get rid of all of their flavor. So, if you are thinking about cooking up some hotdogs only stick to one cooking method. 

Boiling, grilling, and frying all are great ways to cook your hotdogs. Each method will produce different results. So, whatever way that you prefer your hotdog to taste, make sure the method you use matches!

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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