Leftover hot dogs from a backyard barbecue or block party make great leftover lunches.
They are easy to keep in the fridge for 3-4 days and add to your kids’ lunch boxes, or you can save them in the freezer for the next time you need a quick meal for a busy school night.
Cooked hot dogs can be frozen in an airtight container, zip-top freezer bag, freezer wrap, or foil for up to 4 months. They will have the best texture and flavor for the first 2 months but will remain safe to eat after that. Since you should not refreeze hot dogs that were previously frozen, it is a good idea to freeze your leftover dogs in individual portion sizes to reduce waste.
Continue reading for the best methods for preventing freezer burn on cooked hot dogs, reheating frozen dogs, and clever ideas for leftovers.
Freeze Cooked Hot Dogs
Whether you cook your hot dogs on the grill or the stove, you can freeze any leftovers that you have.
For the best results, you should freeze the hot dogs within two hours of cooking them.
Allow the hot dogs to return to room temperature. Separate them into the portions that you are most likely to use so that you only reheat what you plan to use at any one time.
Place the portions in freezer bags or wrap them in several layers of plastic wrap or foil.
Load all the packages into one freezer bag or container and date it before popping it into the freezer.
Cooked hot dogs will keep their original flavor and texture in the freezer for 2 months; then, although some texture may change, they will still be good up to 4 months.
Freezing Meat Based Hot Dogs
Whether you prefer all-beef hot dogs, pork hot dogs, or turkey hot dogs, you can freeze them as soon as you bring them home from the store.
If you keep them in the original packaging, they will maintain their best texture and flavor for 3 months, although they will still be safe to eat beyond that.
You may be able to extend the freezer life of your hot dogs by keeping them in the original packaging, then wrapping that in heavy-duty foil, or placing them in a freezer bag.
You can cook then freeze leftover meat-based hot dogs. However, if they were previously frozen, you should not freeze them a second time.
Freezing Plant-Based Vegetarian Or Vegan Hot Dogs
There are plenty of delicious options for plant-based hot dogs available in grocery stores.
Because they are vegetable proteins instead of meat proteins, they behave a little differently in the freezer.
When you buy vegetarian or vegan hot dogs, you can freeze them immediately and keep them frozen for up to 1 year.
Once you cook a plant-based hot dog, however, you should not refreeze it. The flavors and texture will deteriorate rapidly after being cooked and chilled.
Reheating Frozen Hot dogs
Hot dogs are one of the simplest foods to cook. You can heat them up in just about any way you like.
You can reheat hotdogs from frozen in the same ways you would cook a hotdog except for grilling. Thaw the hotdogs before putting them on the grill.
Microwave Frozen Hotdogs
If you froze the hotdogs in plastic, you can place them in the microwave directly from the freezer and heat them for 30 seconds.
Then remove the plastic wrap, replace it with some paper towels, and microwave for 1-2 minutes until it is as warm as you like it.
Air Fry Frozen Hot Dogs
Air frying your hot dogs is a great indoor alternative to grilling. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.
Place your frozen hot dogs in the air fryer while they are still frozen. Remove all the plastic wrap or foil, then add them to the air fryer.
Cook for 3-4 minutes, then turn them over if you want grill-like marks evenly spaced over the dogs. Cook for 3-4 more minutes, and the dogs will be ready to eat.
You can even toast the buns in the air fryer. Put the cooked hot dogs into the buns and replace them in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes.
Grilling Frozen Hot Dogs
Grilling is not the best method for cooking your frozen hot dogs. They will take so long to heat in the middle that the outsides are likely to burn. If you want to grill your frozen dogs, you should thaw them first.
Set the hot dogs in the refrigerator to thaw for a few hours, or if they are in a zip-top bag, place them in a bowl of cool water to defrost more quickly.
Once they thaw, cook the hot dogs on a grill for 3-5 minutes while keeping an eye on them to ensure they do not burn.
Heat Frozen Hot Dogs In The Oven
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place your frozen hot dogs on a baking sheet with edges or in a casserole pan.
You will want a pan with edges to catch any liquids runoff while the hot dogs are reheating.
Heat the hot dogs for about 15 minutes until they are warmed all the way through.
Boil Frozen Hot Dogs
Place your frozen hot dogs and 2 cups of water in a skillet or a saucepan on the stove and bring to a boil. Cook for about 8 minutes or until they are heated all the way through.
Hot Dog Storage And Safety
As a general rule, you should eat or store any hot dogs or sausages within 2 hours of cooking.
Cooked hot dogs will be good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and in the freezer for 2 months.
New hot dogs in their unopened original packaging will be good in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Check the best by date on the packaging.
Foods that remain at room temperature can begin to grow bacteria that contribute to food-borne illness, like listeria or salmonella, as soon as the foods reach room temperature.
Properly storing the foods in the refrigerator or freezer slows this growth and keeps the food safe to eat.
Sausages Are Like Hot Dogs
You are having a cookout, and the kids want hot dogs, but maybe the adults want some food that is a little more interesting.
So you throw some sausage links on the grill for fancier “hot dogs” for the adults. Still, what do you do with the leftovers?
The good news is that you can freeze cooked sausage too. In fact, it holds up a little better to freezing cooking and refreezing than hot dogs.
You can freeze sausage one time when it is uncooked and once after cooking it. You can also make a casserole or a stew with sausage and freeze that.
Sausage links are good in the freezer for 3 months. If you are freezing a casserole or stew with sausage in it, consider how well the other ingredients will freeze because the sausage link is sturdy in the freezer.
Best Recipes For Leftover Hot Dogs
A hot dog is a great dinner, and one day of leftovers is also good, but how many days do you want to eat a hot dog for lunch?
Try a couple of these recipes to dress up your leftover hot dogs and make easy family night meals.
1.Hot Dog Hash
This meal is mainly roasted veggies with some cut-up hot dogs added. The kids will love it, and they will get the nutrition they need. This is a super flexible recipe, so you can add your family’s favorite veggies.
You will be cooking this in two rounds so that the root vegetables can cook longer, and then you can add the other veggies that cook faster close to the end. So choose your veggies first and separate them by what cooks slower or faster.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of paprika, ½ teaspoon tarragon, salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Cut into cubes 3-4 new potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, 3 medium carrots, and 1 medium onion.
Toss the root vegetables in the oil and seasoning mixture, then spread them on the baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack.
While that bakes, cut up your other vegetables and leftover hot dogs into bite-sized pieces.
You could use bell peppers of any color, yellow squash, zucchini, fresh green beans, snap peas, or whatever other veggies your family likes.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and return to the large bowl. Add the newly cut-up veggies and hot dogs and toss to season.
Return everything to the baking sheet and roast in the oven for an additional 12-15 minutes.
Toss with fresh chives before serving.
2.Hot Dog Tater Tot Casserole
This recipe calls for new full-sized packages of hot dogs and cans of chili. However, if you have leftover chili and hotdogs, just use what you have and make a smaller version to use up your leftovers. This is an easy, forgiving recipe that will fill you up on a busy weeknight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
Chop ½ a yellow onion and sautee it for a few minutes. In a large bowl, combine the sauteed onion, two 15 ounce cans of chili, ¾ cup of ketchup, 1 teaspoon of Worchestershire sauce, ¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, and 8 hot dogs, cut into ½ inch slices.
Spread the chili mixture evenly in the casserole pan. Spread 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese on top of the chili mixture, then spread one 28 ounce bag of tater tots on top.
Bake the casserole for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle another cup of shredded cheese on top of the tater tots. Bake for an additional 10 minutes to melt the cheese.
Enjoy this casserole on a chilly fall evening when everyone gets home from sports practice.
Hot dogs are an American classic, and we eat them on many different occasions. When you have leftover hot dogs, freeze them for up to 4 months, although the best quality will be within 2 months.
For the best result, freeze leftover hot dogs in individual portion sizes. Wrap the hotdogs in multiple layers of plastic wrap or foil, then place the packets in a larger freezer bag. Be sure to write the date on the bag to determine when to use the hot dogs.
Remember that you should not refreeze hot dogs that have been frozen once before.
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My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.