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How To Reheat Hot Dogs – I Test 7 Methods [Pics]

This article was updated on 24th August 2023 for clarity and to incorporate new information.

Hot dogs are convenient to prepare and always a crowd-pleaser, but we’ve all had times where we overshoot and make too many. Which begs the question, what’s the best way to reheat hot dogs?!

I tested seven different reheating methods to find out.

The best way to reheat hot dogs is on the stove. You can fry them in a bit of butter or oil on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Or if you like juicy hot dogs, you can cover the bottom of the pan with water and ‘pan steam’ the sausages.

How I tested reheating hot dogs

One Friday night, I hosted a hot dog party with all the trimmings and purposefully cooked more hot dogs than we could eat.

The next day, I tested reheating the hot dogs in several different ways. These included:

  • Microwave: Good results, fast and convenient.
  • Stove: Best results overall.
  • Oven: Ideal for large quantities of hot dogs.
  • Steaming: Moist and juicy sausages.
  • Grilling: Good if you like a char.
  • Air frying: Good if you like dryer hot dogs.
  • Boiling: Avoid this method.

Psst… I also talk about a cool trick to keep hot dogs warm in a thermos.

I was looking for a method that didn’t dry the hot dogs out too much and kept their flavor.

Can you eat cold hot dogs?

Lots of hot dogs are only partially cooked when you purchase them and therefore shouldn’t be eaten cold. But if you’re sure the hot dogs are fully cooked or you’ve got leftovers you cooked the night before, you can go ahead and eat them cold.

Reheating hot dogs in the microwave

Time: 1 minute

  1. Remove the hot dog from the bun and scrape off any condiments.
  2. Wrap the sausage in a damp paper towel and microwave in 15-second intervals until hot (around 45-60 seconds). Set the sausage aside.
  3. Then cover the bun loosely with a damp paper towel and microwave for 15 seconds.
  4. Reassemble the hot dog and add condiments to taste.

I recommend heating the sausage and the bun separately because the bun heats up much faster. If you microwave them together, the bread will be overcooked by the time the sausage is hot. Also, be mindful not to heat your sausages to the point of bursting!

The damp paper towel creates steam in the microwave, keeping the sausage moist and rehydrating any stale bread. But note how I said only cover the bun, rather than wrapping it. If you wrap the bread you risk a soggy bottom.

Results: This method is very convenient, which makes it a winner in my eyes. If you’re reheating one hot dog and you’re in a hurry, this is the way to go. My sausage was moist and hot and tasted perfect, and the bun was soft.

Reheating hot dogs on the stove

Time: 5 minutes

  1. Disassemble your hot dog by removing the sausage from the bun and scraping off any condiments.
  2. Set your stove to medium heat and warm some oil or butter in a frying pan.
  3. Fry your sausage, turning it frequently until browned (3-4 minutes).
  4. Next, toast your bun, cut-side down, for a minute or two until toasty.
  5. Reassemble your hot dog and refresh the condiments before serving.


  1. Place a thin layer of water in a frying pan and set it on medium heat on the stove.
  2. Place your sausage in the frying pan and heat it (covered) for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Once the sausage is hot and the water has evaporated, add your bun to the pan and toast it for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Reassemble your hot dog and serve immediately.

You’ve got two different options here: toasty, fried hot dogs, or steamy hot dogs. You pick!

Keeping your heat to medium will ensure you don’t burst or split the sausage before it’s had a chance to warm through.

Psst… if your hot dog bun is really stale, the best idea is to wrap it in a damp paper towel and microwave it for 10 seconds to soften it.

Results: Refrying the hot dog in a bit of oil was my favorite method. I loved how crispy the skin of the sausage was and how toasty and warm it made my bun. The steaming method was also great (think deliciously juicy sausage), but there was no charring.

Reheating hot dogs in the oven

Time: 10 minutes

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Disassemble your hot dogs and scrape off any condiments.
  3. Sprinkle the sausages and bun with water, and wrap them separately in foil.
  4. Place the sausages in the oven first and heat for 5 minutes, then add the buns and heat for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Reassemble, refresh your condiments, and serve.

The foil is there to keep everything from getting from drying out. But if you prefer a dry hot dog, you can skip the foil covering. If you want to crisp or brown your sausages, place them under the broiler, uncovered, until they start to change color.

Likewise, if the bun isn’t stale and you want to toast it instead of soften it, you can skip the foil.

Another way to keep the hot dogs and buns moist is to heat them uncovered with a tray of water in the bottom of the oven. The water will evaporate and create a ‘steam oven’.

Results: The oven is a good method for larger quantities of hot dogs, but it does take longer than the other techniques I tried. My hot dogs were soft, moist, and tender, and still had all their flavor. I preferred the results using foil.

Other ways to reheat hot dogs

The oven, microwave, and skillet are the easiest and most accessible ways to reheat hot dogs, but they’re not the only options. Here are some more options:

Reheating hot dogs by steaming them

Set up a steamer and place your sausages in the basket over a few inches of simmering water. Heat the sausages for 3 to 5 minutes or until warm to your satisfaction. The result of this method was juicy, soft sausages.

I wouldn’t steam the bread rolls because they’ll get too wet, but you can toast them in a skillet or give them a few seconds in the microwave to warm them.

Reheating hot dogs by grilling them

For a delicious taste and those signature grill marks, reheat your hot dogs on a gas or charcoal grill. Once the grill is up to temperature, place the hot dogs on a cooler part of the grill and turn them every 30 seconds for 2-3 minutes.

Toss the buns on the grill for the last minute to toast them too.

Reheating hot dogs by air frying them

Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (180°C), and place your sausages, not touching, in the basket. Heat them for 3 to 4 minutes, turning them once in between. Once warm, you can pop your buns in the air fryer for 20 seconds too.

This method is good if you want drier, crispier hot dogs.

Method to avoid: boiling the hot dogs

One reheating method I tried that I don’t recommend is boiling the hot dogs. I found the resulting sausages really watery and felt like all the flavor had drained out of them. The steamed hot dogs were much better!

Keeping hot dogs warm in a thermos

Are you packing hot dogs for lunch or a trip?

Keep the sausages warm by placing them in a thermos filled with hot water. Tightly sealed, this will keep your sausages warm until you’re ready to assemble your hot dogs.

Reheating hot dog buns

A hot dog is only as good as its bun, and while you can use a cold bun, a warm bun is so much better!

You can steam hot dog buns or toast them. Steaming the buns does a lot in terms of rescuing them from staleness and gives them a nice, soft bite. While toasting the buns adds a delicious crunch. Toasting is best for fresher buns, or you’ll end up with dry bread.

I’ve already mentioned reheating the buns throughout the article, but here’s a nice summary.

To steam hot dog buns, you can:

  • Cover the bun with a damp paper towel and microwave for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Hold the bun over boiling water with a pair of tongs for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Sprinkle the bun lightly with water and wrap it tightly in foil. Place it in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or on a cool section of a grill.

To toast hot dog buns, you can:

  • Place the bun cut-side down in a pan on medium heat for 30 to 60 seconds. For added flavor, melt a bit of butter in the pan first.
  • Grill your bun, cut-sides down for 30 to 60 seconds or until mildly charred.
  • Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C) and warm the sliced bun on both sides for 5 minutes, or until lightly crispy.

Related: How To Reheat Sausage Rolls

How to store hot dogs

To store leftover hot dogs, remove the sausages from the buns and scrape off any condiments. Wrap the sausages in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The plastic wrap will prevent them from drying out.

Discard any soggy buns or buns with sauce all over them, because the sauce will soak into the bread and turn it mushy. If your buns are still dry, wrap them in plastic wrap or foil and keep them at room temperature. This will keep them soft.

Can you freeze hot dogs?

To freeze hot dogs, begin by spreading them out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freezing them uncovered for 1 hour. Once frozen solid, transfer the hot dogs to a heavy-duty zip-lock bag, removing as much air as possible. Seal the bag and freeze them for 1 to 2 months.

Individually freezing your sausages first prevents them from sticking together in the freezer bag so it’s easy to take one or two out at a time.

You can also freeze any hot dog buns that aren’t soggy or covered in sauce. Simply wrap them in plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil.

I recommend thawing the hot dogs before reheating them because reheating them from frozen can negatively affect the texture. To thaw the hot dogs, leave them in the fridge overnight or rest them on the counter for 1-2 hours.

Alternatively, you can hold the sausages (in a heavy-duty freezer bag) under cold water running until they’re thawed.

How To Reheat Hot Dogs [Tested Methods]

I tried several methods to find out the best way to reheat a leftover hot dog, and these are the results.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hot dog, reheat hot dog
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 290kcal


  • 1 portion hot dog sausage
  • 1 portion hot dog bun


  • Disassemble your hot dog by removing the sausage from the bun and scraping off any condiments.
  • Set your stove to medium heat and warm some oil or butter in a frying pan.
  • Fry your sausage, turning it frequently until browned (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Next, fry your bun, cut-side down, for a minute or two until toasty.
  • Reassemble your hot dog and refresh the condiments before serving.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 290kcal

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