Grilling is one of the best ways to make hot dogs.
Cooking them on the grill creates a nice and crispy outer coating while it stays soft and tender inside.
However, it’s not the only way to prepare hot dogs. So, can you pan-fry hot dogs?
How to Cook Hot Dogs without A Grill?
If you don’t have a grill, the easiest way to cook hot dogs is to fry them in a pan. It’s not as quick as grilling, but the results are comparable. To pan-fry hot dogs, you will need a skillet, oil, water, and hot dogs. The process involves boiling the hot dogs in water and flipping them until they turn brown outside.
Let’s look at some more ways to cook hot dogs.
8 Different Ways to Cook Hot Dogs
One of the best things about hot dogs is that you can prepare them in different ways.
From cooking them on the grill at a summer barbecue to boiling or even cooking them in a slow cooker, you can prepare them in multiple ways.
Let’s find out more about each of these options.
1. Pan-Fry Hot Dogs
If you can’t grill hot dogs, the next best way to bring out their flavors is by pan-frying.
To pan-fry hot dogs, fill a skillet with just enough water to immerse the hot dogs.
Add a few drops of oil or butter, then boil the water.
Add the hot dogs and turn them around till they are brown and crispy on all sides.
If you use a pan with a ridged base, you can create marks on the skin that resemble grill marks.
A cast iron pan will also impart some of the smoky flavors that you get with a grill.
2. On The Grill
Grilling hot dogs is the classic way to cook them.
The main benefit of grilling is that it imparts a characteristic smokiness to the meat that makes it irresistibly tasty.
Additionally, it’s also a quick cooking method. All you need are a grill, hot dogs, and a pair of tongs.
Heat the grill and place the hot dogs on it.
Placing the hot dogs at an angle will produce beautiful diagonal marks on their surface.
Grill the hot dogs on both sides, giving enough time to cook each side properly.
Recommended Reading: 7 Steps to Pan-Fry Frozen Chicken
3. Roast Hot Dogs in The Oven
Baking or roasting hot dogs in the oven is an easy and fuss-free way to prepare hot dogs.
The added benefit is that it’s mess-free, and you hardly need any oil.
To roast hot dogs in the oven, prepare a baking tray with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Place the hot dogs on the tray and bake in a preheated oven at 400°F for ten to fifteen minutes.
The hot dogs will be brown and sizzling when done.
You can leave them in for a little longer or put them under the broiler setting if you want a charred crust.
4. Cook Hot Dogs in The Microwave
One of the quickest ways to cook hot dogs is in the microwave oven.
With this method, your hot dogs will be ready to eat in less than five minutes.
To cook hot dogs in the microwave oven, spread them on a microwave-safe plate or tray.
Cover the hot dogs with a paper towel to allow steam to escape and prevent spatters.
It will also ensure that the hot dogs heat evenly and cook thoroughly.
Microwave the hot dogs in fifteen-second bursts to ensure that they cook well.
You can check them between each burst to make sure that they cook properly and get the desired color and texture.
By the end of the cooking time, the hot dogs should be soft and fluffy.
5. Boil Hot Dogs
Boiling hot dogs will not change the texture of the meat.
However, it will not be crispy or brown like grilled or pan-fried hot dogs.
Nonetheless, this is the best method when you must cook a lot of hot dogs at once.
This method also involves less supervision, so you can work on other tasks on the side.
To boil hot dogs, fill a large saucepan with enough water to submerge the hot dogs.
Place the water on the stove and boil it.
Once the water reaches a rolling boil, drop the hot dogs in one at a time using tongs.
Reduce the heat and let them simmer for several minutes.
The longer you wait, the more water evaporates.
If you let the water dry completely and roll the hot dogs in the pan at the end, they will develop a crisp texture.
6. Cook Hot Dogs in The Instant Pot
The instant pot is a versatile kitchen appliance that can perform various tasks in the kitchen.
You can also use it for cooking hot dogs.
The setting to cook hot dogs will differ from brand to brand. Nonetheless, the process remains the same.
You will need the steamer basket to cook hot dogs in the instant pot.
Place the hot dogs inside the basket and then place it inside the instant pot.
Pour a cup of water. Let it cook under high pressure.
The hot dogs will cook quickly once the pot reaches high pressure.
Release the valve on the instant pot to the venting position.
Then, remove the lid and take the cooked hot dogs out.
7. Cook Hot Dogs in The Slow Cooker
Have you noticed how various slow cooker recipes like casseroles use hot dogs as ingredients?
So cooking hot dogs in the slow cooker is possible.
It’s also one of the best ways to make sure they cook thoroughly and release their flavors.
Unlike other methods where you add water to the hot dogs for cooking, you can skip this step in a slow cooker.
Hot dogs will release moisture during cooking, and it’s enough to cook them properly.
Place the hot dogs upright inside the slow cooker.
Then set the cooker either on low for four hours or high for two hours.
At the end of the cooking time, open the lid and serve the hot dogs.
8. Air Fry the Hot Dogs
You can easily cook hot dogs in an air fryer.
The results are always better than expected and even comparable to pan-frying or grilling.
The air fryer setting to cook hot dogs is 390°F to 400°F for three minutes.
This doesn’t include the time required for preheating the fryer.
So, start by preheating your air fryer for a few minutes.
Gently brush the hot dogs with oil to speed up the cooking process.
Crowding the hot dogs in the basket will prevent them from cooking properly on all sides.
Hence, line them up inside the air fryer basket with enough space on all sides. Take care to spread them out properly.
Cook the hot dogs for three minutes. They will be sizzling by then. Retrieve them from the basket and serve hot.
If you will be serving the hot dogs with buns, you can heat the buns in the air fryer for two minutes and serve them together.