8 Fun and Creative Hot Dog Recipes

There are a million fun ways to dress up hot dogs for summer barbeques and gatherings. But let’s go back to the basics for a minute — what’s the best way to cook plain ol’ hot dogs? On the grill? In the oven? Dare I say…in the air fryer?

There’s no one “right” way to cook hot dogs (no matter what your uncle says at the family cookout). To save you time scouring the internet for different methods to cook hot dogs, we’ve put them all in one place for you. Here you’ll learn how to roast, microwave, pan fry, boil, slow cook, grill, air fry, and pressure cook hot dogs step-by-step.

How to Cook to Hot Dogs 8 Ways

1. How to Boil Hot Dogs

Pictured: Chicago-Style Hot Dog.bd.weld

This tried and true method is an easy way to cook large quantities of hot dogs.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Large saucepan
  • Water
  • Hot dogs
  • Tongs


  1. Fill a large saucepan with enough water to cover hot dogs (about 1 cup per hot dog).
  2. Bring water to a boil.
  3. Add the hot dogs one at a time using tongs.
  4. Reduce the heat to the low setting and allow the hot dogs to simmer for anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes (the longer they simmer, the crispier they’ll be).
  5. Once they’re done, use tongs to remove them from the water and pat them dry with paper towels.

2. How to Cook Hot Dogs in the Oven

Pictured: Wiener Winks.Molly

Oven-roasting is a mess-free method that is great for cooking big batches of hot dogs for a gathering.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Hot dogs


  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until you begin to hear a sizzle.
  4. If you’d like to crisp the outside even more, broil the hot dogs for a few minutes longer.

3. How to Cook Hot Dogs in the Microwave

Pictured: Hot Dog Roll Up.Mackenzie Schieck

There’s not much to say about this method — this is the fastest way to heat a hot dog.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Paper towel
  • Hot dogs
  • Microwave-safe plate


  1. Place the hot dog(s) on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a paper towel.
  2. Microwave on high for 15 second increments, until you’ve reached the desired result.

5. How to Pan Fry Hot Dogs

Pictured: Fried Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog.Mackenzie Schieck

If you love a crispy frank, then you’ll love this simple pan-fry method for cooking hot dogs in a frying pan.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Water (or butter or oil)
  • Hot dogs
  • Skillet
  • Tongs


  1. Fill a skillet with ½ an inch water, or until the entire surface is covered. You may also use a dab of butter or a few tablespoons of oil in place of water. Place over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring water to a boil.
  3. Use tongs to gently add a few hot dogs at a time.
  4. Use the tongs to roll the hot dogs frequently until all sides have been browned.

6. How to Cook Hot Dogs in the Slow Cooker

Faith N

For a truly hands-off method for cooking hot dogs by the batch, use a slow cooker.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Slow cooker
  • Hot dogs


  1. Stand hot dogs upright inside your slow cooker. Do not add water! The hot dogs will release steam and moisture as they warm.
  2. Heat on high for two hours or on low for four.

7. How to Cook Hot Dogs on the Grill

Pictured: Seattle Cream Cheese Dogs.BETHANYWEATHERSBY

Our list wouldn’t be complete without the most classic method for cooking hot dogs: grilling! For more tips read our guide on how to grill.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • A grill
  • Hot dogs


  1. Heat up the grill.
  2. Place hot dogs on the grill at an angle to create diagonal grill marks.
  3. Grill hot dogs for one minute on each side.

8. How to Cook Hot Dogs in the Air Fryer

Pictured: Basic Air Fryer Hot Dogs.Buckwheat Queen

What can’t you do with your air fryer?! This method is based on this Basic Air Fryer Hot Dogs recipe from Allrecipes Allstar Soup Loving Nicole. “I will never make hot dogs any other way. This is pure genius,” says reviewer Buckwheat Queen.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Air Fryer
  • Buns (optional)
  • Hot dogs


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees F.
  2. Optional: place buns in the basket and cook for two minutes. Remove buns.
  3. Place hot dogs in the basket and cook for three minutes, transfer hot dogs to buns.
Joe Yonan/Meredith

8. How to Cook Hot Dogs in the Instant Pot

And finally, we had to include the Instant Pot. This multi-tasking countertop appliance can do all things, including cooking hot dogs.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Instant Pot
  • Steamer basket
  • 1 cup water
  • Hot dogs
  • Tongs


  1. Place a steamer basket in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place hot dogs on top of the steamer basket.
  2. Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom.
  3. Add the hot dog(s). Cook on high pressure for 0 minutes. The hot dogs will cook as the pot comes to pressure.
  4. Once the time is up, release the pressure by turning the valve to the “venting” position.
  5. Remove the lid and use tongs to remove your hot dogs.


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