The toaster oven is adored for its versatility. It can bake, cook, broil, and even just heat things up. In other words, you can prepare a range of meals with a toaster oven.
But, can you cook hot dogs in a toaster oven? Will they be as good as hot dogs off the grill?
You can cook hot dogs in the toaster oven, and it is one of the best ways to cook hot dogs indoors or if you don’t have access to a grill. Cooking hot dogs in the toaster oven also allows you to add cheese, sauces, and other toppings during the cooking process.
But, there is a big difference between just heating up a hot dog in the toaster oven and creating a delicious hot dog masterpiece!
Can you make a hot dog in a toaster oven?
Yes, you can!
The toaster oven is one of the best ways to cook a hot dog because you have total control over the time and temperature throughout the cooking process, you don’t have to sit and watch the dogs cook like you would on a grill, and there are more opportunities to add toppings and create a fun new twist on the classic hot dog.
You can prepare a hot dog with a toaster oven within a short time. It takes a few minutes. Plus, it’s faster and much better than boiling.
Why is cooking a hot dog in the toaster oven better than boiling them or sticking them in the oven? It’s simple – the toaster oven is faster than the traditional oven and they will taste way better than just boiling them!
If you preheat the toaster oven, you’ll be able to get a nice crispy texture on the outside of the hotdog while retaining all of the moisture inside.
So, yes, you can make your hot dog in a toaster oven. And the process is a breeze. But there are things you need to know to ensure the hot dog comes out well. We’ll walk you through them shortly.
A Handy Tip: There’s a difference between broiling and boiling. Broiling implies cooking something via direct radiant heat, whereas boiling means heating a liquid.
How to cook a hot dog in a toaster oven (for the tastiest results!)
If you just want a quick rundown of how to cook hot dogs in the toaster oven, this is it! Once you have the basics down, however, I recommend checking out the next section for tips on how to take them to the next level!
- Preheat the toaster oven
- Prep your tray
- Prep your hot dogs
- Cook the hot dogs (don’t overcook!)
Preheat the toaster oven
Most people skip this step and it is, by far, the most important one!
Before you even pull the hot dogs out of the fridge, preheat your toaster oven to about 350-400°F. The reason why this is important is you want that heat to hit the outside of the hot dog immediately when you put then in the oven so that it can start to crisp up the skin of the hot dog and lock in the moisture inside.
If you skip this step, you’ll end up just slowly warming up your hot dogs.
Prep your tray
Next, prep your tray.
Depending on the toaster oven, you might have a flat tray or maybe a wire tray. Either way, you’ll probably want to line your tray with aluminum foil so that there is less cleanup involved. This is doubly true if you plan on adding extra toppings to the hot dogs at some point.
In some cases, you might just want to line the bottom of your toaster oven with aluminum foil to catch any drippings.
Prep your hot dogs
We’ll get into this a bit more later, but if you are simply looking for a hot, juicy hot dog then you’ll need to keep something important in mind – don’t prep them!
By that I mean don’t cut up or slit the hot dog if you are cooking them plain in the toaster oven. Keeping them whole will maximize the amount of juices in the finished product.
If you plan to add more stuff to the dog, cut away. But for now, don’t!
Cook the hot dogs (don’t overcook!)
Next, place the hot dogs into the preheated toaster oven and wait, keeping an eye on the dogs through the window.
It will take about 10-15 minutes to cook your hot dogs in the toaster oven, and we recommend turning them a couple of times to allow the pan to brown up the outside of the dog a little bit.
Take them out, bun them up, and enjoy!
Tips for making toaster oven hot dogs even tastier!
Cooking hot dogs in the toaster oven can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. While keeping things simple is certainly the fastest and easiest route, it might not be the best!
- Make diagonal cuts on the hot dogs
- Add seasoning to your hot dogs
- Add cheese to your hot dogs
- Add other fun toppings to your hot dogs
- Add your hot dogs to another dish
Make diagonal cuts on the hot dogs
Use a sharp knife to make small, shallow diagonal cuts along the length of the hot dogs.
This technique not only makes the hot dogs cook more evenly but also helps them absorb any seasonings or sauces, making them extra flavorful.
Add seasoning to your hot dogs
Before placing your hot dogs in the toaster oven, consider sprinkling them with some spices or seasonings.
Options include garlic powder, smoked paprika, or even a Cajun spice mix.
If you like a little heat, a small dash of cayenne pepper can do wonders.
Add cheese to your hot dogs
For a cheesy delight, add a slice of your favorite cheese on top of the hot dogs during the last 3-4 minutes of cooking.
This ensures the cheese will melt nicely over the hot dogs.
You can use cheddar, mozzarella, or even a spicy jalapeño cheese for an extra kick.
Add other fun toppings to your hot dogs
Once your hot dogs are cooked, the sky is the limit when it comes to toppings.
Classic choices include mustard, ketchup, and relish, but why stop there?
Consider adding coleslaw, sauerkraut, diced onions, or even crushed potato chips for added texture.
Add your hot dogs to another dish
Another way to enjoy your toaster oven-cooked hot dogs is to incorporate them into another dish.
For example, chop them up and add them to a pasta salad, baked beans, or even mix them into a cheesy casserole.
Can you cook frozen hot dogs in a toaster oven?
In my house, we usually buy hot dogs in bulk, freeze them, then pull out what we need for the meal and cook them to order.
But, is it a good idea to cook frozen hot dogs in the toaster oven?
In general, it is best to defrost hot dogs before cooking them regardless of the method because you’ll get better results that way. When cooking frozen hot dogs, you won’t get that crispy exterior and juicy interior because the outside of the hot dog will stay wet and moist while it thaws on the inside.
Here are the main considerations to keep in mind:
- Longer Cooking Time: Frozen hot dogs will take longer to cook than their thawed counterparts. Make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, generally about 20-25 minutes at 350°F (175°C) as opposed to the 12-15 minutes for thawed hot dogs.
- Safety: Ensure that the internal temperature of the hot dogs reaches at least 140°F (60°C) for pre-cooked varieties. A food thermometer is handy for this. Raw sausages will have different internal temperature requirements.
- Quality: While it’s safe and feasible to cook frozen hot dogs, the texture might differ slightly compared to thawed hot dogs. The casing might not get as crisp, for example.
- Uneven Cooking: Depending on how your toaster oven heats, cooking frozen food can sometimes result in unevenly cooked hot dogs. Turning the hot dogs midway through cooking can help with this issue.
- No Pre-slicing or Seasoning: If the hot dogs are frozen, you won’t be able to make diagonal cuts or apply seasoning before cooking, which could affect flavor and texture.
- Condensation: Frozen hot dogs might release more water as they thaw and cook, which could create some sogginess. Lining your tray with aluminum foil can help with this.
How long should you cook a hot dog in a toaster oven?
Technically, most hot dogs are already cooked when you buy them but you have to put the hot in hot dog somehow, right!?
The cooking time for a hot dog in a toaster oven can vary depending on several factors, including the thickness of the hot dog, the cooking temperature, and whether the hot dog is frozen or thawed. Here are some general guidelines for cooking hot dogs in a toaster oven:
For Thawed Hot Dogs:
- Preheat the toaster oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Place the hot dogs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Cook for approximately 12-15 minutes, turning them halfway through to ensure even cooking.
For Frozen Hot Dogs:
- Preheat the toaster oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Place the frozen hot dogs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Cook for approximately 20-25 minutes, also turning them halfway through for even cooking.
These times can vary based on your specific toaster oven, so it may take a couple of tries to get the timing just right for your preference. Always ensure the internal temperature of the hot dogs reaches at least 140°F (60°C) for pre-cooked hot dogs to ensure they are fully heated.
Can You Cook Hot Dogs in an Air Fryer?
Yes, you can! Hot dogs prepared in an air-fryer usually come out well-cooked and juicy. They cook very fast too.
You can prepare a hot dog with an air fryer in 10 minutes or less. And you don’t have to worry about uneven cooking or char, as is the case with a grill.
You don’t have to preheat an air fryer before cooking hot dogs. You can start cooking your meat right away.