How To Boil The Perfect Hot Dog On The Stove

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Although the best way to cook hot dogs is – arguably – on the grill, that may not be suitable year-round. Boiling is a great alternative to grilling and this simple cooking method produces hot dogs that are delicious, tender, and juicy.

Follow the steps below and you’ll be enjoying this classic American fare in no time at all. Or if you prefer, check out our how to microwave hot dogs guide.

Although boiled hot dogs are tasty enough by themselves, you can try adding an extra flavor boost by seasoning the water you boil them in with salt, garlic, herbs, spices or even beer.

Best Way To Boil Hotdogs

Hotdogs can easily be boiled on your stovetop. It’s a quick process; simply get your hotdogs boiling and by the time you’ve heated up your buns they should be ready to go.

If you’re really pushed for time, you can also boil hotdogs in the microwave – see our guide here.

What You Need

  • Medium sized saucepan
  • Stovetop
  • Water
  • Fresh Hot Dogs
  • Tongs
  • Paper towels

SEE ALSO: How Long Do Hot Dogs Last?


  1. Fill your saucepan with enough water to entirely cover all the hotdogs you want to boil. If you are cooking many, make sure you leave plenty of room at the top to prevent the water from spilling over when the hotdogs are added.
  2. Bring the water to boiling point then reduce the heat slightly to let it simmer.
  3. Use tongs to carefully add the hotdogs one by one, once the water has stopped a rolling boil. This will reduce the chances of their skins splitting.
  4. Boil for about five minutes before turning off the heat and removing the pan from the heat source.
  5. Use tongs to retrieve the hotdogs from the water, or tip the contents of the pot carefully through a strainer, catching the hotdogs.
  6. Place the hotdogs on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up the water.

How Long Do You Boil Hotdogs?

Always ensure your hot dogs are heated thoroughly all the way through. Even though hot dogs are precooked, they can harbor bacteria such as listeria – a serious health risk for pregnant women. Heating thoroughly kills these nasty bacteria.

Boiling times will vary depending on the kind of hotdog and casing. If you use shorter cook times, you will get a more soft and tender hotdog, while longer boiling times produce hotdogs that are firmer, and crisper.

It may take anywhere from three to six minutes to boil your hotdogs. Be careful not to boil them for too long – overcooked hotdogs are prone to splitting.

Generally, with fresh hotdogs, it will take about five minutes, which gives you plenty of time to preheat your buns and line up your condiments.

How Do You Know When Hotdogs Are Done Boiling?

Your hotdogs should be ready when they become nice and plump and start to float to the surface.

boiling hotdogs in pot

If you think they look done, carefully remove one with a pair of tongs and gently touch a finger to the end, being careful not to burn yourself – you’ll know if it’s piping hot it’s good to go!

If you want to be extra sure, slice one open in the middle to check the internal temperature and make sure it’s cooked all the way through.

How Long To Boil Frozen Hotdogs?

Frozen hotdogs will take a little longer to heat through than fresh hotdogs. Expect them to be ready in anywhere from seven to ten minutes, more if you are cooking larger numbers.

Can You Boil Hotdogs In The Package?

We don’t recommend boiling hot dogs that are still encased within their packaging. Even if the plastic remains intact, harmful chemicals may still leach into the water – and your hotdogs – from the plastic.

Written By Tara Williams

Tara is a food writer that has been editing and authoring articles for KitchenSanity since its founding. Her writing offers personal experience from experimentation with food and recipe creation. If you’re looking for simple tips, she will make your journey in the kitchen straightforward with a dash of fun.