Grilling Hot Dogs on the Stove: The Definitive Guide

How to Grill Hot Dogs on the Stove – A Comprehensive Guide

Hot dogs, also known as frankfurters, are a favorite comfort food enjoyed by many across the country. While grilling hot dogs over an open fire is a popular method, it’s not always feasible or convenient. Fortunately, you can achieve that delicious char and irresistible flavor by grilling hot dogs on the stove. In this definitive guide, we provide step-by-step instructions on how to grill hot dogs on the stove and explore other cooking methods for this classic treat.

Grill Hot Dogs on the Stove

Follow these simple steps to grill hot dogs on the stove:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a thin layer of water, just enough to cover half the bottom of the skillet.
  2. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Using a knife, make several diagonal cuts in the hot dogs to prevent them from puffing up during cooking.
  4. Place the hot dogs in the pan and let them steam until the water has completely boiled off.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to each hot dog and cook for about 1 minute before turning them 90 degrees. Repeat this process three times, making sure all sides are cooked for 1 minute each time.
  6. As the hot dogs cook, they blister and change color, similar to grilling over an open fire or on a barbecue.
  7. Once cooked, place the hot dogs on the bun of your choice. You can butter the inside of the buns for added flavor.
  8. Spread a little butter on the outside of the buns and place them on the pan, buttered side down.
  9. Turn the heat to medium-low and let the buns toast in the pan for 2 minutes.
  10. Finally, add your favorite toppings such as mustard, ketchup, onions, chili, coleslaw, relish, or pickles.

Follow these steps to achieve perfectly grilled hot dogs on your stove, complete with delicious char and mouthwatering flavor.

Is grilling the best way to cook hot dogs?

While grilling hot dogs gives them a smoky flavor, it may not be the best cooking method for everyone. Grilling can be challenging, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. It can be difficult to regulate the heat, resulting in uneven cooking, scorching on the outside, and dry hot dogs.
Microwaving is another quick method often used to cook hot dogs at home, but it is not the ideal way to achieve optimal flavor and texture. Microwaves distribute heat unevenly, resulting in inconsistent cooking.
Alternatively, other cooking methods such as poaching, roasting, broiling, steaming, and sautéing may produce better results than microwaving. These methods allow for more controlled cooking and better retention of flavor and juiciness.

Can you poach hot dogs?

Poaching hot dogs is an excellent method for achieving juicy, succulent results. Here’s how to poach hot dogs without a sous vide machine:

  1. Heat water in a saucepan over high heat until it reaches a temperature of about 150°F-155°F.
  2. Use a thermometer to check the temperature periodically and adjust the heat if necessary. Adding a few ice cubes may help regulate the temperature.
  3. Once the water has reached the desired temperature, reduce the heat.
  4. Place the hot dogs in the pot and let them heat up for about 10 minutes until they reach the perfect temperature.
  5. After poaching, you can enhance the appearance and flavor of the hot dogs by quickly grilling them. Place the poached hot dogs on a hot grill for a few seconds until they have a nice charred surface.

The combination of poaching and grilling gives you juicy, plump hot dogs with a delicious charred exterior.

Cooking Hot Dogs in the Oven

If grilling or stovetop cooking is not an option, you can roast hot dogs in the oven. Here’s how:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a casserole dish, roasting pan, or baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Make sure the utensil you use has a rim to catch juices.
  3. Place the hot dogs on the tray and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  4. Keep an eye on the hot dogs and remove them from the oven when they begin to brown and curl slightly.
  5. For added crispness, you can turn on the broiler for a short time.
  6. Once cooked, serve the hot dogs to your liking.

Roasting hot dogs in the oven allows you to keep their juicy interior while achieving a nicely browned exterior.

Storing and freezing hot dogs

When it comes to storing hot dogs, it’s important to follow proper food safety guidelines to maintain their quality and prevent potential health risks. Here are some tips for storing and freezing hot dogs:
Storing Hot Dogs:

  • Place unopened packages of hot dogs in the refrigerator and follow the manufacturer’s storage instructions.
  • Once opened, transfer remaining hot dogs to a resealable plastic bag or airtight container.
  • Store hot dogs in the refrigerator below 40°F (4°C).
  • Consume hot dogs within 3-5 days for optimal freshness and flavor.

Freezing hot dogs:

  • If you have excess hot dogs or want to stock up for future use, freezing is a convenient option.
  • Make sure hot dogs are tightly sealed in airtight freezer bags or containers to prevent freezer burn and maintain quality.
  • Label the bags or containers with the freezer date to keep track of their freshness.
  • Hot dogs can be safely stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  • When you’re ready to use frozen hot dogs, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before cooking or reheating.

Remember to always inspect hot dogs for signs of spoilage before eating, such as an unusual odor, slime, or discoloration. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw them away to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.


Stovetop hot dog grilling is a convenient and delicious alternative to traditional grilling methods. By following the step-by-step instructions in this guide, you can achieve perfectly grilled hot dogs with a deliciously charred exterior and juicy interior. We also explore other cooking methods, such as poaching and oven roasting, that offer different flavors and textures.
Whether you prefer the smoky flavor of grilled hot dogs, the juicy tenderness of poached hot dogs, or the crunch of oven-roasted hot dogs, there are several options to suit your taste and convenience.
Remember to properly store and freeze hot dogs to maintain their quality and ensure food safety. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy hot dogs at their best, whether it’s for a quick weeknight dinner or a backyard barbecue.


Can I get the grilled flavor by cooking hot dogs on the stovetop?

Yes, you can! While grilling hot dogs over an open fire or on a grill imparts a distinct smoky flavor, you can still achieve a delicious char and the grilled flavor you desire by following the stove grilling method outlined in this guide.

Do I need special equipment to grill hot dogs on the stove?

No, you don’t need any special equipment. All you need is a stove, a pan, water, hot dogs and butter. These common kitchen items are all you need to grill hot dogs on the stove for a delicious result.

Can I use any type of hot dog to grill on the stove?

Yes, you can use any type of hot dog for stove grilling. Whether you prefer beef, pork, chicken, turkey or vegetarian hot dogs, the stove grilling method works well for all types.

What toppings can I add to my barbecue hot dogs?

You can add a variety of toppings to your grilled hot dogs to suit your tastes. Popular options include mustard, ketchup, onions, relish, sauerkraut, chili, coleslaw, cheese, pickles, and jalapenos. Feel free to get creative and experiment with different combinations!

Can I toast the buns on the stove?

Yes, you can toast the buns on the stove for added flavor and texture. After grilling the hot dogs, spread a little butter on the inside of the buns and place them on the pan, buttered side down. Toast over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes or until nicely toasted.

Can I use this oven grilling method for other sausages or meats?

Absolutely! While this guide focuses specifically on grilling hot dogs, you can use the same stove grilling method for other sausages or meats. Just adjust the cooking time based on the thickness and type of meat you are grilling.