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How Long do Hot Dogs Last – I Knew It!

How Long do Hot Dogs Last – I Knew It!

Once you’ve prepared your hot dogs just the way you like them, enjoyed 1 or 2, or even maybe 3 of them, the rest of them can be put away for a later snack or meal.

But for how long do hot dogs last?

We all hear our mother’s words in the back of our minds when we think about storing food for later.

How best to store hot dogs and how long will they last?

How long do hot dogs last

Generally speaking, hot dogs will last for up to 5 days if you have already opened the package they came in. Use the refrigerator and a suitable container to store hot dogs. Hot dogs that have been cooked through will also last for 5 days in a sealed container, and in the refrigerator. 

Will hot dogs last outside of the refrigerator?

No. Hot dogs are made from meat. Meat-like trimmings of beef and/or pork, as well as spices, water and curing ingredients.

This mixture also has added nitrites. The nitrates give the hot dog a pink and a particular flavor. Nitrites help protect the hot dog from bacteria. 

Bacteria need a comfortable environment spanning 40°F and 140°F to grow. So, hot dogs that are in a cooler environment, like the fridge, have a lower chance of making you ill.

To make sure that the hot dogs are safe to eat, don’t leave them out of the cool refrigerated environment for more than 120 minutes at a time. If they have been, throw them out. There is no point inviting a bout of food poisoning.

How long do hot dogs last

Never get surprised by unexpected guests, and keep an emergency stash of hot dogs. Maybe guests or visitors drop by, or you forget to stock up on groceries.

Having a package of hot dogs in your freezer is the perfect answer when you need to prepare a quick, delicious meal. 

Hot dogs bought from the store still in their packaging can stay frozen in the freezer for up to 3 months.

So long as they are cooked before the 3 months are up, they will be good to eat. 

Just heat them through, either by boiling or in the microwave and within a few minutes, they are ready to serve. 

Cooked up more than enough hot dogs? Well, the cooked hot dogs can also be frozen.

Cooked hot dogs, in an airtight container, can be kept in the freezer compartment for about 3 months.  

The frozen hot dogs don’t need to be thawed. A few seconds in the microwave, or in a pot of boiling water is all that is required. In a few moments, they will be sufficiently warm. 

How best to store hot dogs 

Hot dogs are often a popular choice for picnics and quick, easy to prepare meals. It is essential to store them correctly, both before and after cooking.

The best way to store them is in a tightly closed container. This method will ensure they remain fresh and ready to eat  

After cooking, the hot dogs can be stored in the refrigerator. And, to get the most out of the hot dogs, it is a sensible idea to eat them within 4 days.

How long do hot dogs last

When you purchase your hot dogs, the packaging should have a printed use-by date. The USDA strongly suggests that you stick to that date. For a more general guideline, have a look at the best-by date.

This date suggests that the hot dogs will be safe to eat within this time.   

Follow the recommendations of the USDA and store the unopened hot pack of hot dogs for at least 2 weeks. 

Are the hot dogs still good to eat – how to tell

Not sure how to tell if your hot dogs are off? We rely on our senses, in particular, our sense of smell, to tell if food is no longer fresh or has gone a little off. 

Hot dogs that are beyond their use-by date tend to have a sour smell. Don’t use them. 

Having a good look at the hot dogs can also guide in deciding whether they are on their way to being spoiled.

Hot dogs that are past their use-by date look dull, have a brown or gray color instead of their usual reddish color, and are likely to have a slimy residue. Again, these should not be cooked for eating. 

Check whether the hot dogs you have frozen for later have been in the freezer for too long. You may notice that they have freezer burn starting to appear. Freezer burn can be seen in white, dull patches forming on the hot dogs. 

As with the hot dogs that are beyond their use-by date, any hot dogs showing freezer burn should be thrown away. 

So, how long do hot dogs last?

Hot dogs remain one of the easiest to prepare and convenient foods around. When stored correctly, before cooking and after, hot dogs will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Frozen hot dogs will last up to 2 weeks. 

Of course, there is no time limit in how long cooked hot dogs will last if there are hungry mouths looking for a quick snack in the house!