How to boil hot dogs

How to Boil Hot Dogs – What You Need To Know!

Everybody has, at one time or another, enjoyed eating a hot dog.

At baseball games, as a quick and satisfying lunch or dinner, or as a party snack, hot dogs are a popular choice for many, both young and old.

As popular street food, hot dog vendors are just about on every corner of every street, selling your favorite snack exactly the way you want it.

Have you ever wondered exactly how to boil hot dogs?  

How to boil hot dogs 

To boil hot dogs choose a medium or large-sized saucepan and fill it with half to three-quarters of water to cover the hot dogs. Prep your hot dogs by poking holes along the length with a fork. Use kitchen tongs or a long-handled fork to lower the hot dogs slowly into the pot. After 5 to 8 minutes the hot dogs should be plump and warmed all the way through. They are now ready to be eaten.

The first steps to take before boiling hot dogs

To begin, choose your favorite pot or saucepan. It should be large enough – a medium or large-sized one is good – to fill with sufficient water to cover the hot dogs. 

Remember, the more hot dogs you want, the larger your pot should be.  A medium-sized pot is more than sufficient for half a dozen hot dogs.

Preparing dinner for your children probably means more than half a dozen hot dogs. In this case, choose a larger pot. 

Filling it half to three-quarters of the way should do.

You don’t want to overfill it, as the water may spill out onto the burner.

This can make a bit of a mess, and is likely to set off your smoke alarm!   

Adjust the setting on your burner to high, and let the water come to a boil.

The water in the pot will be bubbling merrily, and the bubbles should be quite large.

If the bubbles are tiny, turn up the heat a little more. Wait a few seconds.

The water in the pot will begin to boil enthusiastically. 

Prepping your hot dogs before boiling

While you are waiting for the water in the pot to come up to a boil, you can use the time to poke holes along the length of your hot dogs with a fork.

This will stop them from exploding or splitting while they are boiling. 

Using kitchen tongs or a long-handled fork, gently lower your hot dogs into the boiling water.

It is a good idea to lower them into the pot slowly and gently, or even one at a time.

A scald from splashing boiling water is quite painful!

How long should you boil your hot dogs

A good length of time to boil your hot dogs is for about 5 to 8 minutes. Leave to boil until they are plump.

There are different brands of hot dogs.

These typically have different casings as well. Bear this in mind when you are boiling your hot dogs as some brands need a shorter boiling time for a softer hot dog, while others need a little more time for a sturdier hot dog.

Of course, how long you boil the hot dogs also depends on how hot you like them when you eat them.

As a rule, 5 – 8 minutes will ensure they are warmed all the way through. 

Hot dogs are usually already fully cooked when you buy them, so all you are doing when you boil them is heating them through.  

What to do next

After the 5 – 8 minutes of boiling time is done, you can remove the pot from the heat. Use your kitchen tongs again to remove your almost-ready-to-eat hot dogs from the water, taking care to avoid any accidental splashes.

To make sure that you don’t inadvertently burn yourself, you can pour the water and the hot dogs into a colander into the sink. Once the water has drained off from the hot dogs, they are ready to place into your prepared buns. 

Boiling hot dogs is easy

Boiling hot dogs won’t cause them to shrink. In fact, they are more likely to look plumper.

You can also boil hot dogs from frozen. Simply increase the length of time you leave them in the boiling water.

So, instead of 5 – 8 minutes the boiling water, they can be boiled for 10 – 12 minutes. Just a few minutes longer and your once frozen hot dogs are now ready to eat. 


Boiling hot dogs really is a quick and easy way to make your favorite snack or meal.

Simply follow the easy steps outlined above, using just a medium to a large pot or a saucepan, boiling water, tongs, and of course, your favorite hot dogs for evenly heated, plump hot dogs, just the way you like them.