When you're enjoying hot dogs or hamburgers, you might crave them on warm, moist buns like the ones they serve at the stadium or amusement park. But without a professional-quality bun steamer, is it still possible to heat them up just right?
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Choosing the Right Buns
There are a few options for steaming hot dog buns or hamburger buns even if you don't have a steamer. Your stovetop, oven or microwave can all achieve warm steaminess that will leave you and your guests asking for more.
Before you starting steaming your hot dog buns or hamburger buns, be sure you're picking up the right kind. As the American Academy of Family Physicians advises, whole-grain products should be your priority when it comes to bread and buns because they have the complex carbohydrates you need to feel fuller faster and stay fuller longer, ultimately stopping you from overeating and helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Read more: Whole-Grain Bread Vs. White Bread
It's also smart to avoid bread products that are overly sweetened. When you're buying your hot dog or hamburger buns, check the ingredient list to make sure whole grain is the first ingredient and that you don't see any added sugar. Making small but smart choices like this, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, can add up to make a big difference in your overall health.
Steaming Hot Dog Buns
Steaming hot dog buns and hamburger buns isn't too complicated, but be careful — whereas a bun steamer is designed for the specific purpose of steaming bread, steaming your buns on the stovetop or in the oven could turn them soggy if you do it improperly or for too long.
- Stovetop: Set a pot of water on the stovetop and fill it with about a quarter-inch of water. When your steam basket is set inside the pot, the water level should be below the bottom of the basket. Bring the water to a boil, then set the buns inside the basket and cover the pot for about 30 seconds. Remove them from the steamer basket with hot tongs.
- Oven: Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spritz your buns with a fine mist of water, wrap them in aluminum foil, and set them inside the oven for approximately 10 minutes.
- Microwave: Spritz a towel (cloth or paper) with a fine mist of water and use it to wrap your buns. Set in the microwave and cook on high for approximately one minute.
Each of these methods serves as a suitable alternative to a bun steamer and will give you warm, moist buns for your hot dogs or hamburgers.
Enjoy in Moderation
Steaming hot dog buns and hamburger buns will make your meal taste like a special occasion, which it should be — most health experts encourage you to be moderate in your consumption of hot dogs and hamburgers. According to the Cleveland Clinic, foods like hot dogs and hamburgers, along with foods served alongside them, like potato chips and mayonnaise-based salads, tend to be high in calories and fat. If you're watching what you eat, you could opt for lower-fat proteins such as a chicken breast or veggie burger on your steamed bun instead.
You should also take care with food safety. The USDA advises that you never leave hot dogs out at room temperature for more than two hours and for no more than one hour when the temperature is above 90 degrees F. If a hot dog is being eaten by a child younger than 4 years old, you should cut it into small pieces to avoid choking.
Read more: How to Reheat Hamburgers
Keep these tips in mind to ensure that enjoying hot dogs and hamburgers is as healthy and safe as it is tasty.