How to Cook Hot Dogs in a Skillet

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Cooking hot dogs on the grill or over an open fire is a favorite summertime activity.
Image Credit: Pinghung Chen / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

Cooking hot dogs on the grill or over an open fire is a favorite summertime activity. However, if the weather isn't ideal, you can also cook hot dogs on the stove.

According to the USDA, one hot dog contains 170 calories and 16 grams of fat. If you're trying to limit fatty foods, you can try a fat-free hot dog instead, which has less than 1 gram of fat.

If you don't want beef, try a turkey dog, though keep in mind that this option doesn't necessarily have significantly less fat. Vegetarians can also opt for a meatless hot dog. No matter what kind of dog you cook, a simple skillet preparation won't add any extra fat or calories to your franks, and it takes just a few minutes to accomplish.

Tip

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service notes that hot dogs are fully cooked but you should heat your dogs until they're "steaming hot" before you dig in if you're at an increased risk of foodborne illness.

Best Boiled Hot Dog Recipe

Step 1: Use a Skillet

Use a deep skillet to cook your hot dogs in water. Make sure your skillet is deep enough to completely cover the hot dogs with water; otherwise, use the dry cooking method instead.

Step 2: Poke Holes in Hot Dog

Poke a few holes in your hot dog with a fork before cooking. This will stop the hot dogs from swelling in the hot water.

Read more: What Are Uncured Hot Dogs?

Step 3: Cover With Water

Pour cold water over your hot dogs in the skillet, making sure to completely cover them. Place the skillet over a burner and turn the burner to high.

Step 4: Boil and Simmer

Bring the water to a boil; then lower the heat and let the hot dogs simmer over a very light, low boil for five minutes.

Overcooked skillet hot dogs turn rubbery and tough. Keep an eye on the time and don't let the hot dogs boil or brown for too long.

Step 5: Strain and Remove

Place a strainer in the sink and pour out the hot water from the skillet. Use a fork to pierce and pick up the hot dogs, as they will be very hot. Serve with your favorite condiments.

Pan Frying Hot Dogs

Step 1: Cut the Hot Dogs

Make a few diagonal cuts on your hot dogs with a knife, about an inch apart. This will keep your hot dogs from puffing up when dry cooking them in a skillet.

Step 2: Place in Skillet

Warm your skillet on a burner set to medium heat; then place your hot dogs directly in the skillet with no water, butter or other substances.

Step 3: Turn and Cook

Use a fork or similar utensil to turn the hot dogs so they cook evenly on all sides. Let the hot dogs brown, turning them occasionally, for about five minutes. Use your fork to transfer the hot dogs out of the skillet and onto a plate.

Warm a hot dog bun in the skillet over low heat until the edges toast up; then serve with the condiments of your choice.

Read more: 11 Healthy Grilling Tips for the Best Barbecue Ever

Things You'll Need

  • Skillet

  • Knife

  • Fork

  • Water, optional

  • Strainer, optional

  • Bun and condiments

Tip

If you want to try something different, UConn Dining Services provides an easy homemade marinated "carrot dogs" recipe for a tangy and nutritious alternative to packaged hot dogs.

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