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Our best advice for how long to microwave a hot dog with quick and easy steps. We conducted numerous tests to find the best results on how long to cook a hot dog in a microwave.

(Last Updated On: November 2, 2022)

We did some serious testing on how long to microwave a hot dog. In short, the result we came up with is to not microwave your hot dog for a very long time at all!

When I was a kid, we didn’t have fancy stuff like an instant pot, air fryer, or microwave oven. We had a stove with an oven in it and burners on top of it. So when my mom would make us hot dogs, she would put a pot on the stove on high heat with some hot water in it. She’d throw some hot dogs in it, and bring the water to a boil. The hot dogs only had to be boiled for maybe 5 minutes or less, then we were eating them on hot dog buns with lots of mustard spread on them. They were yummy because our mom made them. ๐Ÿ™‚

A hot dog and bun on a plate.

โŒ A Big No No

And believe it or not, we would eat a hot dog cold, straight out of the package, for a quick snack. It was from the refrigerator though. After all, hot dogs are already fully cooked, right? Well, there is one exception, food safety! If you are at an increased risk of foodborne illnesses, an infection from bacteria such as listeriosis could be a threat to you. I don’t eat them uncooked anymore.

๐Ÿคข Is it Safe to Eat Uncooked Hot Dogs?

No! The FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) says you should not eat an uncooked hot dog, which means hot dogs straight out of the package without cooking them first. The reason is the threat of listeriosis. Just remember, even though the hot dog package says “Fully Cooked” it is not safe to eat hot dogs without heating them first to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is what the FSIS says “Although hot dogs are fully cooked, those at increased risk of foodborne illness should reheat hot dogs and luncheon meat until steaming hot before eating, due to the threat of listeriosis.”

Hot dogs should be cooked until HOT! So to be safe, make sure the hot dog cooks at an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can easily check the temperature with a kitchen thermometer.

๐ŸŒญ Microwaving a Hot Dog Key Ingredients

  • Hot dogs
  • Buns (optional)
  • Condiments (optional)
Microwaved hot dog and bun on a plate.
A hot dog and bun on a plate.

๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿณ How Long to Microwave a Hot Dog? (7 Tests)

Test 1. A Frozen Hot Dog Wrapped in a Dry Paper Towel

Alright, here is our first test. The cooking method we chose was using a 1500-watt microwave and a paper towel. We took a frozen hot dog out of the freezer, wrapped it in a single layer of paper towel, then placed it on a microwave-safe plate. We cooked the frozen dog in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then we took the hot dog out of the microwave and checked the internal temperature. It was only 107.2 degrees Fahrenheit, so we put the hot dog back into the microwave for 15 more seconds.

A frozen dog wrapped in a dry paper towel.
A frozen hot dog wrapped in a dry paper towel.

Again, we removed the hot dog and the internal temperature was 144 degrees Fahrenheit. We put the hot dog back into the microwave for 10 more seconds, took it out, then checked the internal temperature again, and this time it was 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Yay! The hot dog looked great and tasted great. It was hot inside and didn’t explode or curl up.

Recap Test 1

  • 1500-watt powered microwave
  • Frozen hot dog
  • Wrapped in a dry single-layered paper towel
  • 30 seconds in the microwave, then open the door and check
  • 15 more seconds, then check
  • 10 more seconds, then open the door and check, then done
  • 55 seconds total cooking time
  • Internal temperature – 165 degrees Fahrenheit
A frozen dog in a dry paper towel.
A frozen hot dog in a dry paper towel.

Test 2. A Frozen Hot Dog Wrapped in a Damp Paper Towel

The second test we did was to take a wet paper towel and wrap it around a frozen hot dog. Then we put it in the microwave oven for 30 seconds. We removed the hot dog and took its internal temperature. It was 78 degrees Fahrenheit. So we put the hot dog back into the microwave for 15 more seconds.

After that, we checked the internal temperature again, and it was 96 degrees Fahrenheit. Still not enough. So we once again put the hot dog in the microwave for 10 more seconds, and the temperature was 158 degrees Fahrenheit. We did 5 more seconds and finally, the temperature of the hot dog was 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

A frozen hot dog in a damp paper towel.
A frozen hot dog in a damp paper towel.

Recap Test 2

  • 1500-watt powered microwave
  • Frozen hot dog
  • Wrapped in a damp paper towel
  • 30 seconds in the microwave, then check
  • 15 more seconds, then check
  • 10 more seconds, check
  • 5 more seconds, check, and then done
  • 60 seconds total cooking time
  • Internal temperature – 165 (or slightly above) degrees Fahrenheit
A frozen hot dog in a damp paper towel.
A frozen hot dog in a damp paper towel.

Test 3. A Frozen Hot Dog with no Paper Towel

We still used a frozen hot dog, but we didn’t wrap it in a paper towel. We timed it at 55 seconds without opening the microwave door and the internal temperature was 168 degrees Fahrenheit when we took the hot dog out of the microwave. The hot dog looked good, it was hot, and it tasted great. It didn’t explode or curl up.

Recap Test 3

  • 1500-watt powered microwave
  • Frozen hot dog
  • No paper towel
  • 55 seconds total cooking time, without opening the door
  • Internal temperature – 168 degrees Fahrenheit
A cooked microwaved hot dog on a plate.
A cooked hot dog on a plate.

Test 4. A Refrigerated Hot Dog Wrapped in a Dry Paper Towel

The next hot dog test is with a hot dog straight out of the refrigerator, not frozen. This test was done in a 1500-watt microwave. We put a hot dog in the microwave for 30 seconds, then we checked the internal temperature and it was only 154 degrees Fahrenheit.

So we then put the hot dog back into the microwave for another 10 seconds. This time the internal temperature was about 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Looks pretty good and was steaming hot, and tasted great too.

A refrigerated hot dog in a dry paper towel.
A refrigerated hot dog in a dry paper towel.

Recap Test 4

  • 1500-watt microwave
  • Hot dog from the refrigerator, not frozen
  • Wrapped in a dry paper towel
  • 30 seconds
  • Internal temperature 154 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 10 more seconds
  • 40 seconds total cooking time
  • The internal temperature was about 170 degrees Fahrenheit
A refrigerated hot dog in a dry paper towel.
A refrigerated hot dog in a dry paper towel.

Test 5. A Refrigerated Hot Dog Wrapped in a Damp Paper Towel

Next, we tried the wet paper towel test to see if there was any difference in the cooking process. We wrapped the hot dog around the wet paper towel and put it in the same 1500-watt microwave for 30 seconds. When we checked the internal temperature, it was only 153 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s not hot enough.

So we did 10 more seconds, and that did it. The internal temperature was around 184 degrees Fahrenheit. It was super hot, looked good, and tasted great.

A refrigerated hot dog in a damp paper towel.
A refrigerated hot dog in a damp paper towel.

Recap Test 5

  • 1500-watt microwave
  • Hot dog from the refrigerator
  • Damp paper towel
  • 30 seconds
  • Internal temperature 153 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 10 more seconds
  • 40 seconds total cooking time
  • Internal temperature 184 degrees Fahrenheit
A refrigerated hot dog in a damp paper towel.
A refrigerated hot dog in a damp paper towel.

Test 6. A Refrigerated Hot Dog Without a Paper Towel

For this test, we put the hot dog into the microwave without a paper towel. We set the timer for 30 seconds. When we checked the internal temperature, it was 135 degrees, so we did 10 more seconds and the temperature of the hot dog was good at 184 degrees Fahrenheit.

Recap Test 6

  • 1500-watt microwave
  • Hot dog from the refrigerator
  • No paper towel
  • 30 seconds
  • Internal temp 135 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 10 more seconds
  • 40 seconds total cooking time
  • Internal temperature 184 degrees Fahrenheit
A cooked hot dog on a plate.
A cooked hot dog on a plate.

Test 7. Last Test – A Refrigerated Hot Dog for a Full 40 Seconds

Still using the 1500-watt microwave for our last test, we didn’t use any paper towels at all, and we did a full 40 seconds without opening the microwave door. The hot dog looks good, it was hot, and the internal temperature was 195 degrees Fahrenheit. No start, then stop, then start again process. And the hot dog didn’t explode.

Recap Test 7

  • 1500-watt microwave
  • Refrigerated hot dog
  • No paper towel
  • Full 40 seconds total cooking time without opening the microwave door
  • Internal temperature 195 degrees Fahrenheit
A cooked hot dog on a plate.
A cooked hot dog on a plate.

โœ… The Bottom Line

All Microwaves Cook Different

We already know that there are a variety of microwaves on the market to choose from and each one can cook differently from another. Whether you have a microwave over the stove, one sitting on the countertop, or both, it is always a good idea to keep checking the food you are cooking. And with hot dogs, the internal temperature should be cooked at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating it.

The Best Results

We found the best results to be Test 4 and Test 6 from above. Basically, it will be your preference whether you want to wrap your hot dog in a paper towel or not during the heating process.

Our results show the refrigerated hot dog cooked to at least 165 degrees with and without a paper towel in 40 seconds of cooking time. The benefit of adding a paper towel would be to help seal some moisture into the hot dog to keep it juicier. If you like juicy hot dogs that may be the way you want to go. However, the hot dog still turned out pretty good and was not too dry without the paper towel as well.

Whatever method you decide to use to cook your hot dog in the microwave, you will want to make sure to start with an initial cook time of 30 seconds and then check to make sure it didn’t explode before adding additional intervals of 10 seconds until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached.

Overall, the microwave is a great way to cook hot dogs, whether they are frozen or not, if you know the right amount of time to cook them.

Usually, about 40 seconds total will do the job, but it does depend on the wattage of your microwave. You know your microwave the best, and when you finally see how long it takes to make the perfect-looking hot dog that satisfies you and is at the right internal temperature, then jot that down in your memory bank.

A hot dog in a hot dog bun on a plate.
A hot dog in a hot dog bun on a plate.

๐Ÿ”ธ What are Other Methods for Cooking Hot Dogs?

There are several different methods of cooking delicious hot dogs, and I think everyone has their favorite way of doing it. Some examples are:

  • Grill – the best way and most popular method, in my opinion, is the gas grill, or charcoal grill, aka the BBQ. But, not everyone owns a BBQ or has an area where they can use the BBQ safely, including me.
  • Boil – fill a pot with water and put it on the stove, then bring the water to a boil and put some hot dogs in it. Reduce the heat and cook them for about 5 minutes, or until the temperature of the hot dogs reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Air fry – put the hot dogs in an air fryer.
  • Broil – put the hot dogs under the broiler
  • Use a Hot dog and bun toaster.
  • Fry – pan-fry hot dogs on the stove but may taste different than a regular cooked hot dog.

๐Ÿ”น What Toppings Can I Put on My Hot Dog?

There are so many delicious hot dog toppings to put over the top of your juicy hot dog. Some favorite toppings are:

  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Relish
  • Diced onions
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Pizza toppings – make a pizza dog by putting pizza sauce over the top of the hot dog, then mozzarella cheese. So yummy!
  • Sauerkraut dog – spread some sauerkraut over the top of your hot dog, so fantastic!
  • Make a famous chili dog. Pour your favorite chili, or our chili, over the top of the hot dog, then add some cheddar cheese. So delicious!
A chili dog on a plate.
A chili dog on a plate.

๐Ÿ™‹ Frequently Asked Questions

Why Did My Hot Dog Explode in the Microwave?

A Hot Dog Disaster
We put a hot dog on a microwave safe plate without wrapping it in a paper towel. Then we put it in a 1500-watt powered microwave. The cooking time we used was for 1 minute, without opening up the door. It was a disaster. The hot dog exploded. So now we know 1 minute is just too long. It was too long for us anyway in our 1500-watt microwave.

So How do I Microwave a Hot Dog Without it Exploding?

The best way to make sure your hot dog is cooked to the correct temperature and doesn’t explode is to follow these simple steps:

Cover the hot dog with a paper towel. Cook at 30-second intervals or less. This means setting the cooking time for 30 seconds, then when the timer goes off, open the microwave door and check on the hot dog. Check the internal temperature which should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s not that temperature, then add 10 more seconds (or less) at a time until it reaches the correct temperature. After that, your hot dog is ready to be eaten safely.

Note: You can also poke a couple of holes in the hot dog to stop it from exploding, but the other method mentioned above is better if you like juicy hot dogs. Poking holes in the hot dogs can let some of the hot dog juices escape.

A cooked hot dog with mustard and relish on a plate.
A cooked hot dog with mustard and relish on a plate.

๐ŸŒŸ Final Thoughts

We found that a lot of the tests we did were pretty close in comparison to each other, but we are talking only seconds here. So for whatever itโ€™s worth, just make sure when you microwave hot dogs that the final internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit so no one in your family gets sick due to the threat of listeriosis.

If you are looking for the quickest way, and easiest way to cook hot dogs, then we believe that way is to microwave them. And they do taste just as fantastic as other methods, I assure you.

However we look at it, we have to admit the best hot dogs were when we went camping and roasted the hot dogs on a stick. Yep, a stick we’d find and we would whittle a sharp point on one end of it, then stick the hot on it and hold it over the campfire until it was hot and plump and ready to eat. Yum!

Reality

But the reality is we can’t be out camping all of the time, and we don’t have the time to fire up the BBQ every time we want a hot dog, so microwaved hot dogs are the next best thing, the easy way, so they say. But, they still taste fantastic, and they are an easy meal to fix the next time you are in a hurry but still need to feed the family. 100% all-beef hot dogs are a good choice. They are sold in the refrigerated lunch meat section of the grocery store.

๐Ÿ“ฃ FYI

  • An unopened package of hot dogs can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks
  • An opened package of hot dogs can be stored in the refrigerator for only 1 week
  • Freeze hot dogs for no longer than 1 or 2 months.
A hot dog in a hot dog bun on a plate.

๐Ÿฅฐ Side Dish Recipes For Hot Dogs

  • Best Mac and Cheese Recipe – Creamy, crunchy, and made with 3 different kinds of cheeses make this mac and cheese side dish a delicious delight. So yummy!
  • Frozen Air Fryer Tater Tots (Crispy) – These tasty frozen tater tots are made in the air fryer and are cooked perfectly. So crispy and golden brown. Seasoned with Johnny’s seasoning (or your favorite seasoning) salt for extra flavor.
  • Air Fryer Potato Wedges – This air fryer potato wedges recipe is loaded with lots of flavors. The seasoning used in this recipe makes these wedges taste so fantastic โ€“ olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and ground black pepper! Making potato wedges is easy, fun, and so delicious.

๐Ÿ“‹ Recipe Card

How Long to Microwave a Hot Dog?

Flo
Our best advice for how long to microwave a hot dog with quick and easy steps. We conducted numerous tests to find the best results on how long to cook a hot dog in a microwave.
5 from 3 votes
Cost $0.65
Prep Time 1 min
Total Time 2 mins
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Servings 1 Hot Dog

Equipment

  • Microwave

Ingredients
  

  • Hot dog(s)
  • Buns (optional)
  • Condiments (optional)

Instructions
 

Refrigerated Hot Dog

  • Put a hot dog straight from the refrigerator on a microwave-safe plate.
  • Wrap the hot dog loosely in a paper towel.
  • Place it in a 1500-watt microwave and set the cook time for 30 seconds.
  • Open the door and check the hot dog temperature. If it hasn't reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, cook another 10 seconds.
  • Different wattage microwaves times may vary, and you may need to keep checking the temperature every 10 seconds until it is hot enough. Your microwave could take more or less time, but it shouldn't be too much of a time difference. Keep a close watch while cooking.
  • When the hot dog reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit take the hot dog out of the microwave. Ours was ready in 40 seconds total cooking time.
  • Put your cooked hot dog in a bun and add all of your favorite toppings.

Frozen Hot Dog

  • Put a hot dog straight from the freezer on a microwave-safe plate.
  • Wrap the hot dog loosely in a paper towel.
  • Place it in a 1500-watt microwave and set the cook time for 30 seconds.
  • Open the door and check the hot dog temperature. If it hasn't reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, cook another 15 seconds.
  • Open the door and check the hot dog temperature. If it hasn't reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, cook another 10 seconds.
  • Different wattage microwaves times may vary, and you may need to keep checking the temperature every 10 seconds until it is hot enough. Your microwave could take more or less time, but it shouldn't be too much of a time difference. Keep a close watch while cooking.
  • When the hot dog reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit take the hot dog out of the microwave. Ours was ready in 55 seconds total cooking time.
  • Put your cooked hot dog in a bun and add all of your favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

  • Most of the hot dog tests we did were pretty close in the final results.
  • You can use a paper towel if you choose, or not.
  • You can do 30 seconds, then check your hot dog, add more seconds if needed, and check the internal temperature, which should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Everyone’s microwave can cook differently, so you may need to cook your hot dog a little bit longer, or a little bit less.
Keyword best results, frozen hot dog, hot dog, how long to microwave hot dog, microwave hot dogs, quickest way
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