It's Probably Not A Good Idea To Cook Hot Dogs Straight From Frozen

Barbecue season is right around the corner, and there is nothing that brings out the true smell of summer like cooking hot dogs on the grill. But if you're thinking of popping those dogs onto the BBQ straight from your freezer, you may want to reconsider. 

Freezing food like hot dogs or sausages is a great way to preserve the meat until you are ready for your next cookout. Once out of the package, if the meat is wrapped tightly in a freezer-safe bag before the best-by date, then it can be stored in your freezer for up to two months, according to the USDA. Sealing the meat properly without the possibility of air entering the bag will keep the product free from the harmful effects of freezer burn, which could ruin the overall taste and texture.

However, just because you may be in a rush to get those juicy dogs on the flames doesn't mean you can cook them in their frozen state. Sadly, if you place a frozen-cold hot dog on a hot grill, chances are you'll get a burned-on-the-outside wiener with an inedible, icy center. This will surely not garner a rave review from your hungry 'cue crew. To ensure that you are cooking the meat thoroughly, be sure to completely defrost the frozen hot dog first so that you have a nice and juicy, evenly cooked frank in the end.

The dos and don'ts of defrosting hot dogs

Now that you know not to cook your hot dogs right from frozen, you should also be aware of how to properly defrost them before you make your next meal. Namely, make sure that you always thaw meat in a way that doesn't encourage the growth of harmful bacteria. For safe defrosting, the USDA recommends that you keep your icy hot dogs at a consistent temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. It is not a good idea to try to thaw meat at room temperature or even in a pot of hot water. Temperatures ranging from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for bacteria to start growing.

Instead, the refrigerator is the perfect area to defrost your dogs. It provides the right environment and constant temperature for hot dogs to slowly lose their chill and be ready for cooking. If there is simply not enough room in your fridge, then you can also thaw them using the cold water method. In this case, the hot dogs should be placed in a sealed bag and then submerged in cold water, which you should change every half hour so the temperature doesn't rise. After your hot dogs have defrosted from surface to center, you can then feel free to barbecue, boil, or deep-fry them any way you like.