This Is The Best Way To Reheat Hot Dogs

If you look at the "pre-cooked" label on your favorite hot dogs and interpret that to mean "go ahead and eat this cold," you could be making a dangerous mistake. According to the USDA, not heating up hot dogs to the point of steaming puts consumers at risk of listeriosis. Listeriosis is a foodborne illness that primarily affects people with weakened immune systems like pregnant women and older people (via CDC). 

Problems that can arise from developing listeriosis can include stillbirth, miscarriage, and premature delivery in pregnant women, and confusion, convulsions, and fever in non-pregnant individuals. So, if you're pregnant, very young or very old, or otherwise immunocompromised, it's probably best to just steer clear of hot dogs and other similar pork products (via CDC).

If, on the other hand, you're not high-risk and a huge fan of hot dogs, here's what you need to know to cook the perfect one: According to Epicurious, the internal temperature you want to aim for with your hot dogs is between 150 and 160 Fahrenheit; any less and the dog will be spongy and bland, any more and it could pop open and start to dry out. When it comes to method, you have a couple of options, depending on how much effort you're willing to put in.

The two best methods for reheating hot dogs

We've all probably boiled a hot dog at some point in our lives, and that's a pretty solid cooking method in a pinch. However, when it comes to cooking the perfect hot dog, Nick Kindelsperger at Epicurious recommends a two-step process. First, poach the hot dogs, then broil/grill them. This is actually a lot simpler than it sounds; you just have to heat some water to around 150 to 155 Fahrenheit, then drop the heat to low and add the dogs for about 10 minutes. During this time, set the broiler to the highest setting and transfer your dogs to the broiler for just a few minutes — until they start to char. This will give you all the texture of a seared or grilled dog, with the tender and flavorful interior of a poached dog. 

Of course, not everyone has the patience for a two-step hot dog process. Hot dogs are a quick convenience food, after all. For a faster version that's still effective, Bon Appétit recommends using a skillet. To get the best results with this method, keep the heat on medium-low so that the casings don't burst prematurely, and make sure you're turning the hot dog frequently so that all sides get seared and no part of the dog burns (via Today). Also, don't forget to place the bun cut side down in the same skillet so that it's nice and toasted when you serve!