Here's How To Get The Costco Hot Dog Experience At Home

What's the best part of shopping at Costco? While many people would say it's the bargains, the truth is, if you're single or just someone who doesn't need to feed a small army, and/or you're perfectly okay with generic brands, you might actually be better off shopping at Walmart. Of course, it's always fun to see what wacky products are on offer at Costco and speculating on just who is going to buy all those gallons of mayonnaise or wedding cakes made of cheese. If you think about it. A Costco membership will cost you about as much as it would take to see 5 movies, so it had better provide some entertainment value for the bucks.

Perhaps the very best part of the whole Costco experience, however, is the food court. Is it that the food itself is so good, or is it the way they've positioned the court as a hard-earned reward at the end of a grueling (and often expensive) journey that makes these treats seem so desirable? Well, there's one way to find out, and that is by doing the best you can to recreate the experience at home. With the pizza this is easy enough – just buy a whole pizza to go. A DIY Costco hotdog, however, is going to take a little (though really only a little) bit more work.

How Costco cooks its hot dogs

A Redditor once posed the question "How do you guys cook the Costco hot dogs?" and of course these magic words drew upvotes and responses galore. While most commenters thought they were being asked their own preferred hot dog cooking technique and suggested methods ranging from toaster oven to slow cooker to air fryer, others interpreted it as a query about how Costco cooks their hot dogs. One commenter gave a succinct "in boiling water," while another expanded upon this by saying "Typically it's in hot but not boiling water until at least 165 degrees."

A Redditor named CatPancake, however, offered the most comprehensive directions for preparing the iconic Costco dog: "The food court cooks them in 180° water until they are at 165°(one pack takes about 15 min in the steam tables), and holds them for up to an hour from putting them in. Have enough water to fully cover them with some room and maybe leave them in the water a little longer than it takes to heat them through to pull some salt, maybe 30 min total." If you want to go above and beyond for extra authenticity, pile cardboard boxes sky-high around your dining room and maybe even invite the neighbor's kids over to run around screaming and squirting ketchup on one another. Congratulations, you've created the Costco-at-home experience, the closest you can come to warehouse store dining without actually being there.