Hot dogs aren’t just a get-it-and-go snack you get from a food stand – they can actually be a really reliable dinner, especially with the right toppings! Why not learn to make them extra tasty with an air fryer?
For a classic combination, why not try using your air fryer to make Air Fryer French Fries to serve alongside your hot dogs? Or for a slightly healthier option, you could make Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries instead!
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Air Fryer Hot Dogs
Hot dogs have a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to home cooking – most people think that they are only useful as a snack outside of a sports stadium, and have no place inside of a home kitchen.
However, prepared properly, hot dogs are more than just a quick and meaty bite. When cooked in an air fryer and really given the opportunity to crisp up and brown, hot dogs take on a surprisingly intense flavor and can actually be a really great dinner when paired with the right buns.
What To Do If Your Hot Dogs Are Frozen
Unless you happened to pick up a pack of “fresh” hot dogs from the supermarket on a whim just that same day, or you are using those ones that come in long, thin jars filled with liquid, your hot dogs are probably going to be frozen solid.
Not to worry, though – this is one of the best things about hot dogs!
One of the things that makes hot dogs great is their incredible convenience when it comes to making them ready for cooking.
While you could easily just leave them sitting in the fridge for 24 hours to defrost normally, you probably are never going to actively plan on having hot dogs the next day.
Instead, you just get that urge for some hot dogs in as little time as physically possible.
To quickly defrost your hot dogs, just let them sit in their packet under some cold water for about 1-2 hours.
Even if the water is cold, the hot dogs will quickly defrost, making them ready for the air fryer!
What Type Of Buns Should You Use?
The other half of making really great hot dogs for dinner is about choosing the right buns.
More than half of every bite of your hot dog is going to be made up of bun, so you need to make sure the bun is something that you really like.
Just plain old hot dog buns are perfectly fine, and most regular buns sold in supermarkets will have that same milky, soft texture that pairs just fine with a hot dog.
However, for those that want a little more flavor in their buns, why not try going for something like a seeded bun?
Whether draped in sesame seeds, or even poppy seeds, toasted seeds adhering to the top of a bun can provide a huge amount of additional flavor, as well as texture.
Certain regional hot dogs, like the Chicago dog, require seeding as a matter of principle, so maybe try adapting your hot dog a bit to create something close to that if you are looking for something with a more unique and intense flavor.
Tips For Toasting The Buns And Maximizing Flavor
One of the most obvious ways to improve the flavor of your hot dogs is to give the buns a really thorough toasting before you stick your hot dog inside it.
While you could just throw your hot dog buns into the oven for a little bit of time just before your hot dogs are done, the best way to develop their flavor is to give them a liberal coating of butter before toasting this.
This means spreading softened butter on the insides of the cut-open buns, and then either grilling the buns until they become golden brown or frying them gently over low heat.
While it might seem like a bit of needless additional work, everyone deserves to enjoy toasted buns, so take the extra 5 minutes to do it right.
Hot Dog Condiments
No hot dog is complete without a wealth of different condiments poured all over them, but the regular tradition of just ketchup and mustard sometimes isn’t enough.
Here are a few more options for good hot dog condiments that can liven up your dogs.
- Diced Onions
Diced onions are a great classic for hot dogs, because not only do they contribute a ton of their own flavor, but also provide some textural contrast as well.
Relish is a favorite among New York hot dog enjoyers, but its sweet, acidic mix of pickles and sauce is a great way to change up the acidity balance of your hot dogs.
A great mainstay of any easy food like hot dogs, sauces like ketchup, mustard, and mayo are an easy way to liven up your hot dogs. However, instead of the boring, basic sauces, why not try blending them together?
A little bit of chipotle blended into your mayo turns your hot dog into a chipotle dog!
Not just reserved for burgers, a little bit of melty cheese sprinkled over the top of your hot dogs not only changes the texture but adds a ton of fatty richness as well.
Finally, a few diced tomatoes well seasoned not only contributes plenty of acidity but also provide that little extra hit of juiciness that makes each bite an explosion of flavor.
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Air Fryer Hot Dogs
- Prep Time
- 2 minutes
- Cook Time
- 5 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 4 hot dogs
- 4 hot dog buns
- Preheat your air fryer to 400° if necessary.
- Place the buns flat side down in the air fryer basket and cook for 1-2 minutes until they are lightly toasted. Remove and set on a plate.
- Add the hot dogs in a single layer to the air fryer basket and cook for 3-5 minutes. Larger hot dogs may need 5-6 minutes
- Top with all your favorite condiments like ketchup, mustard, relish, or diced red onions.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.