How Long Do Hot Dogs Last? Do Hot Dogs Go Bad?
Are you curious how long do hot dogs last in the refrigerator? Stick around as we share the answer and more.
If there is a go-to treat that you can serve on nearly any casual occasion, that would probably be the humble hot dog. From wild parties to tranquil bonfires, to weekend marathon nights with friends, this sausage makes a great addition to any event.
Plus, the food is impressively versatile. Whether eaten alone, paired with rice, teamed up with marshmallows, or put between buns, hot dogs have proven themselves an all-time favorite. If you love this delicious treat as well, you might choose to get them in huge packs to ensure that you don’t run out.
But how long do they last? Is it really better to get them in huge packs or is it better to only get a few to avoid wasting money when the rest spoil? Here, we have prepared a brief guide on everything you need to know about hot dogs. Read on to see how long they last, how you can properly store them, and more.
Hot Dogs – What’s So Special About Them?
It’s hard to find someone who despises hot dogs. In fact, the vast majority love them! And, they are considered the ultimate American food.
To date, the true history of hot dogs remains vague and several conflicting claims exist. In one particular narrative, their origins trace back to two Austro-Hungarian immigrants. Meanwhile, in another story, a butcher in Germany gets credit for inventing hot dogs.
Whichever is true, they remain a popular food choice, even adopting different variants – including cheese dogs, Chicago-style hot dogs, corn dogs, Montreal hot dogs, and many more.
Generally, hot dogs can be made with different types of meat. They are made from meat trimmings that are ground up really finely, mixed with other ingredients to add flavor, and then formed into their shape.
Normally, they taste like very mild pâté. Often, they come paired with ketchup and/or mustard, to give the sausages a boost of flavor.
How Long Do Hot Dogs Last?
Generally, as with all other foods, the shelf life of a hot dog depends on many factors. Specifically, it depends on the preparation method and the storage method.
When properly stored, an unopened pack of hotdogs can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator and 4 to 6 months in the freezer.
Meanwhile, if you’re dealing with an opened pack, fresh hotdogs are likely to last up to 1 week in the refrigerator and 4 to 6 months in the freezer. The same timeframe applies to cooked hot dogs that you want to store for a later meal.
Of course, this will only work if you have stored your hotdogs properly. If you simply stuffed them straight into the refrigerator or freezer without giving it much thought, expect a shorter shelf life.
How to Properly Store Hot Dogs?
There are many ways to properly store them. The best bet is to put them immediately in an air-tight container, free of moisture, and store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
It’s also important not to leave them at room temperature for over 2 hours.
When it’s time to serve them, cook them until steaming hot before eating. It doesn’t matter whether the packaging says they are fully cooked, partially cooked, or raw. It’s always crucial to cook the hot dogs to avoid food poisoning and other illnesses, such as Listeria.
How to Tell If Hot Dogs Have Gone Bad, Rotten or Spoiled?
You can determine whether your hotdogs have gone bad, rotten, or spoiled in many ways.
As a rule of thumb, the best way is to rely on your senses. Normally, spoiled ones give off a sour and funky smell, and they tend to look dull and may get a white slime on them. They also tend to change from a bright red to a brownish-red or, in some cases, grayish in appearance.
If you’ve observed all these, throw them away as certain health risks come with eating a rotten or spoiled hot dog.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’ve cooked too many hot dogs for one seating or made the mistake of buying numerous huge packs, knowing how to preserve them will ensure that you can enjoy the most out of them without the risk of getting a stomachache.
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