How long are hot dogs good for in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long are hot dogs good for in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of hot dogs in the fridge. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of hot dogs in different mediums and ways to spot bad hot dogs.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long are hot dogs good for in the fridge?

An unopened box of hot dogs lasts for about 2 weeks if stored properly in the fridge all the time at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

On the other hand, once opened, there is a limited time during which you can enjoy the optimum quality of hot dogs. Open hot dogs last for about a week when stored properly in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of hot dogs.

What is the optimum temperature to store hot dogs?

You should always store your hot dogs at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it is always advised to store your hot dogs at a lower temperature to preserve their freshness for a long time.

How long do hot dogs last at room temperature?

The hot dogs last for about 2 hours when kept at room temperature. 

You should discard the hot dogs that have been left in the open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the hot dogs being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.

Moreover, if the temperature of the surroundings is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then the process of spoilage takes place at a faster pace and it is recommended to discard hot dogs that are left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long do hot dogs last in the freezer?

In case of the prepackaged hot dogs have not been opened yet, you can store them in the freezer after overwrapping them with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

On the other hand, if you have opened the pack, you should transfer the rest of the hot dogs to the plastic freezer bag or heavy-duty freezer container and store it in the freezer. Properly stored hot dogs last for about 1-2 months in the freezer.

Thus, the shelf life of hot dogs increases owing to the cold temperature of the freezer that halts the microbial growth on it.

How to thaw frozen hot dogs?

The recommended way to thaw the frozen hot dogs is to leave them in the refrigerator overnight and let them thaw there. The hot dogs thawed this way can stay in the fridge for additional 3-4 days before cooking.

Conversely, you can thaw the frozen hot dogs in a bowl of cold water but you should reheat and use it immediately after thawing. 

Moreover, if you are thawing and reheating the hot dogs in the oven or microwave it is recommended to use them immediately. 

You can read how to make chicken hot dogs here.

How to tell if the hot dogs have gone bad?

Certain indicators point out bad hot dogs. You can tell whether or not your hot dogs have gone bad by considering their appearance, texture, and smell.

Appearance

If you can see some off-color or if you can spot molds or dark spots on the surface of the hot dogs then it is the indication that it has gone bad and the best thing to do in this scenario is to discard it.

Texture

If you can feel something slimy or gooey while touching the hot dogs then it means that it has gone bad as the fresh hot dogs have a firm texture.

But keep one thing in mind that rinsing the hot dogs won’t help you in this scenario as you won’t be able to get rid of the bacteria. Rinsing the bacteria-laden hot dogs will put you at risk of cross-contamination as the bacteria will spread in the utensils and other food items that will come in contact with the water from the hot dogs that has gone bad.

Smell

If you can smell something acidic, or some ammonia-like or sulfur-like putrid smell while taking a sniff test of your hot dogs then it means that your hot dogs have gone bad and you should discard it. 

Thus you should consider the indicators discussed above to reach a final verdict on whether or not your hot dogs are still suitable to consume.

Tips to properly store hot dogs

  1. When it comes to refrigeration, you should always store your hot dogs at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  1. It is a good practice to store hot dogs on the shelf of the fridge or freezer rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge or freezer.
  1. If you want to freeze the hot dogs it is better to wrap them in aluminum foil, cling film, or a freezer bag before putting them in an air-tight heavy-duty freezer container and storing it in the freezer.
  1. Once you have thawed the frozen hot dogs, you should not refreeze them.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long are hot dogs good for in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of hot dogs in the fridge. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of hot dogs in different mediums and ways to spot bad hot dogs.

Citations

https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-long-can-you-keep-hot-dogs
https://agrilifefoodsafety.tamu.edu/files/2011/03/USDA-Hot_Dogs_and_Food_Safety.pdf
https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/17420

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.