How long can you eat hot dogs after the expiration date?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long can you eat hot dogs after the expiration date?”, and how to freeze hot dogs?

How long can you eat hot dogs after the expiration date?

An unopened package of hot dogs that is continuously refrigerated after the purchase will be safe to eat upto a week after the sell-by date. 

If the hot dogs are refrigerated in an air-tight container, they may still be okay to eat after the expiry. Always inspect the smell, texture, and appearance of hot dogs. If you are unsure, toss them in the bin.

How long can you freeze hot dogs?

Hot dogs can be safely frozen for 1-3 months, depending upon the ingredients and the nature of the processing of the hot dogs. The storage time will also depend upon the freezing method.

Generally, noticeable changes start to occur in the texture and overall quality of the hot dogs after 3 months of storage. So, frozen hot dogs are best consumed within these 3 months.

How long can you refrigerate hot dogs?

An unopened package of hot dogs can sit in the fridge for 2 weeks maximum. While an opened package will only last a week.

How to freeze hot dogs?

An unopened package of hot dogs should be tossed in the freezer within 2 hours of its purchase. This step will make sure there are little to no chances of bacterial growth. Thus ensuring the safety and quality of the product. 

For freezing an opened package of hot dogs, follow the steps below. This method can be used to freeze traditional beef dogs, pork and lamb hot dogs, or even sausages. 

Drain before freezing

This is an important step to prevent the formation of ice along with the hot dogs during freezing. If the liquid is not drained, it will form ice crystals that will damage the texture of the hot dogs upon defrosting. Toss the drained hot dogs into a Tupperware container, or a heavy-duty freezer bag.

Secure and seal 

Make sure the lid of the storage container has a tight seal. This should minimize the exposure of air to hot dogs. If you are using a freezer bag, get rid of the excess air by pressing the bag. 

You can also create a vacuum-like environment in the bag by using a straw to suck the air from the bag. Reducing the air contact will prolong the shelf -life of the hot dogs.

Label and freeze

Putting a label will help you practice stock rotation so that the first-in product is always first-out. Plus, tracking the storage time of the product gives you an estimate of its quality and safety. Finally, chuck the bag into the freezer.

How to freeze tinned hot dogs?

An opened tin of hot dogs or leftover hot dogs can be frozen by the method detailed above in the article. 

However, an unopened tin of hot dogs does not need to be frozen. The freezing temperature and environment are damaging for the tin metal and its contents. 

Keep the unopened tin in a cool, dry, and dark place for an indefinite period of time. For a more accurate estimation of the shelf-life of tinned hot dogs, refer to the information on the label. 

Tips for successfully freezing hot dogs ‘

Put a clear label: A clear label will help you distinguish between different but closely related food products. It is because you can hardly differentiate between meat and vegetarian hot dogs after they are frozen. 

Make portions before freezing: You should be able to gauge how many hot dogs you will need in one go. Store that portion in one bag. This will prevent the need to defrost a  whole bunch of hot dogs that are not even needed. 

Fold each hot dog into wax paper and put the wrapped hot dogs into a freezer bag to prevent them from sticking. 

Store a hot dog meal: This is possible and makes meal prep easier. You can store your hot dog meals with pasta sauce, a stew, or a pie safely.

How to defrost hot dogs?

Overnight defrosting is preferred. However, you can also thaw your frozen hot dogs during the day. Hot dogs need several hours of refrigeration before they are completely thawed. Meat or meat-related products should never be thawed on the counter. 

Can you refreeze hot dogs?

A big no to that! The freezing and thawing cycle deteriorates the quality of hot dogs to a great extent. Not only the quality but there is also a risk of food safety involved here. It is best to consume the thawed hot dogs within 1 to a maximum of 3 days of refrigeration. 


In this article, we answered the question “How long can you eat hot dogs after the expiration date?”, and how to freeze hot dogs?


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