Air Fryer Hot Dogs

Air Fryer Hot Dogs
AirFryer Logo
JAH Doggies Logo

Air Fryer Hot Dogs cooked for 3-5 minutes at 400 F. Serve on a Steamed, Toasted, or both a Steamed and Toasted Bun with your Favorite Toppings.

How to cook Hot Dogs in the Airfryer?

Hot Dogs are already packaged cooked. They only need to be heated up to serve.

In the Air Fryer, they only need about 3-5 minutes at 400F. Four minutes being more ideal. Any longer than this and you start losing flavor and the texture of the skin.

Since hot dogs cook in a relatively short time. Make sure that you preheat the air fryer for about 5 minutes at 400 F before cooking your hot dogs.

Air Fryer Hot Dog Cook Times

The Below picture shows the Hot Dogs and how long they were cooked for. The Air Fryer was preheated for 5 minutes and all hot dogs were brushed with Oil.

Air Fryer Cook Results
Air Fryer Cook Results
  • The 4 minutes Hot Dog tasted the best and had the best texture.
  • At 6-7 minutes the skin starts to go paper-like, whether they are brushed with Oil or not there is also a subtle loss of flavor.
  • Forget about 10 minutes, this is way too long. The skin separates and is paper-like. There is a noticeable loss in flavor. Just not good at all.

Lower temperatures do not produce as good hot dogs. You need the high temperature to heat the hot dogs through and develop the skin. Only for a short time though.

Three – Five Minutes (3-5 minutes) produces the best results. Ideally 4 minutes.

Should you make Splits in the Hot Dogs?

The Hot Dogs themselves do not taste any different with or without slits. However, the slits in the Hot Dogs is a very nice visual.

With higher quality Hot Dogs, slits may be made to avoid the Hot Dogs from splitting, although if you reach this point, it is an indication that you are cooking your hot dogs too long. Entirely up to you whether you make slits in the Hot Dogs or not.

If you decide to make slits, make them shallow. If you slice them down halfway through or more, they may break apart when handling them. Nice shallow cuts are all that is needed.

Why do my Hot Dogs Split

Cheap Hot Dogs

The first is that you are using cheap hot dogs. The cheaper versions of hot dogs come with slits in them already. It can be very hard to tell and one would be baffled trying to figure out why the hot dogs keep splitting, I was.

I went through a whole package of Hot Dogs. Cooking them at different temps, boiling and then air frying, bringing them to room temp before cooking, piercing them with a fork all over, turning them over halfway or not, cooking for less time, cooking at lower temps, skewering the hot dogs. Nothing worked.

I suspected something wasn’t right when I butterflied the hot dogs and they still split, lol. Baffled I looked really close at the Hot Dogs and saw that all of them were already split by the company. They come packaged this way.

Cheaper Hot Dogs come prepackaged with a Slit in them to release pressure when the hot dogs cook. So no matter what you do, they are always going to split. This is not the case with higher-quality hot dogs.

Too long of a cook

With better quality hot dogs that still split, is an indication that the Hot Dogs were exposed to heat for too long. The temperature doesn’t matter. They can split at a lower temp just as well. Although this is usually seen with higher temps because the effects happen much quicker.

Heat makes things expand, and if the casing holds that pressure in until it is too much, the skin splits.

To fix this, adjust the time your Hot Dogs are exposed to the heat.

Should you brush Air Fryer Hot dogs with Oil?

When I tested the below picture with one hot dog cooked as is and the other with Oil, there were only a subtle difference. Barely noticeable.

Air Fryer Hot Dogs No Oil vs Oiled
Air Fryer Hot Dogs No Oil vs Oiled

The one brushed with Oil did have better skin on it, by a little bit. I did only use a neutral oil with no flavoring. With flavored oil or rendered fat, then the difference is noticeable.

Not only is fat preferred for better cooking of the skin, but flavored fats or rendered fat add more flavor to the hot dogs. Although this is optional.

Air Fried Hot Dogs
Air Fried Hot Dogs

Types of fat to use for Air Fryer Hot Dogs

I often use JAH Meat Oil to brush the Hot Dogs with which offers a light smokey flavor to the hot dogs as well. It is a very subtle flavoring. You can cut the Oil by half to have a more pronounced flavoring or up the amount of Liquid Smoke. Additionally, Salt & Pepper may be added to the Oil before brushing the Hot Dogs. Entirely up to you.

With Sausages, you don’t have to do this. You could if you wanted. Sausages kind of baste themselves. Hot Dogs do not and are on the dry side. So they need a little help with a brushing of oil.

Meat Oil
Meat Oil

I usually use the JAH Meat Oil or Bacon Grease if I have it on hand. Bacon Grease works wonderfully with Hot Dogs. As does melted Butter.

You can even use Coconut Fat or Oils as well as Olive Oils. You don’t need much. Just enough to brush the Hot dogs once all the way around.

Hot Dog Buns

Steamed Buns

Place the Buns in a steamer and steam until softened.

One of the tricks that I do is place a pan with water on the stovetop and place a pizza screen over top. I steam the Hot Dog Buns this way with a cover that allows room for the buns.

I have a steamer, but I find this method a lot faster and more convenient.

Toasted Buns

After the Hot Dogs are done. Place them into the Buns and then place them into the Air Fryer to toast the Hot Dog buns for 1 – 2 minutes.

This is also a great time to add any toppings that need to be heated such as Cheese, Bacon, Onions, Mushrooms, or anything else that could be heated.

Another Toasted method is to butter the buns and toast them in a frying pan over medium heat. This softens the buns as well and creates a toasted inside, the same as you do for hamburger buns.

Steamed and Toasted Buns

First Steam and then Toast the Hot Dog Buns.

This produces a soft and chewy but toasty Hot Dog Bun. This is actually my favorite way to enjoy Hot Dogs and if you try it, it may become yours too. It is Light and Soft but at the same time Toasty. It’s just too good!

Air fryer Hot Dogs
Air fryer Hot Dogs

Air Fryer Hot Dogs

Air Fryer Hot Dogs cooked for 3-5 minutes at 400 F. Serve on a Steamed, Toasted, or both a Steamed and Toasted Bun with your Favorite Toppings.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time4 mins
Course: Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Air Fried Hot Dogs, Air Fryer Hot Dogs, Doggies, Hot Dogs, Steamy, Toasty
Servings: 4 portions
Author: JAH

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Ingredients

  • 4 Hot Dog Buns
  • 4 Hot Dogs
  • JAH Meat Oil – or use any flavored oil to brush the hot dogs

Instructions

  • Make ahead the Meat oil and brush the Hot Dogs with it.
  • Steam the Hot Dog Buns and set them aside until the hot dogs are cooked.
  • Optionally make slits in the Hot Dogs for appeal. Place the Hot Dogs into the Air Fryer with space between them. Cook at 400 F for 4 minutes. Flipping them halfway through or give the basket a shake to roll the Hot Dogs around.
  • When the Hot Dogs are done, place them into the steamed buns and place the doggies into the air fryer with space between them to air fry at 400 F for a few minutes to toast to desired level.