Ensuring the freshness of hot dogs after opening the pack demands proper storage methods.
After all, there’s nothing worse than going to cook yourself a delicious hot dog only to find that they have seen better days!
So, what’s the most effective way to store hot dogs to maintain their freshness and taste?
Let’s find out!
Hot dog shelf life and how to store hot dogs effectively
You’ll find many different types and sizes of hot dogs in food stores across the U.S. They have a reasonably long shelf-life for a meat product due to their pre-cooked and vacuum-packed nature.
Once you open a pack of hot dogs, it should be immediately stored in a refrigerator. The manufacturer’s use-by date can provide an estimate of how long the hot dogs will remain fresh.
After the seal is broken, you should consume the hot dogs within the following three to seven days maximum.
Store the hot dogs in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge to maintain their freshness for as long as possible.
It’s possible to freeze hot dogs for up to six months at 0 degrees F. The majority of standard cooking methods mean that hot dogs can go straight from your freezer to the grill or pot.
Hot dogs should always be stored in an airtight container, resealable plastic bag, or the original vacuum-sealed packaging.
Top tip: A little tip that we have is to add a small amount of water into the container or bag before you seal it! This will help to keep your hot dogs fresh for longer.
If you don’t think you’ll eat the hot dogs within the next week, the best thing to do is freeze them so you can consume them at a later date.
Do you need to refrigerate hot dogs?
Proper storage is critical in ensuring your hot dogs last for as long as possible! While hot dogs are cooked and cured, you do need to store them in a fridge.
If they are allowed to sit out on your kitchen bench for more than a couple of hours, the best thing to do is throw the hot dogs into the trash. It’s not worth the risk!
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, you can only eat cooked hot dogs that have been left out at room temperature for two hours. If the temperature at your home is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you should only eat hot dogs that have been left out for up to one hour.
Anything longer and the hot dogs should be discarded.
Why you need to store hot dogs correctly
Have you ever experienced food poisoning before?
If so, we don’t need to say anything else! You’ll know that it’s not a very enjoyable experience, to say the least!
This is an illness that happens when you eat food that has been contaminated, which can happen if you don’t store hot dogs properly.
In a lot of cases, people recover within a matter of days. However, there have been situations where food poisoning has been life-threatening.
Listeria is one of the less common forms of food poisoning. Nevertheless, it is something you can get if you eat raw hot dogs that aren’t supposed to be consumed cold, if you don’t store your hot dogs correctly, or allow your hot dogs to reach the proper internal temperature.
It’s especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, and the elderly.
Tips on storing your hot dogs properly to ensure you don’t get food poisoning
Here are some tips you can follow to make sure your hot dogs are stored correctly, so you don’t suffer from a bad stomach:
- Respect ‘use-by’ dates – A good place to start is by respecting the ‘use-by’ dates on the packaging. If the hot dogs in question have passed this date, throwing them into the bin is a good idea. After all, this date isn’t simply plucked out of the air. It’s been determined through scientific testing, which concludes the speed at which harmful bugs can develop in packaged foods.
- Quickly cool leftovers – If you have cooked too many hot dogs and you’re not going to eat all of them straight away, it makes sense to cool them as quickly as possible, i.e. within around an hour and a half, and you should store them in either the fridge or freezer. If you put the hot dogs in the fridge, consume them within a few days. Check out our best leftover hot dog recipes for some inspiration!
- Ensure your fridge is between 35-38°F (1.6-3.3°C) – A lot of people don’t realize that the temperature of their fridge has a massive impact on food safety. Always make sure that the temperature of your fridge is less than 38°F. We’d advise checking this with a fridge thermometer. If the temperature is above this, germs can grow and multiply. We also advise you not to overfill your fridge. If you do, air will not circulate correctly, which can negatively affect the overall temperature.
- Raw meat should go on the bottom shelf of your fridge – Aside from the points we have discussed above, if you have raw hot dogs, make sure you store them on the bottom shelf of your fridge. You also need to ensure the bottom shelf is covered fully. This is beneficial because it ensures raw meat doesn’t touch or drip onto other foods.
How long will a hot dog last once the packet has been opened?
Once you have opened a packet of hot dogs, they should last for around one week if you store them in your fridge.
If your hot dogs are stored in your freezer, you can expect them to last approximately one month.
To ensure your hot dogs stay fresh and taste amazing, you must store them correctly.
Follow these tips to store your hot dogs properly!
So there you have everything you need to know about hot dog storage. We hope that the tips and advice that we’ve provided you with in this blog post will help to make sure that your hot dogs stay as fresh for as long as possible.
If you’re ever in doubt, the best thing to do is throw your hot dogs in the trash. We know; no one wants to see a good hot dog go to waste. However, the last thing you want to do is get food poisoning because you’ve eaten a hot dog that’s gone wrong.
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