It’s the big family barbecue. The sun is shining, the grill is hot, and the kids are having the time of their lives.
Though they’re not the only ones, for you own the grill. It’s more than a peripheral to cook food on; it’s more than just a kitchen utensil you got on the cheap from the department store. The grill is an extension of yourself.
The grill means control, it means freedom, and it means power.
Quite simply: nobody can cook a hot dog the way you do.
Yet, when you serve your delicious frankfurters, a strange sensation befalls the air. You can’t quite place it, but your throat tightens, and your gaze darts. Around you, you see naught but raised eyebrows from those you served to. Something’s wrong.
You forgot to toast the hot dog buns.
In an instant, your breathing grows shallow, and you squeeze your eyes shut. You can’t believe it. Your perfect barbecue is ruined, and all because you never toasted your buns to perfection.
It’s all over.
Of course, that doesn’t have to be you. With our guide in hand, you’ll be toasting buns to perfection, and your hot dogs will be the talk of the USA. Let’s get sizzling!
Today we’ll be:
- Toasting hot dog buns on the stove.
- Toasting hot dog buns in the oven.
- Toasting hot dog buns in a toaster oven.
Feel free to jump ahead to whichever section suits your needs best.
Toasting Hot Dog Buns on the Stove
Toasting buns on the stove can be challenging without breaking the joint between the two halves of the bun, but here’s what you have to do:
- Cut the bun’s center slightly deeper than you usually would, so the inside is fully exposed.
- Heat a skillet over the stove to medium-high heat. Allow a few minutes for it to come to temperature.
- Brush the entirety of the bun with 1tbsp of olive oil for enhanced flavor.
- Place the buns split-side down into the skillet.
- Toast the buns, keeping an eye on them, until slightly charred.
Pro-Tip: Try to keep the buns closer to the edges of the skillet. While the center of the skillet is the hottest point, the increased heat will create a greater risk of burning the bun.
Pro-Tip #2: Consider wrapping the outside of the bun in aluminum foil. This will act as a heat shield and lessen the chances of burning the bun.
Toasting Hot Dog Buns in the Oven
To toast buns in the oven, we’re going to broil them. If you haven’t got a broil setting on your oven, just pump that baby up to the highest heat setting. Broil temperatures range from 500–550°F.
Here’s what you’ve got to do:
- With the oven set to broil, allow it 5-10 minutes to come to temperature.
- Meanwhile, lay a baking sheet down onto a tray suitably sized to hold all of your buns.
- Cut the buns slightly deeper than usual so that you can lay them flat-side down on your prepared baking sheet.
- Brush the buns with 1tbsp of olive oil for better flavor.
- Place the buns on the oven rack in the middle of your oven to bake evenly.
- Leave them to broil for 5 minutes (but frequently check them as they burn easily).
- Remove the buns, and poke them with a fork to ensure they’re crisped to your preference.
Toasting Hot Dog Buns in the Toaster Oven
You’ll be glad to know toasting buns in the toaster oven is much the same as toasting them in a traditional oven.
Here’s the trick:
- Set the toaster oven to broil, and allow 5-10 minutes for it to reach temperature.
- While the toaster oven is coming to temperature, lay a baking sheet down onto a tray large enough to hold all of your buns — and large enough to fit into the toaster oven, of course.
- Cut the buns deeper than normal so that you can lay them with the cut-side down on your baking sheet.
- Place the buns in the center of the toaster oven to help them to bake evenly.
- Leave to broil for 5 minutes (but frequently check them as they burn easily).
- Remove the buns, and poke them with a fork to make sure they’re crisped to your preference.
If you follow these steps above, no matter which approach you choose, you’ll be a pro at baking buns in no time.
Are you making some tasty hamburger buns too? We’ve also got you covered.
Hamburger Buns #101 — Hot Dog’s Best Friend
What if we told you you could swap out all of the above steps for hamburger buns too? It’s true!
All you have to do is skip the step involving cutting the buns deeper than you usually would, and you’re all set to bring the juicy, tender burger patty along for the ride.
You can also cook the hamburger buns alongside your hot dog buns. The only difference here is you won’t cut the hot dog buns down the center, or lay them flat, to save room.
Lantmännen Unibake, an international supplier of bakery products, shows the perfect way to cook hamburger buns with hot dog buns:
Don’t they look delicious?
With that, let’s move on from hamburger buns and back to hot dog buns. We’re going to answer some frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Today we’ll be answering:
- Are hot dog buns healthy?
- Can hot dog buns be frozen?
- How are hot dog buns made?
- What are the best hot dog bun alternatives?
Are Hot Dog Buns Healthy?
How healthy a hot dog bun is depends on how you bake the bun (or which brand you choose when buying from a supermarket).
Hot dog buns can be high in sodium—which can cause increased blood pressure. Though that doesn’t necessarily mean all hot dog buns are unhealthy.
In truth, the best way to know if a bun is healthy or not is to look at the packaging label when you purchase the bun.
Let’s take a look at Udi’s Classic Hot Dog Buns, for example. This is a more healthy option of bun. An individual bun has:
- 170 calories
- 30g carbs
- 330mg sodium
- 0g Saturated fat
This is a great, healthy bun option because it’s gluten-free and great for your overall digestion. However, if you want gluten in your diet, you can also consider organic whole grains and whole wheat. Both are also great for your health.
Related: How Many Calories are in a Hot Dog?
Can Hot Dog Buns Be Frozen?
Absolutely! Hot dog buns don’t have the longest shelf life, but there’s no harm in putting them in the freezer to squeeze that extra bit of life out of them.
It’s best to freeze the hot dog buns in their packaging before you’ve opened them, but if you already have opened the packaging, or if you baked the buns yourself, then make sure to wrap each bun individually in aluminum foil.
Once frozen, use the buns within 3-4 months.
Related: Can You Freeze a Hot Dog (and For How Long)?
How Are Hot Dog Buns Made?
Marcus Leshock was lucky enough to make hot dog buns in Steve Rosen’s Bakery in Chicago, and he showed us the whole process. It’s quite fascinating:
Related: How Hot Dogs are Really Made [Video]
What Are the Best Hot Dog Bun Alternatives?
If the bun isn’t your style, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your hot dogs. We love pretzels too, and pretzel dogs are a great alternative to hot dogs. Here’s how to make them:
Become the Master of the Bun Today
Learning to toast hot dog buns properly is just the start of the wonderful hot dog journey; over at The Hot Dog, we want to be there to join you every step of the way.
Take a look at some of our favorite recipes, or if you’re eager to learn all there is to know about the dog, then check out some more of our excellent articles today. We can’t wait to see you there!
Keep sizzling, chef!
Photo by Marco Verch Professional Photographer / CC BY
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