Can you eat hot dogs without microwaving or grilling them?

hot dogs

Can you eat raw hot dogs?

Eating raw hot dogs is nearly impossible to do, given they've already been cooked and processed well before they make it to the grocery store.

However, if you had access to wherever they're processed you could theoretically consume the ingredients in their raw, unprocessed state. Now, this sounds dangerous, but I had to do some research to determine whether it'd be safe to do so or not.

What are hot dogs made of?

What hot dogs are made of largely depends on the brand and type of hot dog in question. Your standard, Nathan's hot dog, for example, is comprised of these ingredients:

  • Beef

  • Water

  • Contains 2% or less of Salt

  • Sorbitol

  • Potassium Lactate

  • Natural Flavorings

  • Sodium Phosphates

  • Hydrolyzed Corn Protein

  • Paprika

  • Sodium Diacetate

  • Sodium Erythorbate

  • Sodium Nitrite

The only thing within that ingredient list that sounds like food is beef. Beef can be safely consumed if it's cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees or 71 degrees celcius. Given that beef is the chief ingredient in the most popular hot dogs, then the answer to your question can you eat hot dogs raw, is a resounding no!

But, what about non-beef, vegetarian hot dogs? Can those be eaten raw? Well, the answer to that question also depends on the ingredients the hot dog is made of.

Let's take a look at what the most popular vegan hot dogs are made of.

What are vegan hot dogs made of?

  • Legumes

  • Grains

  • Other plant proteins

  • Soy protein

  • Pea protein

  • Vegetable oils

  • Spices

  • Sunflower oil

  • Coconut oil

  • Red lentils

  • Quinoa

  • Tofu

  • Seitan

Now, these ingredients sound gross, and I can attest that veggie dogs are probably one of the nastiest things I've ever conceived. But, given the main ingredients are tofu, grains, and other plant parts, It's probably safe to eat without cooking.

But just because you can, doesn't mean you should. If you're short on time just throw it into the microwave. To help you out, I've included some hot dog cooking tips to help you prevent hot dogs from splitting.

How long to microwave a hot dog

The length of time needed to cook a hot dog in a microwave depends on the size of the hot dog and, more importantly, the wattage of your microwave. To heat a hot dog to its recommended internal temperature of 160 degrees (71 degrees Celsius) in a 1000 watt microwave, place a thick napkin over it and cook it for 40 - 60 seconds.

Here is a simple chart to help you determine the optimal heating time given the number of hot dogs.

Number of Hot Dogs Microwave Wattage (W) Recommended Heating Time
1 1000 40-50 seconds
2 1000 1 minute - 1 minute 20 seconds
3 1000 1 minute 30 seconds - 2 minutes
4 1000 2 minutes - 2 minutes 30 seconds

Any longer than this for a single hot dog will result in an ugly, split dog. Keep in mind that microwaves often cook unevenly, so let the hot dog sit for a bit before eating to prevent mouth burns.

Matt Irving is the CEO of Super Easy Tech, LLC.
Matt is the founder of Fueling Food, Make It Super Easy, and Super Easy CRM. He is a beast of a software engineer, blogger, and gamer. Feel free to connect on any of the platforms listed below.

Posted by: Matt Irving on 11/05/2023


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