If you have kids in the house, it’s SO important to know How to Boil Hot Dogs! No more under or over cooking these bad boys – follow this super simple technique to have the best boiled hot dogs, every time. If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll be asking for a hot dog for lunch every day once you master this easy recipe!

A hot dog is drizzled with ketchup and mustard.

How to Boil a Hot Dog

Let’s be real – we’ve all boiled hot dogs before. I mean, it’s not like it’s a fancy trick! Growing up, this was an after school delicacy, and my kids gobble them up the same way I used to. It’s pretty funny to see how when it comes to staple kid-friendly dishes, some things really never change!

Since I’m making boiled hot dogs in my house so often, I thought, why not share my technique with everyone else? Through just enough trial and error of both under and over cooking the hot dogs, I’ve finally found the perfect method that yields the best boiled hot dogs. It works for pretty much any brand of hot dog!

So say goodbye to cold centers or mushy, overheated hot dogs, and hello to perfectly boiled hot dogs that your whole family will love. Whether you top with them ketchup, mustard, or The Very Best Hot Dog Chili, you’re going to be so pleased with these easy boiled hot dogs.

Hot dogs are being boiled on a stovetop.

How to Make Them

Add water. Add the water to a large saucepan and stir in the salt, if using. I recommend using salt, simply because it helps the water boil faster! Toss a pinch of salt into the pot and cover it with a lid – you’ll be surprised at how quickly the water comes to a boil.

Toss in the hot dogs. Once the water comes to a boil over medium heat, carefully add the hot dogs to the boiling water.

Simmer. Turn the heat to low and simmer the hot dogs for 4-5 minutes. If your hot dogs are frozen, simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Serve. Once cooked, removed the hot dogs from the water, and serve immediately. Enjoy!

A pair of silver tongs is lifting a hot dog from a pot of boiling water.

What to Serve Hot Dogs With

Besides a bag of chips and a juice box, here are some picky-eater approved side dishes to serve next to your hot dogs! These recipes aren’t just kid-friendly, either – adults love them just as much! When I indulge and have a hot dog for lunch, I make sure to have one of these delicious sides with it.

A hot dog is placed next to pickle spears and macaroni salad.

What should I top my hot dogs with?

If I’m serving a bunch of hot dogs to a crowd, I always offer a smorgasbord of topping options! Ketchup, mustard, and Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce are just some of my favorite sauces to offer.

Besides sauces, I also always offer toppings like relish, pickled jalapeños, and thinly sliced white onions! While most kids will stick with ketchup, my fellow grown-up friends love having all the different options to choose from like these NY Style Onions.

What kind of hot dogs should I use?

With most ingredients, I almost always say to go for the fresher option, not the frozen one. But with this easy hot dog boiling technique, it really doesn’t make a big difference! Once they’re cooked, you would never be able to tell the difference between a refrigerated or frozen hot dog. The only thing to take note of is that a frozen hot dog will take a few more minutes to cook.

As far as brands go, I think most hot dogs are created equal! Any hot dog you choose will cook perfectly with this easy boiling and simmering method. Whether they’re pork, beef, turkey, or even a vegetarian option, they should boil to completion by following these simple steps.

Two hot dogs are plated next to juice boxes.

Check out these other kid-friendly recipes to make while your little one’s home for lunch all summer long!

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A hot dog is drizzled with ketchup and mustard.

Get the Recipe: How To Boil Hot Dogs

The most fool proof way to boil hot dogs so they're snappy, juicy and perfect every time.
4.67 from 3 votes


  • 1 quart water
  • Pinch of kosher salt, optional
  • 8 hot dogs


  • saucepan


  • Add the water to a large saucepan and stir in the salt, if using.
  • Bring the water to a boil over medium heat and add the hot dogs.
  • Turn the heat to low and simmer for 4-5 minutes. (If your hot dogs are frozen, simmer for 8-10 minutes.)
  • Remove from the water and serve immediately.
Calories: 111kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 314mg, Potassium: 66mg, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 1mg