Q. I love frankfurter style hotdogs but I have just moved into shared halls of residence at university. There isn’t an oven or stove that I can use to heat them up. All we have in the shared ‘kitchen’ is a toaster, coffee maker and a microwave! I tried cooking hotdogs in there and followed the instructions on the packet but they came out dry in some places and unevenly cooked. Is there a way to do it so that they are properly cooked through? I was worried they might not be safe to eat as my experimentation left some parts quite cold.
A. Nearly everyone loves hotdogs. A quick, inexpensive snack that’s perfect during your study breaks. Hotdogs are already cooked when you buy them so they just need to be reheated. While some suggest cooking a hot dog in the microwave, possibly wrapped in their packaging (see manufacturer’s guidelines first) or a paper towel, this can result in very uneven cooking, splitting of the hotdog and even dry spots. While probably safe to eat since they are precooked, they probably won’t make for a very enjoyable meal.
Instead, try boiling the hotdog in the microwave with a microwave safe dish. The following method gives a satisfying texture and even heat every time. It is just as quick too.
Firstly, to prevent the dogs from splitting while cooking in the microwave, score the skin lengthwise to create a lengthways slit along each one.
Next, choose a microwave safe glass or plastic bowl that will hold all of your hotdogs and half fill it with water. As long as the hotdogs are almost fully submerged, they will be covered well enough. Make sure the bowl isn’t too shallow to avoid painful spillages when you come to remove them.
Place the bowl of hotdogs in the microwave and set to one minute. You can check if they are ready by cutting off the tip of one. If it is piping hot, they are ready. You might also notice a slight color change to the skin or a little wrinkling too but this can depend on the brand. If they aren’t ready, put them back in for another 30 seconds and check again.
If you are cooking more than two or three hotdogs at a time, they may need a little longer in order to reach the piping hot stage.
Once they are ready, carefully remove from the microwave and drain them, dry them further by placing them on a paper towel before serving in your favourite bun.