How Long Do Hot Dogs Last? The Answer May Amaze You

It’s time for a summer barbeque, and you might think of having a couple of drinks with your friends and enjoying some nice Chicago-style hot dogs covered in a mountain of cheese and mustard.

Then you suddenly remember the hot dog’s package you bought last month, but you didn’t get the chance to use them.

So, How long do hot dogs last? Typically, the purchased hot dogs can be good within a week after opening if you keep them in the cooling room at the refrigerator.

However, it is possible to keep them for 1 or 2 months and keep their texture and flavor if you keep them in an air-tight container in the freezer.

It’s probably not that dramatic like I’ve described, but if you have the same question, stick around and find the answer in my post!.

Do Hot Dogs Go Bad?

The answer to your aching question, “Can hot dogs go bad?” is yes; hot dogs can go bad. Like any form of food, they cannot avoid the process of spoilage.

A hot dog is a thin sausage that can be rolled in a bun and topped with sauces.

The sausage meat might look smooth and unfamiliar, but it is also the same type you’d find in your kitchen. There are two ways you can have hot dogs: cooked or cured. 

The common meat you can find in hot dogs is turkey, ham, ground beef, pork, and poultry. These sausages tend to be a part of the animal’s muscle and similar to those you’d find in a local grocery.

However, store-bought hot dogs might last longer because of one additional ingredient: sodium erythorbate.

This is a slightly different form of vitamin C which is an antioxidant, but it is made from sugar.  When it adds to cured meats and hot dogs, it acts as preservatives for maintaining their color and flavor and lengthen the hot dogs’ shelf life.

How Long Do Hot Dogs Last 

How Long Do Hot Dogs Last

Like my post about lasagna, hot dogs don’t last forever, but they still have a longer shelf life than other fresh meat. Depend on the their condition we can know exact how long do hot dogs last.

How Long Do Opened Hot Dogs Last

Hot dogs are usually sold in packages in local stores. You can get around 4-10 hot dogs per package, depending on the size and thickness.

Normally, when working on a recipe, you don’t need to use up all the sausages in the pack. So, what is the hot dog expiration date?

There is one way you can find out the usage period is by looking at the use-by date and sell-by date.

These dates will indicate when the hot dogs remain fresh with their original taste and flavor. During that time, you can leave them out as much as you like. 

Once the hot dog use-by date is passed, you need to throw the bad hot dogs in the trash to avoid food poisoning.

However, if you store them properly, these hot dogs can last more than their use-by date. And they can last pretty long!

Basically, you need to store them in a cool place like in your fridge or the freezer. So, how long do hot dogs last in the fridge after opening?

 If you’re planning to use the hot dogs within a week, it is best to use a fridge as you can actually eat it cold right away.

However, your cooking plan seems to have no mention of sausages for weeks or even a month; you should definitely need to freeze it.

How Long Do Hot Dogs Last After Cooked

The hot and meaty pan-fried hot dogs, wrapped with a soft bun and topped with drizzling mustard, or creamy cheese, or fresh tomatoes, are such a tasty vision that you want to cook all of the hot dogs in a package. Unfortunately, your stomach has a limit point, and you cannot consume it all. 

So, how long do cooked hot dogs last? Is it until the next lunch or dinner so you can continue to enjoy your hot dogs left out overnight? The answer is no and yes.

It is a no when you leave the cooked hot dogs out at room temperature (68–72 degrees Fahrenheit).

There is actually a 2-hour rule of thumb that is delicate for how short our food lasts in high temperature. This rule means any perishable food that is left at room temperature should be thrown into the trash.

For those that live in tropical weather areas with a temperature that easily goes up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the time is limited to an hour only.

Such a short amount of time for food to become unsafe and poisonous to humans.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, it is so easy for food to be spoiled because of bacteria. Such bacteria like E.coli, salmonella enteritidis, campylobacter, bacillus cereus have been present in our food already.

However, they are harmless if they remain small populations. Once the temperature reaches between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 141 degrees Fahrenheit, these bacteria will double their size in just 20 minutes.

Therefore, this temperature zone is also called the danger zone by the USDA.

How Long Are Hotdogs Good After The Expiration Date

Maybe you have left your hot dogs for too long in the fridge that they are past the use-by or expiration date. So, how long are hotdogs good after use by date?

Well, there is no fixed period for you depending on the status and the condition of the place you store.

Like any processed meat product, hot dogs have been cooked before they are released to the market, so the shelf life of hot dogs might be slightly longer than the expiration date if you have stored them properly.

So, in order to know if they are still good or not, you need to open the package and check if there is any sign of spoilage. If the sausages look nice and fresh, try a bite and see if the flavor is still good. If it is, chances are you can still use them for one last time!

How To Tell If Hot Dogs Are Bad

So, you know that your hot dogs can be good for a long time if you store them in the fridge or freezer. But would that save them from contamination and spoilage? Not actually. So, do frozen hotdogs go bad?

Yes, they can still be spoiled food if you don’t know how to store them in the right way.

So, what are the signs that indicate you to remove them from your kitchen as they can cause some health risks? Here is what you need to look for:

The appearance of your food can tell many things about their status. When examining your hot dogs, look carefully to see whether there is a change of color. Are there any dark reddish color, brown, yellow, or even gray spots on your tasty hot dogs?

If there are, it might be a sign of spoilage, and you should not eat them.

Another way to tell it is time to throw away the food is the odor. When they are spoiled, they signal a foul odor like vinegar or sour smell.

Maybe when you touch the sausages, instead of hard and flexible texture, they have slimy flesh and a sticky surface.

This means your sausages have been contaminated by mold and fungi. You wouldn’t want to eat those slimy hot dogs to run the risk of  food poisoning, right?

How To Store Hot Dogs

How Long Do Hot Dogs Last After Opening

One of the efficient food safety techniques to maintain the nutritional content and freshness, disinfection of your food, is refrigerating or freezing food.  

As you proceed with these preparation methods, whether it is on your hot dogs or fried chicken, you need to remember this: you need to fully cover your hot dogs for storing to avoid freezer burn that destroys the original flavor of our tasty sausages.

To prepare properly, you can place the hotdogs in a food storage container or cover them with aluminum foil. For the freezer, hot dogs need to be put in a food storage freezer bag to avoid being exposed to air.

Once you’re finished with the preparation, you can choose to put the sausages in the fridge or freezer.

How long do hot dogs last in the refrigerator?

As I said before, if you’re likely to use hot dogs within a week, then you should refrigerate them as they can last up to 7-10 days when staying in proper food storage.

How long do hot dogs last in the freezer?

For the freezer, hot dogs in food storage zipper bags can be stored so much longer because of the low temperature. So, how long can you keep hot dogs frozen?

You can easily leave your sausages in there for up to 2 months of freezer life and still maintain their flavor and texture.


1.     Can you eat uncooked hot dogs?

Surprisingly, yes, you can eat hot dogs straight out of the package. This is due to the fact that hot dogs are cooked before they are on the store shelves. But it won’t be as tasty as heating them first.

2.     Can hot dogs be refrozen?

Frozen hot dogs are thawed in order to cook them. During that process, you can definitely refreeze them without any contamination if you keep them in the food protection container.


The hot dog is our all-time American food that can be served on any type of occasion, like a baseball match or a house party. It is so quick to make and tasty to enjoy that sometimes we can buy too many of them at home.

Knowing the answer to the question “how long do hot dogs last?” can be a major turning point for hot dog lovers as you can store a lot of them at home and still be able to enjoy all of them for a long time.

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