Slow Cooking Hot Dogs Makes Feeding a Crowd Simple and Cleanup a Snap
Hot dogs are a go-to crowd-pleaser for almost any occasion, from a child's birthday party to game day with the guys. Being stuck in front of a grill or a hot stove is no fun for the cook, though, especially on a rainy summer day. Hot dogs are fully cooked when packaged, so all you need to do is heat them through. Cooking hot dogs in your slow cooker ensures that they are done to perfection exactly when you need them, while freeing you to go and join the fun.
Coat the inside of your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray or a bit of oil rubbed over it with a clean paper towel. Any oil will do to keep the hot dogs from sticking, but you can get creative and use extra virgin olive oil or even sesame chili oil to add a bit of spice.
Add your hot dogs to the oiled slow cooker. You can cook as few as you like, but if you're cooking for a crowd you can fit about 20 hot dogs in a 2.5-quart slow cooker and up to 60 in a larger slow cooker. You can either pile the hot dogs into the slow cooker or stand them on end. Try to have as many of the hot dogs touching the slow cooker's walls as you can for a slightly crisper outside.
Cover the slow cooker. Do not add water. Your hot dogs will release enough liquid to keep them from drying out, and if you leave them sitting in hot water for too long, their casings or skins will split.
Cook the hot dogs on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours. If you have packed the slow cooker full, rearrange the hot dogs about halfway through the cooking time to make sure the ones that started out in the center cook all the way through.
Remove the hot dogs with tongs rather than with a fork so that you don't accidentally pierce the skins. Drain them on a plate lined with paper towels, and serve. This will help keep the hot dog buns from soaking up the extra juice and getting soggy.
Add sliced onions, sauerkraut or a cup or two of chili to your hot dogs for a quick and flavorful one-pot meal.