Pan Fried Hot Dogs 🌭

Pan frying is a popular way to prepare your hot dogs. It is just as easy as boiling them, but they unarguably taste a lot better. In this recipe I show you how easy it is to make pan fried hot dogs.

As I mentioned before in my “How To Boil Hot Dogs” recipe, frankfurters are not raw, thus it’s not necessary to literally cook them. The only reason we fry them is to make them more flavorful, therefore cooking time can be adjusted to preference

Prepare Your Hot Dogs Before Frying

Before you pan fry hot dogs, score them with a sharp knife (depending on its length) around 6-10 times. Make sure not to cut them all the way through. I usually score them in a crosshatch pattern, but that’s basically just a personal preference.

Scoring hot dogs
Score your hot dogs before pan frying

This step is optional, but scoring your hot dogs before pan frying them allows the frankfurters to open while frying. This way they will cook through better and faster. It also prevents your hot dogs from bursting in the pan.

Pan frying hot dogs without scoring
Pan frying hot dogs without scoring

Also these cuts will open during frying. This way your fried hot dogs will not only taste better but they will also look more desirable.

Pan frying hot dogs
Pan frying hot dogs

Oil Is Optional

Adding oil or fat to the pan is optional. As you can see in the pictures, sometimes I add oil but other times I won’t.

If you add some extra fat to the pan before frying your hot dogs, they will brown more evenly. They will also have a slightly more fatty taste, in a good way. You might find that surprising, but I also like to use duck fat for my pan fried hot dogs. This gives them a very rustic but yummy taste.

But if you’re not using additional fat, your pan fried hot dogs will turn out having a more smoky aroma, almost as if you grilled them. But keep in mind that pan frying hot dogs without additional fat requires a good quality non-stick pan, and your franks will brown much more unevenly.

How Long To Fry Them

You should pan fry your hot dogs for about 5-10 minutes on medium. But this is just a recommendation. Exact time depends on your pan, your stove temperature and how do you like them.

A more successful approach is to turn your hot dogs every 1-2 minutes so that they brown more evenly. Then take them out when they look appetizing enough for you. As I mentioned before, they are already cooked when you buy them at the store, so you can’t go wrong with the cooking time.

How To Serve Pan Fried Hot Dogs

Pan frying is basically just a method of preparing your frankfurters. It gives them some extra flavor and also a more desirable look with these cuts. But other than this, you can serve them as you would any boiled hot dogs.

The most traditional way of serving pan fried hot dogs is in a bun, with your favorite sauces and toppings. Use any of the following condiments and toppings, or experiment with whatever you see fit for your dogs:

  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Hot dog sauce
  • Fried onion
  • Pickle or relish
Pan fried hot dog in a bun
Pan fried hot dog in a bun

But this is of course the classic American way of serving pan fried franks. You can also eat them more like they do it in Germany or in many other parts of the world. Serving your franks on a plate with your favorite condiment and fresh crusty bread.

Pan fried hot dog in bun

Pan Fried Hot Dogs

Balazs Szilagyi
An easy but very appetizing way of preparing hot dogs
No ratings yet
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Base Recipe
Cuisine Classic
Servings 4 people


  • 8 hot dogs
  • 2 tsp oil


  • Optional: Score your hot dogs in a crosshatch pattern. Make sure not to cut them through.
    Scoring hot dogs
  • Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add oil and then the hot dogs.
    Hot dogs in a pan
  • Fry your hot dogs to your liking, turning them every 1-2 minutes so that every side browns evenly.
    Pan frying hot dogs without scoring
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