Which hot dog cooker is best?

Hot dogs are among the most American foods you can eat, conjuring up images of backyard summer barbecues and trips to the ballpark. But if you don’t want to break out the grill or the credit card, hot dogs usually get made in substandard ways that just don’t taste the same.

Never boil a hot dog again with the Elite Gourmet Hot Dog Roller And Toaster Oven. It cooks four hot dogs and warms four buns together, plus it has a built-in timer with a loud ding to ring your dinner bell.

What to know before you buy a hot dog cooker

Toasters vs. rollers

Dedicated hot dog cookers typically come in two forms — toasters and rollers.

  • Toasters are typically small, meant to feed just one person, which also makes them inexpensive. You drop your hot dog in a slot like you would with a bread toaster. Most also toast your buns at the same time.
  • Rollers are what you commonly find in gas stations. They can be small and affordable for residential use or large and expensive for commercial use.

Size and capacity

Size and capacity go hand in hand with hot dog cookers.

  • Size needs to be carefully checked to ensure you have the counter and storage space for it. Toasters take up about as much space as a standard bread toaster. Rollers usually need at least 1 foot by 1 foot of space and only get larger.
  • Capacity is easier — buy a large enough capacity so you won’t need to cook a second round. Toasters usually cap out at two. Residential rollers typically start at four and go up to 18 before coming commercial-sized.

What’s included

Most hot dog cookers don’t include any extras, but occasionally you’ll run into ones that throw in some tongs or a recipe book.

What to look for in a quality hot dog cooker

Buns

The best hot dog cookers can warm or toast your buns while the hot dogs cook. Carefully check how the buns are treated before purchasing. Some are only warmed while others are toasted and can be burned if left alone too long.

Adjustable temperature

Most hot dog cookers only have one temperature. Better models offer a high heat setting for cooking and a low heat setting for keeping hot dogs warm.

Removable drip tray

The best hot dog cookers have removable drip trays. These keep the inevitable grease contained to make cleaning far easier than it would be otherwise.

Timer

Some hot dog cookers have timers so you can truly set and forget until it’s time to eat.

How much you can expect to spend on a hot dog cooker

Hot dog cookers typically cost $20-$150 for noncommercial use. Toasters and small rollers shouldn’t cost more than $50-$75 while large rollers usually top out at $150. Most cookers beyond $150 are meant for commercial use.

Hot dog cooker FAQ

What are the benefits of using a hot dog cooker?

A. There are many benefits.

  • Texture: Rolling or toasting a hot dog lets the casing get nice and crispy, and it’s evenly crispy too. This is much better compared to the softness of boiled hot dogs and the uneven crispiness of grills and pan frying.
  • Flavor: Nonboiled hot dogs taste better because there’s no water to wash away some of the flavor. It’s the same concept behind basting hot dogs with beer.
  • Ease: Every cooking method outside using a roller or toaster requires oversight to prevent burning. With a cooker, just set them up and set a timer before preparing your toppings.

Can I cook anything else in a hot dog cooker?

A. Depending on the cooker, yes. Most rollers can cook anything cylindrical such as corn dogs and egg rolls. Think about the foods you find in a gas station roller for ideas. Toasters typically only cook hot dogs and usually can’t cook hot dogs of longer, shorter or thicker sizes than usual.

What’s the best hot dog cooker to buy?

Top hot dog cooker 

Elite Gourmet Hot Dog Roller and Toaster Oven

Elite Gourmet Hot Dog Roller and Toaster Oven

What you need to know: This roller and toaster combo is perfect for small families.

What you’ll love: It holds four hot dogs in the top rollers and four buns in the lower oven. The dust cover protects the hot dogs and a removable grease tray makes cleaning easy. Indicator lights let you know it’s working and a timer means you never overcook your hot dogs.

What you should consider: If anyone wants more than one hot dog, they have to wait until the first batch is done cooking. The timer can’t be canceled or advanced once set.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Home Depot, Kohl’s and Macy’s

Top hot dog cooker for the money

Nostalgia Two-Slot Hot Dog and Bun Toaster

Nostalgia Two-Slot Hot Dog and Bun Toaster

What you need to know: Individuals that love hot dogs can’t go wrong with this miniature toaster.

What you’ll love: It simultaneously toasts two hot dogs and buns. The hot dogs rest in a removable cage and tongs are included for the buns. You won’t struggle to get anything out. It has a removable drip tray for easy cleaning and comes in four colors.

What you should consider: A few customers had issues with the hot dogs or the buns burning. Others had occasional issues with the buns getting stuck. Only standard-sized hot dogs fit. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

La Trevitt Hot Dog Roller

La Trevitt Hot Dog Roller

What you need to know: This medium-sized roller is great for hosting small events.

What you’ll love: It cooks up to six hot dogs at once and the rollers are sized to also cook anything of a similar shape. It has two temperature settings and rubber feet keep it firmly in place.

What you should consider: A few purchasers noted that the edges were sharp. It can take up to 30 minutes to cook raw foods.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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