Making Crock Pot hot dogs is the ultimate way to cook for a crowd. A slow cooker perfectly steams the hot dogs and lets you enjoy your gathering without standing over a grill! Whether it is a 4th of July party, graduation or a neighborhood cookout slow cooker hot dogs are easy, delicious food.
Nothing is more essentially American than a summer cookout with hot dogs! Using a crock pot to cook the hot dogs means you can feed a crowd with very little effort, making this a perfect party dish.
When it comes to having a cookout I always want simple, easy dishes that allow me to enjoy my company, not spend all day cooking. A slow cooker is a great help for dishes like Crock Pot beer brats and these hot dogs.
Hot dogs aren’t difficult to cook. You can make boiled hot dogs or air fryer hot dogs. For a party many people opt to cook hot dogs on a grill.
But if you are cooking on a grill you have to stay at the grill, flip them and make sure they don’t get too brown. And once they are cooked they need to be eaten before they cool off.
With this crock pot dish the hot dogs steam and cook all at once, and all you have to do is stir them a couple times. Then they stay warm in the crock pot for hours, so you and your guests can eat whenever you like.
Why you Will Love these Hot Dogs
- No prep required
- Hot dogs are perfectly steamed with no burnt dogs
- Hands off recipe
- Add a variety of toppings to please everyone
How to Cook Hot Dogs in the Crock Pot
This recipe is almost embarrassingly simple and has no prep time. Just put the hot dogs in the crock pot and set it on low. Stand them upright if you’d like or lay them down in the slow cooker.
Don’t add water or any other ingredients – just hot dogs. Put the lid on, set the crock pot on low and let them cook for about 3 hours.
Take the lid off every 30-45 minutes and stir them so they don’t burn. After 3 hours check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer and make sure they have reached 165 F.
Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, don’t try to cook based just on time. A thermometer is not expensive and the peace of mind they give you is priceless. Food poisoning is not fun! This is my favorite inexpensive meat thermometer, which you can buy on Amazon.
Once they have reached 165 F you can lower the crock pot to warm setting and keep the hot dogs warm for another 2 hours. Serve them right from the crock pot with tongs.
Shouldn’t You Add Water to the Slow Cooker?
This is the most commonly asked question about this recipe – but you really don’t have to add water. The hot dogs will release water as they cook. As long as you stir occasionally they won’t burn.
But What Do They Taste Like?
Hot dogs cooked in the crock pot are just steamed hot dogs. They are juicy, tasty and have a good texture, just like the hot dogs you’d buy from a food cart or ball park hot dogs.
The skin will not be crispy and browned like they would be if you grilled them. So if you have kids who complain about “burnt” hot dogs when they are too brown they will love these!
How Many Hot Dogs Can You Put in a Crock Pot?
The number of hot dogs you can cook at once is going to depend on the size and shape of both your slow cooker and your hot dogs. As a general rule of thumb:
- Mini 2.5 Quart Crock Pot – about 20 hot dogs
- Standard 4 Quart Slow Cooker – about 48 hot dogs
- Large 6 Quart Crock Pot – about 60 hot dogs
But the size of the hot dogs is also a factor. Standard hot dogs are 4.8 inches long and bun length hot dogs are 6 inches long. My husband’s favorite are locally made German franks which are closer to 7 inches long.
So figure out how many people you want to feed and plan accordingly. You can also stand the hot dogs on end in the crock pot if yours is tall enough. Standing them on end makes serving even easier.
Make a Hot Dog Bar
You could just serve the hot dogs with the traditional mustard, relish and ketchup. But since there is almost no effort being put into cooking the hot dogs it seems like a great time to set up the ultimate hot dog topping bar and encourage everyone to experiment!
Making a hot dog bar is perfect for a casual cookout, tailgate or party. Provide a bunch of different buns, lot of toppings and everyone can serve themselves when they want, with their own favorite gourmet hot dog creation.
Fun and Creative Ways to Serve Hot Dogs
You can always create your own fun types of hot dogs, but here are some classic ideas and ways to serve this easy meal!
- Chili Cheese Dog – Top the hot dog with chili, shredded cheese and finely diced red onions.
- Chicago Dog – This Windy City classic features buns with poppy seeds and hot dogs topped with tomatoes, mustard, relish, onions and celery salt. Serve with dill pickle spears and pepperoncini.
- Tex Mex – Make a southwestern style dog with BBQ sauce, French fried onions and shredded cheddar cheese.
- Taco Dog – These hot dogs feature beans, cheese, pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos, taco sauce and queso.
- Reuben Dog – Add some sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing to these hot dogs.
- Garden Dog – Top the hot dogs with tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and mayonnaise.
- BLT Dog – Bacon goes with everything, including hot dogs! Add bacon, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and mayonnaise for a classic American taste.
- California Dog – This hot dog also features bacon, along with sliced avocadoes and pico de gallo.
Sides to Serve with Hot Dogs
- Hot Dogs
- Desired toppings
- Add hot dogs to Crock Pot. Stand them up if they fit with the lid on, or lay them down.
- Set the Crock Pot to low and for cook 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Check and make sure they have reached an internal temperature of 165 F.
- Serve immediately with toppings of your choice or turn the Crock Pot to low and keep them warm for up to 2 hours.
2.5 Quart Crock Pot - about 20 hot dogs
4 Quart Slow Cooker - about 48 hot dogs
6 Quart Crock Pot - about 60 hot dogs
If you are looking for creative hot dog ideas try some of these.
Chili Cheese Dog
Chili, Shredded Cheese, Red Onions, finely diced
Buns with Poppy Seeds, Tomatoes, sliced thinly, Yellow Mustard, Pickle Relish, White onions, finely diced, Dill pickle spears, Sport peppers or pepperoncini, Celery salt
Beans, Mexican cheese blend, shredded, Pico de Gallo, Pickled Jalapeno slices, Taco Sauce, Queso cheese, crumbled
Sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing
BBQ Sauce, French fried onions, Sharp Cheese, shredded
Tomatoes, thinly sliced, Cucumbers, diced, Lettuce, cut finely, Mayonnaise
Cherry Tomatoes, cut into quarters, Bacon, cooked and chopped, Lettuce, cut finely, Mayonnaise
Avocados, sliced thinly, Bacon, cooked and chopped, Pico de Gallo
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 626mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 10g
Nutrition facts are estimates.