How Long Do Hot Dogs Last in the Fridge? (And Signs They’re Bad)

If you’re wondering how long your hot dogs can last in the fridge, you’re in the right place!

In this guide, you’ll learn: 

  • How long cooked hot dogs will last in the fridge
  • How long they’ll last if unopened
  • Signs they’ve already gone bad
  • And much more!

NOTE: This article was reviewed by Melissa Macher, Registered Dietician and Food Scientist for safety and accuracy.

How Long Do Hot Dogs Last in the Fridge?

Hot dogs can last in the fridge for up to 7 days if cooked and up to 2 weeks if unopened.

Hot dogs are often processed and filled with preservatives, so they can last for a longer time than the average unprocessed meat product.

However, hot dogs can last longer if properly stored. The key is to make sure that they are wrapped tightly and sealed, so the moisture doesn’t escape.

How Long Do Cooked Hot Dogs Last in the Fridge?

If properly stored, cooked hot dogs can be stored in the refrigerator for only 4 to 7 days.

The high temperatures that were used in the cooking process will remove some of the preservatives that were added to to the hot dog. This means that cooked hot dogs won’t last as long as the raw ones and can spoil quickly.

After the 4-7 days, it is not recommended to eat them as they may start to show signs of spoilage and develop harmful toxins.

When storing cooked hot dogs, it is important to know that they might be safe to eat, but they will not be of their best quality and may not taste as good.

The texture and flavor might be different, so it is always best to cook fresh hot dogs when you are ready to consume them.

However, if you are unable to eat them right away, make sure that you store them in a tightly sealed container and place them in the fridge.

To avoid any cross-contamination, make sure that the cooked hot dogs are placed in a different area away from the raw ones, and label them accordingly.

Related >> How to Boil Hotdogs: Various Methods for Delicious Results

How to Tell if Cooked Hot Dogs Have Gone Bad?

You can tell that cooked hot dogs have gone bad if they have a slimy texture or have a sour, vinegar-like smell. 

If they smell sour, they’ll taste sour. 


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How Long Do Raw Hot Dogs Last in the Fridge?

Uncooked and unopened hot dogs can last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

If you freeze them, however, they’ll hold their quality for up to 2 months.

With preservatives and other chemicals added, hot dogs can last longer than other meats. 

When you keep raw hot dogs in the refrigerator, it is important to make sure that you are aware of the expiration date on the packaging before storing them for that long time.

It is also important to make sure that packaging is airtight because if there are any openings, then the hot dogs will become dry, discolored, and may even spoil after about a week.

This practice can help you avoid eating any nasty bacteria that may have grown on the hot dogs.

This can also help you avoid wasting money and food because you will need to discard these products if they spoil.

Read More >> How to Smoke Sausage

How to Tell if Raw Hot Dogs Have Gone Bad?

You can tell if raw hot dogs have gone bad if they have a slimy texture, a sour smell, or the liquid in the package is milky. 

You may also notice the hot dogs turning gray or dark brown if they have gone bad. 

If there are signs they’ve spoiled, toss them! It’s not worth the risk of food poisoning

What Happens if You Eat Spoiled Hot Dogs? 

Hot dogs that have gone bad or spoiled can contain a lot of bacteria. 

We’re talking about things like Salmonella, Listeria, and Staphylococcus aureus.

With names like those, it’s clear you should avoid eating wieners that have signs of spoilage.

Those nasty bacteria can result in food poisoning, which has some symptoms I wouldn’t wish on anyone, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Dehydration

Final Thoughts on Hot Dog Safety

It is always important to check the expiration date on the package to be sure. If you are not going to eat them within that time frame, it is best to freeze them.

They will last in the freezer for about two months with the same quality, but if stored at 0°F, they can essentially last forever (they just won’t taste as flavorful beyond the 2 months). 

If you are ever unsure about how long a food will last, it is always best to proceed with caution. Examine your food, and if there are any doubts, toss it.

With this information in mind, you can now enjoy your next hot dog with confidence. Having a better idea about properly storing your food will help keep you and your family healthy and safe.

Do you have any questions about storing hot dogs or any other food? If so, please leave a comment below, and let us know how we can help you.

If you want to learn more about grilling, check out these other helpful resources!

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Shawn Hill

Hey, I'm Shawn and I love this site. With a wife and 7 kids, I get most of my grilling practice from feeding my own family. I'm here to help you learn more about grilling, smoking, and backyard BBQ! With almost a decade of manning the grill and helping over 25,000 aspiring grill masters, you're in great hands! I've tried just about every type of grill, accessory, and gadget you can imagine. Because of that, I am here to help guide you to the best of the best and help you save time and money by avoiding the junk.

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