IMHO, Air Fryer Hot Dogs taste just as good as ones made on the grill! Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, they couldn’t be easier or faster!
Unless, I’m in the mood for a hot dog, I don’t give it a second thought. However, when I want a hot dog, I WANT a hot dog. Know what a mean? I also want it grilled and slightly charred. However, I don’t own a grill, so Air Fryer Hot Dogs are the next best thing!
To be honest, I prefer grilling hot dogs over air fryer hot dogs. But, cooking hot dogs in the air fryer has its advantages too. Air Fryer Hot Dogs can be made much more quickly than the grill. You do not need to preheat the air fryer (or grill) to make them. Clean up in the air fryer is much easier too!
I love the crispy exterior the air fryer gives to the hot dogs. Even better, the insides stay juicy. I’m never a fan of a dry hot dog. Plus, you can toast the buns and melt cheese or warm other toppings as you cook the hot dogs.
Air Fryer Hot Dogs Equipment and Adjustments
For this recipe, I use my 6 Quart Bella Pro Series Air Fryer. It’s a great size to cook all of the hot dogs at once. Although, when you toast the buns, you may need to cook those in batches. Especially since the buns are so much larger than the hot dogs. Thankfully, the buns only need about a minute or two to brown, so it shouldn’t be a big inconvenience.
Note: Depending on your air fryer wattage, and size of your air fryer, the hot dogs may cook at a different rate. So, you may need to adjust cooking time up or down for your air fryer.
Personally, I’ve never tried an oven-style air fryer. But, this Farberware Air Fryer Toaster Oven has great reviews, and it would be the one I would buy. If you try these in an oven-style air fryer, let me know how they turn out in the comments below!
The recipe provided below makes 8 hot dogs. If you need to, it can easily be scaled up or down to fit your needs.
Air Fryer Hot Dogs Prep Tips
Even though we are not using a grill, I like to do a few extra steps to help the hot dogs taste like they were made on the grill. These steps are optional, but I think they take the hot dogs to the next level.
One thing I love to do is to make criss cross cuts in the hot dogs. I do this for a few reasons. First, the cuts will be useful in the next step. It helps get even more flavor and moisture into the hot dog. Next, the cuts will expand as the hot dogs cook which gives it a great appearance. (Don’t you agree?) Finally, the cuts help hold the toppings on the hot dog.
One thing to note, you do not want to cut all the way through the hot dog. To prevent this, I like to place the handles from two wooden spoons, or chopsticks, on either side of the hot dog (1). Using a small chef’s knife, cut slices, in 45 degree angle, in one direction. Then, make 45 degree angle cuts going in the opposite direction to create the hash marks (2-3).
After cutting the hot dogs, I marinate them in a mixture of water an liquid smoke (4). Marinating gives the hot dogs the same smoky flavor you would get from the grill. I recommend marinating them for at least 10 minutes. But you can also marinate them overnight for more flavor. This step also helps keep the hot dogs moist as they cook.
For easy clean up, I like to line my air fryer basket with aluminum foil. Although, I try to leave a little bit of room around the edge of my basket to allow for air circulation.
As I cook the hot dogs, I like to turn them half way through cooking for even browning. In my air fryer, my hot dogs cooked fully in 8 minutes. Although, your cooking time may vary depending on the type of air fryer you use and which kind of hot dog you use.
For the best results, test your hot dogs around the 4 minute mark to see if they are dark enough. If the hot dogs are cooked to your liking, no additional cooking is needed. However, if you like them more well done, keep cooking them until your preferred doneness.
Once the hot dogs are cooked, remove them from the air fryer. Then, place them in a hot dog bun and top with a sprinkling of cheese. Return the assembled hot dogs to the air fryer, and continue cooking for one to two minutes to toast the buns and melt the cheese.
Don’t walk away during this last step because toasting the bun can happen very quickly! You may also need to do this last step in batches depending on how big your air fryer is.
Air Fryer Hot Dog Serving Suggestions and More
Adding cheese to the top of your hot dog is also optional, but I love it on most hot dogs. Additionally, you can top the hot dogs with any of your favorite toppings. It’d would be delicious with:
- Diced Onions
- Pickle Relish
- Banana Peppers
A delicious side for these hot dogs would be Perfect Homemade Air Fryer French Fries. They do require a few more steps, but you’ll have the best french fries from real potatoes.
Or if you prefer, you can also cook bratwurst sausage in the air fryer too. For cooking instructions check out my recipe for Air Fryer Spicy Shrimp and Chicken Sausage.
For another “grilling” recipe with the Air Fryer, check out my recipe for Air Fryer Grilled Pineapple. It’s so delicious, and so easy to make. And it would make another perfect side dish or dessert.
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Air Fryer Hot Dogs
- 8 count Hog Dog Links
- 8 count Hot Dog Buns
- 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
- 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese Shredded
- Ketchup, Mustard, Pickle Relish, Diced Onions, Chili, Banana Peppers, Jalapenos, etc…
- Optional: Without cutting all the way through the hot dog, make crisscross cuts on top of each hot dog. Add the hot dogs to a shallow dish, and add enough water to just cover the hot dogs. Add 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke, and let the hot dogs marinate for at least 10 minutes, or up to overnight.
- For easy clean up, add a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of the air fryer basket. Add the hot dogs to the air fryer basket.
- Bake hot dogs at 400 degrees for 4 minutes*. Flip the hot dogs, and continue cooking for an additional 4 minutes*.
- Remove hot dogs. Add them to a bun and top with cheese. Return to air fryer and keep cooking for about 1 minute. (Don't walk away because toasting the bun can happen very quickly!)
- Remove hot dogs from the air fryer, and top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!