Hot dogs aren’t just for summer barbecues! By using your air fryer, you can enjoy crispy, juicy frankfurters year round. These quick and easy Air Fryer Hot Dogs are great for Game Day. Customize them with your favorite toppings and ballpark and stadium-style sides.
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Why You’ll Love Making Hot Dogs in the Air Fryer
- The air fryer works by evenly distributing hot air around food with fan, in a relatively small space. By scoring the hot dogs before air frying, you’ll get juicy franks with perfectly crispy edges from the first bite to the last. (Golden and crispy = great flavor!)
- Total cooking and prep time is less than 15 minutes and cleanup is a breeze, making it a great option for busy schedules.
- It’s an easy way to make a batch of hot dogs at once, whether your entertaining for a game watch party, or making lunch for your family.
- It’s a fun way to use your air fryer. When readers buy air fryers for the first time, they often ask me what they can make in them outside of french fries and crunchy breaded foods. This is a simple, no-fuss recipe that you can add to your air fryer repertoire, any time of year.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Skinless Hot Dogs. Use your favorite brand of frankfurters. Some of my family’s favorite all-beef dogs are Nathan’s Famous, Sabrett (we like bun-length for this recipe), and Hebrew National. You can also use beef and pork, chicken, or turkey hot dogs.
- Hot Dog Buns. We like potato buns, classic Ball Park Buns, split-top buns, or brioche hot dog buns.
- Unsalted Butter. For warming and toasting the hot dog buns in the air fryer basket.
- Hot Dog Toppings. Go for the classics, or craft your own speciality dog. See the “Ways to Dress Up Your Air Fryer Hot Dogs” section below for ideas.
Heading to the market? Check out this ranking of the Best Supermarket Hot Dog Brand You Can Buy from Bon Appetit.
How to Cook Hot Dogs in the Air Fryer
Prepping the Franks
Making hot dogs in the air fryer couldn’t be simpler. Start by preheating fryer to 400 degrees F. The amount of time it takes for your air fryer to preheat can vary by model. I like to let mine heat for about 3-5 minutes before cooking, but check the instructions for your specific air fryer for the best recommendation.
While the air fryer is heating, use a sharp knife to cut the tops of the franks diagonally in half-inch increments. Don’t slice all the way through the hot dogs; only go in with your knife about a quarter to a third of the way down.
Air Frying the Hot Dogs
Place the hot dogs into the air fryer basket in a single layer, with a bit of space between them for the air to circulate. (Use basket liners, if you’d like, for easy cleanup).
Air fry the hot dogs for 4-6 minutes, until golden. You’ll see that they’ll open up along cut marks as they cook, which will help them get perfectly crispy.
Cooking times can vary by the brand of hot dog you’re using, your air fryer model, and your personal preferences for doneness. The hotdogs pictured were air fried for 6 minutes during the first stage of the cooking process.
Remove the hot dogs from the air fryer basket and brush the insides of the buns with melted butter. Place a hot dog in each bun, and return them to the air fryer.
Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the buns are toasted. You might need to do this in batches depending on the size of your basket.
Serve your hot dogs with your favorite toppings, and dig in alongside potato chips, french fries, coleslaw, baked beans, and/or potato salad (my family loves this Loaded Potato Salad).
Ways to Dress Up Your Air Fryer Hot Dogs
When topping your franks, you can either go for the classics or get creative! If you’re making these Air Fryer Hot Dogs for a game day party, consider making a Hot Dog Bar, offering your guests a variety of toppings and themes to choose from. Here are some ideas:
Classic Hot Dog Toppings
- Mustard. Go for Classic Yellow Mustard, Ballpark Mustard, Spicy Brown Deli Mustard, Dijon (we love Maille Dijon Originale or Edmund Fallot Original Dijon), or artisan blends like Beer Mustard, Horseradish Mustard, Smokey Onion Mustard, or Ghost Pepper Mustard.
- Ketchup. Use your favorite grocery store brand (we like Heinz Simply Ketchup), or switch it up with a specialty blend like Sir Kensington’s Spicy Ketchup or New Jersey’s First Field Tomato Ketchup.
- Add-Ons. Sweet or dill pickle relish, chopped onions (we use yellow or white), pickle spears, or sauerkraut.
Themed Hot Dog Toppings
- Cheesy Dogs. Before the final 1-2 minute cook, top the hot dogs with your favorite shredded cheese (such as cheddar or pepper jack). Or, ladle warmed cheese sauce over the hot dogs when they’re ready to serve.
- Chili Dogs. Top the cooked hot dogs with warmed chili. Add shredded cheese, if desired, or add the chili on top of a melted Cheesy Dog.
- Baked Bean Dogs. Add a scoop of warmed baked beans to the top of the air fried hot dogs.
- Slaw Dogs. Top the hot dogs with your favorite creamy coleslaw. (Make it at home with my popular Deli-Style Coleslaw recipe!)
- Salsa or Guac Dogs. Top the franks with your favorite spicy or mild salsa, or guacamole (with or without melted cheese).
- Newark/Italian-Style Dogs. Top the dogs with fried potatoes, sautéed bell peppers, onions, and spicy brown mustard. (Here in NJ, the most famous of this hot dog style is served on Pizza Bread, a’la Jimmy Buff’s. If you can’t source this style of bread, substitute an Italian Torpedo Roll.)
- Kimchi Dogs. Serve the franks with a scoop of kimchi and a squeeze of Kewpie mayo. (If you like it spicy, stir Sriracha or gochujang into the mayo, to taste.)
- BLT Dogs. Serve with diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, crumbled cooked bacon, and a drizzle of ranch dressing or schmear of mayo on the bun.
- Cheesesteak-Style Dogs. Layer the hot dogs with sautéed bell peppers, onions, and provolone before the final 1-2 minute cook.
- Pizza Dogs. Top the hot dogs with your favorite pizza sauce, mozzarella, and Pepperoni Minis before the final 1-2 minute cook.
- Chicago-Style Dogs. Use a poppyseed bun and top the franks with yellow mustard, chopped onions, sweet pickle relish, wedged tomatoes, a dill pickle spear, Sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt.
Q. Can I make the hotdogs ahead of serving?
A. These hotdogs best enjoyed hot, soon after cooking. That said, if you’re making them to take on a picnic, they can be wrapped for transport to keep them warm.
Just wrap the fully-prepared hotdogs, in the toasted buns, in foil. Don’t add your toppings before wrapping. Transport them in an insulated grocery tote, and top the hot dogs when ready to serve.
Q. Do you have a favorite brand of chicken or turkey hotdogs?
A. My family enjoys Applegate’s poultry hot dogs. We buy their Natural Uncured Turkey Hot Dog and The Great Organic Uncured Chicken Hot Dog. I almost always find them at Whole Foods, and several of our local grocery stores also carry them. If you don’t see them by the regular hot dogs, look in the store’s refrigerated organic section.
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
Air Fryer Hot Dogs
- 8 skinless hot dogs
- 8 hot dog buns (classic, potato, or brioche)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- hot dog toppings (such as mustard, ketchup, relish, onions)
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F for 3 minutes. (Or, follow the preheating recommendations for your specific air fryer model.)
- While the air fryer is preheating, remove hot dogs from package. Use a sharp knife to slice the tops of each hot dog at a diagonal, in half-inch increments. Be sure not to slice all the way through; only cut down about a third of the way into the hot dogs.
- Place hot dogs in the air fryer basket in a single layer, with a little bit of room around them for the air to circulate.* Cook for 4-6 minutes, until hot dogs are golden and crisped. Remove hot dogs from the basket.
- Brush the insides of the hot dog buns with melted butter. Place a hot dog in each bun, and return them to air fryer basket. Heat for 1-2 minutes, until buns are warmed and toasted.
- Remove the hot dogs from the air fryer and serve hot with your favorite toppings.