Shelf Life of
Hot Dogs

How Long Do Hot Dogs Last?

How Long Do Hot Dogs Last?

Shelf Life of Hot Dogs

How long do hot dogs last? The shelf life of hot dogs depends on a variety of factors, such as the sell by date, the preparation method and how the hot dogs are stored. Hot dogs (Weiners), because of their relatively low cost and ease of use are one of the foods most often invited to a picnic.
So, how long do hot dogs last? When properly stored, the shelf life of fresh hot dogs past their sell by date is approximately …

(Unopened) Refrigerator Freezer
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
Fresh Hot Dogs last for 1-2 Weeks 4-6 Months
(Opened) Refrigerator Freezer
Fresh Hot Dogs last for 7 Days 4-6 Months
Cooked Hot Dogs last for 7 Days 4-6 Months



Of course, hot dogs last for a shorter period of time if not stored properly. But remember, hot dogs, like a lot of other proteins, usually have a sell by date and not an expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely eat them for a short time even after the sell by date has lapsed if they were stored properly.

How to tell if hot dogs are bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety discipline will help prevent food borne illness. Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your hot dogs have gone bad. Some common traits of bad hot dogs are dull, slimy flesh and a sour smell. They will change from a reddish color to a brown or gray color.

To tell if hot dogs in your freezer have been there too long, you will see freezer burn starting to appear on the hot dogs. Freezer burn appears in dull white patches (slightly different looking than regular ice) which are in the hot dogs. Since hot dogs are so moist, their freezer life is shorter due to ice build-up. Freezer burned items should be thrown away.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled hot dogs, so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your hot dogs prior to the eat by date.

How to store hot dogs to extend their shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of food. You can help hot dogs keep fresh longer by storing them in your refrigerator immediately after use. Once prepared, hot dogs should be stored in a tightly closed container to keep out moisture and other contaminants. For a long-term option, you can freeze your hot dogs while preserving their taste if you use a freezer safe container. Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

How to use hot dogs before they go bad?

  • Fry them up (this will extend the shelf life for another week) and then use them later to add to cream of broccoli soup or mashed potatoes.
  • Try this hot dog stir-fry recipe or these pretzel dogs.

  • How long are hot dogs good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does hot dogs last? That depends. How long does bread last? In general, they lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

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    What are our shelf life resources?

    Our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of hot dogs.

    *An important note about expiration dates …

    Although the hot dog shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion. Please eat responsibly!