People eat food in different ways. Normally, the two ways they do this involve them cooking it first and then adding whatever ingredients or spices they want to it.
The second way is to just eat it raw rather than cook it first.
Both of them come with their strong points and weaknesses. For eating food raw, you have to sometimes proceed with caution because not all foods are made equally, and not all can be consumed raw.
One food that falls under this category is hot dogs, and in this article, we will figure out if you can eat them raw!
What Are Hot Dogs?
First, let’s go into what exactly hot dogs are because not everyone knows what they are made of.
Hot dogs are usually made of three ingredients, which include meat trimmings, salt, and seasonings. The main meat trimming is beef, but it can include pork, turkey, and chicken.
Besides the meat and seasonings, they can even have fillers, artificial additives, and preservatives. It does depend on the hot dog brand.
Is It Possible To Eat Raw Hot Dogs?
Hot dogs should only be eaten if they have been pasteurized first. When meat is pasteurized, it has already been treated with heat, and doing this, will help eliminate any bacteria.
Even if it is pasteurized, you still need to take precautions and wash the meat, your hands, and anything the raw hot dog touches.
If the hot dog hasn’t been pasteurized, then it’s best to avoid eating it raw. The reason for this is that there can still be bacteria lurking around inside the hot dog.
Even hot dogs that have been pasteurized or cooked first before being packaged could still have a chance of getting you sick. The chances are just greater if it hasn’t been cooked first.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Raw Hot Dogs?
Believe it or not, there are a few benefits of eating raw hot dogs. They aren’t the biggest benefits, but they might appeal to some. These benefits include:
- There is the belief that when you cook food, the heat causes it to lose some of its nutrients. This is true in some cases, and those who like to eat raw hot dogs claim that there are more nutrients in it when you consume it raw.
- Hot dogs are extremely easy to eat. You just have to take them out of the package and then eat them however you prefer. This is one reason eating raw food is so useful. It is a very quick way to do it.
So, there aren’t a lot of benefits to eating raw hot dogs, but to some people, these two reasons may be enough for them. However, remember that there are some risks involved with eating raw hot dogs, which we will cover below.
What Are the Risks of Eating Raw Hot Dogs?
The biggest risks of eating raw hot dogs have to do with the bacteria that might grow inside the meat.
One such bacteria is called Listeria, which is found in dust, water, soil, and animal waste. It can show up in processed meat because they haven’t been processed properly.
When you first get listeria, you’ll end up with a few certain symptoms. This includes:
- Muscle Aches
Symptoms usually start about 1 to 4 weeks after being exposed to the bacteria. It needs to be dealt with swiftly because if left untreated, it can turn into a serious disease such as meningitis, which is an inflammation of the brain, or septicemia, an infection in the blood.
A pregnant woman is especially at risk because the bacteria can be transferred to the unborn baby.
So those who are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or have a compromised immune system should avoid eating raw hot dogs. This is so they aren’t at risk of getting infected with listeria.
How To Cook Hot Dogs
Now, if you are the type of person who prefers to cook hot dogs, we have you covered. There are many ways you can cook hot dogs, which we are going to list here. They include:
- Cooking hot dogs in the microwave is a quick and effective way of cooking hot dogs. All you have to do is place the hot dogs on a microwave-safe plate and then cover them with a paper towel. Turn it on for 15 to 30 seconds, and then it will be done!
- If you want to cook hot dogs on the pan, well, that’s possible to do as well. All you need is some water in the pan and then let it heat. Put the hot dogs in and cook until all sides are brown.
- Boiling is another quick way to cook hot dogs. All you need to do is put the hot dogs in a saucepan filled with water. Once the water is boiling, reduce the water to a low setting and boil for about 3 to 6 minutes.
- If you want to use the oven well, you are in luck. To cook them in the oven, put the hot dogs on a baking sheet that is lined with foil. Once the oven is preheated to 400 degrees, bake for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Finally, you can also grill hot dogs. All you need to do is heat the grill and then grill them on each side for about a minute.
And there you go, all you hot dog lovers out there. While it is possible to eat hot dogs raw, you need to make sure that the meat is pasteurized.
If it isn’t, then you can put yourself at risk of getting listeria, a bacteria that can cause serious problems in the human body.
We also mention the most popular ways to cook hot dogs because many people prefer to cook their hot dogs rather than eat them raw.
It really doesn’t matter how you eat it, so long as you enjoy the taste!
You might also be interested in the following:
- Can You Eat Raw Pork?
- Can You Eat Raw Turkey Bacon?
- Can You Eat Raw Chicken?
- Can You Eat Raw Steak?
- Can You Eat Raw Ground Beef?
- Can You Eat Raw Spam?
- Can You Eat Raw Liver?
- Can You Eat Raw Bacon?
- Can You Eat Raw Beef?
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.