The 6 Best Hot Dog Cookers
6. Smart Planet Snoopy
- five adjustable settings
- removable crumb tray
- may over-toast buns
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
5. Knox Steamer
- on-off switch is illuminated
- prepares food in 6-8 minutes
- cannot accommodate foot-long dogs
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
4. Nostalgia Retro
- canopy doubles as a bun warmer
- most pieces are detachable
- motor may occasionally stall
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
3. Steamer by Adcraft
- superb as a merchandising display
- stands 16 inches high
- meets all product safety standards
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
2. Cuizen Steamer
- great for backyard parties
- upper tray reserved for heating buns
- uses a patented steaming system
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
1. Safeplus Electric
- heat indicator light
- is energy-efficient
- built to last for years
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
What Separates a Good Hot Dog Cooker From a Great One?
The two most immediate features that separate a superior hot dog cooker from an average one are how many hot dogs the cooker can accommodate, and how quickly that cooker can heat those dogs straight through.
Certain cookers can fit anywhere from 8-18 hot dogs on their rollers, which is fantastic, assuming you have a need for that type of volume. But keep in mind, these industrial-sized cookers can measure up to 2X2', and they can weigh well over 20 lbs. On top of which, a lot of these larger models come with overhead steam guards, delicate control panels, and 4-9 rollers. The point being, you need to make sure you have ample clearance on a counter (or a deck) before investing in a cooker of that size.
If a cooker comes advertised as being able to heat a hot dog in two minutes or less, you'll want to read some customer reviews to make sure that cooker's rollers won't burn your hot dogs to a crisp. One of the most beneficial aspects of a great cooker is its ability to keep several hot dogs warm in the tradition of a rotisserie. Ideally, you should be able to turn the cooker's temperature down without turning it off.
The more hot dogs you cook, the more film that's going to build up as a result of juice and steam. Stainless steel cookers are fantastic in that you can clean them easily and the majority of dried-in spots won't stick. You may want to avoid any cooker with a plastic control panel, however, for the simple reason that plastic looks good when you first buy a cooker, but it tends to peel and fade the more you scrub it with an abrasive pad.
An Assortment Of Foods That You Can Cook On Any Hot Dog Roller
Whether you're purchasing a hot dog cooker for the home or for a business, chances are you'll want to get as much use - and value - out of that cooker as you can. This means cooking a lot of hot dogs, sure, and it probably means keeping a wide variety of condiments on hand, as well.
Depending on your preference, owning a hot dog cooker could enable you to make corn dogs, or bacon dogs, or hot dogs that are wrapped in pretzel bread. Beyond that, owning a hot dog cooker could enable you to make kielbasas and kebabs, along with an assortment of Mexican food, including tortillas, soft-shell tacos, fajitas, taquitos, and more.
In terms of frozen food, you can use a hot dog cooker to warm up any type of store-bought wrap, along with spring rolls, egg rolls, vegan rolls, pizza rolls, bread sticks, mozzarella sticks, fish sticks, and churros.
Bear in mind that the larger a hot dog cooker is, the more of these foods that you can accommodate at once. Certain cookers will even allow you to keep prepared foods at a holding temperature for hours, which is particularly cost-effective if you're selling food straight off a hot dog cooker's rollers on a counter.
A Brief History of The Hot Dog (By Way of Its Names)
Hot dogs, which were - and are - little more than pork sausages, originated in 13th-Century Frankfurt, Germany, where they were aptly referred to as frankfurters. These early sausages were served at lavish celebrations where attendants would eschew utensils as a part of the fun.
During the 18th Century, the frankfurter made its way to Vienna, where connoisseurs combined the pork with beef, renaming their creation a wiener, as a tribute to Vienna, which was pronounced by the Austrians as Wien.
During the mid-1800s the frankfurter crossed the Atlantic where it eventually became a novelty item on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Between 1880 and 1900, a slew of independent vendors began selling similar sausages throughout the American Midwest. These early vendors toyed with the idea of offering patrons a pair of white gloves to use while eating the frankfurter. When that proved too expensive, The solution became placing the frankfurter in a bun.
The term hot dog came into its own toward the end of the 19th Century in America. This phrase had previously been used by Europeans who mistakenly believed a frankfurter to be little more than a piece of processed dog meat. Ironically, the crowds in Coney Island came to prefer the misleading term, and it took off in a big way after 1916, when Nathan's Hot Dogs opened its doors.
Nathan's was the brainchild of Nathan Handwerker, an aspiring employee of Charles Feltman, the German immigrant who had originally brought hot dogs to Coney Island. Handwerker undercut his former boss by selling hot dogs for a nickel, as opposed to Feltman's 10 cents. Handwerker made up for the meager profit in terms of volume. Handwerker also cut costs by manufacturing his own product, which was made by using a secret recipe. That combination eventually led to Nathan's being sold for roughly $20 million in 1987. Hot dogs and hamburgers, both of which were derived from Germany (i.e., Frankfurt and Hamburg), continue to be among the most popular vending dishes in America.