Cooking hot dogs in a rice cooker is very easy, and I am going to give you a couple of options for doing so. You can either steam cook them, or boil them directly in water. Both are equally good. The rice cooker I use is my old Aroma model. They make newer models now, but basically this cooking formula will work for whatever model you might have – though the cooking times may vary.
If you like your hot dogs boiled, nothing could be simpler. Literally, you throw your hot dogs in the rice cooker, add water, cover them, and wait for about 11 minutes or so. Since we like our hot dogs juicy, we prefer hot dogs that have not cooked so long that they have cracked open. If so, they will lose some of their wonderful juicy flavor. I don’t warm up the rice cooker prior to cooking, nor do I wait for the water to boil before adding the hot dogs. These methods are easy – so let’s get started!
Place your hot dogs in the rice cooker (do not use the steamer basket). Add about 1 cup of water to the rice cooker; more water will need to be added if you are cooking more than one packet of hot dogs. Put the rice cooker lid on, and flip the switch to start the cooking process. Cook in the rice cooker for approximately 11 minutes. Obviously, this time could vary with your particular rice cooker. Cooking for an excessive time will cause the hot dogs to crack and lose flavor.
On a side note, I thought that perhaps the boiled hot dog would be fatter in diameter when it was cooked (because of water absorption) than that of the steamed hot dog. To my surprise, that was not the case. I examined both hot dogs (one steamed, one boiled) side-by-side, and they were exactly the same size! The only noticeable difference was that the hot dog that was boiled was slightly darker in color, and it was just a slight difference. That makes sense since it’s skin was in boiling water. I cut open both of the hot dogs, and each looked identical to each other. It would appear that the cooking differences made no impact whatsoever on the inside texture of the hot dog. Both methods of cooking the hot dogs produced equally pleasing hot dogs, with great flavor.
The other way to cook hot dogs is the “steam” method. Now, as my husband commented, hot dogs cooked this way taste exactly like the ones you get at a movie-theater or ball game stadium. Movie theaters typically use roller cookers, which basically turns the dogs while steam cooking them. That is exactly how these hot dogs taste! With the steam method, there is absolutely no grease – on the hot dog, or anywhere else. Hot dogs cooked this way require just a few more minutes of cooking.
If you prefer this method, then all you have to do is add about ½ cup of water to the rice cooker. Load the hot dogs in your steamer basket. I usually leave a little room between each one, and stack them, so that all of them will cook evenly. I do not move them while they are cooking. I then put the rice cooker lid on, and set the timer for 15 minutes. And that is it … perfectly cooked hot dogs … ready to be devoured.
A Rice Cooker is a valuable tool to own. Think outside the box and find ways to use it for more than just cooking rice. You might have read my previous blog post on How to Hard-Boil Eggs in a Rice Cooker, and if so, you know how great these little cookers are. Give these cooking methods a try, and I think you will agree that cooking hot dogs in a rice cooker is a very smart alternative. Plump and juicy hot dogs is what you’ll get, minus the greasy mess. What’s not to love?