How to Steam Hot Dog Buns? The Best and Easiest Ways

how to steam hot dog buns

Hot dogs are embedded in American culture and are quintessential American street food. It is almost synonymous with baseball and Super Bowl. Hot dogs used to be sold on the streets at stands and carts. It was a staple for the working class of New York, and it quickly gained popularity nationwide. 

It can be considered comfort food; people associate it with good times, excitement, and, yes, celebration as well. One might find themselves craving this snack now and then. So if you want to make hot dogs at home and get an authentic taste, then you must ensure a few key things: a warm steamed bun that is soft and not soggy, a hot dog, and yes, your choice of topping. So today, I shall teach you how to steam some hot dog buns at home.

How To Steam Hot Dog Buns

There are many ways of steaming hot dog buns. While you may not have a steamer at your home, I shall show you alternative ways of steaming hot dogs or other buns using things you already have. 

Using A Steamer

This is the best way to steam hot dog buns as this is the way they do it at carts and stands. So if you happen to own a steamer, then follow these instructions:

Utensils and Tools: 

  • A tray
  • Tongs
  • mitts

Now follow these steps:

  • Take out a rack and place the buns with space between each bun.
  • Slide the rack into the top slot of the steamer.
  • Next, follow the instruction and set the settings accordingly.
  • If there is a system to let the excess steam out, then use that option
  • Then take them out based on the time mentioned in the manual.

Using A Steaming Basket

If you own a steaming basket, this is an excellent option for you. Let us begin!

Utensils and Tools:

  • A steaming basket
  • A pot of boiling water 
  • Some greaseproof paper
  • Tongs
  • mitts
  • A towel

Now follow these steps:

  • Get a pot that fits perfectly with your steaming basket.
  • Fill it with water and only use small amounts of water.
  • Raise the heat and get the water to start boiling.
  • Now take the steamer and lay down a small piece of greaseproof paper.
  • Place the buns inside gently and make sure there is space in between each bun.
  • Put the lid on and start steaming.
  • After a few minutes, take them out carefully using the tong while wearing mitts.

Using A Microwave

You can also use your regular microwave oven to steam your hot dog buns. Here’s how:

Utensils and Tools:

  • A small cup
  • 2 shots of water
  • Kitchen towels
  • Sprayer and Water
  • Tongs
  • Mitts.
  • A plate with a cover or lid.

Now follow these steps:

  • Fill up the small cup with 2 shots of water.
  • Heat the water so that it starts evaporating.
  • Now lay 2 kitchen towel sheets on the plate.
  • Place the cup on the plate.
  • Spray some water on the buns.
  • Place the buns on the plate.
  • Now cover the buns with another sheet of kitchen towel.
  • Now cover the plate with a lid.
  • Place the entire thing in the microwave.
  • Allow it to run for a few minutes.
  • Take them out wearing mitts using a tong.

Using An Electric Oven

You can use an electric oven to steam your buns as well. Here’s how:

Utensils and Tools:

  • Rack
  • Aluminum foil
  • Sprayer and water
  • Mitts

Now follow these steps:

  • Firstly set the oven to preheat at 350° F.
  • Gently and carefully spray water all over the buns.
  • Wrap them in aluminum foil into small parcels.
  • Place them in the preheated oven for up to 5 minutes.
  • After that, take them out with your mitts on.
  • Remove the aluminum wrapping.
Caution :

The foil can be very hot and may cause burns! Let it cool for a little while before trying to open them.

On the Stove (using a Colander)

If you have a colander, you can use it to steam your hot dog buns! But to do so, you must find a pot that fits your colander perfectly. Here’s how you can do it:

Utensils and Tools:

  • A pot
  • A colander
  • A lid
  • Tongs
  • Water
  • Mitts

Now follow these steps:

  • Fill the pot with water and allow it to boil.
  • Place all the buns on the colander and leave a little space between each bun.
  • Place the colander with the buns gently over the boiling water.
  • Place a lid over the colander, covering the buns.
  • Steam them for about 5 mins and gently take the buns out using the tongs wearing mitts.


  • Always wear mittens when handling anything hot. 
  • Be careful of hot water as boiling water can easily splash around and cause painful burns.
  • Be careful of the steam as well. Steam can also rush your face and eyes, causing you painful burns!
  • Always keep ice water nearby for safety and as a precaution. 

You may also like: Fastest Frozen Corn Dogs in Air Fryer

Pro Tips To Steam Hot Dog Buns

  • Always leave space between each bun. It will ensure they don’t get stuck.
  • Never overfill the pot with water. Always use as little water as possible. 1-2inches of water is usually enough. It will also depend on the size and shape of your pot.
  • Usually, 25% of the way is always enough.
  • Leave the steaming of the buns as the last step. If you steam buns and then waste time prepping everything else, the buns will become cold and soggy; undo all the steaming you did a while ago. So always have everything ready and ready to assemble and leave steaming the buns as the last step.
  • If the buns are not cut, then always slice and cut the buns before steaming them.
  • Always place the bun upside down when steaming; keep the cut side facing the steam. It will allow the steam to get inside your buns and heat them properly; at the same time, it will make them more fluffy.
  • It is best if you don’t use lids. Water forms on the cover and falls directly on the bun, making them soggy.
  • If you want, you can go the extra step of slightly toasting the bun with a little bit of butter or oil. It will give it a crunch that will add a variety of textures to the final product.

Answering Some FAQ

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

No! It has been declared by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council!

Can you steam hot dog buns without a steamer?

-Yes, it has been discussed here in the article.

Can you steam hot dog buns in a rice cooker?

-Yes, but it will depend on your rice cooker model.

Can you steam hot dog buns in a croc pot?

-Again, the answer is yes, just like you use a rice cooker.

How to prevent hot dog buns from becoming soggy?

-Please check the Pro Tips section. MAKE AN INTERNAL LINK HERE

How much water do I need?

–Please check the Pro Tips section. MAKE AN INTERNAL LINK HERE

What is the most popular topping for hot dogs?

-Mustard is the most popular topping for hot dogs in America, with ketchup being a very close 2nd.

What is the most preferred way of preparing hot dogs?

-Grilling is the most preferred way of preparation of hot dogs. About 63% think so.

What other toppings can I put on hot dogs?

-Anything and everything your heart desires.

Should I eat hot dogs with cutlery?

-No, it is considered to be very rude and not to mention pretentious!

What kind of hot dogs is preferred by everyone? Pork or beef?

-The answer is beef. About 61% prefer beef hotdogs over other varieties.

The Finishing Touch

Whether it is for National Hot Dog Day, a baseball match with friends, or to satisfy your craving, now that you know how to steam hot dogs, you can never be unsatisfied. Use the tips and techniques I mentioned to make perfect hot dogs and impress your guests and, more importantly, yourself. Make sure to use all the toppings you love, experiment with different kinds of toppings, and have a blast. Lastly, keep lots of napkins nearby!

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