How To Get Soft Hot Dog Buns Without A Steaming Basket

Pair of hot dogs with mustard
Pair of hot dogs with mustard - WS-Studio/Shutterstock

While there are many hacks to upgrade your hot dogs this summer, only one thing will truly take your hot dogs to the next level: steaming your buns. Many hot dog carts and food stands opt to steam their hot dog buns rather than toast them on the grill. Steaming your buns will make them warm and soft and taste nearly identical to those delicious $1.50 Costco hot dogs. The best part is that you don't even need to invest in a steaming basket.

Resembling a shallow pasta insert, steaming baskets are designed to rest on top of a pot of boiling water. They are typically made of stainless steel, bamboo, or silicone. As the water boils, steam is released and captured by the steaming basket, thus steaming whatever piece of food is in the basket. You can steam several items with this basket, such as steaming dumplings on top of vegetables; however, steaming any type of bun or bread is where these kitchen gadgets truly shine. Although these baskets are often fairly inexpensive, you do not need one to steam hot dog buns as you can get the same effect using the microwave.

Read more: Common Mistakes Everyone Makes With Hot Dogs

How To Steam Hot Dog Buns In The Microwave

hot dog buns
hot dog buns - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Steaming hot dog buns in the microwave is fairly straightforward. Start by heating a bowl of water (approximately 44 mL) in the microwave for one minute. This should create some steam inside. Next, layer two sheets of paper towels on a microwave-safe plate. Since condensation will accumulate on the plate, the paper towels will help absorb the water and save your buns from getting soggy. Place your bun on the plate and cover it with a dampened paper towel. This will help your bun retain its moisture and not dry out. Microwave the bun along with the bowl of hot water for 10 seconds. Finally, flip the bun over and microwave it for another 10 seconds.

You can steam multiple buns at once; however, just make sure not to overcrowd the plate so that all the buns cook evenly. You may also need to add another five seconds to your cooking time if the bun isn't warm to the touch. Lastly, always be careful when taking items out of the microwave as the contents may be hotter than you think. Also, while you can safely steam hot dog buns this way, never cook the actual hot dogs in the microwave since the non-ionizing radiation could cause the hot dogs to spark and possibly damage the microwave itself.

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