Hot dogs are one of America's most unfussy favorites. These summertime treats almost always come pre-cooked, so eating them is simply a matter of warming them up. You can do that in any number of ways, from simmering them in hot water to grilling — or even sticking them in the microwave. But if you're cooking for a crowd, you'll want a method that will not just get the dogs to temp, but also keep them warm until guests are ready to start munching.
What about the slow cooker? Keeping the dogs warm in the Crockpot is the perfect way to serve them at a picnic, party, or anywhere else you can't be constantly minding the grill or stovetop. You don't even need to add water; simply use a tall, round slow cooker and add enough hot dogs so that they can stand up on one end (You can lay them on their sides if necessary, but standing them up is preferable). Then close the lid, cook on high for about 3 hours to warm through, then switch to "keep warm" and serve with condiments and buns.
Read more: The Best Slow Cooker Recipes
Why Cook Hot Dogs In The Slow Cooker?
Cooking hot dogs in the slow cooker may not be the optimal method if you like a snappy exterior or grill marks on your dog. But it is a convenient way to cook a large amount of dogs for a crowd, especially if you can't dedicate an extended amount of time to babysitting the cooking process — slow cookers truly let you set it and forget it.
Most slow cookers can fit 20-50 hot dogs at once, which is far beyond the amount that you could cook on the average grill or even simmer on the stove at one time. It's a heater and a warmer all in one, so there's no need to keep the stove running or transfer the dogs from a cooking surface to somewhere else to stay warm. It's also fairly portable, and can be set up anywhere there's a power source to plug it into.
Other Picnic Treats For The Slow Cooker
Hot dogs aren't the only treats you can use a slow cooker to heat up the next time you're hosting a picnic or other social event. Plenty of meals and side dishes can stay warm in the Crockpot while guests and hosts mingle, freeing up responsibilities and letting everyone have a little more fun.
Veggie-forward side dishes like carrots, green beans, and even corn on the cob can be cooked and warmed in the slow cooker, as well as dishes like mac and cheese, baked beans, and succotash. Plenty of meat dishes can be made and served in the slow cooker as well, from pulled pork for sandwiches to ribs, barbecue chicken, shrimp, and more. You can even use the appliance to keep grilled items warm after grilling if you're cooking up something like burgers but don't want them to go cold (or get attacked by bugs).
Read the original article on Daily Meal.