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Been to NYC and want to recreate a dirty water hot dog? Then let me show you how to make instant pot dirty water hot dogs.

You steam hot dogs in the instant pot and then create a delicious dirty water style stock that really gives your pressure cooker hot dogs the wow flavour.

Instant Pot Dirty Water Hot Dogs
Instant Pot Dirty Water Hot Dogs
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Instant Pot Hot Dogs

Prior to getting the instant pot pressure cooker there have been many times that I have eaten hot dogs and they have never blown my mind and never felt like something special.

I remember going to a Bonfire Night a few years ago and it advertised a barbecue and all they had were a tray of hot dogs.

The hot dogs were nothing special and they did not even have onions or mustard.

I complained on the blog I had back then, and I got a lot of abuse from locals.

Since then they even advertise itself as a tray of hot dogs rather than a barbecue.

That was in the November of 2011 and now each year when that bonfire night barbecue is advertised, my dad with a cheeky grin asks me if we are going.

He knows we are not, but he still finds it funny the sarcastic blog post I wrote back then.

However, if they had made these delicious hot dogs in the instant pot or made the same amount of effort, I am sure I would have gone to it every year and be talking about the food all year. Just like I do with other foodie events that happen in our local area.

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Can You Cook Hot Dogs In The Instant Pot?

Yes, you can cook hot dogs in the instant pot and we have done it many times. The instant pot method of cooking hot dogs is very similar to that of steaming hot dogs, because essentially what the instant pot is, is a steamer.

You steam hot dogs in a similar way to how you have them when you get them at the fair or on bonfire night.

What Is The Best Method Of Cooking Hot Dogs?

The best way for cooking hot dogs is in the instant pot. Whilst I love air fryer hot dogs or air fryer frozen hot dogs, you can enjoy a delicious stock when you cook them in the instant pot, something you don’t get with the air fryer.

What Is A Dirty Water Dog?

Let us start by answering the golden question that unless you are familiar with dirty dog water or dirty water dogs, probably are wondering what an earth a dirty water dog is.

Think of all those movies you have watched that are based in NYC and how often you see people buying hot dogs from the side walk.

The first time I noticed them was back in 1990’s when I was watching the movie While You Were Sleeping.

There was a lot of New York footage and I so wanted to eat one of those hot dogs that Sandra Bullocks character was ordering.

Known as dirty water dogsdirty water hot dogs or dirty hot dogs. It is where the hot dogs were cooked in seasoned hot dog water, then new hot dogs would be added as new ones were sold and the water was not changed. This gave an amazing stock for your hot dogs.

Rules of course changed and hygiene officials banned this practice and now the water is changed much more often which has ruined the stock of dirty water dogs that we all know and love.

So when we are showing you how to make instant pot dirty water dogs the dirty water part of it is a delicious stock in the instant pot that is steamed with the hot dogs.

Instant Pot Dirty Hot Dogs

You are probably wondering how you can make your favourite NYC dirty hot dogs in the instant pot and what they taste like.

Well for me instant pot dirty hot dogs are just like when you reserve your leftovers and use it as a future stock or gravy for your next meal.

I have lots of silver tins of stock in the freezer. Some are from when I have cooked sausages, others are broth such as our lamb bone broth and instead of throwing away that leftover juices that are left in your instant pot, save them as use them like I am doing today.

The first time you make hot dogs in the instant pot do them the regular way, then save the juices and next time you make hot dogs you can instead be making dirty water hot dogs.

Of course, if you have not made the stock before do check out: instant pot lamb stockinstant pot turkey stockinstant pot beef stockinstant pot chicken stockinstant pot veggie stock.

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Dirty Water Hot Dog Ingredients

Canned hot dogs in the instant pot

Hotdogs – We did one full jar of hot dogs and used both the hot dogs and the water that the dogs are stored in.  

Onions – I always start with some onion that I sauté in the instant pot with some extra virgin olive oil.

Stock. Then to flavour the dirty water even more we added balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar.

Buns – We also had a pack of hot dog buns as hot dogs are not the same without the hot dog buns.

Sauce – Then once our dirty water dogs were loaded into hot dog buns with the fried onions, we added our sauce. Are you ketchup or mustard or both?

Can You Recommend An Instant Pot?

I often get asked which electric pressure cookers we recommend and which one we use. In 95% of our instant pot recipes, we use either this instant pot duo (we have both the 6qt and 8qt) or the Ninja Foodi air fryer and pressure cooker in 1. You can click on the links above and read up on them.

Plus, we recommend you head over to our instant pot recipes category as we have many electric pressure cooker recipes and have been using instant pots for 5 years.

How To Cook Hot Dogs In Instant Pot?

  • Sauté. Load the sliced onion into the instant pot with olive oil and sauté until softened. Then add in the vinegars and hit cancel button.
  • Deglaze. Pour in a cup/240ml of water and then deglaze the instant pot. Next add the hot dogs with the juice from the jar of hot dogs and stir. Then add enough water to ¾ cover the hotdogs though you might already have enough.
  • Cook. Place the lid on the instant pot then pressure cook the dirty hot dogs for 0 minutes and then do a quick pressure release. If you don’t know what 0 minute pressure cook is then read this.   
  • Remove. When the instant pot is done, place the hot dogs into buns and then serve with the onions and your favourite sauces.
  • Optional. If you want warm hot dog buns take the lid off the instant pot and add a steamer basket and place the hot dog buns in the steamer basket. Seal the instant pot but don’t press any buttons and let it sit for a minute or two and the steam will warm them up.

Dirty Dog Water

Dirty Water Dog Recipe

Doing the dirty dog water is like when you do instant pot Greek yoghurt and how you reserve the leftovers for when you make the instant pot recipe next time.

So, what we do after we have made this dirty water hot dog recipe is drain the liquid and then place it into a freezer container. Then next time we are craving hot dogs in the instant pot we can use it as a stock.

Steaming Hot Dog Buns

Instant Pot Hot Dog Buns

Its not just about steaming hot dogs what you can also do is instant pot steamed buns. When you have released pressure and the hot dogs are just done, leave everything as it is, and add in a steamer basket or your air fryer basket.

Then add the hot dog buns and place the lid back on and set the valve to sealing. Then leave it for a couple of minutes whilst you get out your ketchup and serving dishes. This will create steamed buns in the instant pot and really add to the flavour as well as warming up your buns at the same time.

How Long To Cook Hot Dogs In Instant Pot?

Cooking hot dogs in the instant pot, is like steaming hot dogs, so it’s incredibly quick to do.

You just need a 0 minute cook time therefore the time to pressure for pressure cooker hot dogs and this is regardless of whether it is classic instant pot hotdogs vs a New York dirty water dog.

We experimented with lots of different types of hot dogs in the instant pot and the cook time we found is as follows:

  • Thin hot dogs = 0 minutes
  • Canned hot dogs = 0 minutes
  • Thick German hot dogs = 1 minute

However, it is very important to note that you MUST cook your hot dogs at low pressure otherwise they will explode under the pressure.

Instant Pot Frozen Hot Dogs

If you would like to cook instant pot frozen hot dogs, then I recommend that you increase the cook time by 2 minutes and do everything else the same as our thawed hot dogs recipe.

Instant Pot Hot Dogs For A Crowd

If you plan to cook instant pot hot dogs for a crowd then I recommend a much bigger amount of liquid in your instant pot. Normally I would just add enough water or dirty dog water for 6 hot dogs.

But if you wanted to make 18 hot dogs for example, you would need to stack them. They do not taste very nice if they are not partly submerged in water, so load in extra water to balance it out.

More Sausage Instant Pot Recipes

Dirty Water Hot Dogs In Instant Pot

This dirty water dog recipe was originally shared in 2020 and was the original frozen steak recipe. I have updated it with better pics and more info for you.

Your hot dogs in instant pot recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.

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4.84 from 6 votes

Instant Pot Dirty Water Hot Dog

Been to NYC and want to recreate a dirty water hot dog? Then let me show you how to make instant pot dirty water hot dogs.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
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Kitchen Gadgets


  • Let’s steam hot dogs in the instant pot. Peel and thinly slice lengthways the onions and place into the instant pot with olive oil and sauté until the onions have softened. Then press cancel and add in the two vinegars. Deglaze the instant pot with one cup/240ml of warm tap water.
    How Long To Cook Hot Dogs In Instant Pot?
  • Add the hot dogs and the water from the jar of hot dogs and stir. Then add enough water so that the hot dogs are ¾ submerged.
    How Long To Cook Hot Dogs In Instant Pot?
  • Place the lid on the instant pot, set the valve to sealing and pressure cook for 0 minutes followed by a quick pressure release.
    How Long To Cook Hot Dogs In Instant Pot?
  • After releasing the pressure, add the air fryer basket or a steamer basket and add the hot dog buns, add the lid and put the instant pot to sealing position and leave the instant pot for a couple of minutes for the hot dog buns to warm up.
    How Long To Cook Hot Dogs In Instant Pot?
  • Then serve the hot dogs in buns with the onions and your choice of sauce.
    How Long To Cook Hot Dogs In Instant Pot?


Jars. Here in Europe hot dogs are sold in their jars, if you don’t have hot dogs in jars then just add extra water for the hot dogs to go to pressure.
Thanks for reading our hot dog instant pot recipe on Recipe This. We have many more instant pot recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like to see more comfort food recipes then do check out our instant pot creamed corn next.


Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 519mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg
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About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie maker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I did a quick and dirty test of the recipe (using onion powder, added garlic powder) on 6 bar-s “smoked sausage & cheese”. The flavor was much improved and I certainly can see doing it again…I did put a couple of the weiners after they had been cooked via your method for 3 minutes @ 400f (preheat cycle on my machine) in the airfryer which resulted in a crispy outside that kindof gave it the bite and crispiness of the higher quality dogs/grilled dogs

  2. 5 stars
    You’ve blown my mind. Tried them in the instant pot last night and they were amazing and love your dirty water tricks.

  3. 5 stars
    Yeah. that’s what I was exploring for.. why are there not more recipes showing how to do dirty water hot dogs. But i have found yours now. Thanks. Clementine.

  4. I’m with you. Living in Texas, if you ever have a BBQ you’d better have a lot more than hot dogs!

  5. 4 stars
    To continue this in the future, do you do another batch of sautéed onions? I started with homemade chicken broth and I dip out the cooked onions to serve on each hot dog. They are so soft, the way I wished all the hot dogs I have eaten over my lifetime had been.

    1. Hi David

      Yes i would do another batch of onions if you need to as they only take a minute 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Thanks Samantha,

    Never thought of using the instant pot for hot dogs. Will be making these for lunch. Also have a NinjaFoodi which will be perfect for warming up the buns.