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Using a hot dog steamer to cook hot dogs can be a good idea whether you are doing so at home or for business. When choosing a steamer, is important to know how many hot dogs you might cook at one time so you can buy one that is the right size. If you are operating a concession stand, you may also want one that has a bun warmer. It is helpful to know how easy a professional steamer might be to take apart and clean when you are done using it. Making sure the water pans are easy for you to empty is a good idea as well.
A hot dog steamer can be either a very large unit or small and portable. The size you need largely depends on the number of hot dogs you will cook at one time and whether you also need space for buns or condiments. If you are buying one for home use, the amount of available counter space could dictate the size. One used commercially may need to be hauled in a vehicle, so this could be a factor as well.
When steaming hot dogs, you may want a machine that has other features, including a bun warmer, heat lamps, or storage racks for condiments. A professional hot dog steamer may come with a kettle for keeping chili warm as well. Some commercial models contain wheels and an umbrella so they are easy to set up wherever you may plan to sell hot dogs.
Whether using a hot dog steamer at home or for business, you will need to clean it often. Before you make a purchase, ask the sales representative to show you how to assemble and disassemble this equipment. By doing so, you will know if it is complicated to take this machine apart in order to clean it properly. Try to avoid buying one that requires special tools in order for you to do this.
A hot dog steamer may also have large pans designed to hold water. While you are learning how to assemble and disassemble a particular steamer, check to see how easy it might be to empty these when you are done using the machine. If the pans are large and bulky, they could become heavy and difficult to empty. This might make it more likely for you to become burned should you drop one of these units.