The Weekly Waste Word: hot dog buns

Specialty breads are the most frequently wasted baked goods. We’re talking about hamburger and hot dog buns, mostly.

When planning a barbecue, it’s hard to know how many packages to buy and, often, we get too many for fear of running out. Then you don’t cook all the meat or people aren’t eating carbs, etc. For a variety of reasons, you’re staring at a heap of left over buns.

This happened to me recently when my wife and I planned a picnic for our friends’ wedding. Since it was an informal, ‘day in the park’ kind of thing, we had no idea how many people would show.

Here are the numbers:

Expected guests: 50-250

hot dog buns bought: 125

Buns used: about 25

As you can guess, we have many, many hot dog buns left. There are plenty of hot dogs and chicken sausage, too, but those are easier to re-purpose. Plus, they freeze better.

For a brief moment, I considered becoming ‘the guy who feeds birds.’ Then I found this thread, with plenty of inspiration for using leftover buns. I’m not sold on P.B. & J. on a bun, but this recipe for bun bread pudding caught my eye. Anything in the name of avoiding waste…

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  1. Janet
    Posted September 12, 2007 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Just wondering WHY all the buns are in packages of at least 8? I normally only use 3, or 4 per week but there are no small packages to buy, so I waste more than half of the buns per week. Think of it, it’s a big waste…May we suggest that buns producers make small packages?!!

  2. Jonathan
    Posted September 14, 2007 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    It’s a great question and an opportunity for some enterprising, eco-sensitive food company out there. Anyone?? Hello?

    Don’t hold your breath. But one possible solution I’ve found for making oldish buns virtually new again is steaming them. Steamed dogs and buns–mmmm.

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