These corn dogs are ridiculously easy. Simply make the cornmeal and buttermilk batter, dunk the hot dogs, and fry until golden. Just like the kind you’ll find at the state fair. But homemade. Here’s how.
The corn dogs that I consumed by the box while living in Dallas can’t hold a match to these homemade little lovelies on a stick. What I like about this corn dog recipe—well, one of many things that like about this corn dog—is that you can control the quality of the ingredients. Think about it: You can use organic cornmeal, all-beef kosher hot dogs, even tofu dogs for the vegetarians among us. You won’t find those at the state fair.–David Leite
☞ READ THE ARTICLE: SAVIOR ON A STICK
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plus more for coating the hot dogs
- 2/3 to 1 cup finely ground cornmeal (the exact amount depends on how thick and corny you like your corndog coating)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (or substitute honey)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Generous pinch salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk
- 8 to 12 hot dogs
- Vegetable or peanut oil for frying
- Mustard for serving
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar (if using honey, don't add it quite yet), baking powder, and salt.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg and 1 cup of the milk or buttermilk. If using honey, add it now.
- Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. The batter will be quite thick.
- Heat a couple of inches of oil in a deep pot or ample oil in a deep fryer to 360° to 365° F (182° to 185°C).
- Scatter some flour on a plate. Using tongs or your fingertips, roll a hot dog in the flour to coat. This will help the batter cling to the hot dog. Then dip the hot dog in the batter and coat it evenly. If you find that the batter seems too thick, add up to 1/4 cup more milk or buttermilk, stirring in just a little at a time.
- Add the corn dog to the hot oil and quickly repeat, frying only 3 to 4 corn dogs at a time and being careful not to crowd them to ensure the oil stays pretty steady in temperature. Cook, turning as needed, until the batter is golden brown and the hot dog is warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer the corn dogs to a plate lined with paper towels or a brown paper bag to drain for a minute or two. Skim any bits of batter from the oil, return the oil to its proper temperature, and repeat with the remaining hot dogs and batter.
- Insert a wooden skewer in the end of each corn dog and serve immediately, with mustard if desired. And napkins. Lots of napkins.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I’ve always stayed far away from recipes that required frying, as it felt so intimidating and messy to me. Fast forward to my being four months pregnant and deep-fried foods are on this lady’s brain. This recipe takes the same amount of time and energy as making a basic pancake batter. If you get the oil heating up beforehand, it’ll take you all of 20 minutes to mix, batter, and fry every single hot dog. And, pro tip, you can fry any leftover batter on its own and then dust it with powdered sugar and enjoy it as a funnel cake for a job well done. Which I definitely did.
I like a lot of batter on my corn dogs, so I used the full cup of cornmeal. This meant I needed the whole 1 1/4 cups buttermilk. After making them, I would probably thin it out a bit more, maybe do a few more tablespoons of buttermilk because it was a lot on each dog. I battered and fried 10 medium hot dogs and still had a decent amount of batter left over, thus the funnel cake (a happy addition to my afternoon).
I actually used vegetarian hot dogs, as I’m not a red meat eater and no one could tell the difference, so this works really well for carnivores and vegetarians alike. Hardest part was keeping the oil temperature consistent, so I staggered when I put the dogs in, slowly 3 or 4 at a time, continuously, until all were cooked, which I think helped me keep the oil from getting too hot or cold at any one point, made the process more efficient, and kept me from feeling rushed since the recipe says to work quickly.
As a child, going to the fair was something that excited me for weeks ahead of time—and getting a couple of corn dogs was always on the to-do list. So of course I had to try this recipe! I always thought corn dogs were difficult to make, however, these were very easy.
I did have to add the extra 1/4 cup of milk to the batter as the first corn dog had too much batter. The trick of rolling the hot dogs in flour before coating them with the batter worked very well. The taste of these took me back to my fair-going days, but I did find the batter to be not as sweet as I remembered it to be (although this was fine with me at my older age).
I used 2/3 cup cornmeal and a buttermilk substitute (1 cup milk with 1 tbs vinegar and let it set 5 minutes). I also used Ball Park Chicken and Pork Frank. The batter was very thick so I took the advice of adding 1/4 cup more milk. I used a small skillet to fry the corn dogs with oil at a depth of about 1 inch—this was 3 cups of oil for my skillet. The corn dogs weren’t totally submerged st this depth so I had to fry on one side and turned them to fry the other side. This took about 2 minutes per side.
I made 2 batches of 4 each for a total of 8 corn dogs. I did have batter leftover that would have done at least another 4 hot dogs ( I only had 8 hot dogs).
These corn dogs came together fairly quickly and they were quite good.
I figured I would split the difference between 2/3 and 1 cup of cornmeal just to have a sense of where to make any changes if necessary. Next time I would definitely use the full cup to get more corn flavor in the batter. I used granulated sugar. I will definitely use honey next time. It didn’t dawn on me until I was eating them that honey and cornbread belong together. I used 1 cup of “homemade” buttermilk and didn’t need to add any more.
I used Nathan’s All-beef bun length hot dogs. Quite honestly, these were good but nostalgia tells me that thicker mixed meat dogs would be better for this. I think pork and beef hot dogs would have better flavor.
The batter is quite thick, it makes it easier to get the batter on the dog using a spoon. If I increase the cornmeal next time, I would need to add a few tablespoons of milk. You definitely don’t want the batter just running off the hot dog.
I would put the stick in the hot dog and use that as a handle to dip and cook the corn dog. I used 2 inches of corn oil in a cast iron pan. I would drop the temp to 350°f so the batter cooks but they brown a little slower, allowing the batter to puff and the hot dog to get hot. I used 6 hot dogs and it was 3 servings. I had plenty of batter to coat at least 6 more hot dogs.
Originally published September 05, 2020