Easy Homemade Corn Dogs That Your Kids Will Request ALL the Time

updated Sep 16, 2021
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How To Make Easy Homemade Corn Dogs

A juicy hot dog encased in a crispy cornbread coating is a state fair favorite and easy to make at home.

Makes8

Prep25 minutes

Cook12 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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corndogs with ketchup and mustard
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

If you’ve only ever enjoyed corn dogs at the state fair, along beach boardwalks, or from your grocery store’s freezer aisle, you’re missing out: Homemade corn dogs are one of the best warm-weather treats there is. This summer, when you’ve tired of grilled and boiled dogs, consider swapping the bun for a sweet cornmeal coating. Here’s how to make the very best corn dogs at home.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

How to Make the Best Corn Dog Batter

Frying corn dogs at home can be broken down into three main stages: making the batter, preparing the hot dogs, and frying. The batter is a simple, slightly sweet cornbread batter — similar to one you’d pour into a cast iron pan for serving with chili. For the crispiest coating with a toothsome texture, use stone-ground medium-grind cornmeal. While both yellow and white cornmeal will work, yellow will give you the classic corn dog color.

The key to getting the crispiest coating is letting the batter rest. As it rests (just 20 minutes will do), the leavening activates and aerates the batter, giving the coating a light and tender texture.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Prepping Corn Dogs for Frying

Two crucial steps ensure the batter clings to the hot dogs: drying the dogs, and covering them in cornstarch. First, pat the hot dogs really dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Then, insert a stick halfway into the hotdog, which not only makes for fun and easy eating but also acts as a handle for dipping the dog in batter and maneuvering it in hot oil. Thick skewers, chopsticks (not separated), and Popsicle sticks all work well for this. Once skewered, sprinkle the hot dogs with cornstarch until completely coated, which further helps the batter adhere and keeps it in place in the bubbling oil.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

The Best Oil for Deep Frying

The final step is frying the batter-dipped dogs in bubbling oil. Peanut oil is excellent for deep frying because of its clean, nutty flavor and tolerance for high heat, although vegetable oil can also be used. Once the corn dogs are golden and crisp, cool for a few minutes — or risk singed lips! — and serve with ketchup and yellow mustard.

Storing Homemade Corn Dogs

Corn dogs are best eaten after a quick cool-down from the fry oil. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days, then use an oven, toaster oven, or air fryer to reheat. Freeze extras on a parchment-lined baking sheet until solid, then store in a zip-top bag for last-minute corn dog cravings.

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell
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Here's how to make easy homemade corn dogs.

How To Make Easy Homemade Corn Dogs

A juicy hot dog encased in a crispy cornbread coating is a state fair favorite and easy to make at home.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes

Makes 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 cup

    yellow cornmeal

  • 1 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1 cup

    buttermilk

  • 8

    jumbo or regular hot dogs

  • 8

    thick wooden skewers, wooden chopsticks (not separated), or popsicle sticks

  • 1/4 cup

    cornstarch

  • 2 quarts

    peanut or vegetable oil, for deep frying

  • For serving: ketchup or yellow mustard

Equipment

Instructions

  1. Make the batter and let it rest. Place 1 cup yellow cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Place 1 large egg and 1 cup buttermilk in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, a few lumps are ok. Set aside for at least 20 minutes while you prepare the hot dogs and heat the oil. 

  2. Insert sticks into hot dogs. Working with 1 hot dog at a time, insert a thick wooden skewer, disposable wooden chopsticks (not separated), or popsicle stick, about halfway into each of 8 hot dogs. 

  3. Pat the hot dogs dry and dust with cornstarch. Pat the hot dogs very dry with paper towels. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle the hot dogs with 1/4 cup cornstarch, turning them until completely coated. Tap off any excess cornstarch. 

  4. Set up for frying. Place 2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven, attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer, and heat over medium-high heat to 375°F, 15 to 20 minutes. Line a large plate with paper towels.

  5. Dip the corn dogs. Transfer the batter to a tall, narrow jar or drinking glass. Working quickly, dip 2 hot dogs one at a time in the batter and rotate to coat. 

  6. Fry the corn dogs. Immediately place in the oil, keeping the wooden handle out of the oil if long enough. Fry until golden-brown, turning the corn dogs occasionally for even cooking, 2 to 3 minutes. 

  7. Cool the corn dogs. Use tongs to transfer the corn dogs to the plate. Repeat dipping and frying the remaining corn dogs. Let cool for 3 to 5 minutes before serving with ketchup and yellow mustard.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Freeze in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet until solid, then transfer to an zip-top bag for up to 3 months. Reheat in a toaster oven, oven, or air fryer until heated through, about 15 minutes from frozen.

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This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: How To Make Easy Homemade Corn Dogs: A Step-by-Step Guide