Corn dogs. Nothing takes me back to elementary school faster than the smell of one. Oh sure, for most people they probably conger up the sights and sounds of the County Fair, but not me. It’s the perpetually sticky lunchroom, with the long benches attached to the fold-up tables, and the smears of yellow mustard on every surface in the place, that I envision. Oh sure, there were other memorable cafeteria meals that I looked forward to, like dough doggies, but it was the crispy coated dog on a stick that made my day.
Granted, I went to school in the 60’s (the late 60’s!) so those corn dogs that I loved so much were handmade by the lunch ladies. They were probably all-beef hot dogs, too. Little did we know how good we had it.
Then sometime in the 80’s I became a vegetarian and there are few things I miss since making the change, but corn dogs are one of them. Sure, there is one brand of veggie corn dogs that I can sometimes find at my local store, but it’s a pretty rare sighting so corn dogs are a once-a-year or more treat. Why I never thought of making them, I don’t know. I guess I’d gotten used to my food coming from a box at the store.
Easy Homemade Corn Dog Recipe
Well, that’s changed and this homemade corn dog recipe rivals the ones I ate as a child. Sure, there are a lot more hot dog options now than in the 60’s, but for me it’s easy, a veggie dog is my choice!
What I love about this easy corn dog recipe is that it uses pantry staples, nothing weird or hard to find. Plus it doesn’t require any equipment to make them – not even a deep fat fryer – just a heavyweight pan that can hold a few inches of hot oil and a thermometer to be sure the oil is at the right temp. That’s it!
Enjoy this taste of my childhood and summer!
- 1 pkg. Hot dogs - beef, veggie, etc
- 1 c yellow cornmeal
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 1-½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1-½ cups milk
- ¼ - ½ c cornstarch
- vegetable oil for frying
- a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer
- chopsticks separated, 1 chopstick for each hot dog or similar stick
- Heat 2 ½ - 3" of vegetable oil in a large heavy pot or deep fryer to 375˚.
- In a small bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Set aside
- In a large bowl, pour the milk then slowly add the drying ingredients. Stir gently just until combined. The batter will be lumpy and you should avoid over mixing it which can make the dough tough.
- In a flat pan or plastic container, spread out the cornstarch.
- Remove the hot dogs from their package and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Roll each hot dog in the cornstarch then tap them gently against the pan to remove the excess.
- Insert one of the chopsticks into the narrow end of each hot dog
- Pour the corn dog batter into a narrow glass or container (Mason jars work great for this) to just below the rim. Make sure the glass is a little taller than the hot dog so that it will be coated completely when dunked.
- Dip each hot dog in the batter until it is submerged and then place immediately into the hot oil. It's important that your oil is at 375 F before adding a hot dog or it'll soak up too much grease.
- Cook no more than 2-3 corn dogs at a time or your oil's temperature will drop.
- Carefully place the hot
dotinto the hot oil and roll it as you let go to flash cook the outer layer so the batter stays even on the hot dog.
- Cook until the corn dogs are dark golden brown, about 4 minutes if your oil is at the right temperature.
- With a pair of tongs, remove the cooked corn dogs and place them on a plated lined with paper towels or on a wire rack.
- Continue cooking until all of the dogs are cooked. As the batter is used from the cup, replace it from the bowl.
- Serve immediately with mustard