Homemade Corn Dogs
In less than 15 minutes, you can make your own Homemade Corn Dogs that taste way better than any local fair! We’ll dip hot dogs into a delicious corn dog batter made with cornmeal and buttermilk, then quick fry to set the outside. Enjoy on its own, or dip into your favorite sauce!
It’s amazing how much of a role nostalgia plays with food, isn’t it? I’ve recreated so many nostalgic favorites from my childhood on this site, including Homemade Soft Pretzels that remind me of the pretzel kiosks at the mall, or Homemade Fruit Rollups like the ones I devoured as a child, but made with better ingredients.
These hand-dipped corn dogs might be my favorite though. They have a delicious cornbread batter around the outside in the perfect proportion, and if you ask me, corn dogs are really about that batter. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve happily gnawed the extra little bit of batter off the bottom of the stick, because it’s the best part.
What’s Great About This Recipe
Less than 15 minutes to make – If you’ve never made a corn dog before, you’ll be surprised by how easy it is. The cornbread batter takes less than 5 minutes to mix together, and then you just have to dip some hot dogs in the batter and fry for a few minutes until golden.
Great flavor – The exterior batter is full of great flavor, thanks to cornmeal, buttermilk, and a touch of nutmeg.
It works with any size hot dog – Feel free to thread a full hot dog on the stick, or cut them into pieces for mini corn dogs. I like the size of halved hot dogs, cut through the middle (not lengthwise).
Freezer friendly – I’ll share below how you can freeze these and reheat them, in case you want to make extra for another day.
Tips for Best Results
Consider the fat you fry in – While most standard frying oils are polyunsaturated fats like canola oil, soybean oil, and the like, and you may use those if you prefer, the best fats for deep frying are actually animal fats like tallow, duck fat, or even lard. The flavor of these fats is incredible, they yield a superior texture, plus they are much more stable for frying.
Do not overmix the batter – You want to treat the batter like you would Pancakes or Muffins, and take care not to overstir the mix. You want to stir until any pockets of dry flour have disappeared, but it’s okay if there are a few lumps here or there. Overstirring will develop excess gluten and make the batter more dense.
Use real buttermilk – No, milk + vinegar is not the same as real buttermilk. This has become a really common substitution in recipes, and it may work out okay in terms of the chemistry, but real buttermilk is so much better. Get the real stuff, and if you need to use up the leftovers, try Lemon Buttermilk Pie or Buttermilk Pancakes.
Step by Step Overview:
Here are the basic steps for making this homemade corn dog recipe:
- Insert sticks into hot dogs.
- Roll them in flour.
- Dip the hot dogs into a simple cornmeal batter.
- Deep fry until golden.
Make the Batter
In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and a little nutmeg.
The nutmeg is subtle, but really enhances the flavor of the batter. You may also add a touch of cayenne pepper if you enjoy the heat.
What Type of Cornmeal to Use
The most common type of cornmeal you’ll find at the grocery store is a standard yellow finely ground cornmeal that has been degerminated. This is ideal, as it will give you a more cohesive shell around the hot dog. Try not to use coarsely ground corn meal here, as it will make the texture of the batter somewhat gritty.
Whisk to combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, to evenly distribute them:
Mix the dry ingredients with your wet ingredients: buttermilk and eggs.
Stir together until the flour disappears. It’s okay to leave some lumps in there, as you want to keep from overmixing.
That’s it! it’s a simple batter. We’re now ready to prep the hot dogs.
Recommended Hot Dogs
Not all hot dogs are created equal, and I’m always reminded of this when I go to a big campout or event where they’re serving something clearly on the cheaper end of the spectrum.
My favorite brand of hot dogs is made by Applegate, and my kids prefer them as well. It’s a juicy hot dog made with good quality meat. Other well-ranked brands are made by Nathan’s, Hebrew National, and Sabrett.
Coat the outside in flour
Skewer the hot dogs on wooden sticks in preparation for rolling the hot dogs in all-purpose flour. This helps the batter stick better to the meat. If you were to try to dip the hot dogs without any flour, the batter would just slide right off!
While some people use popsicle sticks for skewering, I prefer to use wooden skewers with a pointy tip, to make sure they don’t fall off. There are bamboo sticks like this (affiliate) that are specifically made to thread corn dogs. Candy apple sticks are very similar, and are easier to find in grocery stores.
Roll all the hot dogs well, and make sure to shake off any excess flour.
Dip into the batter
Transfer the corn dog batter to a tall glass and dip the floured hot dogs in, coating it all over.
Deep fry for 3 minutes, until golden
Gently but quickly lower each corn dog one-by-one into the hot oil, then deep fry the corn dogs at 350F for 3 minutes, until the outside shell is golden and crisp. You can do this either in a dedicated deep fryer, or in any kind of saucepan or large pot filled with a few inches of oil, or your frying fat of choice.
Move each batch to a paper towel lined plate as you cook, and make sure the oil doesn’t get too hot or too cold. You will not get that golden brown perfection that’s characteristic of the best corn dogs if the temperature isn’t precise. I usually maintain the temperature on my stove at medium-high heat for an oil temperature of 350 degrees F.
What kind of frying oil to use
You can see in the recipe video that I used to use vegetable oil, which is commonly used for frying. However, since learning how inferior and unhealthy these oils are, I now use beef tallow, which is an extremely stable fat that tolerates high heat frying very well. Duck fat is also incredible. Use whatever high heat frying oil you prefer.
How to Serve
Serve the homemade corn dogs alongside some ketchup, mustard, Mayonnaise, or your favorite condiments! Corn dogs were made for dipping, and my whole family enjoys trying different sauces.
What to do with leftover cooking oil
One benefit of using tallow or duck fat instead of fats like soybean oil or peanut oil, is it’s stable enough that it can be reused again and again. I simply filter it to remove any crumbs or sediment, then use it for another deep fried recipe, such as Homemade French Fries, Fried Calamari or Fried Chicken.
Recipe FAQ and Tips
Yes. Let them cool completely after cooking, then store in an airtight bag or container for up to two months.
Bake in a 300F oven to re-warm, about 15 minutes from a frozen state, or 10 minutes if they’ve been thawed. Or, you can microwave a single corn dog for about 60 seconds from frozen, or 30 seconds for thawed. If you have an air fryer, you can also reheat at 350F for about 2 minutes. Since they are already cooked, you really just need to warm it through.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you want to keep them longer, I recommend freezing instead.
Homemade Corn Dogs
For the Corn Dog Batter:
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
For the Corn Dogs:
- 4 hot dogs
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour for rolling
- tallow* for frying
- Preheat the fryer to 350F.
- To make the batter, whisk to combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and nutmeg.
- In another small bowl, whisk to combine the buttermilk and eggs, and mix this into the dry ingredients until there are no more streaks of flour, but be sure to leave lumps in the batter (do not stir those out, as you may overmix). Transfer the batter to a tall glass.
- Skewer the hot dogs onto wooden sticks and roll the hot dogs in enough flour to coat, then shake the excess off.
- Dip the floured hot dogs into the tall cup of batter and put them straight into the fryer for about 3 minutes, but be sure not to overcrowd your fryer. Depending on size, you might need to make two or three batches. The corn dogs are ready when the exterior is golden brown.
- Serve promptly with ketchup and mustard if desired, and enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.