Sunday, 6 February 2011

How to: make Corn Dogs !

Like Salt Water Taffy and Tootsie rolls, Corn Dogs were a distinctly American phenomenon that I was familiar with through sit coms and movies without really having any idea what they were.
Until I worked with the Robin Collective on their Last Legs Vetinary Society event, they hardly crossed my thoughts, and when they did, they were regarded with suspicion and distaste in their unfamiliarity, tinged with contempt.
Yet, when asked if i knew how to make them and if I could cook them en masse for the Last Legs party, I did what I had to do. I lied through my teeth and scuttled home to research.

I found that corn dogs are in fact, bizarrely, polenta battered frankfurters. I compared recipes, sourced ingredients, and gave them a go...
They were surprisingly easy to make, and distressingly good. They went down a storm, and rather like discovering the secret underground porridge fan base, I discovered that it isn't just our friends across the pond that go wild for these weird little snacks on sticks.

So here is how you too can make your own corn dogs. They're fun for casual parties, and especially good for events like Bonfire Night. Give them a go and see if you too can be converted...

Corn Dog Recipe

As corn dogs are an American thing, I've done this in cups- not imperial. This batter makes quite a large quantity of corn dogs.

A pack of frankfurters
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. cornmeal (this threw me at first... Cornmeal is just yellow polenta though. You probably knew that... But I didn't even know what a corn dog was before I made one...)
1/4 tsp. salt
2 teaspoons of dried mustard powder
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. sugar
Some recipes call for added flavourings such as a teaspoon of chilli. I like to spice it up a bit. Don't forget the mustard powder as this really makes it!

Mix together all the dry ingredients.
Stir in the egg and the milk and mix well until the polenta has reached a thick smooth consistency.
If you don't have a deep fat fryer, I just filled a deep frying pan with oil and heated it on the stove. Once the oil was hot I used toothpicks to dip the corn dogs into the batter, then (carefully!) dropped into the oil.
They turn golden in less than a minute, so keep an eye on them- you may need to turn them over (forks not fingers please!) and as soon as they look done, take them out with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper.

You have yourself a corn dog! Awesome!
If there are any American folk out there who have a variation or improvement on the recipe, please get in touch!



  1. I tried these at the event and they were very good indeed....:) And when I lived In california I did develop a huge taste for them. Very very more-ish. Although Americans can get quite passionate over the recipes and their variations.

  2. Wow. I've never heard of Corn Dogs before. Must give them a go: they sound so much fun!

  3. They look awesome, I had heard of corn dogs but had no idea what was actually in them till now! Always thought they involved sweetcorn.

  4. I live near Springfield, Illinois - home of the Illinois State Fair, where food on a stick is the norm. I've had Soda on a stick, candybars on sticks, Twinkies on sticks - all battered and deep-fried, and all crazy delicious. Corn dogs have a bad image for being unhealthy, but if the right 'frankfurter' is used with your recipe here I'd say we're golden. Just a point of clarification: we use popscicle sticks or shish-ka-bob wooden skewers inserted through the length of the 'hot dog' with at least a couple inches sticking out the end for a proper handle. Thanks, and take care.