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Corn Dogs are a classic carnival food featuring hot dogs on a stick, hand-dipped in a crispy batter made with cornmeal and a touch of honey and deep-fried to perfection.
You can make this iconic fair food in the comfort of your own kitchen with my easy homemade corn dogs recipe.Pin this recipe for later!
Table of Contents
Why We Love These Corn Dogs
- Nostalgic – Corn Dogs have a nostalgic and festive appeal that brings back memories of fairs, carnivals, and outdoor gatherings. By making them at home, you can recreate that fun and festive atmosphere anytime.
- Family-Friendly – Loved by both kids and adults alike!
- Crispy Golden Batter – The unmistakable crunch of the fried corn dog batter is perfection!
- Freezer-Friendly – No more store-bought! Just let them cool completely then pop them into a freezer bag. To thaw, refrigerate overnight or microwave for 30 seconds, then air fry, bake, or sauté until crispy on the outside.
- Snack Size or Full Size – I made mine snack sized by cutting the hot dogs in half. This not only makes them perfect for little hands, but it also makes them easier to dip and fry. The recipe is the same if you want to use whole hot dogs, just cook them a little longer.
- Vegetable Oil – For frying. Another type of oil with a high smoke point, like peanut oil or canola oil, can be used.
- Fine Yellow Cornmeal – This recipe uses fine cornmeal, for a classic and smooth texture. For a more rustic variation you can use coarse cornmeal.
- All-Purpose Flour – This is used in the batter, and also lightly dusted on the hotdogs before dipping. Patting the dogs in flour helps the batter adhere a little better and prevents the batter from splitting.
- Baking Powder – Helps to create a light a fluffy texture.
- Egg – Used in the batter to help bind it together.
- Honey – Used to sweeten the batter. If you don’t have honey or prefer not to use it, you can substitute with an equal amount of granulated sugar or maple syrup.
- Hot Dogs – Use whatever brand you like. Just keep in mind that thicker hot dogs may not heat all the way through.
- Milk – Many of the recipes you’ll find use buttermilk but I opted for the same standard milk you probably already have in your fridge. In my testing, I didn’t notice a difference in the taste or texture.
How To Make Corn Dogs
Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.
Heat oil. Pour vegetable oil into a deep, heavy bottomed pot or a deep fryer and heat to 350℉.
Mix Batter. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Blend in the wet ingredients with an electric mixer.
Prepare Hot Dogs – Pat the hot dogs dry with paper towels and cut in half. Insert a wooden skewer halfway. Lightly dust them with flour.
Dip and Fry. Dip the hot dogs into the batter and gently drop into the oil. You can dip the hot dogs straight from the mixing bowl, or transfer to a glass for easier dipping. Fry for about 5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Use tongs or a slotted metal spoon to transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Use a large, deep pot filled with oil and heat it to the appropriate temperature for frying. They are more likely to stick to a deep fryer basket.
Can I make the batter ahead of time?
Preparing the batter ahead of time may affect the texture and consistency. I found that the batter does rise a bit and get a little fluffy and thick as it sits. To prevent this, it’s best to dip right away.
While the recipe will work if you omit this step, it’s highly recommended to ensure that the batter will properly adhere to the hot dog.
Storage and Reheating
Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
Freezer: Cool completely then store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
Reheating: To reheat, bake them in a preheated oven at 375℉ for about 15 minutes or until heated through. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge or microwave for 30 seconds. You could also air fry at 380℉ for 5-7 minutes, or saute in a skillet until crispy.
- Pat Dry: It is important to thoroughly pat your dogs dry before dipping. Otherwise the batter will not stick.
- Batter Consistency: The batter should be thin enough to dip but thick enough to stay coated. The perfect consistency will take a few seconds to drip off the dogs after dipping.
- Preheat the Oil: You can test the oil by dropping a small amount of batter into it. If it sizzles and quickly turns golden brown, the oil is ready. Using a candy thermometer is the best way to ensure the perfect temperature.
- Oil Temperature: Keeping the oil temp at exactly 350-365℉ yielded perfect results, every time. If the temperature dips too low, it could cause the exterior to split open during frying.
- Fry in Small Batches: I recommend frying one corn dog for the first batch and then increase to 3 at a time.
- Sink or Swim: When they are first dropped in the oil, they will sink! Don’t panic, leave them and they will bob up in a few seconds.
More Kid Friendly Recipes
- Air Fryer Hot Dogs
- Oven Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Baked Chicken Nuggets
- Ranch Oyster Crackers
- Muddy Buddies
- Pizza Bagels
Homemade Corn Dogs
- 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
- 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour + 2 tablespoons divided
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 8 hot dogs
- Prepare oil for frying by heating over medium high heat to 350 degrees. You can use a heavy bottom pan or deep fryer.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the corn meal, 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt until well combined.
- Add the egg, milk and honey and use an electric mixer on low speed until fully incorporated. Set aside.
- Prepare the hot dogs by slicing in half and patting dry. Then, insert a wooden skewer halfway.
- Use the remaining 2 Tablespoons of flour to lightly dust the hot dogs.
- Dip each hot dog into the batter and drop into the heated oil.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the corn dogs from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate.
- Serve warm with your favorite corn dog toppings.
- Keep the oil temp at 350-365℉.
- Using a candy thermometer is the best way to ensure the perfect temperature. Or you can test the oil by dropping a small amount of batter into it. If it sizzles and quickly turns golden brown, the oil is ready.
- I would recommend doing one corn dog for the first batch and then increasing to 3 at a time.
- When the corn dogs are first dropped in the oil, they will sink! Don’t panic, leave them and they will bob up in a few seconds.
- To keep the corn dogs warm while you continue to fry other batches, place them on a baking sheet in a 200℉ oven after they’ve drained for a few minutes on paper towels (do not put paper towels in the oven).