The fourth of July is tomorrow, and that means donning your red white and blue, blowing up things in your driveway, and of course– Delicious All American food! Beer named “America!” Bomb Pops! Ina’s flag cake! Apple pie! So while you stare at the buy 1 get 192 free Fireworks Sale at the strip mall down the road, debating Black Cats vs Smoke Bombs vs Roman Candles, let me suggest you turn your tastes towards one of the most American things you can do– deep fry at home. Let’s make some Corn Dogs!
I first made corn dogs at home a few years ago, inspired by Alton Brown’s recipe. They immediately fell into the “way better made-at-home” category (most fried foods do…) and the light corn-filled batter blew any other corn dog I had ever had out of the water. It’s crispy, corny, and less “bready” than your average corn dog.
To make these is really pretty simple, as long as you aren’t afraid to deep fry at home*. It’s intimidating to a lot of people, but once you glug glug glug the oil into the pot and crank it up– you might find yourself attempting to fry all kinds of things! Just be prepared to have a pretty greasy stovetop, and wear an apron or an old tshirt while you do it. Oh- and if you leave the house and come back in– prepare to have your senses taken over by the smell of good ol’ American fried food.
*One question I get all the time is what to do with leftover frying oil?? If you think you might fry something again in the next few months, just wait for the oil to cool to room temp, strain it through a coffee filter or cheese cloth, and stick it back in the original container. You can freeze it for long periods of time, or just stick it in the back of the fridge. Be sure to let it come back up to room temperature before you heat it again. You can re-use it a few times, being sure to strain it each time. The oil will gradually get darker, and once it starts to have an odd odor or is SUPER dark, you can toss it. If you do one at-home deep fry experiment and decide to leave that to the restaurant…then simply pour it back into the original container, and toss it in the trash.
This batter makes enough for 8 corn dogs plus some corn dog nuggets for the kids! If you have the oil out and hot, I would recommend tossing in your favorite frozen french fry to add to the meal (this is really a go big or go home kinda situation….). Pair with a nice tangy slaw and a cold beer. As a bonus– these corn dogs freeze and reheat really well! Let the fried corn dogs cool, and then place in a ziplock bag and put in the freezer. You can pop them in the microwave or a 350F oven for a few minutes until fully warmed through and crispy again. Happy Fourth of July!
Inspired by Alton Brown | Makes 8 corn dogs plus nugs!
1/2 C cornmeal
1/2 C All Purpose Flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 C grated onion
3/4- 1 C buttermilk
1/2 C (4 oz) creamed corn (half of a little can)
all beef hotdogs (at least 8)
1 Gallon of Peanut Oil (or frying oil of your choice)
Sticks: I went full stealth mode at the grocery store and snagged 8 (complimentary I might add!) chopstick sets from the sushi area, keeping them together. Stabbing the corn dogs with the sticks together makes a little more stable stick, plus no threat of splinters from separating them. I have also used my “nice” reusable bamboo chopsticks at home. Just depends how Mission Impossible you are feeling at the store.
In a deep fryer, or heavy bottomed dutch oven pot, pour in oil and heat to 375F. If you don’t have a candy/frying thermometer, now is a great time to invest!
In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, AP flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, mustard, garlic powder and cayenne.
In a larger bowl, combine cream corn, grated onion, and buttermilk. Using a rubber spatula, dump the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until combined and lumpy. It will look like thick pancake mix. Set aside while the oil heats up.
While you are waiting, take the chopsticks you so sneakily snagged from the grocery store, and push up into the bottom of each hot dog (it’s ok if they are a little wonky, just make sure it’s not poking out anywhere). Take a pie plate or a small sheet pan and sprinkle corn starch over the bottom. Roll each hot dog (and 1-inch hot dog nuggets if you are going that route) in the corn starch until fully covered.
Give the batter another stir. If it just feels WAY too thick, add up to 1/4 C more buttermilk 1 Tbsp at a time until you feel good about it. This part kind of comes with trial and error so try it first, and if it’s too thick– thin it out a bit. Pour the batter into a tall drinking cup (like a pint glass or anything longer than the hot dog)
Dip the corn dog into the batter cup and gently place in the hot oil. Repeat with another dog. Fry until golden brown and looking delicious, about 4 minutes or so. Using tongs, place cooked corn dogs on wire rimmed rack set in baking sheet lined with newspaper or paper towels to drain. Allow the oil to heat back up to 375, and repeat the process. I would recommend heating your oven to about 250F and putting the fried corn dogs in there while you work.
For nuggets, I poured the batter back into the original bowl and tossed them in there, using a slotted spoon to dig them out. Plop them in the oil (carefully!) and let them bob around and fry up. Remove from oil with a strainer and place on baking sheet in oven.
When you’re done with the hot dogs, go ahead and toss a bag of frozen fries in there for funsies. You won’t regret it.