I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid the thought of having a corn dog at my local A&W or at the fair was one of the high points of my young life. Going out for us was pretty rare, and I would almost always choose corn dogs for those occasions…
At least until I discovered prawns, but that is another tale entirely.
Even today the smell of a freshly fried corn dog takes me back to warm summer evenings in my home town. It reminds me of people and places that i have not seen in a very long time. It makes me feel young again, if just for a moment and that, my friends, is enough of a reason to make your own corn dogs at home.
There’s really nothing complicated about the idea of a corn dog. What you have is a wiener on a stick covered in cornbread batter and fried. It’s too simple to screw up, right?
Everything that goes in to the making of a corn dog affects the end result. The heat of the oil, the consistency of the batter, the quality of the frank used, all of these things matter. Luckily for the home cook, all of these things are easily controlled in a home environment.
Skip the processed turkey dog. Use all beef. In-fact, skip the full sized dog altogether and go with a beef cocktail wiener. More flavor. Skip any sweetener in the batter. Use bacon grease in the batter. (That’s Texas style cornbread, for those who don’t know.) Add jalapenos if you want. Go nuts.
And you’ll need to perfect your dipping technique while you’re at it.
Needless to say, we had fun making these little guys. they were a hit with all the kids in the house, including my wife and myself. It wasn’t a healthy meal but hey, every once in a while you should be able to eat something for the sheer joy it brings and not worry about calories or cholesterol.
Those worries are for tomorrow. For now, grab some ketchup or mustard and dig in. We made plenty.
Do you have fond memories of corn dogs? Have you ever made them at home? Let us know. We’d love to hear about it.
- 2 packages cocktail sausages, such as Lit'l Smokies
- Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup yellow yellow cornmeal
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp bacon drippings or vegetable oil (Use the Bacon!)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1-1/4 cup buttermilk
- milk, as needed for consistency
- Place oil in a large saucepan or in a deep fryer and heat to 375 degrees.
- Meanwhile. Pat sausages dry and insert a toothpick about 1/2 way into each sausage.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, bacon drippings and buttermilk. Stir liquid mixture into dry ingredients until smooth. If necessary, add milk by tablespoons until batter is thick enough to coat sausages bu still thick enough that it does not just slide back off.
- Transfer batter to a tall glass or mixing cup. Dip sausages into batter one-at-a-time and allow excess batter to drip off. Place carefully into oil and cook, turning often, for two to three minutes or until batter is a deep golden brown.
- Drain on a a rack or on a paper plate. Repeat for remaining sausages.
- (Note. I managed to cook about 4 at a time once I got going.)
- Serve hot with your favorite condiment.
- Share and Enjoy!
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
We tried both regular Lit’l Smokies and all beef Lit’l Smokies for this recipe and I have to say that I much preferred the all-beef variety over the other. The kids didn’t seem to mind one way or the other, but then, they had them slathered in ketchup, so I’m not sure if the distinction in flavor made its way to their palate.
In all, this was fun, but i think my fryers’ thermostat is off and the oil never seemed hot enough, so the batch turned out a bit oily; something I am not happy about in the slightest. Be sure to test our temperature before cooking!
Links to other recipes like this: