A classic Corn Dog is typically a hot dog on a stick which is dipped and coated in a cornmeal batter and deep-fried. It is famous for being served as fast food at carnivals as well as County or State Fairs. Texas, Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, California, and other states all lay claim to having introduced the corn dog.
The origin of the corn dog (according to Texans) is that local German sausage makers adapted their traditional sausages by deep frying them on a stick so they might be eaten while walking. A US patent from 1929 was even issued for a Combined Dipping, Cooking, and Article Holding Apparatus, that describes corn dogs and other fried food impaled on a stick.
Wherever it was invented, and at which state fair it was first introduced, a visit to any fairground in America today would be incomplete without eating at least one corn-crusted hot dog on a stick.
State Fair Corn Dogs
- Large cast-iron skillet (12-inch), Wok, or Deep Fryer
- Large paper towel-lined baking pan
- Candy thermometer
- ½ cup All-purpose Flour
- ¾ cup Cornmeal
- 1½ tsp Baking powder
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- ½ tsp Each: salt and black pepper
- 1 large Egg
- ½ cup Whole milk
- 1 stalk Scallion, finely chopped
- 10 Beef hot dogs with casings
- 4 cups Canola oil
- 10 Thick wooden skewers (8-inch)
- Prepare Batter – Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and scallion. Pour into bowl with dry ingredients and gently mix together being careful not to overmix. Sit covered on the counter for 20-30 minutes.
- Make Corn Dogs – Preheat oven to 200°F (120°C). Line a baking pan with paper towel. Heat 2-inches of oil to 350°F (177°C) in a large skillet or deep fryer.While oil is heating, skewer each hot dog lengthwise to within 1 inch from the top. When oil is about to reach temperature, dip a hot dog into the batter and twirl to coat and seal the dog completely. Lift dog from batter and let excess batter drip back into the bowl.Holding the stick end, lower the corn dog into the hot oil, keeping it suspended for 5 seconds before letting go. Repeat 3 more times so that a batch of 4 is cooking at the same time. Cook until coating becomes brown, about 4-5 minutes. Rotate occasionally to ensure all sides are cooked evenly. Transfer cooked corn dogs to a paper towel lined baking pan and keep warm in the oven. Bring oil is back to 350° (177°C) and repeat process 3 dogs at a time. Serve hot with a squirt of mustard or ketchup, and side of pickle spears and French fries or potato salad.
- Batter can be made in advance and refrigerated until needed.