Homemade Corn Dogs

February 23rd, 2009 by katie

Blogging the Recession: Freezer food

See? I told you I would make food your kids will eat.  So first up in the make your own convenience food line-up: Homemade Corn Dogs.  Three reasons to make corn dogs yourself instead of buying them at the store:

  1. They are cheaper-mine worked out to 26¢ per corn dog.
  2. You control the quality of the ingredients.
  3. They are awesomely delicious.  Like juicy and buttery and crunchy and fluffy and just incredible.

I like to have convenience foods around because on the days I work mrChaos is in charge of lunch and dinner and while he could cook, he would prefer not to.  Corn dogs are a fun and easy meal for him and the kids and only requires him to turn on the oven and cut up some fruit.  Frankly, I am quite jealous that they will be eating these without me.

It was a little labor intensive to make these from scratch, but mostly because I didn’t know what I was doing.  I am not going to include a recipe here because you can use any corn bread batter you would like.  You can even use the Jiffy box and really cut the cost.  I followed this recipe for the dry ingredients. 

  • Thicken your regular cornbread recipe by adding the liquid (usually milk or buttermilk) to the rest of the ingredients a little at a time until you have a thick pancake batter consistency.  
  • Pour it into a tall drinking glass
  • Heat a pot of oil to about 375°F. 
  • Skewer your favorite, juicy beefy hot dog with a disposable wooden chopstick, pat it dry then dip it into the drinking glass, turning to coat completely. 
  • Immediately place battered dog into the hot oil, turning as necessary to brown all sides evenly.  It will only take a few minutes for the corn bread to cook and brown, remove and drain on paper towels.

If you have trouble getting your batter to stick, dip the battered dog into the hot oil for just a couple of seconds to set a thin layer of batter.  Allow it to cool a bit then re-batter it.  The second layer will stick much better.

Allow corn dogs to cool to room temperature then place on a baking sheet and freeze.  Once they are fully frozen, put them into freezer bags.  Reheat them at 400°F in the oven for about 20 min and serve with plenty of ketchup and mustard! 

The cost for these breaks down as follows:

  • 2 packs (8 each) Beef Franks: $3.28 (on sale for $2.14 each with one $1 off coupon)
  • 3/4 cup all natural preservative free local corn meal: $0.29
  • 1 cage free large egg: $0.18
  • 1 cup organic 1% milk: $0.47
  • pantry items not included in cost: 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, bacon fat, salt, oil for frying
  • Total cost for 16 corn dogs: approximately $4.22

Of course only 13 corn dogs made it into the freezer, the baby and I polished off three for quality control.  If I hadn’t bought the hot dogs on sale the total cost would have been $7.50, still a respectable 47¢ per corn dog.  Also, I probably would include some more of the pantry items in the total cost in the future but this was my first attempt and I couldn’t track down what I had paid for some of the items.

My overall impression:  The first try was a lot of work, but I know I can do it more efficiently now that I have the hang of it.  Seriously, they were so good that I know I will be making more and probably even making double this amount the next time-they go fast!

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Posted in Budget, Main Dish, Snacks/Appetizers

27 Responses

  1. Kay

    These looks absolutely delicious!

  2. marguerite

    Yum! And perfect timing! Just yesterday my husband said I should try ‘making’ corndogs!

  3. noble pig

    My one child loves corn dogs, I would totally prefer to make my own!

  4. My First Kitchen

    My husband could kiss you.

  5. MODman

    Greeeeaaaat! I am supposed to be on a diet and when my girls see this they are going to demand a corn dog night! I better beat them to the punch. Great post!

  6. maggie (p&c)

    This is brilliant!

  7. Sherrilee

    Why bother buying the other organic ingredients when you’re using white flour, sugar, and probably some sort of polyunsaturated vegetable oil for frying? A cheaper meal (considering long term health care costs) would be buying organic beef in bulk and serving it with fresh veggies. Cheap does not have to be unhealthy.

  8. mrsT

    Dang, Sherrilee!
    It’s just something fun to do!
    Don’t get your knickers in a twist!

  9. Alyssa

    I just tried these and they were so delicious! They didn’t look very good but I know what to do next time. I just want to say how much I love your blog-you are quickly becoming my favorite!

  10. Jes McA

    My hubs and I just made these for Sunday Lunch. Delicious! With the addition of Bloody Marys and a fried banana it was exactly what we needed on a snowy Sunday! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. gaga

    Yum! I haven’t had a corndog in ages!

  12. Katie

    Blogging the recession is such a good idea!

    I’ve only tried corndogs once and I hated them, probably because they were really cheap and tasted sweet :S The idea of controlling the quality is fab and I may well give the humble corndog another try!

    Katie xox

  13. Luna Pier Cook

    Sounds good! I have a recipe for corndogs here that uses modified Jiffy mix which is fairly inexpensive. If I also use Koegel beef skinless frankfurters from the Flint area, those dogs are still $2.79 for an eight-pack so it’s not too bad.

    As to why you don’t like corndogs, I’ve found that if I grill the dogs first, let them cool just a bit before wiping them down and battering and deep-frying, people like them better. It’s dawned on me that when a corndog is deep-fried the dog isn’t cooked like it usually is. Grilling it first makes a huge differemce in taste and texture.

  14. Wyatt

    What do you do with the oil when you are done frying? What type of container do you store it in? I need to find something suitable for my own use…thanks!

    I buy the big jugs of Extra Light Olive Oil for frying. When I am done and the oil is cool I use a funnel to pour it back into the original jug. Then store it in the fridge or pantry. One big jug of oil is usually good for several batches of frying. -Katie

  15. Jamie

    I came to your site via momadvice.com I look forward to making these corn dogs with my daughter. She loves helping in the kitchen, even if it is a small task like sticking a stick into a hot dog 🙂

  16. Laura

    My kids love corndogs although they aren’t allowed to have them very often. But what a fun treat these would be for them! Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Jeanine

    Wow…these look great! And the cost breakdown really shows you how much you overpay for convenience. Thanks!

  18. Brent Vermillion

    This looks wonderful and it has inspired me. I want to try a variation on corn dogs but I do not have a place to do so at the moment. I would like to see a cheese stuffed corn dog.

    1. Make a thinner batter and coat and deep fry as normal then cool.
    2. Coat in your favorite extra thick cheese sauce, cover in a layer of cornstarch and freeze.
    3. Make standard corn dog batter dip cheesy coated dogs and deep fry.

  19. Jenny

    I was wondering if anyone has tried this with “smart dogs” or any other types of soy hot dogs? I dont eat meat but I still love soy hot dogs! I got really excited when I saw this recipe and wondered if they would cook the same. Usually they cook faster than normal hot dogs on the grill or in the broiler so I wondered if the oil or baking for 20 minutes afterward would leave them tasting the same? Any suggestions? Thanks!

  20. Brent Vermillion


    I have not tried it but if your problem is that they are over cooking when you fry them just freeze them first. Batter the frozen smart dogs and fry as usual.

  21. Brent Vermillion

    The baking after is just reheating the finished corn dogs after freezing them and you could adjust the cooking time as desired or just use a microwave to defrost to luke warm and carefully crisp in the broiler for a couple minutes to avoid overcooking the soy dog.

  22. Qtpies7

    I think you could really cut the cost down buying the huge packs of hotdogs, if you didn’t care about quality of food.
    I think I am going to try it with cheese dogs! MMMM
    We go through so many that it has got to be cheaper to make them myself in the long run. Getting the healthy oil and ingredients up front will be a bigger investment, though.

  23. Hydie

    I just want to say, your website is amazing. I hope you would put out a cookbook or get your own show. Your creativity is cutting edge and you make cooking exciting.

  24. MIssy

    These look great but I have to say you are missing one vital step. To make the dough stick better, do the traditional flour before batter tech. First roll your hot dogs in flour, dust off the excess and then dip in the batter. It will allow the batter to stick much better and there for giving you a much thicker batter such as the state fair style ones 🙂 I’ve been them gluten free and they are on my blog… I’m preparing to make them again for better photos. I found your recipe through Food Gawker at http://foodgawker.com/popular/gawked/page/32/

  25. Christina Thompson

    I have a question on whether I could cook them half way and then freeze these then later finish them off in the deep fryer. Has anyone tried this or something similar? I thought the only problem might be they get too oily.

  26. The Umami Reader, vol. 045: Homemade Corndogs and LA Taco Manifesto - Umami Mart

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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