Food

Cooking with Kids: Semi-Homemade Corn Dogs

Hey y’all!! It’s officially summer!  And that means more time with the kiddos, more bored kiddos, and more HUNGRY kiddos!

This summer I told my youngest (age 8) that, among other things, he was going to learn to cook.  Every kid needs to learn to be self sufficient, even in the kitchen.  And what says summer more than corn dogs?!  Watermelon maybe, but there’s nothing to do there but keep it simple & cut it up (kids love watermelon wedges with juice running down their arms)!

But this is not about watermelon.

By request from insta-friend  & fellow blogger Kenyatta over at My Design Rules, we are making semi-homemade corn dogs with the kids!  How exciting is THAT?  My youngest was super excited that we were going to do this – it’s the simple things right?!

He even let me catch a picture of him in the process for my instagram stories.

 

I say “semi-homemade” because we’ll make the batter & fry ’em up but you still gotta buy the hot dogs.  I mean it’s not on that level but now I’m thinking sausage… another day, another time.

For now, let’s cook corn dogs with the kids!  Great news – this is a super simple recipe.  Like dipping hot dogs into super thick cornbread batter & frying it up.  Seriously it’s that’s simple.

Semi-Homemade Corn Dogs

Ingredients:

1 cup of corn meal

1 cup of flour

1/4 cup of sugar

1/4 tsp salt

a dash of black pepper

4 tsp baking powder

1 egg

1 cup milk

hot dogs (of course)

skewers or popsicle sticks

oil for frying (I use a combination of canola & grapeseed oil – it keeps the batter light & kinda “airy”)

The Process:

Combine all the dry ingredients (corn meal, flour, sugar, salt, black pepper, baking powder) with a whisk or fork.

Add the egg & milk, stir to combine.  The mixture should look like super thick cornbread.

At this point, I like to chill it a bit.  Somehow coating the hot dogs seemed easier the 2nd time after I refrigerated this mixture.

Heat your oil.  I don’t use a thermometer – years ago Grandmother taught me to just wet my (clean) hand and sprinkle a little of the water from my hand into the oil.  If it starts to pop & sizzle it’s ready.  If not wait a minute & try it again.  While you’re waiting on the oil…

There’s 2 ways I have done this now & to be completely honest I like method 2 better.  I tried to highlight the differences below so you can get a better idea.

  • Pat the hot dogs completely dry – this is the same either way.

Method 1:

  • VERY carefully push a skewer or popsicle stick into 1 end of each hot dog WITHOUT going through the other end (if you use skewers, don’t let the kid do this part, please.)
  • Dip a dog into the the cornmeal mixture
  • Holding the skewer (or popsicle stick), put the corn dog in the oil & turn it a few times until the corn meal starts to “set”.  You’ll know when it starts to get golden & there are no drips.
  • Then you can let it cook for a minute of so on each “side” & roll it to get even cooking. (We did no more than 2 at a time.)
  • Once it’s browned, take it out of the oil & drain on paper towels.

 

Method 2:

  • Dip a dog into the the cornmeal mixture
  • When the oil is hot enough, use a fork or slotted spoon to drop the coated dogs (2-3 at a time) into the oil.  They should immediately start to float.
  • Let them cook for a minute of so then flip over to cook brown on the other “side”.  No turning, just a flip.
  • Take them out of the oil & drain on paper towels.
  • Once cooled a little, I used tongs to hold in the corn dogs place on the plate & stick the skewer or popsicle stick into one end.  

You can choose which method works best for you.  I will say that version 1 is better if the kids are going to cook the dogs.  But if they are just making the batter, then version 2 is better for adults.

 

A few tips:

  1. Whenever I make anything using a dry mixture (this, cornbread, a steak rub or any other dry seasoning mix) I taste it 1st (before adding wet ingredients).  That way I can adjust it if I need to.
  2. Using version 1, if you have a deep enough pot, it would be great to be able to stand the dogs up in the oil.  Just know that you’d have to use more oil & it will take longer to heat up.
  3. You don’t want a thick coating on the dogs.  The cornmeal mixture puffs up as you cook it, similar to cornbread.
  4. The actual hot dogs don’t need to cook too long so don’t worry about them not being heated long enough.  When in doubt, use a meat thermometer or cook them first.
  5. Do NOT walk away from these.  They cook super fast.  We actually had 1 get too crispy because I thought I “had a minute”.  I didn’t.
  6. This batter recipe is enough for a lot of dogs – maybe 2 packs (6).  If you don’t need that many, just put the extra batter in an airtight container in the fridge.  It will last for about 2 weeks.
  7. Made too many corn dogs?  Freeze the extras.  Just like the store bought versions, you can freeze them them pop as many as you want in the oven or microwave when you want them.  Bonus for no preservatives!

Now just lay them out with some homemade ketchup & mustard, and watch them disappear!  Summer eatin’ – gotta love it!

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