How to Make State Fair-Worthy Corn Dogs at Home

By Andrea Albin, Gourmet

The corn dog may be a regular at state fairs, but we're willing to bet you haven't had one this good before. That's because we grill the hot dog first to give it a deeper, smokier flavor, then dip it in a buttermilk-cornmeal batter that fries up to a thick, fluffy shell. These dogs are delicious with mustard or ketchup and a frosty root beer on the side.

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CORN DOGS
MAKES: 8 CORN DOGS
ACTIVE TIME:15 MIN
START TO FINISH: 45 MIN

INGREDIENTS:
8 hot dogs
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
About 8 cups vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cayenne 2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk


EQUIPMENT: a grill pan; 8 wooden ice-pop sticks; a deep-fat thermometer

ACCOMPANIMENTS: ketchup and mustard

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Oil grill pan, then grill hot dogs over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and cool slightly, then insert a wooden stick into each hot dog. Put 3 Tbsp flour on another plate and roll hot dogs in flour to coat, shaking off excess. Heat 3 inches oil to 350°F in a deep 3-qt heavy pot over medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together cornmeal, remaining 1/2 cup flour, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, cayenne, and 3/4 tsp salt in a medium bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in buttermilk.

Transfer some of batter to a tall glass, filling it almost to the top.

Working in batches of 2 or 3, dip hot dogs, 1 at a time, into glass of batter to coat (add more batter to glass if necessary), then fry, turning occasionally, until batter is cooked through and golden-brown all over, about 3 minutes. Transfer corn dogs to paper towels to drain. Return oil to 350°F and refill glass with batter between batches.

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