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Fair season isn’t always that fair. Funnel cakes, Sno cones, eight dollar tilt-a-whirl rides, and deep-fried corn dogs. Heck, the State Fair of Texas prides itself on the art of deep frying the unimaginable from banana splits to bacon to Coca Cola. My son, on a moment of carnival independence, discovered these puppies and has been begging for them ever since. Carnival independence could have turned out a whole lot worse than corn dog discovery. What’s not to love, salty dogs coated in a sugary batter and deep fried into crispy, juicy nitrate glory. Corn dogs have that salt-sugar-fat whammy that most fast foods houses rely on to sustain these proven additive properties in their foods.

So you know, we don’t ban less than nutritious treats at crunchtime (I mean we don’t want carnival freakshow kids), rather we modify and remake the foods where we can. Whole Foods carried a brand of corn dogs that I accepted shamefully without reading the nutritional label. Then one day they removed them from their shelves feeling that the dogs inside were not up to Whole Foods’ standards. And while we might not ban treats and sweets, we very much ban nitrates from the kids’ diets, so it appeared that corn dogs might forever be off the menu until I found this recipe and modified into a food I could live with. Why corn dog it all you ask?


Because nights when babysitters come over and I have to chose between making dinner or changing my outfit one more time, I can heat up a dog from my freezer in sixty seconds. It’s homemade fast food.


Here’s the best part, I used three nitrate-free dogs in my prep: chicken, veggie, andmini beefs for jollies. Guess what? The boy, the connoisseur of corn dogs, could not tell the difference. Someday, when he reads this he will wonder what else has my mother lied about – unfortunately for his scorched ears at all too young an age, not much.

“I miss Jack.” (name the movie) or Weinergate.

The corn dogs take a little doing. Deep frying is involved which is kind of sick and almighty powerful at the same time. A pan with hot grease scares the hell out of me. I don’t know if I’m more afraid that the cat will fall in or we’ll be splattered into an unrecognizable state or the fat will clog our arteries beyond repair, but the threat adds to our adventure in the kitchen.


The batter is easy, a few eggs, corn meal, the least amount of natural sugar you can live with. Dip the dogs and plop into the hot peanut or canola oil. Drain, drain, blot, and drain.

Look, using my magic Foodsaver vacuum sealed bags, I can freeze them for the next desperate moment when I pay off my kid in corn dogs so his dad and I can catch another movie that I can forever quote.

wienergate: the trouble with corn dogs

preptime: 15 minutes 4-6 servings

cooktime: 15 minutes for just 8 weiners

1 egg

1/4 c milk

1/4 c cornmeal

2 T wheat germ or ground flaxseed (optional)

1/4 t salt

1/2 c whole wheat flour

1/2 t baking powder

1 T sugar

8 wieners

oil (vegetable, canola, or peanut – all non-smoking oils) – 4″ in your pot

  1. Heat oil in heavy bottom pot to 375°.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients except for the wieners.
  3. Dry off the the dogs with a paper towel.
  4. When the oil is ready, dip the dogs, one at a time, in the batter and release gently into the oil.
  5. Cook until the coating is golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.

Cook’s note: You can fry 2-3 at a time depending on your pot, but do not let the temperature drop too much otherwise the dogs will retain more oil. Also, I doubled the recipe to stockpile my lot in the freezer.


  1. kankana says Jun 22nd 2011 10:25 pm

    I enjoy corn dogs a lot but i never made them at home. And these days with the heat rising .. i am avoiding deep fried. Will definitely try this sometime later 🙂

  2. Joanne says Jun 23rd 2011 5:27 am

    So I’ve never actually had a corn dog. Or any of the aforementioned fair treats other than funnel cake. Not gonnna lie, I feel kind of deprived.

    Veggie corn dogs to the rescue! These sound awesome!

    • Sherri says Jun 23rd 2011 7:00 am

      Joanne, you’re a better person than I. If you’ve avoided thus far, hold tight.

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