What is a Corn Dog?
A classic Corn Dog is normally a hot dog on a stick, 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.
Corn Dog – History of the Dish
Claimants to the Corn Dog Inventor Title
Long associated with fairs, the corn dog’s origins probably go back at least as far as the 1920s. Wikipedia cites a patent applied for in 1927, which basically describes the corn dog. There are many rival claimants to the title of inventor of the corn dog: George and Vera Boyington started selling their Pronto Pups in 1941 in Portland, Oregon; brothers Neil and Carl Fletcher came up with their Corny Dog at the Texas State Fair in 1942; Dave Barham, proprietor of Santa Monica, California’s Hot Dog On a Stick, started selling the tasty treats in 1946; Ed Waldmire, owner of the Cozy Dog Drive-in in Springfield, Illinois claimed to have invented the dish in 1946 – the state of Illinois even having a poster saluting “the Birthplace of the Corn Dog.” Local and regional bragging rights aside, it’s obvious that this dish goes back a long way. In any case, there’s nothing like going to a fair or amusement park, and enjoying a delicious corn dog.
Origins and Possible Beginnings
In doing a little more research into just where the idea behind this tasty concoction on a stick came from, it’s pretty clear that, while the true inventor of the Corn Dog is unknown, we can surmise possible origins from a few tidbits found in stories and advertisements from vintage newspapers. A sandwich called a “Corn Dog” began to appear around 1940, just before the “on the stick” version started to be created. It seems obvious that the Corn Dog as we now know it, most likely has origins in this Corn Dog Sandwich which was basically a hot dog fried in a batter using a cast-iron griddle or pan that made the sandwich look like a corn cob – okay, that’s pretty cool.
Web Links to Some Historic Corn Dog Restaurants – Learn more of their history.
- Pronto Pup – Originating in Portland, Oregon
- Fletcher’s Original State Fair Corny Dogs – From the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, TX
- Cozy Dog Drive In – In Springfield, Illinois; Motto “Try ’em, You’ll Like ’em!”
- Hot Dog on a Stick – Started at the pier in Santa Monica, CA
Corn Dog Recipes
Frozen, packaged, corn dogs for home consumption are okay in a pinch, but why not whip up a batch from scratch! Here is a recipe by Andria Scott Hurst from Southern Living (June 1997).
Printable version of recipe
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- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup milk
- 10 hot dogs
- Vegetable oil
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- Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in the center.
- Combine egg and milk; add to corn-meal mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
- Insert a 6-inch wooden skewer in one end of each hot dog, leaving a 2- to 3-inch handle.
- Dip each dog into batter, coating completely.
- Pour oil to a depth of 4 to 5 inches into a large heavy saucepan; heat to 375°.
- Fry hot dogs 2 to 3 minutes or until browned.
- Drain on paper towels; serve with ketchup and mustard.
Enjoy the eats!