gluten-free corn dogs

Do I need to say anything?

Corn dogs. Gluten-free.

Okay, I will tell you this, before you leave this space and scroll down to the recipe. The lovely nostalgia of childhood summers and country fairs comes to us from our friend Matt Armendariz. You know Matt, don’t you? Incredible photographer, intrepid traveler, husband to the wonderfully talented Adam, buoyant and alive. Matt is one of the most loving and hilarious people I’ve ever met. Whenever I see him, I hug him 20 times in 5 minutes, just to get my hug quota in, since it will be months before we’re in the same room again. I lurve him.

That’s not why I’m telling you about On a Stick!. This book stands on its own. If I were not friends with the author, I would still grab up a copy, get hungry flipping through the pages, ogle over the coconut shrimp, the grilled sweet potato wedges, the fried mozzarella, and the savory tofu dango, and then take a copy home. (Being friends with Matt meant the publishers sent us a copy of this book.) The concept? Easy. Everything on a stick. As I write, we are one hour away from the day it turns summer. Bring out the grills. Soak those bamboo skewers. Time for Chinese five-spice skewers, caprese sticks, bratwursts, and even sweet and sour lollies. (Don’t put those on the barbecue.) Hopefully, someday, it will be warm here. We’re having skewer parties soon.

On a Stick! has recipes for the food found at fairs that gives Americans a deliciously bad name: fried pickles, candy bars, and chicken and waffles. Those decadent recipes are outnumbered by the far healthier, world-flavored foods you might not try unless they were presented to you in adorable fashion. For those folks at your party who would like to drink instead, there are red and white sangria pops.

Need I say more? Besides, look at that photo. Corn dogs.

Go.

(Oh, one more thing. I’m deeply honored to be part of the Gilt Taste team with this piece about how giving up gluten helped me find the love of life. And Danny. I can’t believe that I can write this: Francis Lam and Ruth Reichl helped to edit it. Faint.)

GLUTEN-FREE CORN DOGS, adapted from On a Stick!

Okay, so some of you may have this ewwww feeling about corn dogs. If you ate them in your elementary school cafeteria, as I did, you may associate these with suspect hot dogs and plenty of chemicals. Good news? You can make these healthy.

We like the hot dogs from Hempler’s, a local product made without nitrites or gluten. I recognize every ingredient on the package as being food. Surely you too have good hot dogs in your area! (After all, originally hot dogs were another form of handmade sausages.) We used our whole-grain flour mix for the batter, so we could at least console ourselves with that. However, if you want to make these tonight and you don’t have a whole-grain flour mix made up, use 105 grams of any gluten-free flours that work for you.

And frankly, life is meant to be lived a little. I had not eaten a corn dog in over six years. I might have another on the 4th of July, with friends. After that, it will probably be another year before it happens again. Bon appetit!

4 wooden skewers
1 quart vegetable oil (we like safflower for frying)
105 grams whole-grain flour mix
120 grams cornmeal (make sure it’s gluten-free)
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
¾ cup milk (we used soy but cow or rice milk would be fine here too)
1 egg
4 jumbo hot dogs

Preparing to fry. Preheat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. (We like to use our Dutch oven.) Cover a plate with several paper towels.

Making the batter. Mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper together. Whisk them together to aerate and incorporate them together. Pour in the milk and egg. Combine them with a fork until the batter is smooth. Transfer the batter to a tall glass or empty yogurt container.

Put the hot dogs on skewers and stand by.

Frying the corn dogs. Once the oil reaches 360°, dip each hot dog in the batter. Swirl it around until the hot dog is fully and evenly covered in batter. Drop the entire stick into the batter. Repeat with another hot dog. Fry until the coating is brown and firm, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the corn dogs to  the waiting paper-towel-covered plate and repeat the frying process with the remaining corn dogs.

Serve immediately. I say mustard is enough. Danny likes mustard and ketchup both.

Feeds 4.

57 comments on “gluten-free corn dogs

  1. blandina

    Just a couple of words, since I am here first or almost.
    Finding your blog made my gluten free life much, much easier. I am following your recipes, I am getting inspired by you.
    I also had my first pizza in a long time, and I am grateful for all your wisdom and suggestions.
    Thank you or,as we say here: grazie mille!

  2. Sarah

    That’s awesome. Around here, putting food on a stick has the added bonus of making it infinitely more attractive to a certain discerning 3 year old, as well.

  3. Jen Yu

    Awwwwww yeah!!! Corn dogs are one of my favorite stick foods — and to see them 1) here on your blog and 2) from Matt’s gorgeous book makes my day! I’m with Danny, ketchup and mustard… it is THE WAY to eat corn dogs (corn dawgs). Congrats on joining the Gilt Taste team! xo

  4. Sabrina Sasser

    Oh how I miss a corn dog!!! When I went vegetarian 12 years ago, I was very pleased with the vegetarian corn dog in a box that I could find easily in the freezer at the grocery store. Then, figuring out I needed to give up gluten 2 years ago, I also came to the realization that I had to give up almost all of my beloved fake “meat.” Better for me in the long run, for more than the gluten issue, considering that stuff is packed full of all sorts of nastiness, but still… I let my 4 year old get the fake corn dogs as a treat now and then, and she’d eat the whole box at once if I let her. How I miss a good (veggie) dog. One day, maybe I’ll figure out how to make some homemade gluten-free fake meat. Until then, I’ll just smell dogs on the grill and smile :)

    1. Beth

      When you figure out the fake gluten free (and for me soy free) meat recipe–I will be all over it! I wonder if it could be done with lentils…

    2. Anna

      Tofu Pups are gluten-free. They’re not labeled so, but there’s nothing in the ingredient list and I’ve never had a problem with them!

      1. Terri

        I was so excited by the idea of Tofu Pups. I popped right over to their website only to see the main ingedient is soy protein. I can not do MSG either, so anything protein is out. I am missing veggie dogs so much I may actually try the real thing. I am pretty sure it has been over a decade since I had an actual hot dog. Corn dogs.….

  5. Lucia McElveen

    I bow to you.… I had been talking to my husband how much I missed corn dogs. That and a red velvet cake. I had tried other recipes but nothing comes out right this one looks different and will have to try it! Thanks!

  6. Anna Kane

    Since my celiac diagnosis and subsequently going gluten free, I have encountered a few strange cravings, none stranger than my undying craving for a hot dog. Finding a gluten free, nitrite free hot dog was the easy part, it was the bun that continued to evade us. We had tried a couple of easily accessible tapioca buns we found but they just didn’t cut it. We did find Udi’s new hot dog buns in a random health food store when we were on a road trip 5 hours away, which we gobbled down in giggly fits, but have been unable to find them since. Just last night we stopped at six different health food stores in hopes of finding an edible hot dog bun with no luck whatsoever. Imagine my surprise when I saw this post this morning! This is definitely for dinner tonight. Words can not express our gratitude.

  7. Monica

    Thanks for this gorgeous blog…our 7 year old has been diagnosed with Celiac.…you are a wonderful resource…and so entertaining!

  8. jen @ the baked life

    thank you, I have been craving foods on a stick for a week, mainly hot dogs. I’m mildly pregnant and although I have no appetite, have been craving a crunchy, bad for me, corndog for a week. Will definitly be making this.

  9. Leslie DR

    I was just thinking last night about the (now much less frequent) episodes of missing food I didn’t think I could have anymore — a hot dog without a bun is a sad thing, really. So here you are this morning, as always, sharing what you know — and getting comments from others to help out. I love the Udi’s products I’ve had, but have not seen the hot dog buns! I’m going to see if they are on their website and order up for the Fourth of July. Congratulations on all of the well-deserved accolades and attention. More than anyone else I can think of, you have brought delicious gluten-free food to the attention of the foodie world and beyond. Happy Summer to you and Danny and Lu!

  10. Liz

    I have been looking for a recipe like this for a few days, perfect timing! My children will be so happy to have these this summer! Thanks.

  11. amy

    I shall coarsely grind some millet (I will not be limited by a stupid corn allergy!) and embrace this! :D Thank you for posting this at last! That picture on FB was haunting my dreams …

    1. kim @ Affairs of Living

      Amy, I am SO with you on the coarsely ground millet. It is great cornmeal solution! I can’t wait to try making these corndogs. Hooray, Shauna and Danny for another kickass recipe to fulfill my cravings. :) I love your whole-grain flour mix, by the way. I’m using variations of it for everything and anything, and it works like a charm everytime. Amazing!

  12. Maggi

    OMG! And if there’s any leftover batter, Drop it in the oil and you have… HUSH PUPPIES!!! BONUS!

    I’m so going out for Safflower oil right now…

  13. Kay

    Of my three boys, only one has ever had a corn dog! They were all dx’d with celiac 5 years ago, and my 10 year old still remembers the “last time” he ever had a corn dog at Disney. He tells his 7 year old twin brothers stories about how good they were, and how he wishes he could eat them again. Thanks to this recipe, it looks like they will all be having a great surprise for dinner one day very soon!

    1. shauna

      Kay, you made me tear up with this comment. I am so happy to hear this. Have a great time eating corn dogs!

  14. Ali.Nicole

    I’ve never made a recipe that involved deep frying…not that I haven’t wanted to, especially with this devilishly tasty looking recipe. But what do I do with all that oil that’s left over?

    1. tjewell

      2 options
      1. Keep it for further deep frying: Pour it through a strainer into a sealable container–a coffee can works great, or if you used everything in the bottle it came in, pour it back in there. Store it somewhere cool and dark (if the container isn’t opaque) until your next round of deep-frying. If it has been a long time since you used it or it smells off, go to option 2.
      2. Get rid of it: DO NOT pour it down a drain. Seal it up and put it in the trash or give it to someone who makes home-brew biodiesel.

  15. Lorena I.

    Oooh I love corn dogs, now I find a trusted and true recipe wooohooooooo.… you don’t find corn dogs in this country of mine, but a friend from the US introduced me into the corn dog world a few years ago, but i can’t find the recipe. I¡ll try yours as soons as I find the ingredients.
    Thank you for this beautiful site!!!

  16. Vicky

    I love corn dogs!! I have never been able to stomach a regular naked hot dog on a bun unless it was a chilli cheese dog. Since my Celiac was uncovered I’ve been making GF Cornbread and sinking my dogs inside about an inch or so apart. Baking, then slicing between the weiners then grilling the un-crunchy sides. to my desired doneness. Not perfect but the taste was there. But now there’s no extra steps!!!! Yipee!! Do you think after they are fried they would freeze okay? one person doesn’t need more than 2.

  17. Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble

    Corn dogs make me go “ewwww” and “yummmmm” at the same time. Next time I have a hot dog craving (pray it not be at a baseball game where I’m teased with gluten-filled beer & dogs), I’m gonna have to give this recipe a shot!

  18. Maggi

    So, we made this last night (along with some bonus hush puppies) and it turned out great! We made one small modification — we didn’t have a vessel big enough/wide enough to hold a batter coated hotdog along with the stick (our natural hot dogs from the butcher are pretty long) so we cut the hot dogs into 1 inch lengths, battered and deep fried as usual. Corn dog nuggets?

    The upside to being able to use a smaller pot to fry the nuggets also meant that we used less oil to fill the pot, less oil to worry about when it was all over.

  19. sproutsmama

    Yum! Coming from the homeland of corndogs (TX), I’m eager to try this out. Mustard is plenty for me ;)

    What do other people do with their frying oil when the cooking is over for the day?

  20. Sue

    I still miss corn dogs too. Now I don’t have to anymore, as soon as I find a good deep fry pan. Not sure if I miss corn dogs or pot stickers more. Anyone got a good (read: really easy to prep and cook) pot sticker recipe? I’m not the best or most adventurous cook, and our small, and rather storage poor kitchen, and lack of proper cooking tools doesn’t fill me w/ a desire to practice/learn.

  21. Deborah Peters

    LOVE this recipe, going to try it on my “treat meal” very soon! I discovered I’m Gluten-intolerant about a year ago, after many years of experiementing with different diets…my favorite thing in the world is bread!! Only one place I’ve found so far that makes great bread, Gluten-free Creations Bakery, you can also order from them online. Corn is my new favorite go-to item; your note about the gluten-free cornmeal is dead-on, found out the hard way most mixes are a blend with gluten. Thank you for sharing, I’m an artist, oil painter and fibromyalgia fitness coach, I’ve also posted gluten-free teasures we have found on the site! So fun to connect with others on this path. God Bless, Deborah

  22. John

    Hi Guys, I am glad I stumbled across your site. I am a bodybuilder and recently gone gluten free. Instant ripping, more energy and in general feel better about things. Dropped loads of fat within a month or so. My weight stopped the about same but got more defined like real quick! That is a Bodybuilders dream to loose fat but gain muscle.
    Load of tasty stuff here to help keep it all going. Yum Yum!
    Gluten free rocks!
    John

  23. Gigi @ GlutenFreeGigi

    Fabulous! I just linked this up on my FB page to share with my readers! I’ve tried mini corndogs a couple of times, using a slightly adapted version of my gluten, dairy, soy, nut free cornbread batter. They turned out nice, but I like the looks of these babies you’ve cooked up! Little Chef & I will be in the kitchen this weekend whipping up a batch or 2! (And she is wondering if we need cotton candy and candy apples, too!).

    xo,
    Gigi

  24. Misty

    Yay! As a mom of three young girls, it’s a constant challenge to find tasty, reasonably healthy , kid-friendly gluten free foods. YOU ARE A LIFESAFER.

  25. Katherin

    We’ve experimented with a two other corn dog recipes since my diagnosis in 2008, but this one was the best. It was also the first time my daughter of 20 months had a corn dog and she loved it! It was so tasty I forgot for a moment it was GF. We dredged the dogs in corn starch, then shook off the excess per our other corn dog experimental recipes, which helps the batter stick better to the dog. Thanks for the treat!

  26. Vanessa

    I’m going to make these for 4th of July. I’ve been allergic to wheat for forever, and am now a 30 year old who has NEVER had a corn dog. I’ve seen other recipes, but the always have bad reviews, so this time I’m going for it.

  27. jean

    Shauna: I would like to post this recipe on a website that I run in our summer recipes section and then put a link to your site.

  28. carrie

    I haven’t had a corndog in about 10 years. Reminds me of going to the mall when i was a teenager. I’m sure those would go great with some spicy mustard ;)
    thanks

  29. Mainecelt

    I make corndogs all the time, but I never bother with a mix or even with a stick. I use “masa arepa” (a fine cornmeal, available in either white or yellow versions–“quick” polenta meal is a comparable product) which I pour in a mixing bowl, season with a bit of paprika and sea salt, then pour in boiling water (about the same amount of water as cornmeal) and mix with a fork until it’s the consistency of playdough. Meanwhile, I start the oil heating.

    With oiled hands, I grab a lump of dough and shape it around each hot dog. I try to get the dough about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. No need for perfection, just cover the dog completely and seal it in. I lower the dogs into the oil with a bamboo spatula and cook until light brown. (I keep the oil level low, so I gently roll the dogs over halfway through to get them evenly fried.) Lift out with the spatula and set on a folded paper towel for a few minutes, then decorate with mustard, jab with a fork, hoist into midair, and nom nom nom! (The same dough can be used to cover other fillings. I like to cover a big cube of jack cheese, which gets all melty inside the crispy fried shell. Arepa dough is accessible stuff– just remember to oil your hands and keep it at playdough consistency.

  30. Jacqueline

    I made these last Friday night as soon as I saw the recipe. They were AMAZING! We used spicy chicken hot-dogs that are gluten free and so yummy. I used buttermilk (trying to use it up) for the dogs and we threw in the extra batter to make up some Hush Puppies.

    I told my husband, “Enjoy! We will not be having these until next year.”

    “Why not?”

    “The ‘If It Ain’t Fried, It Ain’t Good Diet’ is not good for us.”

    “I will pray for next year to come quickly!”

    YUMMY!!!

  31. Michelle M

    Made these tonight, used Better Batter and doubled batter recipe. Excellent and kids loved!

  32. Liette Lepage

    Juste tried this recipe and I LOVED it! Awesome and crunchy! Even made dough balls without the dog! Mmmmm thank you so much for sharing GREAT recipes! My daughter even said they’re better than regular corn dogs! Many thumbs up!
    Liette

  33. Cheryl

    I was so excited to come across this recipe. Had a bit of trouble finding exact conversions for grams though. They turned out pretty good but not nearly as pretty looking as yours. I used almond milk but I think I’ll use rice milk next time.