The land of liberty, my native country, can’t claim to have invented the hot dog, but we did invent the corn dog. Carl and Neil Fletcher were the first people to deep-fry hot dogs in cornbread batter, a concoction invented and sold as “Fletcher’s Corny Dogs” at the State Fair of Texas in 1942. You’ll need six wooden skewers to make this recipe.
In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the peanut oil over medium- high heat until it reaches 375 degrees on an instant-read or deep-fry thermometer. Line a plate with paper towels and place it nearby.
Insert a skewer halfway into each hot dog. Place the cornstarch in a baking dish and dust each hot dog with the cornstarch, shaking off any excess. Set aside.
Make the corn dog batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, thyme, garlic powder and salt until well combined. Add the egg and the beer to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth and combined; the batter should be thicker than pancake batter, more like a thin cake batter.
Pour the batter into a tall glass and dip each hot dog into the batter to fully coat, allowing the excess to drip off. Immediately place the hot dog in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Use metal tongs to flip the corn dog over to brown the other side. When the corn dog is golden, use the tongs to grab the end of the skewer and transfer it to the paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs. Serve immediately.
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