As a kid, I had a bad habit of finding something I liked and then eating it constantly until I never wanted to look at it again. Among many other things, I did that with corn dogs and, finally, I am ready to enjoy them again! These crispy, homemade mini corn dogs in the air fryer are just as tasty as the frozen ones you can buy from the store.
I don’t love buying pre-made food like frozen corn dogs because you don’t know exactly how they make them and what’s going into them. Plus, it’s much more satisfying to make them yourself. These mini corn dogs in the air fryer are not only delicious, but they are perfect for a snack or to whip up as an appetizer for a party.
Mini Corn Dogs Ingredients
- Hot dogs: I used 100% beef hot dogs, but you could also use turkey hot dogs.
- Cornmeal: Of course, this is what makes a corn dog a corn dog. It can easily be found it grocery stores in the baking aisle with the flour and sugar.
- Flour: This is also part of the batter for thickening purposes.
- Milk: Some people like to use buttermilk in their batters, but since we’re air frying this, we don’t actually want a thicker batter. The thinner the batter, the easier it is to air fry, so I used nonfat milk.
- Baking powder: This is the leavening agent and although we don’t get a lot of rise from these mini corn dogs in the air fryer, it’s even thinner without it. We only need a small amount of baking powder, whereas if you were actually frying these you’d want to use more.
- Egg: This is an important part of creating the batter. You only need one egg.
- Honey and granulated, white sugar: The addition of honey and a small amount of white sugar gives the corn dogs just a hint of sweetness. Since these are a savory snack, we don’t want to overwhelm it with sweetness, but this small amount brings out all the other flavors.
- Salt: Obviously needed to enhance all the delicious flavors we need.
- Breadcrumbs: Since this is an air fryer recipe, we can’t put a wet batter directly into the basket. It would not only be a mess, but it would entirely drip off the corn dog and we wouldn’t have any kind of coating. After dipping the mini corn dog in the batter, you’ll roll it in breadcrumbs which will help keep the batter in place.
How to Properly Batter and Bread the Mini Corn Dogs
Like I mentioned, this is an air fryer recipe, so we can’t put a wet batter directly into the basket. Even with breading the mini corn dogs, there are still a few tips and tricks to make this recipe work as well as possible.
The first thing to know is you should work as quickly as possible when adding the corn dogs to the air fryer basket because the longer they sit there, the more the batter will spread.
Second, when rolling the corn dog in the breadcrumbs, you want to gently press each side into the breadcrumbs, then pick it up and turn to the next side and press it into the breadcrumbs again. You don’t actually want to roll it because if you do that, the batter will begin to spread and move.
How to Make Homemade Mini Corn Dogs in the Air Fryer
Before anything else, you’ll want to soak your skewers in cold water for 10-15 minutes. If you don’t soak them, they’ll burn in the air fryer.
Since these are mini corn dogs, you’ll cut each hot dog into thirds.
If your skewers have already been soaking for 10-15 minutes you can go ahead and skewer the corn dogs. If not, go ahead and make the batter first. When skewering the hot dogs, make sure you don’t take the skewer all the way to the top of the hot dogs, leaving about half an inch to an inch at the top.
Mix together the cornmeal, flour, milk, baking powder, egg, honey, baking powder, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl or measuring jug. I mixed mine in a measuring jug and then left it in there for dipping. If you make it in a mixing bowl, you may need to move it to a tall glass to dip the hot dogs in the batter.
The consistency of the batter should resemble pancake batter. Prepare your working station, as you’ll need to work quickly so it’s best if everything is in its place and ready to go.
Dip your hot dog all the way into the batter until it’s fully covered and then pull it out and give it a little shake and let it drip for at least 5 seconds to make sure there’s just a thin covering of batter.
Once the excess batter has dripped off, gently press each side into the breadcrumbs to coat the entire hot dog. Work quickly to fill the air fryer basket, because once they’re flat in the basket the batter will begin to spread.
After 5 minutes in the air fryer, you’ll need to turn the corn dogs. It’s best to use a spatula to get under them and loosen them. If you try to pull using the skewer, you may pull the coating off if it’s stuck. Then they’ll finish cooking for 3-4 more minutes.
I preferred to remove the skewer for serving, but you can leave yours in, it’s entirely up to you.
Storage and Reheating
These air fryer mini corn dogs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to two months. If you freeze them, make sure to allow them to fully cool and come down to room temperature before storing.
To reheat, you can use an oven or the air fryer. To adjust cooking time for the oven, you can increase the temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and then increase the cooking time about 20%.
If you refrigerated the mini corn dogs from the air fryer, you can cook in the air fryer again at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-5 minutes. If you froze them, cook them for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway.
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Homemade Mini Corn Dogs in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup milk, nonfat
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons white, granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 hot dogs, cut into thirds
- 18 skewers
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- First, soak your skewers in cold water for 10-15 minutes. While they're soaking you can get moving on everything else.
- Combine the cornmeal, flour, milk, egg, baking powder, honey, salt, egg and sugar to make the batter. I like to mix this in a large measuring jug so I can use it for dipping as well. Add the breadcrumbs to a plate or wide bowl, then skewer the hot dogs, leaving about half an inch - an inch at the top.
- Dip the hot dog in the batter and give it a little shake and let it drip for at least 5 seconds so you get just a thin coating of the batter. Then gently press each side into the breadcrumbs to coat it entirely. Don't roll them because then the batter will spread. Make sure to work quickly, because as soon as you put them in the air fryer basket the batter will begin to spread.
- Cook in the air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 4-5 minutes, then using a spatula, carefully turn them over and then cook an additional 3-4 minutes.