Stick It with the 5 Best Frozen Corn Dogs

I hadn’t had a corn dog in probably ten years, and for this taste test I tried ten in a row. Here’s the thing: I was actually delighted by the experience. I absolutely adore the singular texture of a puffy, moist, corn-forward batter and the juicy hot dog that it encases. Corn dogs are sweet and salty and filled with mysterious meat. It should be no surprise that their origin is American as hell.

Personally, I think it’s sacrilege to do anything but microwave a frozen corn dog. I mean, you’ve already accepted that you’re about to eat a corn dog. Why would you go through the trouble of turning on an oven? Now, if you’re at the state fair, by all means, get it deep fried. But for this taste test I microwaved the corn dogs and then ate them sans condiments so that I could enjoy the unadulterated taste of a hot dog coated in batter. In a good corn dog, we want moisture, meatiness, and a sweet corn flavor. These were the best of the best. 

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Best of the Best

Foster Farms Honey Crunchy Corn Dogs

This corn dog kind of blew me away. Foster Farms proves that a corn dog doesn’t have to be all-beef to be a stellar product. This chicken corn dog is juicy, sweet, and meaty with a delightfully soft, puffy texture. The honey gives the dog a nice candied flavor, and the corn-forward taste of the batter is buttery yet vegetal, almost like grits. Really, the singular texture of a soft hot dog and the soft cornmeal batter is what makes this such a heavenly experience.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Beef

Applegate Naturals Uncured Beef Corn Dogs

The hot dog here is plump and juicy, and it has a mild savory flavor that we expect from a good hot dog. Applegate excels at providing a quality meat product, and their corn dog is no different. I was also in love with the batter, which features a wonderful blend of spices, including garlic, onion, nutmeg oil, celery powder, and paprika. It’s sweet in a subtle way and really complements the beef-forward flavor of the dog. Applegate is a green-facing, organic brand with a focus on animal welfare, although I’m not sure how to really substantiate most of their claims (they’re also owned by Hormel). But based on taste alone, Applegate is a strong contender for best corn dog.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Budget

Great Value Classic Corn Dogs

This was the juiciest corn dog by a mile. I can only imagine what goes on in the factory that makes corn dogs that cost $3.98 a box, but if you close your eyes and just barrel through that thought, I’m sure you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised. This is another chicken corn dog, so it’s actually nice and salty and there’s only a mild meat flavor. True to the corn dog aesthetic, it’s rather difficult to suss out what animal this even came from. A great budget buy.

Credit: Merc / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Best for Breakfast

Jimmy Dean’s Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick

Although this doesn’t say “corn dog” on it, this meets all the criteria: It’s a battered stick of mystery meat on a stick. This feels like a McGriddle in convenient tube form. It’s greasy and peppery, and if I was hungover, I would absolutely smash two of these back to back. I don’t think you should eat these for breakfast too often if you want to live a long, healthy life, but there’s something so delicious about eating a pancake and sausage together that I might try it the next time I go to a diner. 

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Best Veggie

Morning Star Veggie Corn Dogs

Morning Star Veggie Corn Dogs are chewy, wheaty, and soft. This is a great vegetarian option if you’re somebody who doesn’t eat meat but really wants a corn dog. Honestly, this is one of the most confusing products I’ve ever encountered, but somebody has to be buying them, and I don’t really blame them. Quite honestly, I enjoyed the sweet nuttiness of the wheat and cornmeal batter. Corn dogs are just an amalgamation of “meat” and breading anyway, and Morningstar recreates that aesthetic pretty darn well. Eat it with some mustard and you won’t know the difference. 

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Other products we tried: Field Roast Mini Corn Dogs, Bar S Classic Corn Dogs, State Fair 100% Beef Corn Dogs, Bar S Beef Corn Dogs, State Fair Classic Corn Dogs.

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • To take the Foster Farms Corn dogs to the next level you must get the Jumbo ones at Costco.

    Reply
    • hot tip!!! thank you

      Reply
  • Did you try Aldi?

    Reply
  • The morning star corn dogs were a surprise to me, not being a non meat eater, I vibed with these almost as much as a real corn dog.

    Reply
  • My #1 is Bar-S Beef Corn Dogs. Beef beats out chicken/pork/turkey/who-knows-what corn dogs any day.
    Best way to cook a corn dog? Sure, the microwave is quick and easy but the corn meal coating shouldn’t be soft and soggy. A properly cooked corn dog should have a crisp bite to it. My method: 30 seconds in a microwave, then 4 minutes at 360 degrees in my air fryer. Give it a shot!

    Reply
  • Trader Joe’s Turkey corn dogs are superior – throw them in the air fryer – so yummy!

    Reply