Pronto Pup {Copycat Recipe}

filed under: Food + Drink on July 28, 2019

Pronto Pups have been winning the corn dog race for generations. The light and fluffy batter surrounds a perfectly cooked hot dog with a slight sweetness and a light crisp. No one can resist this amazing flavor combination!  If you love state fair foods, make sure to check out my fried pickles!

Overhead of three pronto pups with a side and mustard and a side of ketchup.

Pronto Pups

The great debate here at the state fair is not Coke versus Pepsi, it is pronto pup versus corn dog.  Personally, I gravitate towards the pronto pup. Why? The batter.

The reality is that the pronto pup and the corn dog are very similar, but a few tweaks in the ingredients make all of the difference.  Want to know what the big difference is? Pronto pups use more flour and less cornmeal, making for a much lighter batter and a crispier crust.

No matter which side of the debate you are on, I think we can all agree that you simply cannot go wrong with a deep-fried hot dog.

Ingredients for making pronto pups

Pronto Pup Ingredients (Full Recipe Below in Recipe Card)

As I mentioned, the main difference between a pronto pup and a traditional corn dog is in the ingredients.  Since this is a copy cat version of the real deal, I wanted to walk you through what I did to get as close as possible to pronto pup perfection.

Hot dogs:  I went with a heartier, thicker hot dog, just like the kind you get at a ballpark. I wanted the flavor of the hot dog to not get lost in the batter. If you go with a thinner hot dog, make sure you adjust your cooking times.  You won’t need as much time in the oil with a smaller hot dog.

Batter ingredients:  This batter consists of:

  • Flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Baking Powder
  • Sugar
  • Dry Mustard
  • Vegetable Shortening: Shortening (hydrogenated vegetable oil) is any fat or oil that is solid at room temperature. If you have heard of or seen a big can of Crisco, that is shortening. It can be stored at room temperature and has a long shelf life.
  • Egg
  • Milk

Remember, the thing that makes a pronto pup recipe unique is that we use a little more flour and a little less cornmeal than a traditional recipe for corn dogs.

Eight pronto pups on a paper towel-lined serving dish

How to Make Pronto Pups

Pronto pups are seriously easy to make.  You will need the following to get started:

  • small bowl
  • medium bowl
  • heavy bottom deep skillet or pan
  • candy thermometer
  • wooden craft sticks

Wet Ingredients

In the small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.

Dry Ingredients

In the medium bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.  Add the shortening and cut it into the mixture until you get a fine crumble.  Now, add the contents of the small bowl and mix everything together until it is smooth.  The batter will be thick.  If you want to thin it out a little bit you can add some additional milk.

Heating the Oil

Now, turning to your skillet.  You will want to make sure that it is deep enough to add a few inches of oil.  Pour enough oil into the pan so that it will adequately cover an entire hot dog.  Heat that oil up to 365°F. I will put a candy thermometer right into the oil and leave it there so I can monitor the oil temperature.  You really want to regulate it and keep it as close to 365°F as possible. 

If the oil gets too hot, your dogs will burn on the outside but not be cooked through on the inside. And, be sure to check the temperature of the oil after each hot dog or two has been fried; the oil tends to cool down a bit after each batch.

Three pronto pups drizzled in ketchup and mustard

Prepping and Cooking Pronto Pups

While your oil is heating, you can prep the pronto pup.  Insert a wooden stick into the end of each hotdog.  Dip the hotdog into the batter and cover it completely.  Now, carefully lower the pronto pup into the oil, turning it a little as you go to set the batter. 

Let that cook for about 5 minutes or until it is a nice golden brown color. Take it out of the oil and place it on a paper towel to catch any excess oil. Make sure to serve these hot!

Best Toppings for Pronto Pups

Believe it or not, this is where the debate takes an even crazier turn. Once you FINALLY decide on a pronto pup or a corn dog, you will then learn that there are entire groups of people that will literally fight you on what you decide to put on top.  Mustard people don’t like the ketchup people, and ketchup people don’t like the mustard people.  I have always liked to stay neutral so I went with both. 😉

If you are feeling like a complete rebel, there are a few other ways to dress up a pronto pup.  Here are some options:

  • chili, cheese, and onions
  • cheese sauce
  • hot sauce and sour cream
  • ketchup and mayonnaise

Bite out of a pronto pup

Looking For More State Fair Foods?

Deep-Fried Pickles

Strawberry Lavender Lemonade

Cheese Curds

Buffalo Cheese Curds

4.67 from 3 votes
Pronto Pup Corn Dog
Pronto Pup
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins

Pronto Pups have been winning the corn dog race for generations.  The light and fluffy batter surround the perfectly cooked hot dog with a slight sweetness and a light crisp.  No one can resist this amazing flavor combination!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Corn Dog, Pronto Pup, State Fair
Servings: 12
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 10 wooden craft sticks
  • 1 pound hot dogs
  • canola oil, for frying
  • ketchup, optional
  • mustard, optional
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, dry mustard, and salt. Mix well.

  2. Add the shortening and cut it into the mixture using fork until the mixture becomes a fine crumble.

  3. In a small bowl, mix together egg and milk. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until smooth (batter will be thick).

  4. Pour enough oil into a deep heavy skillet to cover the hot dogs completely. Heat the oil to 365°F.

  5. Insert a wooden stick in one end of each hot dog. Dip the hot dog into the batter to coat. Place the hot dogs into the hot oil 1 or 2 at a time. Cook the hot dogs in the oil for 7-10 minutes, turning occasionally. The hot dogs are done with the batter is a dark golden brown color.

  6. Remove the pronto pup from the oil and set on a paper towel to catch any excess oil.

  7. Serve immediately topped with ketchup and/or mustard.

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  • Frank David says:

    I’m told the pup originally was born in Rockaway Beach Oregon. Which is a few miles north of Tillamook, on the coast. Always tell my co-worker that has a house there to bring me the $22 pup. Not sure if it’s a combo plate, or multiple pups, or just one huge pup! Check them out on the web.

  • Amber says:

    Never heard of a Pronto Pup, but I have had a slightly sweeter batter on a corn dog before and they are my favorite. I have even thought of crumbling bacon in the batter and having a spicy sweet honey dip

  • David Millican says:

    In the 70’s my family owned the drive in movie theatre in Woodburn, Oregon and we served pronto pups. Everything then was done by hand per order. The only thing I remember about the recipe being different was we used masa corneal opposed to regular yellow cornmeal. It makes the batter a little lighter and fluffier, either way they were being made in Oregon in 1970’s. Side not my mother and I lived underneath the movie screen, there was a 2-bdrm aprt built underneath. Very unique.

  • Trevor says:

    I’m a pronto pup aficionado and this is the closest thing to real deal I’ve had. If your craving a pup or hosting a not not state fair party these will be a hit.