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.
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Pronto Pups vs. Corn Dogs

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

Heating the Oil

You will want to make sure that the skillet 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. If you have any leftover oil, don’t throw it out; first, check out How to Clarify Used Cooking Oil so it doesn’t go to waste.

Eight pronto pups on a paper towel-lined serving dish

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!

Three pronto pups drizzled in ketchup and mustard

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
Pronto Pup Corn Dog
4.75 from 4 votes

Pronto Pup

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
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!


  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • cup (81 g) yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher 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


  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, dry mustard, and salt. Mix well.
  • Add the shortening and cut it into the mixture using fork until the mixture becomes a fine crumble.
  • In a small bowl, mix together egg and milk. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until smooth (batter will be thick).
  • Pour enough oil into a deep heavy skillet to cover the hot dogs completely. Heat the oil to 365°F.
  • 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.
  • Remove the pronto pup from the oil and set on a paper towel to catch any excess oil.
  • Serve immediately topped with ketchup and/or mustard.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. If you pour the batter into a large tumbler, it’s much easier to dip the dog without covering the stick

  6. My mother made these in the 1950’s and she called them Pronto Pups. I’ve not heard them called that since then until now! It was a real treat to have them.

  7. In Hawaii, pronto pops were always on the menu at all baseball concession stands or our local bon dances. Along with Saimin. Loved it! Never heard of corn dogs before then. Loved it! 🤙🏽

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