Every couple of years for some reason, I go back to trying to re-create a concession/commercial mix grade of a corn dog. During the last month, my better half caught an episode of Guy's DDD where a corn dog was featured as a house specialty and that set the clock running again. I have to admit that I've been trying get that kind of taste since my kids were small and have fallen short. The web has brought a lot more recipe variations and proportions, but not much difference in taste. Most are pretty much the same with only dry mustard powder, addition of whole wheat flour to the standard AP/corn meal ratios, using finer Masa Harina instead of corn meal,starch, maybe some heat like Cayenne, the amount of sugar or honey, otherwise it's the same old corn muffin to corn bread spectrum taste on a stick to varying degrees of sweetness and texture.
I've tried the other route many times over the years using pancake/waffle mix base recipes that many tout to be the secret to concession flavor. Nothing like what I've had at a fair or for that matter all even pale to frozen corn dogs like the State Fair brand.
It's not the temp, oil, quality of dog, it's the batter. I'm missing something that's apparently in a Dipsy or Pronto type mix. This isn't recent food chemistry either. Many of the commercial mixes have their flavor and roots as far back as the 30's. My dad worked as a Carnie before WW2 and would be very quick to tell me how a corn dog recipe I tried failed miserably to approach what he remembered. Yet a corn dog from a 2004 county fair concessioneer would have him rubbing my nose in it and telling me that's what they should taste like.
Anyone can give me a hint where I need to be looking?