It's Time To Swap Your Hot Dog Bun For Cornbread

People already have a lot of choices when it comes to hot dog buns. You can opt for white, wheat, potato, brioche, sweet Hawaiian, or split New England-style rolls. But the time has come to welcome the cornbread bun to your frankfurter repertoire. You'll probably have to make them on your own, as packaged versions aren't easy to come by, but the process isn't difficult, and the result is well worth your efforts.

You can make cornbread buns by using a boxed cornbread mix; assemble the batter as directed, but pour it into a bun-shaped mold you can hand-form out of aluminum foil. Once baked, just slice it down the middle, or press a cooked hot dog on the soft bun so it sinks down into the warm bread. When it comes down to it, a hot dog in a cornbread bun will taste very similar to a corn dog, which is essentially a dog coated in a corn batter and deep fried. The difference is, if you try to add gobs of toppings to a corn dog, they'll slide right off, whereas they fit snugly inside a bun.

Why hot dogs on cornbread buns work

Classic corndogs are popular for a reason: The fact of the matter is that super savory, salty, processed meats like hot dogs taste amazing with something sweet, like cornbread. The toasty corn flavor of cornmeal is very pronounced, and gives buns a satisfying bit of crunch, especially if the buns are coated with butter — or, better yet, bacon fat — and toasted before they are served. This also makes the buns a bit more sturdy in structure, decreasing the chance of them falling apart.

The combination of cornbread and hot dogs is actually nothing new; chopped dogs in cornbread muffins are a popular snack, and corn dog casserole is a delicious, filling meal made with cornbread, aromatics, spices, and hot dogs baked in a dish. Hot dogs might not be the most exciting thing you can make at your summer barbecues, but they are an undeniable staple, and changing up the flavor with cornbread buns will definitely shake things up.

Don't just add toppings, flavor the buns, too

Swapping cornbread buns for standard hot dog buns is just the beginning of a totally new spin on the summer favorite. You can switch out traditional wieners for sausages, to start. But you can also flavor the buns themselves. When making the cornbread batter, consider adding ingredients like shredded cheddar cheese, chopped jalapeños, crumbled bacon, chili powder, cooked Mexican chorizo, and charred corn kernels.

The toppings for these hot dogs can be as simple or fancy as you like. Mustard, grilled onions, ketchup, peppers, and relish will all taste great, and chili on cornbread hot dog buns couldn't be more fitting. Vinegar or mayo-dressed coleslaw will add a satisfying flavor and crunch to the dog; just be sure to avoid these common mistakes when preparing your slaw. You can melt sharp cheddar cheese right on top of the dog, then add some soft roasted bell peppers. Try an elote-inspired dog by topping it with grilled corn tossed in a little mayo, queso fresco, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime; or, consider a taste of the islands with grilled pineapple, charred red onions, and teriyaki sauce.