Hush puppies, a fried dumpling made from cornmeal, are the best accompaniment for whole hog in The Carolinas.  Another great way to use this recipe is to cover hot dog sausages with this mixture and then roll them in cornmeal to make corn dogs, which gives the exterior an amazing crunch. Serve with American pulled pork.






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (16 votes)


  • 280 g cornmeal or polenta
  • 120 g plain flour
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 80 g butter, melted
  • ¼ tsp hot sauce
  • oil for frying – vegetable is good 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 1 hour

Mix the polenta, flour, sugar salt and baking powder together. 

In another bowl, pour in the buttermilk, water and hot sauce, mix well.

Pour the wet ingredient mix into the dry ingredient mix all at once and whisk to combine.  Cover the mixture with some plastic wrap to avoid a crust forming, allow the mixture to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

Take the dough from the fridge, it’s easier to form when cold, and shape into crescents – as they do in North Carolina – or another shape if you prefer.

Heat your oil in a frying pan.  Shallow fry the hush puppies until they are golden on all sides.  Drain on kitchen towel before serving.


This recipe is part of our Ultimate BBQ series.


Photography by Mark Roper. Styling by Vicki Valsamis. Food preparation by Merryl Batlle. 


This recipe was published in Temples of BBQ, by Lance Rosen (, hbk, $49). Read our review here


This is part of our Ultimate BBQ series. For recipes, our guide to American BBQ and tips on smoking, head here.