Recipe: How to Make Chef Todd Nash’s Flaming Hot Cheeto Corn Dogs at Home

Do you get dusted?

September 27, 2021 7:13 am
Flaming Hot Cheeto corn dogs at The Deck at Moonshine Flats
Flaming Hot Cheeto corn dogs are on deck at The Deck at Moonshine Flats in San Diego.
Patrick Samokhvalof

Whether it’s on hot chicken, awesome almonds or served straight up, there is nothing true junk food junkies find more addictive and desirable than the rush that comes with ingesting flavor dust.

And, though it’s a hotly debated topic among dustheads, there’s no variety of flavor dust that really rivals the reddish runoff from Flaming Hot Cheetos.

That being the case, executive chef Todd Nash of The Deck at Moonshine Flats in downtown San Diego really didn’t have a choice about what type of dust he was going to use to top the corn dogs he just added onto the restaurant’s specials menu for football season.

Topped with cheese sauce, tapatío and green onions in addition to crushed-up Cheetos, Nash’s corn dogs are an upgrade on some novelty dogs he’s seen on other menus in the past.

“I’ve seen other corn dogs where they literally put the Flaming Hot Cheetos in the batter. They lose that crunch,” he tells InsideHook. “The batter soaks up the Cheetos and it turns into all one texture, rather than two. Food needs, for me, have to have texture. That’s where the nacho cheese on the outside came from and then the extra crunch. I think if you put the Cheetos on top, you get better flavor, too. You want a 50-50 blend of nice little pieces with the actual dust.”

You also get a dish that’s visually appealing and a bit nostalgic.

The Surgeon General suggests eating more Flaming Hot Cheeto corn Dogs.
The Surgeon General suggests eating more Flaming Hot Cheeto corn dogs.
Patrick Samokhvalof

“I know there’s a huge following with Flaming Hot Cheetos — how to eat them without getting the red fingers and all that sort of stuff. I think it’s relatable to people,” Nash says. “The bright red color is not a natural color, but it helps make the plate look vibrant and it’s appealing to the eyes. It’s the same thing where you’ll see crushed-up Oreos under a dessert. They call it dirt, but it’s that same concept. It’s appealing to the eyes.”

The dish is also appealing to the stomach for tailgaters or those watching the NFL on Sunday after a rough Saturday night.

“It’s definitely a good hangover food because it has fat in it. The breading also helps,” Nash says. “A great tailgate food is something that goes well with beer and is going to soak up a little bit of the alcohol. Something with strong flavors that’s easy to eat with your hands. This is similar to what most people eat at tailgates, but upgraded to a different status. I always try to think outside of the box with food.”

The top-selling item on The Deck’s special football menu, the corn dogs have been popular with foodies and photogs.

“It’s definitely become the trend to think about if a dish is an Instagram-able food first and then worry about the flavor second,” Nash says. “I try to think about flavor, texture and the appearance of the dish, then worry about Instagram afterward. Worrying about Instagram is the way it’s heading, but I think this definitely covers all the bases anyway.”

If you’re curious, try out Nash’s recipe at home. Don’t forget to dust accordingly.

Chef Todd Nash’s Flaming Hot Cheeto Corn Dogs


  • Sugar – ½ cup                     
  • Baking soda – 1 tsp.                  
  • Kosher salt – 1 ¾ tsp.                 
  • Whole milk – 1 ¾ cup             
  • Egg yolks – 2 each                
  • Honey – 3 fl oz                      
  • All purpose flour – 2.5 cups                 
  • Cornmeal – 1 cup  
  • All-beef hot dogs
  • Flaming Hot Cheetos
  • Nacho cheeese or queso


  1. Mix everything together until well incorporated and let sit for at least a half-hour.
  2. Skewer desired hot dog.
  3. Roll the hot dog in regular flour and then dip it into corn dog batter.
  4. Let excess batter drip from the hot dog.
  5. Slowly lower corn dog into 350° oil and fry until done (6-8 minutes).
  6. Remove from oil and transfer to paper towels to drain.
  7. To finish, drizzle or roll corn dogs with nacho cheese and then sprinkle or roll in crushed-up Flaming Hot Cheetos.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.