January 20, 2012

Morningstar Veggie Corn Dogs

Something weird I've noticed over the years of writing this blog is that fake meat hot dogs seem to be universally bad while fake meat corn dogs are actually pretty good. I'd heard some really good things about Morningstar Farms Veggie Corn Dogs but for a long time they were discontinued. Apparently they're back!

I cooked these up two different ways, just to be thorough. First up, the oven, which is the method they recommend. Also the slowest possible way to get a corn dog into your mouth. So, into the oven for 20 minutes they went. Much much later, they came out, all hot and crunchy. Also cracked all the way up one side. Not the prettiest corn dogs around, but whatever. Time to give them a taste! Unfortunately, these were not that great. The corn bread part was okay, but the dog inside was…unpleasant. I made it through about a half of this corn dog before I just didn't want to eat it anymore. It wasn't horrible, but if I'm going to eat something, I want to enjoy it, and I wasn't enjoying this. Just not worth it. My German exchange student ate one of these, and declared it fine, but he's never actually eaten a real-meat corn dog, so he doesn't know what he's missing out on.

Next cooking method - the microwave. This is so rarely a good idea - I just figured since I didn't want to actually eat another one, I should see if the microwave could, against all odds, improve the situation. And it turns out, it does not. It still cracked up one side, but now, instead of having a crispy exterior, it was tough and chewy, and still tasted not great. And now my microwave smelled super strongly of funky hot dog. Bad situation all around. The only up side was that it tasted slightly better from the microwave than it did from the oven, but the benefit was totally outweighed by the ruined texture. Don't microwave these, trust me. And while you're at it, don't buy these - there are better corn dogs out there.

The experience:
Texture - from the oven, crispy on the outside, cheap-hot-dog-y on the inside; from the microwave, tough and chewy all the way through
Flavor - the corn bread part wasn't bad, but the mediocre hot dog inside ruined it for me

Final grade for this attempt: C

14 comments:

  1. You're very nice with your grading scale to say they sucked but still give them a C! I have the mini corn dogs in my freezer and I'm kind of wary of the damn things, especially after reading this.

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    1. They didn't suck, exactly - they just didn't do it for me. Trust me, there have been things that I actually spit out - those deserve a much lower grade than "eh - I just don't really want to eat this anymore."

      While I was writing this review, I remembered that a long time ago, I had tested out the mini corn dogs, but apparently never wrote up a review for them. I do remember them being better than the full-size ones, for reasons that make no sense, so I'd say go ahead and eat yours. But don't microwave them! Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

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  2. Haha, yep these have that famous butt-crack up the side no matter how you cook it.
    Though, I find that these taste generally the same as the other corn dogs available, but the mini ones taste better due to the cornbread to hot dog ratio. Maybe the stick makes them taste bad too.
    You kinda have to undercook these a bit when microwaving, otherwise you get a rockhard corndog that smells bad.

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  3. I am so glad that they brought these back. I ate them all the time before they took them off the market and have had them dozens of times since they came back on the market. I have never had them develop cracks. I bake mine at 25F lower than recommended for 6-8 minutes longer. I think there is too much breading on them sometimes. I never microwave any fake meats because they usually turn out gross.

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  4. The mini corn dogs rule! These ones are terrible, which makes no sense being the same product. Maybe it is the stick that makes them bad.

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  5. I love hotdogs, so I desperately kept trying veggie dogs, even though they are almost all texturally unpleasant, and the flavors are never that great. UNTIL...

    May I introduce you to the two best vegetarian hot dogs I've discovered:

    1. Tivall (http://www.tivall.co.uk/product.asp?id=30) -- delicious. Amazing. We now eat chili dogs once a week in our house.
    2. Ta'amti (http://www.rocklandkosher.com/p-7432-hot-dog-in-a-blanket-vegetarian-vegetali.aspx) -- sorry for the store site, I couldn't find a manufacturer site. These are very good; the crunchy breading is a good addition.

    These are both kosher parve, meaning they can be either vegetarian or vegan. The Tivall are vegetarian, as they contain egg. I couldn't find an ingredient list for the Ta'amti, so I can't say for sure what the status is on those.

    Also recommended: Ta'amti Corn Nuggets (these also come as larger patties): (http://www.rocklandkosher.com/p-7432-hot-dog-in-a-blanket-vegetarian-vegetali.aspx.) -- Here's what I like about these. They are protein patties with corn included, but they make no attempt at being a meat analog. They are just weird patties-with-corn, breaded. Very delicious!

    If you want to look for these, I advise you to try a kosher grocery store.

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    1. Hi, Bee again. Forgot to mention that, if you DO get ahold of Tivall, I recommend oven cooking. The package directions say that boiling is preferred, but I disagree. They are nice and oily, so they would probably fry very well -- I haven't tried yet.

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  6. Straight out veggie hot dogs are almost all revolting. They get a weird skin to them, taste bizarre, and are actually grosser looking than the real ones. The only ones I ever found that were (to me) edible, were the Morningstar Farms ones, even though they were always kind of angular in shape. So of course they stopped making them, and then only brought back the corndogs. -Whatever-. I like both versions of their corndogs, but then, I stopped eating meat 20 years ago, and they're the only ones that were available for the longest time.
    The brands listed by "Bee" must just be regional, because I've never heard of either.
    It's nice, by the way, to come across someone who willingly also eats fake meats, and doesn't get all high and mighty about it. You wouldn't (or maybe you would) believe how whiny some vegetarians are.
    They won't eat fake stuff because it's too much like the real thing or it's not "eating healthy". Ah, shut up.

    -Stacey E

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    1. wait they just brought morningstar veggie dogs back! look for them, they come in packages of 6 now and are wicked expensive but they do exist again.

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  7. I only recently became a vegetarian. I was hesitant to try this. In fact, I made my husband taste his first. We microwaved them. I was blown away. If you hadn't told me it was a veggie corn dog, I would have thought it was meat by the taste (the color of the dog itself is a bit too pink like a crayon to be real!). There were no cracks. If anything, there was less breading than a normal corn dog and I could have used a bit more. Maybe Morningstar has changed them since this post was written, but as someone who only about a month ago had a "real" hotdog cooked over a fire and a "real" corn dog, I've got to say I was pleasantly surprised. I'll be buying these again.

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  8. I eat them all the time as a healthy snack the trick is to microwave them all in the box for 3 minutes... just tear one side of the box open for ventilation. you wont be dissapointed by the result.

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  9. To Author, You really should state that you do not eat healthy at all. A person that eats healthy will eat this no problem.

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    1. But she gave the Trader Joe's Veggie Corndog, and the Yves' Veggie Corndog both a high score. The Morningstar Corndog is pretty meh in comparison. Context!

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  10. So this might be a little late, (maybe they've made better product since the original 2012 posting of these comments?) but I googled vegetarian corn dogs, curious as to the ingredients that make it taste and feel like a real corn dog. This is my first time buying them and I don't understand all the complaining in the comments. I usually try to stay away from "fake meats" becasue they are usually entirely too processed and just as bad for you as their real meat counterparts (without the "this died for me thing" at least). But as a vegetarian I have to say, these were AWESOME. I severely missed corn dogs (my go to snack, especially after a few glasses of wine) and these things have great consistency and flavor. My new favorite. Ignore the original poster, it's seriously not that hard to put a corn dog in the over for 20 mins (reg corn dogs take the same time) and it's totally worth it. Crispy, no "busted seams," and delicious!

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