Down-Home Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies with Jalapenos

I have eaten so many bad restaurant hush puppies, I decided to make them at home from fresh ground popcorn and wheat.  I remember the first time I ate them when I was a child.  My aunt made them, and I can still remember the crispy exterior, hearty corn flavor, and tender onions in every bite.  These will not disappoint you.

Wondermill and ingredients

This past week my daughter and son-in-law were visiting from New York City when my son-in-law mentioned that he likes hush puppies. I told him I would make a batch if he would help.  We had a great time, and the hush puppies turned out perfectly.  It was his first time using a grain mill.  The Wonder Mill made the job fast and easy.  He was proud of his success! The best part is that he did all the clean up.

Down Home Hush Puppies

(adapted from The Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon, Workman Publishing, New York, 2007.)

1  2/3 cups (224 grams) fresh ground popcorn or dent corn  (I grind an extra 1/4 c to add as needed if the batter is not thick enough depending on the size of the eggs and weather.  I prefer popcorn.)

1/4 cup (36 grams) fresh ground wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk (dry buttermilk powder and water may be substituted.)

1 medium onion, finely diced or minced

Peanut oil for frying

  1. To keep hush puppies warm as you fry them, preheat oven to 200° F.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients thoroughly in a medium bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and buttermilk together.
  4. Stir the milk mixture into the dry ingredients using minimal stirring. Stir in the diced onion.  The batter should be thick enough to mound on the end of a teaspoon.
  5. Pour the oil into a large, deep skillet or pot to 1″ to 1 1/2″ deep. Heat oil over medium high heat to about 365° F or until a drop of batter sizzles and turns brown.
  6. Drop batter in using a teaspoon.  Using a larger amount will result in a doughy, uncooked center. Work in batches of 5 or 6 hush puppies at a time being careful not to overcrowd the skillet. By the time you get the 5th or 6th one in, the first ones will probably need to be turned over.  Use a slotted spoon or spider to turn them after the bottom has turned golden brown, 45 seconds to 1 minute.
  7. Remove from the oil once the second side is browned.  Place on paper towels to drain.  If they are not being eaten immediately, place them in a warm oven to hold. Repeat until all the batter has been fried into hush puppies.

    Hush Puppies draining on paper towels

  8. Serve with your favorite condiments.  My family likes ketchup or ranch dressing.


  1. Substitute sweet milk for the buttermilk.  Omit the baking soda and increase baking powder to 1 tablespoon.  The hush puppies won’t be as tender, but perfectly edible.
  2. Add garlic powder or 3 or 4 pressed garlic cloves.
  3. Add 1 to 2 finely chopped fresh or pickled jalapeno peppers.
  4. Add chopped green onions, parsley, or cilantro to the batter.


About NC Preppers

NC Preppers live on top of a hill in Western North Carolina. They lived and worked most of their adult lives in and around large cities.  They are now happily settled in the country with no other houses in sight waking to the crowing of their rooster and going to sleep listening to a whippoorwill.

They grow much of their own food and have become more self-sufficient.  Their prepping has evolved over 30 years from primarily food storage to a more sustainable lifestyle including grinding grain to bake all their own bread and other grain products.  They enjoy cooking and baking, experimenting with a variety of techniques. They make favorite, traditional recipes healthier, tastier, and more frugal by using a wide variety of fresh-ground whole grains. They share much of what they have learned on their blog, NCPreppers ( and Facebook page (

I was honored to be accepted as a contributor to the Grain Mill Wagon challenge and join the ranks of some friends who I admire for their whole grain cooking skills. I learned a lot as I researched recipes and experimented using my WonderMill Grain Mill. I continue to learn and enjoy browsing through all the wonderful recipes other people have posted on the Grain Mill Wagon. The recipes I posted are all meant to be used as a starting point for your own exploration based on the ingredients you have on hand and your family's preferences. I tried to suggest options and encourage creativity. Cooking from scratch is fun and shouldn't be intimidating. The WonderMill has become my favorite mill for grinding popcorn, wheat, and spelt. It is easy to operate, maintain, and clean. If you are lucky enough to have a WonderMill Grain Mill, store it someplace convenient so it becomes an important tool in providing economical, healthy food for your family.
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