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Food & Recipes

12 State Fair Food Recipes That Are So Easy to Make at Home — Plus Tricks to Fry Like a Pro

We’re talking deep-fried candy bars, mac ‘n cheese balls and more!

When it comes to the state fair, we admit we head right for the food stands — after all, those sweet and savory aromas that fill the air make it hard to resist all those tempting bites. The only problem? We often get too full before we get to try everything on our list! And while there’s nothing quite like strolling the fairway and enjoying an out-of-this-world treat, sometimes you just can’t wait to get to the grounds. Luckily, our First for Women test kitchen has just the thing to bring all that deliciousness right to you in the comfort of your own home. Keep reading for our state fair food recipes, plus our secrets for stress-free frying — they’re sure to make any day feel like a fun-filled delight!

Easy frying tips that guarantee golden results

So many of our favorite state fair recipes involve frying. And while deep-frying may seem daunting, our test kitchen’s top three tips below make it so easy to do at home.

  1. Use a digital thermometer. When it comes to deep frying, monitoring the temperature is crucial. You don’t want your oil too hot, especially when frying chicken, as this will burn the breading and leave your meat undercooked. On the flip side, you want to make sure your oil is hot enough because once food hits the fryer, the temperature of the oil naturally drops. And if it’s too low to start out, it’ll take extra time to balance out, leaving you with extra oily food. A digital thermometer gives you an instant read so you can time frying just right. (Lost your thermometer? Click through for how to test oil temp with a wooden spoon in a pinch.)
  2. Don’t overcrowd the fryer. When adding food to your hot frying oil, the temperature of the oil decreases. If you crowd the fryer too much, the oil temperature will drop drastically, causing your food to yield a more greasy texture upon doneness. For best results, fry food up in batches.
  3. Choose the right frying oil. While olive, avocado and coconut oil have many health benefits, their smoke points are much lower than other types. With a lower smoke point comes burning at a quicker rate, which will then yield burnt, unevenly cooked foods. To maintain a steady temperature without running the risk of your oil burning and your food being ruined, try using a high smoke point oil such as vegetable or peanut oil.

Our best-ever state fair food recipes

Ready to bring the fun of the state fair home? We’ve got 11 foolproof recipes to get you started:

1. Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites

Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites sit on a plate waiting to be eaten
DrobG/Getty Images

It’s so easy to turn this comfort food classic into the perfect finger food.

2. Bloomin’ Onion with Smoky Sauce

A plate of Bloomin’ Onion with Smoky Sauce sits waiting to be eaten
Rhapsody Media

Old Bay seasoning in the coating plus a quick-fix dip give this spin extra mmm.

3. Nachos with Spicy Guacamole

Nachos with Spicy Guacamole sit on a plate waiting to be eaten

Jazzed-up ready-made guacamole is the quick secret to this favorite. (Click through to learn how to reheat nachos so they end up crispy, not soggy.)

4. Loaded Hot Dogs

Loaded Hot Dogs sit on a plate waiting to be eaten
Food & Photo

We gave this classic a fresh makeover with a choice of tangy coleslaw or refreshing cucumber-dill relish.

5. Southern Fried Chicken

A bowl of Southern Fried Chicken sits on a table
Rhapsody Media

This crunchy basket of chicken can be made up to several hours ahead – it’s just as delectable served at room temperature.

6. Cilantro-Lime Corn

Cilantro-Lime Corn sits on a plate waiting to be eaten
Rhapsody Media

Sour cream and mayo combine as the base for our creamy-tangy topping for these fresh ears of corn. For easier eating, insert a wooden skewer into each ear.

7. All-American Baby Back Ribs

All-American Baby Back Ribs sit on a plate waiting to be eaten
Food & Photo

Rubbed with sweet-smoky spice and slathered with apple-kissed barbecue sauce, these ribs cook up fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy.

8. Grilled Bratwurst Hoagies

A play of Grilled Bratwurst Hoagies sit waiting to be eaten
Food & Photo

Simmering sausages in beer before finishing on the grill gives them bold flavor.

9. Apple Cider Donuts

A plate of Apple Cider Donuts sits waiting to be eaten
bhofack2/Getty Images

An easy-prep apple syrup is the simple secret to these light-as-air treats that’ll melt in your mouth.

10. Deep-Fried Candy Bars

Deep-Fried Candy Bars sit on a plate waiting to be eaten

How do you make a candy bar even more delicious? Deep-fry it, of course! Bonus: Our recipe works with Oreo cookies too.

11. Chocolate-Drizzled Caramel Apples

Chocolate-Drizzled Caramel Apples sit on a plate look delicious
Chocolate-Drizzled Caramel Apples

These sweet treats are so easy to customize — just crush up your favorite nuts or candy (or both!), then roll the apples after they’ve been dipped.

Still hungry for even more fun foods? Click through for some of our favorite treats:

Crab Fries Are The Spicy, Cheesy Twist On Regular Fries That You’ll Wonder How You Lived Without — Easy Air Fryer Recipe

Fried Cheesecake Bites: Crispy, Creamy, Deliciousness That Comes Together Easily

This Fried Buffalo Cauliflower Appetizer Might Steal the Show at Your Next Dinner

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