You won't believe how easy these Air Fryer Hush Puppies are to make in the Ninja Foodi -- or any Air Fryer, for that matter! Simple perfection without all the oil!
Before I get into this absolutely incredible recipe for Air Fryer Hush Puppies, I really need your help with something. How do you spell hushpuppies?
I am really hoping that someone out there in internet land stumbles across this recipe and is an expert on how to spell hush puppies because I am totally lost and either the past 49 years (okay, I wasn't exactly spelling hushpuppy at birth, so the past 35 years is more like it), I have been completely wrong or the majority of the internet is wrong. Either way, I'd like to get to the bottom of it!
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How do you Spell Hush Puppies?
My whole spelling life, I have spelled hushpuppies as one word. This is not to be confused with spelling Hush Puppies, the shoe... because I know that is two words although I can't remember a time in my life when I had reason to spell it. I am specifically talking about the spelling of the food, that little ball of fried (now air fried) deliciousness that so many restaurants serve up as a side dish. How is it spelled? Hush Puppy, two words? Hushpuppy, one word? Or, Hush-Puppy, hyphenated?
Before I name any recipe, I use our good friend, Google, just to make sure I am spelling everything correctly and using the mainstream wording. When I typed in hushpuppies, guess what? 75% of the results were spelled with 2 words! WHAT? Has my whole life been a bad spelling bee? So, I asked the smartest man I know, Jeff. He said (and this is just one reason I love him), "it's one word, I looked it up."
Jeff even went so far as to look up Food Network and hushpuppies and, low-and-behold, the first hits were spelled "hushpuppy" and I was sooo happy! Then, after the first 5 or so, Food Network hushpuppy recipes, my life changed again. It seems that only about 75% of the Food Network hushpuppy recipes are spelled hushpuppy, the other 25% are hush puppy! At least I could rule out the hyphenated version, but still... how do you spell hushpuppy?
As you can see, I gave into Google pressure and decided to flow with the stream and call this recipe Air Fryer Hush Puppies. What do you think? Did I make the right choice?
I guess it really doesn't matter how you spell hushpuppy as long as the recipe is good and this one is VERY good! Smack your lips good! Smile while you eat good! Let's get to making these delicious Air Fryer Hush Puppies.
What is a Hush Puppy?
Traditionally speaking, it is a batter made out of cornmeal and flour that usually is seasoned with onion powder and thrown in a deep fryer and fried golden brown. When done correctly, the outside is perfectly crispy, while the inside is very similar to a soft cornbread.
I've always been a fan of hushpuppies and there was this one resturant in Maryland that had the BEST hush puppies (I think they spelled it hushpuppy) with whole kernels of corn. The inside was soft and not crumbly or dry, while the outside was crispy and slightly sweet.
There are various tales on the internet about how the "hush puppy" got its name and I have no idea which, if any, is actually true, but, if they are, then... hush puppy is probably two words. Darnit, the logic is setting in now. I may have been wrong my whole life.
Some stories talk of confederate soldiers, or African cooks, and others of hunters and fishermen, but the common theme is that these men would throw balls of fried cornmeal dough to the dogs to quiet them. When they tossed them to their dog, they said, "Hush, puppy!"
No matter how the hush puppy was named or how you spell it, they are a southern staple at any fish fry for sure! Personally, I like them with BBQ and Taco Soup!
What to Serve with Air Fryer Hush Puppies?
The first thing that comes to mind is breaded and fried catfish and I have been working on a recipe for that, but it isn't perfect yet... so stay tuned! Join our mailing list if you want to be notified of new recipes and I'll be sure to update this post once I get the catfish recipe perfected.
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Air Fryer Hush Puppies go great with BBQ and I even like them dipped in Raspberry Glaze. Serve a batch with a rack of St. Louis Style ribs with Raspberry Glaze and a side of coleslaw and that is one good dinner!
You can also serve them just as they are or with your favorite soup! In fact, I decided to make these one night when I was working on a recipe for Taco Soup and they went perfectly together!
How to Store & Reheat Air Fryer Hush Puppies
I have to begin with: these Air Fryer Hush Puppies are best when they are served fresh out of the Ninja Foodi or Air Fryer. However, I have been successful in reheating them. You can make them up several hours before serving and just leave them at room temp until serving. I found that they retained their crunch for at least 2 hours, unless, of course, your house is really humid.
If you want to make them up a day or two in advance, cook them until they are almost done. So, for smaller hush puppies, that would be about 6-7 minutes and for larger ones, about 8 minutes. The trick here is to get the inside completely cooked without over browning the outside. You can even lower the AC temperature from 400°F/204°C to 375°F/190°C.
Then, allow them to cool completely. This is very important because if you bag them up when they are still warm, steam will get trapped and you will lose your crispiness. You can pop the sealed bag into the fridge or leave it on the counter for up to 24 hours. If you want to store them longer, I would get all the air out of the bag and freeze them.
When you are ready to reheat, bring the hushpuppies to room temperature. Preheat the Ninja Foodi with the basket in on broil for at least 10 minutes. Dump in the hush puppies and broil for 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown. Serve immediately.
The hushpuppies will last several days in the fridge and several months in the freezer, but they are so easy to make, I think I would make a fresh batch each time I wanted them.
How to Make Air Fryer Hush Puppies
Making homemade Hush Puppies in the Ninja Foodi or any Air Fryer for that matter, is so easy... much easier than I imagined!
The first thing you want to do is gather your ingredients and measuring cups/spoons. I like to have everything already measured out and ready to go, but that does dirty some extra dishes, for sure, and isn't absolutely necessary.
You will want a medium size mixing bowl, a whisk, a scraper, and the ingredients, of course. I also find that using a scoop is very helpful and the one I think I prefer is the medium scoop from Pampered Chef. In the video I did for this recipe, I made two different sizes and, over all, I prefer the larger size. You can make your hush puppies any size you want, from 1-2 teaspoons up to 2-3 Tablespoons and they will work out just fine.
Preheat the Ninja Foodi on Air Crisp on 400°F/204°C with the baket in the inner pot for at least 10 minutes. I usually go with the default of 20 minutes because it takes about 10 minutes to mix the batter and scoop out the hush puppies and then another 7-10 minutes to Air Fry or Air Crisp them.
Crack one egg into a medium size mixing bowl. Mix vinegar with half & half and let sit for about 1 minute. You can use any type of milk I'm sure, but I only tested the recipe with half & half. Add the half & half/vinegar to the egg and whisk to combine.
Add salt, onion powder, chipotle and sugar and whisk until combined.
Add in the baking powder and cornmeal. Whisk until combined. Add in the flour and mix until combined.
I usually start of with a whisk, but when it gets too thick, I switch to a scraper to finish combining ingredients. Fold in the frozen or canned corn. If you are using canned corn, make sure to drain it before adding.
Add the ¼ cup of white sugar to a shallow bowl and scoop the hush puppies out. If you don't have a scoop, simply take out the desired amount of batter with a measuring spoon (about 2 Tablespoons is a good size) and roll the batter between the palms of your hands to form a ball. Drop into the sugar and roll the hush puppy in the sugar. You only need a very light coating of sugar. More is not better in this instance. If the sugar is too thick, it will burn.
Spritz the basket with oil and place the hush puppies in a single layer in the bottom of the basket. Air Crisp on 400°F/204°C for 4-5 minutes. Flip, spritz another 2-3 times with the oil and continue Air Crisping for another 3-5 minutes or until they are golden brown. I used canola oil in this EVO Oil Spritzer, but you can use any oil you like cooking with. I would keep it neutral in flavor though.
While the first batch of hush puppies are air crisping, I make up the second batch and roll them in sugar so they are ready to go.
When the first batch are golden brown, remove and allow to cool. I recommend using a metal basket with holes, like a steamer basket or a cooling rack so they don't steam and soften before serving.
Repeat the same process for the second batch. Serve & Enjoy!
Air Fryer Hush Puppies
- Gather your ingredients and preheat the Ninja Foodi on Air Crisp on 400°F/204°C with the basket in for at least 10 minutes.
- Crack the egg into a medium size mixing bowl. Add vinegar to half & half and let sit for about 1 minute. Pour the half & half/ vinegar mixture into the mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
- Add the sugar, salt, onion powder, chipotle and mix.
- Add in the baking powder and cornmeal. Whisk to combine. Add in the flour and mix until combined.
- Add the corn and fold into the batter.
- Place the ¼ cup of white sugar into a shallow dish. Scoop out hush puppy batter and roll in sugar. I have used both the small scoop and the medium scoop from Pampered Chef and both work fine. So, any size scoop from 2 teaspoons to 2 Tablespoons is fine to make the hush puppies. If you don't have a scoop, use a measuring spoon to scoop out the desired amount of batter and roll the ball of dough between the palms of your hands to shape.
- When the Ninja Foodi is preheated, spritz the basket with 3-4 sprays of oil. I used canola, but you can use any oil you like to cook with. Place the hush puppies in a single layer on the bottom of the basket and Air Crisp on 400°F/204°C for about 4-5 minutes. Flip and continue to Air Crips for another 3-5 minutes or until the outside is golden brown.
- Remove the hush puppies from the basket and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.