Kokomo Bakes

Kokomo BakeA few days back I was reflecting on some of the food that I grew up eating, not so much in my house, but around town. I thought my dad always had a good taste for a few things around town, in particular the tacos from Indiana Beach, the tacos from Lord John, the stromboli in Monticello, and something called the bake. At the time, I really never understood the bake as it is baked ground beef, shaped like a hot dog, and placed in a hot dog bun. I think that confused me as a kid as the only thing that I thought should be placed in a hot dog bun was a hot dog.

Both my son and daughter love hot dogs, and cheese burgers for that matter, so upon reflecting on the things about Kokomo, I immediately thought of the bake. A soft and tender ground beef shaped hot dog, sweetened by vinegar and sugar. Light, fluffy, and moist. A big hit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of fine breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • Onion, diced
  • Yellow mustard

To a large bowl, add the ground beef, salt and pepper, breadcrumbs, milk, and water, and mix really well. You will notice that this is really a bit smooth, and a texture that you probably do not work with that often. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Form the meat into hot dog shapes, approximately bun length, and place in your baking pan. This makes about 7-9 bakes. Combine the remaining water, vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl, and drizzle over the meat.

Bake in an over for 75 minutes, covered. Once cooked, remove from the pan to get them out of the fat it was cooking in.

To serve, place a bake in a good hot dog bun, top with diced onion and mustard, or if you are like the rest of my family, eat plain.

Something delicious, different, and from my hometown of Kokomo. Hope you enjoy.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

15 thoughts to “Kokomo Bakes”

  1. Hi Lisa, My friend told me about Bakes. She now lives in
    Ohio and is driving to Kokomo just to get a bake (5 hrs). I live in
    NW Indiana and talked me into driving down to meet her. My husband
    said “for a SANDWICH?”. He agreed and today we are off to
    Kokomo.

    1. Heck yeah, “for a sandwich”!!! Also drive five hours for a White Castle, or a breaded tenderloin sandwich, lol! Or Pizza King pizza!

  2. I used this recipe, and my bakes are in the oven right now, but I have a question: unless I missed it, the recipe doesn’t say where to add the ketchup – so I put it in the “sauce” with sugar, vinegar, water. Hoping that was right! If anyone checks this post, can you let me know? Thanks for posting this recipe!

      1. Yes, they were delicious, I just remember getting them at Yogi’s in early 70s and they were swimming in a heavier sauce, but even with the catsup in the wrong part of the recipe, they were very nostalgic for me (down here in Texas) – thanks!

        1. I use to live in Kokomo. The Bakes are very popular. The difference from your recipe is they dip the Bakes in mustard then top them. It’s messy but oh so good.

  3. I am from kokomo and now live in Florida. I miss kokomo food so much I try my best to recreate it. Where exactly does the catchup go again?

  4. I too have been fantasizing about the bakes but did not know how to make it. Just one thought I entered in the search bar and low and behold there it is.?? Thank you so much for sharing 🌹Laveta

  5. I’m excited about the bakes but found this by accident when I was trying to find a recipe for Lord John tacos (because it was mentioned in the first paragraph I was directed here). So I’ll gladly try the bakes but I’d be thrilled if anyone has a copy for the tacos since they went out of business. I have had a good copy that a bar makes (that I tried at a street fair), but I’m 1000 mi too far away to get them! Any success with a copy??

  6. My grandma was the Queen of Bakes! She was the cook at Miller’s tavern in Kokomo for MANY years. I live in Florida and I’m visiting for a few days to help with clean up. Luckily I was able to make a pit stop at the Handle Bar for 3 Lord Johns taco supremes….mmmmm. messed those up like the bag of White Castles yesterday. I do have a We Care Cookbook at home that has all the recipes…bakes, Spanish sauce for coneys, and all that good stuff. My grandma contributed lots of her recipes for the book. Next up I need to enjoy a giant breaded tenderloins before I go back. Looks like we will have to stop at Ray’s Drive in. I always love to come visit and enjoy the comfort food of HOME.

    1. That’s awesome, Matt. Thanks for the comment, and everything you just said is all great Indiana eats. Did you grow up eating the Amish noodles on top of mashed potatoes as well?

      1. I still do the noodles with mashed potatoes with a big side of fresh green beans. People here in Florida look at me like I just came from another planet.

  7. I stopped in and had Bakes in Kokomo and went home to see if I could duplicate the recipe. I smelled other spices like cumin, so I added some Greek All Spice blend and they were pretty good.

  8. Made these today. Excellent! Wouldn’t change a thing. I live 7 miles from Kokomo but enjoy making fun food at home. Thanks for the recipe!

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