Cornbread is a classic sidekick for barbecue with good reason. The corn flavor and texture is a perfect foil for sweet barbecue sauce and Southern Sweet Tea. In the South, cornbread is not sweet. In the Northeast, cornbread is sweeter and more cake like. I like a compromise, with just a touch of sweetness. Cornbread is great as a side dish, but also makes a fabulous breakfast, warm, with a dab of butter, honey, or syrup.
You can eat it straight, or you can butter it. A compound butter with herbs or molasses is great on cornbread. Some folks in the south serve it warm topped with honey and in New England it is often served with maple syrup. Some say it is better if you cover with foil and and set it aside for at least 24 hours.
The classic Southern cornbread was baked in a cast iron skillet greased with bacon fat, lard, or other meat grease. The hot black metal creates a brown crunchy crust that really amps up the flavor and texture. This recipe is designed for a 12" cast iron skillet, but if you don't have one, you can use a 10" cast iron skillet, or any other skillet, or an 8 x 8 x 2" oven safe glass baking dish. You can even use a metal baking pan if that's all you have, but it won't brown as well as a black pan. If you use anything except the 12" skillet, the cooking time will be different, so use the toothpick test described below. In a narrower pan the mass of batter is thicker and will take longer.
Servings. 8 nice sized wedges
Prep time. 20 minutes
Cooking time. 25 minutes
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons honey
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup sweet corn kernels (optional)
1/4 cup sweet bell pepper, chopped into 1/4" chunks
1 more tablespoon of butter
About the corn. This ingredient is optional, but I really like it. Fresh corn's the best. If not, use frozen corn, thawed by letting it sit for about 15 minutes at room temp. You can use canned corn, but drain it thoroughly. If you wish, you can amp the corn up a bit by pan or grill roasting until it browns slightly.
About the sour cream. Many cornbread recipes call for buttermilk, but this recipe has been formulated for sour cream so resist the temptation to substitute.
About baking powder and baking soda. They seem mysterious, but they work majic. It's chemistry. Click here to learn how they work.
Optional mix-ins. If you wish you can add 4 strips crumbled cooked bacon or some chunks of cooked sausage, cracklins are a Southern tradition, too. Or try 1/2 cup chopped scallions or onions, 6 ounces grated cheddar cheese, 1 minced jalapeño pepper or 1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce (it is barely noticeable but gives the mix a spice of life). Don't go crazy with the add-ins. Use just 2-3 max.
1) Pre-heat the oven or grill to 400°F and put the skillet on the rack to preheat it.
2) In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: Cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
3) In another bowl, whisk the eggs. Then add the honey and whisk for about 20 seconds. Then add the the sour cream, whisk, melted butter, whisk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently stir until everything is mixed, only about 30 seconds. The batter will be lumpy. That's what you want. Now add the corn, red pepper, any other add-ins, and stir gently until they are evenly distributed. It is important that you do not overmix.
4) Take the skillet out of the oven and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Roll the butter around as it melts coating the inside of the pan, including the sides. Yes, I know that's a lot of butter. You will thank me later. Work quickly so the pan doesn't cool.
Optional. If you wish, you can grease the pan with bacon fat or lard instead of the butter, as was common in the old south.
5) Pour in the batter, level it more or less. Place in the hot oven. Work quickly.
6) Cook until the top is golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure the edges don't burn.
7) Cool for about 10 minutes and serve.
Here are some good videos of some other cornbread recipes
This page was modified on 8/17/2010
About this website
AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great BBQ recipes, tips on technique, and unbiased equipment reviews. Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, spareribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, barbecue sauces, rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best buying guide to barbecue smokers, grills, and accessories, edited by Meathead.
Advertising on this site
AmazingRibs.com is far the most popular barbecue website in the world and one of the 50 most popular food websites in the US according to comScore and Quantcast. Visitors and pageviews increase rapidly every year. Click here for analytics and advertising info.
| Weights, Measures, Conversions | Tips & Techniques | Recipes | Equipment Reviews | BBQ Culture & History |
| My Ingredients | BBQ Joints | About Us | Blog | Links | Newsletter | BBQ Tunes |
| Privacy Promise, Code of Ethics, Other Legal Terms | Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities |