Friday, August 17, 2018

Cast Iron Cornbread – Frugal Fabulous

What to bring to a cookout is always a tough call. Ribs or brisket would be great, but they’re not cheap, and take hours to prepare. On the other end of the spectrum, you could just bring a bag of chips, but that’s kind of weak sauce.

In fact, that’s probably worse that literally bringing a weak sauce, which is why this easy-to-make cast iron cornbread is such a great option. This stuff is very inexpensive to make, but that’ll be the last thing anyone will be thinking about as they eat, and if everything goes according to plan, you’ll be asked to bring it to the next gathering. Sure, every once in a while it would be nice to show up with a pulled pork shoulder, but hey, you’re the cornbread guy or gal, and that’s just your thing.

Above and beyond how much extra beer money this recipe will afford you, it’s also very adaptable. You can add things like hot peppers, cheese, and fresh corn, as well as adjust the texture to your particular tastes. I use a lot of buttermilk, since I don’t care for a super-dry, crumbly cornbread, but if you do, simply reduce the amount to one cup. You can also use plain milk for this, but I really do like the tang of the buttermilk.

As far as the butter amount goes, I’d usually use four tablespoon for the batter, and maybe only one or two for the pan, but this time I decided to melt the whole stick. It was borderline too much, so maybe keep that in mind if you don’t want it too rich, but as with all these recipes, I’ll let you experiment and figure things out. Either way, I hope you give this easy, and affordable cornbread a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 8-10 Portions:
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, divided (half for batter, half for pan)
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
pinch of cayenne
3 tablespoons honey, or to taste
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or less for a drier texture)
1 cup self-rising flour*

- Bake at 400 F. for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*To make your own you self-rising flour, sift together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, with 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon fine salt.

35 comments:

Dennis Hyman said...

What size pants did you use?

Melany Schmiit-Huston said...

I laughed at your "too much butter" comment. I think corn bread is a carrier for good unsalted butter! I might truly some clotted cream on it too! Like the simplicity of it all too! Cheers!

Steven said...

What do you use if you don't have a cast iron pan? (You mentioned that you don't really need one)

Unknown said...

How much would adding kernels of corn to the recipe change it? Maybe use less moisture, or don't worry about it?

RiverRat said...

Always interested in trying new cornbread recipes. Quick question, what size skillet are you using here? 10 inch?

Unknown said...

How much unmelted butter is a 1/2 cup melted butter?

Abby said...

What size cast iron skillet was used ?

Unknown said...

this was a test to see if I could send you a photo here. Im not seeing that.

Unknown said...

This was a test to see if I could post photos here. I am not seeing that I can.

Unknown said...

What size is the cast iron skillet the bread was baked in?

Lisa from Indiana said...

Love you, Chef John. How big a skillet/pan did you use?

Oznayim said...

Suggest you begin with sautéing a ton of chopped onions in the pan with butter first. Add that to the batter. I also use corn... and server with honey butter. Don't know how many times I have been asked for Honey-Butter recipe.. Honey and butter..mix.

Oznayim said...

Suggest you sauté a lot of chopped onion in butter in the pan first. I also add corn. Serve with Honey Butter

David D said...


Is the cast iron pan absolutely necessary?

Unknown said...

Honey to taste = no honey. What are you? some kinda weirdo!

akaase said...

This cornbread looks eggy and sweet, with a moist crumb. It's irrefutably a "northern style" cornbread. Southern style cornbreads are dryer and unsweetened (or at least just faintly sweet). It's nearly codified in the bylaws of Dixie. But they do often spread butter and honey on a served slice. Plus Southerners love sweet tea, so it's not like they dislike sugar!

Louise said...

Chef,
Corn bread for breakfast in the morning. You are such an inspiration. Teaching us to appreciate food,
techniques and most important humor.
Cheers!
To plant a garden is to believe in the future.
Louise Zone 9


Shannon Sullivan said...

Hey there! Just wondering what size cast iron pan you used. My cornbread ended up a little dry and thinner than your finished product. Just wanted to inquire!

Eric Veronesi said...

Looks great! What size cast iron pan?

Unknown said...

This is great! Don't be afraid to add a little cinnamon. Loved the honey substitution for sugar! Used a square Pyrex and made another in corning ware. I did decide to use a little less butter - about a third of a cup. Everybody loves it!

Unknown said...

This is great! Don't be afraid to add a little cinnamon. Loved the honey substitution for sugar! Used a square Pyrex and made another in corning ware. If you don't have self rising flour, careful with the salt. Also, I did decide to use a little less butter - about a third of a cup. Everybody loves it!

Stinkbait said...

glad to see a cornbread recipe, been trying to find a copy of my grandma's but no luck. Will have to try this out soon

jakub dunaj said...

Hey Chef John,
is there any GF version of this bread? Can I substite self-rising flour for cornmeal, or use buckwheat flour instead? Or any other GF kind?

Unknown said...

Well done Sir! Added 1C. fresh corn to the mix, compliments it well. Your narration, cadence and inflection make food fun to make again, keep up the stellar work!

gypsymyst said...

Hi Chef John!

Great job with the video! I'm wondering what size skillet is used here. If this is for a 12-in skillet, how can this recipe be adapted to fit into a 10-in skillet?

Thanks in advance!

Gabrielle Milan TTH1130 said...

this looks amazing! will try this weekend.

Unknown said...

Sorry but the size of the pan for the recipe determines product done-ness as well as thickness of the final product thickness (I know...duh...but) could you adjust the blog post for the diameter of the pan? Assuming standard 12" but as the saying goes.."ASSUME" makes an ASS out of U and ME.

Jaye SC said...

John, Thanks for the recipe but I sincerely wish more chefs would say the size of the pot or pan they are using in a video because it does make a difference and it does not take a long time to say I am using an 8 inch iron skillet here. Thanks,Be reasonable

Emma Dupont said...

You've done it once again Chef John. Made this cornbread over the weekend to go with some collard greens and smoked BBQ ribs. Delicious!

Thank you for the great recipe.

sk8erin8er said...

How could I make a larger batch without cooking them separately?

Unknown said...

I do not have cast iron, Can I use regular cake pan ?

Ace said...

What size cast iron pan was used for this recipe?

Unknown said...

Followed instructions to the tee, however the bread won't rise. Why?

Garry Cooper said...

Finally got around to making this today, and I thought it was delicious!
And more importantly, Momma loved it as well!
That chewy, crunchy outside bit was the best.
Of course since I did not use the cayenne and the slope of my pans sides were not as steep, I'm gonna call this my own recipe ( at least when I take it to Family reunion next year).
Thanks Chef John!

Devilham said...

made this recipe for my own bbq this weeked, came out great, I doubled the recipe as I had a 12 inch skillet, but didn't think it would feed enough folk, so went with my larger cast iron skillet (not sure of the size, was just bigger, eyeballing told me to double it).... very nice addition to smoked ribs, and assorted salads, it was a hit, and like you John, I prefer it moist, so stuck with your buttermilk measurement... good good stuff, and easy to pull off in the sturm and drang of a bbq