How To Make the Best Cornbread Ever!
How to Make Skillet Cornbread
Country cooking tastes the best and this recipe is one that my Grandma taught me to make at age four. Yes, I was a little small to do everything but Grandma let me do the parts that I was safely able to. And even though I did not handle the hot skillet, I learned exactly what was required to make the best cornbread ever.
I will share the recipe that Grandma taught me and her special "How to's" that I still remember and have shared with my daughter.
I Wanted to Help Grandma and Be Part of the Daily Routine
In Grandma’s kitchen, cornbread was made daily. Grandpa believed that cornbread and beans were a necessary part of any menu. Yes we even had these country dishes right along with our Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey every year. Therefore since I lived with my grandparents and did everything right alongside Grandma, I learned many things at a very young age. And thankfully, Grandma never had the attitude that I was too young to help however I felt capable. I gladly made it my job to mix up the cornbread and have it ready for Grandma to put in the skillet.
Iron Skillet - the tool necessary to make cornbread with an outside crunch
A good seasoned cast-iron skillet is a must in making great tasting country food and it also helps in making the perfect skillet of cornbread. The skillet I use is called a Wagner Ware iron skillet, chicken fryer.
These skillets pictured here are the closest I could find to the ones I use.
Great for frying chicken but this is actually my favorite skillet for making skillet cornbread.
Grandma's Simple "How To" Instructions for Me
It Worked, and I Never Messed Up the Cornbread
Grandma would get my mixing bowl and spoons and I would get my chair to stand on since I was too short to reach the counter. Grandma had canisters set up on the counter with the first two large ones containing cornmeal and flour. After those, it was the sugar canister, but I skipped that one because Grandpa did not like sugar in his cornbread. The next canister contained salt and the next was baking powder.
This was Grandma's instructions to me so I could use just two spoons to make the cornbread. Out of the first canister get seven heaping tablespoons (corn meal), then move to the next canister and add two heaping tablespoons (flour), skip the sugar, next canister add half a teaspoon (salt), and from the last get one level tablespoon of baking powder. Then I would stir that all together, get an egg from the refrigerator and stir that in along with milk, a little at a time so the batter would not get lumpy. Then after getting Grandma's approval that the consistency was right, she would take over. We did not measure the milk but cooked by sight since Grandma knew exactly how it should look.
Then Grandma had the skillet hot with bacon grease melted and she would add a little of the grease to the cornbread batter and stir it in. Then she poured the batter into the hot skillet and popped it into the oven. It would bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes and then she would remove it from the oven loosen the edges with a spatula and quickly flip it over letting it rest on her hand for a split-second and then it was back in the oven for 5-10 minutes more. This made the entire pan of cornbread crusty and delicious.
This is a more exact version for ingredients of what I made at age four. But the method I would still recommend would be Grandma's.
Looking for a more health conscious recipe, I have made this cornbread using Olive Oil instead of bacon grease. But the taste is not as good, so I still on rare occasions revert back to the exact way Grandma used to make the family favorite recipe.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30-35 minutes
Serves: 7-8 servings
- 2 -3 Tablespoons bacon drippings or olive oil
- 2 cups white or yellow cornmeal
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 1 egg
- If you prefer a sweeter version 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar or honey may be added
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Heat bacon drippings in iron skillet.
- In mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Then add beaten egg with milk, a little at a time until batter is completely mixed and not lumpy. Then add a small amount of bacon drippings into batter and mix in.
- Now pour cornmeal mixture into hot skillet where bacon drippings are heating, hear the sizzle.
- Then pop skillet filled with cornmeal batter into heated oven for about 20 minutes.
- Remove skillet from the oven, loosen the edges with a spatula and quickly flip it over letting it rest on hand (covered with a potholder) for a split-second.
- Now place skillet of cornbread back in the oven for 5-10 minutes more to make the entire pan of cornbread crusty and delicious.
Home Cookin' - and Cornbread!
Do you make cornbread at home?
Country Cookin' - and the Traditional Iron Skillet
Do you own a seasoned iron skillet?
My Grandma Holding My Newborn Son (Now the Endodontist)
The Family Legacy is Passed on Intact--
years after Grandma is no longer living . . .
I taught my daughter, at a young age, how to make skillet cornbread and our family enjoys this tasty recipe many times throughout the year. Skillet cornbread is the main ingredient for holiday turkey dressing pictured here.
Also, for our New Year's dinner, skillet cornbread is a must with the yearly pot of black-eyed peas. And on any cold day, there is nothing better to compliment a hot bowl of stew or soup.