Howdy folks, and thanks for stopping by the website! In this week’s video, I demonstrate how to make perfect corn bread in a cast iron Dutch oven. Cast iron cornbread is about as traditional of a dish as there is in the United States, as corn has been the crop that has kept us and our neighbors fed and fed well for thousands of years.
When you make a dish that has been around so long you bring a little bit of history to life each time. Cooking cornbread over a fire in cast iron is not only delicious, but it’s pleasing in the way that all traditions are. Maybe it reminds you of your great grandmother’s little cornbread cast iron mold, or maybe you’re starting a new family tradition at camp.
For whatever reason, I’ve got you covered both on the best recipe and on the tips and tricks you need to know to bake corn bread that’s perfectly done and doesn’t stick to the Dutch oven when it’s time to eat.
Corn Meal: Yellow or White?
There’s no real difference between yellow corn meal and white corn meal. It’s just what you’re used to – once upon a time the corn meal came in all different colors, just like corn did. Over time, however, yellow corn bread seems to have won out. I imagine there are quite a few cornbread lovers out there who would look at white cornbread and raise their eyebrows and wonder what the cook forgot to put in the batter.
Start by mixing the corn meal with flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and mix well. Form your well in the center and add the egg and milk, and stir. I mix in about 1/3 cup of granulated sugar for Shannon because she likes it sweet.
Instead of oil, I like to add melted butter because it adds flavor and a richness to each bite that is just a step above. You could stop here, mix all this together, and bake this cornbread and it will be delicious.
Tip: Cool the melted butter to where it’s warm but not hot. You don’t want the butter to start the cooking process this early.
Y’all have been with me long enough to know that I’m not going to stop there. I’m going to make cast iron cornbread that sticks to your ribs a little bit.
Cowboy-Style Corn Bread
Get six slices of thick cut bacon and cook it up to your desired crispiness. Hang on to the bacon grease! This is going to add flavor to the corn bread and ensure that it doesn’t stick to the cast iron Dutch oven.
Add the chopped bacon and the drained can of Hatch green chilies (diced) and mix well. Stir in half the bacon grease and use the other half to coat the interior of the Dutch oven. Pour in the corn bread batter and put in the oven if you’re indoors.
Tip: Tap the Dutch oven on the counter a few times after you pour the batter inside to release any air bubbles and ensure even baking.
How to Cook Corn Bread Outdoors in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Cornbread is a great beginner recipe for those who want to learn to cook outside using a cast iron Dutch oven. You want to start off with a well-seasoned Dutch oven. If you are new to cast iron, save yourself a hassle and watch our Cast Iron care video so you can establish a good seasoning right away.
You will want to use a trivet that is about 5 inches off the ground, and you want it to support the Dutch oven evenly so the batter doesn’t all run to one side or the other.
Cooking outdoors in a Dutch oven will always take the wind conditions into account. You want to surround the outside of the trivet with coals and leave the area directly under the Dutch oven alone. The air is going to circulate that heat directly to the bottom of the pan. Spread coals over the lid of the oven to cook the top.
Tip: Always use hardwood lump charcoal instead of briquets.
Tip: Always rotate the Dutch oven 45 degrees one way and the lid 45 degrees the other way every 1/4 way through the cooking time to ensure even cooking.
When you see that the edge of the cornbread has separated from the sides, thump the edge. If the corn bread doesn’t jiggle in the middle, it’s done! Serve with butter or honey.
As always, Shannon and I thank you for enjoying our videos with us. Please remember to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and click like on all of your favorite videos. Check our events page or subscribe to our newsletter to find out about upcoming events. We will see you next time!
Cast Iron Corn Bread – Cowboy Kent Rollins
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter melted
- 6 slices of cooked bacon chopped, reserve the grease
- 1 4 ounce can diced green chilis drained
- Indoors: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Mix well.
- Make a well in the bottom of the cornbread mixture and crack the egg. Whisk until smooth. Add the milk and stir, and then add the melted butter and mix well.
- Add the drained green chilis and bacon. Add ½ the reserved bacon grease and mix well.
- In a Dutch oven, spread the remaining bacon grease to thoroughly grease the cast iron surface. Pour in the cornbread mixture and smack the Dutch oven down on the counter a few times to get the batter set. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.