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What do you cook your cornbread in?

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I just bought a 9" cast iron skillet, but I was wondering if the cast iron pan with small indentations (look like corn) are better. Is there a difference in cook times/temps?

Not sure if this goes in home cooking or equipment.

Matt

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  1. I always do muffin cups. Much easier for portioning (especially with kids).

    1. Sometimes I use a 9" cast-iron pan; sometimes a 9" square glass baking dish.
      The cast-iron is great if your recipe calls for pre-heating the pan and butter/lard. I would worry that the pan with indentations would be difficult to clean...
      Muffin cups are great for portioning, as jboeke says.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hungryjoanne

        A properly seasoned corn stick pan will release the corn sticks (which is what we've always called them) easily and no worries about cleaning.

      2. I use a cast iron skillet. I leave shortening out of the cornbread batter and instead melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in the skillet on top of the stove. One could use bacon fat instead. I add the batter to the melted butter and allow it to stay on the hot stove for a few minutes and then put the skillet into the preheated oven. The corn bread cooks up in 15 to 20 minutes, crusty and buttery. Yum.

        1. Always cast iron unless I'm making muffins. I never managed to get my cast iron corn stick pan seasoned properly and I can never manage to get the sticks out without breaking so I rarely use it. It's a pain to clean.
          If you have the bacon fat, go that way. You don't even need to use the cooktop. Put your fat in the pan and pop it in the oven for about 5 minutes or so before pouring your batter. The batter should sizzle when it hits the fat.

          1. Cast iron for southern, pyrex for northern. I think the ones w/ corn indents are limiting, plus harder to fully grease/remove cornbread.

            1. I use a Cast Iron Pan, but either a pan or skillet work just fine.

              1. I also use a cast iron skillet or a square glass baking dish, depending on in what shape I want the final product. For potlucks or bag lunches, I find squares more durable than wedges.

                1. Glass baking dish or a Madeleine pan or muffin pan.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sal_acid

                    +1 on madeleine tins. use them for sweet things as well; 2 bites, 1 hand.

                  2. Cast Iron Skillets ~~ Rarely Muffins. ~~ The 'Stick' pans work if seasoned well, oiled, and are smoking hot when you apply the batter. Rarely use them however.

                    1. I have never cooked cornbread in anything but cast iron. I am not crazy about the corn shaped ones. I also have an old wagner that is divided into wedges. While like the way the wedge shaped ones turn out, I just don't like fooling with it. The corn shaped ones are too shallow for me. I like more middle of the cornbread than all crust. I also find it hard to predict how much batter I need to mix up, and pouring the batter in those little molds is messy. that goes for both the wedge shaped ones and the corn shaped ones.

                      I just prefer the skillet, because it is easier. Then everyone can cut whatever size piece they want.

                      1. Depends. For sweet cornbraed, I usually use a deep baking pan. For savory cornbraed, I usually use a cast iron skillet.

                        <but I was wondering if the cast iron pan with small indentations (look like corn) are better>

                        That just makes them look cute, not better.

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          We have a corn bread pan, cute little ears of cornbread. Just one of those things we got from my mother, but most of the time it's either in a square glass baking dish or cast iron skillet.

                          1. re: mikie

                            <most of the time it's either in a square glass baking dish >

                            I have a glass baking dish for pies, but I have not tried that for cornbread. I assume it work well for you. Noticed any difference between the glass and the cast iron for your cornbread?

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              You'll get a better crust in a cast iron pan. That is if you preheat the cast iron before putting in the cornbread batter like you are supposed to. I'd have some serious reservations about preheating Pyrex and then putting in the batter. Kaboom!

                              1. re: Leepa

                                <I'd have some serious reservations about preheating Pyrex and then putting in the batter. >

                                Good point.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Yeah...nothing like shrapnel to make meal prep more "exciting."

                                  1. re: Westy

                                    It's not just immediate but for months on end, finding shards in hidden corners.

                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                I don't notice alot of difference, more difference with the little corn pan. I don't make the cornbread, and Mrs. mikie, as unselfish as she usually is, always takes the middle piece of cornbread when cooked in a 9x9 glass baking dish, she doesn't like the edges much, so perhaps there is a difference, or maybe, the cast iron doesn't give her a middle piece ;)

                                1. re: mikie

                                  <or maybe, the cast iron doesn't give her a middle piece ;)>

                                  :D Ha ha ha.

                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  I use pyrex when making northern style cornbread because that has a more cakey texture, and I don't want the crust. I don't preheat it in that case. I asked pyrex about heating their pans empty for the no knead bread (it still makes the best loaf) and they said they didn't recommend it.

                                  1. re: chowser

                                    I have two lodge cast iron loaf pans that make great breads. Even cornbread if you likely of the middle and less crust. Back when I made yeast bread, I loved using the CI loaf pans. The same for sour dough and the Amish friendship bread.

                                    1. re: dixiegal

                                      I finally bought a Lodge cast iron dutch oven for the no knead bread. I use our old cast iron for southern style cornbread where I want the crust. But, northern style just calls for soft, imo, so I use the pyrex pans. When I make loaf bread, I have a stone loaf pan, if I want the crust and pyrex for not. Thinking about it, I apparently have a lot of pans, for every occasion...

                                      1. re: dixiegal

                                        That's interesting. I bought one once and never used it. Recently, I gave it to a friend. I thought it would be slow to heat up and that would affect the initial rise in the oven. So that isn't the case?

                                      2. re: chowser

                                        Yeah, I can see no-knead bread is a really bad idea for Pyrex. Heating the oven and its content really hot, and then dump a cold piece of dough. Yeah, that sounds too much of a thermal shock.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          It's one of the containers Bittman recommended in the original recipe. I did it for months and had no problems but someone pointed it out here when I talked about doing it. I ended up sending an e-mail to the company (I'm just imagining the shudders). It should have occurred to me because I have had pyrex shatter and it's tough to clean up.

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            <It's one of the containers Bittman recommended in the original recipe>

                                            Really? Bittman recommended Pyrex glass for this? That sounds like a not-so-great idea.

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              I used these recipes (Lahey via Bittman):
                                              http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/din...
                                              and
                                              http://www.sullivanstreetbakery.com/r...

                                              "Equipment:
                                              Two medium mixing bowls
                                              6 to 8 quart pot with lid (Pyrex glass, Le Creuset cast iron, or ceramic)"

                                              Yeah, not a good idea.

                                3. Along with some others here, unless I'm making muffins, I use a cast-iron skillet.

                                  1. Boy, I have a bunch of different pans for corn bread. For basic corn bread, a basic 12" cast iron skillet works. I use a drop biscuit pan or a corn stick pan when I am looking for something with a lot of crust. It's all good...make sure that whatever you is good and hot, and well-greased when the batter goes in. When camping, I use a camp oven...the corn bread comes out with great crust and incredibly moist. Nothing like hot coffee, fresh-baked cornbread or biscuits, honey out in the great outdoors!

                                    1. I always use a 9x9 glass baking dish

                                        1. I use a 12" cast iron skillet.

                                          1. 9" cast iron skillet. A great aid to seasoning the skillet, and an excellent crust on the bread. Move on to corn-shaped pans when you've perfected the pan and the cornbread. (Yes, the cooking time is different.)

                                            1. Cast iron muffin pan. If left unsupervised, probably brushed inside with bacon fat.

                                                1. Always cast iron skillet with bacon fat.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: chefathome

                                                    I try to go easy on the bacon fat...if you plan on eating right away, no big deal, but found that it picks up a less-than-pleasant funk with time.

                                                    1. re: MikeB3542

                                                      That's why I zealously ensure they are all consumed while hot!!!

                                                  2. I am another who bakes cornbread in my CI skillet. I've done this for decades.

                                                    1. I bake mine in a cast iron skillet. I love the crust that develops. The only advantage of using a corn shaped pan would be not having as many crumbs from cutting a round cornbread into wedges.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Patrincia

                                                        I love the crispy crust as well. This is why I usually use my pan that makes the wedge shaped pieces. Lots of crust! For this same reason, I also like to use my waffle maker to make "cornbread waffles" that I usually serve with my favorite chicken stew. Mmmmm.