Learn everything you need to know about how to make smoked cornbread!
Smoked cornbread is incredibly easy to make and goes great alongside so many classic BBQ dishes.
Whether you've got a gas or charcoal grill, a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet grill, or even a Masterbuilt electric smoker, we've got you covered!
Making cornbread on your smoker is a fun and easy way to give some smoky flavor to the cornbread and enjoy your outdoor space while you do it. Homemade cornbread is super simple and fast to make.
First, let's go through what equipment and ingredients you'll need to make a great smoked cornbread!
Preheat a Cast Iron Skillet
In order to make a GREAT smoked cornbread, you will need a good 12-inch cast iron skillet like our favorite affordable one from Lodge.
While you CAN technically use an aluminum foil pan, nothing will beat the even cooking, heat retention, crispy edges, and awesome presentation of smoked cornbread in a cast iron skillet.
One of the most important things to do is to make sure to preheat the cast iron skillet while you preheat your grill.
This is what will give you the even cooking and crispy edges on your smoked cornbread.
We like to spot check how hot our cast iron has gotten with this inexpensive infrared thermometer.
Once you've got your grill and cast iron skillet preheating, it's time to mix up the cornbread batter.
Don't get intimidated by making a homemade smoked cornbread.
It's incredibly easy, so leave the instant cornbread mix up on the shelf!
You will need:
- Kosher Salt
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Whole Milk
- Salted Butter
- Sour Cream
Smokers have a tendency to dry out baked goods compared to a conventional oven because they have more airflow, resulting in more evaporation.
We therefore modify many of our smoked desserts and baked goods to give them extra moisture, like we did with our smoked chocolate chip cookies by adding an extra egg yolk.
For our smoked cornbread, we have added the sour cream which you likely won't see in many typical baked cornbread recipes.
We found the extra moisture from the sour cream really helped keep the smoked cornbread moist and delicious so don't skip this vital ingredient!
Mix the Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together (the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.).
Then, whisk in the milk, buttermilk, and eggs.
Next, whisk in 7 tablespoon of the melted butter, leaving 1 tablespoon set aside.
Finally, gently fold in the sour cream, using a good baking spatula like this one, rather than the whisk, so as not to overwork the batter.
Butter the Cast Iron Skillet and Pour Batter
Once your cast iron skillet is preheated at or above the temperature of the smoker, you'll want to take that 1 tablespoon of melted butter you set aside and brush it all over the bottom and sides of the skillet.
Use a good high resistant silicone basting brush like this one and make sure to get the entire inside of the cast iron skillet coated with a thin layer of butter.
This will keep the smoked cornbread from sticking to the pan and help create the nice brown and crisped up edges we are going for as well.
Finally, you can pour your smoked cornbread batter into the preheated and buttered skillet.
Pour slowly at the center, letting the batter naturally spread out evenly in the round cast iron skillet.
Best Wood and Wood Pellets to Use
Cherry, Maple, Apple, and even Pecan are great wood choices that work wonderfully for smoking cornbread.
We liked using this Cherry Blend of pellets from Pit Boss because it contains both Cherry AND Maple wood.
You can impart A LOT of distinctive smoke flavor in a relatively short period of time.
Time and Temperature
Many baked cornbread recipes call for cooking at 375°F for 20-25 minutes.
However, we wanted to smoke the cornbread a little more slowly to make sure it got plenty of smoky flavor so we smoked our cornbread at 325°F for about 40 minutes.
325°F was still hot enough to get nice crisp edges and cook the cornbread fast enough so as not to dry out on the smoker.
Don't forget to preheat your cast iron skillet first as well.
Ours actually got up close to a surface temperature of 400°F when we poured in the batter and this really helped get nice edges on the smoked cornbread too.
After about 35 minutes, check the middle with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.
When it does, remove the entire skillet of smoked cornbread from the grill or smoker to a trivet or other heat proof surface to cool for about 10-15 minutes before trying to slice and serve.
How to Make Smoked Cornbread in an Electric Smoker
If you have an electric smoker like a Masterbuilt that only goes up to 275°F, you will still be able to smoke your cornbread.
However, it will obviously take a little longer.
Once way to cheat this problem though is to preheat your cast iron skillet in an indoor oven at 350°F for 30 minutes, grease it with the melted butter, pour in the batter, and THEN place it in the electric smoker that is set to 275°F.
The direct heat of the skillet will help you still get those nice brown crispy edges, even in the lower temperature smoker, and also help cook the smoked cornbread faster and not dry out in the lower temperature environment.
We like to serve our smoked cornbread in slices like a pie so that everyone gets some of the delicious edge.
Give the cornbread AT LEAST 10-15 minutes to cool in the cast iron before you start slicing into it or it may crumble and fall apart while it's still very hot.
The cast iron will keep the smoked cornbread warm for quite a while so you can feel free to set it aside until the rest of your meal is ready to eat too.
We like to serve ours with some butter and a honey drizzle.
Easy Smoked Cornbread
- Smoker, Grill or Pellet Grill
- Wood for smoking (chunks, chips, or pellets).
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Baking Spatula
- 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
- High Heat Basting Brush
- Heat Resistant Grilling Gloves
- 1¼ Cups Cornmeal
- ¾ Cup Flour
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ⅓ Cup Whole Milk
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- 2 Eggs lightly beaten
- 8 tablespoon Salted Butter melted (Divide and set 1 tablespoon aside for greasing the cast iron pan)
- ½ Cup Sour Cream
- Butter and Honey optional to top with when serving
- Preheat a Grill or Smoker set up with INDIRECT heat to 325°F.
- Place the 12 inch Cast Iron Skillet in the smoker or grill to preheat as well.
Make the Smoked Cornbread Batter
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together (the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.).1¼ Cups Cornmeal, ¾ Cup Flour, ¼ Cup Sugar, 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt, 2 teaspoon Baking Powder, ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- Then, whisk in the milk, buttermilk, and eggs.⅓ Cup Whole Milk, 1 Cup Buttermilk, 2 Eggs
- Next, whisk in 7 tablespoon of the melted butter, leaving 1 tablespoon set aside.8 tablespoon Salted Butter
- Finally, gently fold in the sour cream, using a good baking spatula like this one, rather than the whisk, so as not to overwork the batter.½ Cup Sour Cream
Butter the Cast Iron Skillet
- Once the cast iron skillet is preheated at or above the temperature of the smoker, take the 1 tablespoon of melted butter you set aside and brush it all over the bottom and sides of the skillet.8 tablespoon Salted Butter
- Use a good high resistant silicone basting brush like this one and make sure to get the entire inside of the cast iron skillet coated with a thin layer of butter.
Smoke the Cornbread
- Pour the smoked cornbread batter into the preheated and buttered skillet. Pour slowly at the center, letting the batter naturally spread out evenly in the round cast iron skillet.
- Place the cast iron skillet in the grill or smoker, away from any DIRECT heat and close the lid. Smoke at 325°F for about 35-40 minutes. Rotate the skillet as necessary for even cooking but DO NOT stir or disturb the contents of the skillet.
- After about 35-40 minutes, check the middle of the cornbread with a toothpick to see if it comes out dry. If it does, remove the skillet from the grill or smoker to a trivet to cool. If the toothpick comes out wet with batter, continue cooking and checking every 5 minutes until done.
Remove and Serve
- Give the cornbread AT LEAST 10-15 minutes to cool in the cast iron before you start slicing into it or it may crumble and fall apart while it’s still very hot.
- The cast iron will keep the smoked cornbread warm for quite a while so you can feel free to set it aside until the rest of your meal is ready to eat too.
- Cut into even slices, only cutting what you plan to serve immediately so that the rest of the cornbread does not dry out.
- Serve optionally with butter and honey and enjoy!Butter and Honey