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How to Make Smoked Cornbread

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!

smoked cornbread sliced on a plate in front of cast iron skillet

 

How to Prepare the Smoked Cornbread Batter

First, let’s go through what equipment and ingredients you’ll need to make a great smoked cornbread!

 

Preheat a Cast Iron Skillet

a cast iron skillet preheating on a grill

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.

We use it for everything from smoked baked beans, to homemade skillet queso, to smoked chicken enchiladas, and even smoked peach cobbler!

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.

an infrared thermometer showing a cast iron skillet not preheated still at 82 degrees F

It takes the guessing out of knowing when your pan is hot and also works great when you are heating up a pan to sear some steaks or hamburgers too.

an infrared thermometer showing a preheated cast iron skillet at 395 degrees F

 

Gather the Smoked Cornbread Ingredients

all the ingredients for smoked cornbread on a table

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:

  • 1 and 1/4 Cup Cornmeal
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/3 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 Tbsp Salted Butter, melted (Divide and set 1 Tbsp aside for greasing the cast iron pan)
  • 1/2 Cup 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.

smoked cornbread on a plate
The addition of sour cream keeps the smoked cornbread nice and moist while cooking on the smoker.

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 Smoked Cornbread Ingredients

the dry ingredients for smoked cornbread in a large mixing bowl

In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together (the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.).

whisking smoked cornbread dry ingredients

Then, whisk in the milk, buttermilk, and eggs.

whisking smoked cornbread batter

Next, whisk in 7 Tbsp of the melted butter, leaving 1 Tbsp set aside.

whisking wet ingredients of smoked cornbread batter

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.

folding sour cream into smoked cornbread 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 Tbsp of melted butter you set aside and brush it all over the bottom and sides of the skillet.

about to pour melted butter in cast iron skillet on pellet grill smoker

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.

basting butter on cast iron skillet to grease

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.

pouring smoked cornbread batter into preheated cast iron skillet

Pour slowly at the center, letting the batter naturally spread out evenly in the round cast iron skillet.

cornbread batter in skillet getting ready to smoke on smoker

 

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How to Make Smoked Pig Shots

Best Woods for Smoking Cornbread

pit boss cherry wood pellets

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.

These woods also work great on fish, chicken, turkey, pork butt, and ribs.  So no need to use different woods if you are smoking your cornbread alongside your main protein.

You can impart A LOT of distinctive smoke flavor in a relatively short period of time.

 

Best Times and Temperatures for Smoking Cornbread

a pit boss pellet grill set to 325 degrees F

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.

smoked cornbread in a smoker

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.

the crispy edge of a smoked cornbread in a cast iron skillet

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

smoke coming out the vent on a masterbuilt 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.

 

Serving Smoked Cornbread

smoked cornbread in a cast iron skillet

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.

smoked cornbread slice with butter and honey drizzled

Smoked Cornbread goes especially great with saucy BBQ dishes like baby back ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and barbecued chicken.

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.

Enjoy!

 

What Other Foods Can I Smoke?

Looking for some more smoky inspiration?

Starting up a Pit Boss Pellet Grill

You’ve come to right place!

Check out these other great step by step recipes for your grill, smoker, or pellet grill.

 

More Sides and Desserts

 

Pork

 

Beef

 

Seafood

 

Poultry

 

Lamb

More Entrees

smoked cornbread sliced on a plate in front of cast iron skillet

Easy Smoked Cornbread

Learn everything you need to know about how to make smoked cornbread! 
Our 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!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Australian, barbecue, BBQ, Holiday, Smoked
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 300 kcal

Equipment

  • Smoker, Grill or Pellet Grill
  • Wood for smoking (chunks, chips, or pellets).
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Baking Spatula
  • 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
  • High Heat Basting Brush
  • Heat Resistant Grilling Gloves
  • Knife

Ingredients
  

  • Cups Cornmeal
  • ¾ Cup Flour
  • ¼ Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Eggs lightly beaten
  • 8 Tbsp Salted Butter melted (Divide and set 1 Tbsp aside for greasing the cast iron pan)
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
  • Butter and Honey optional to top with when serving

Instructions
 

  • Preheat a Grill or Smoker set up with INDIRECT heat to 325°F.
    a pit boss pellet grill smoking with white smoke
  • Place the 12 inch Cast Iron Skillet in the smoker or grill to preheat as well.
    a cast iron skillet preheating on a grill

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 tsp Kosher Salt, 2 tsp Baking Powder, ½ tsp Baking Soda
    the dry ingredients for smoked cornbread in a large mixing bowl
  • Then, whisk in the milk, buttermilk, and eggs.
    ⅓ Cup Whole Milk, 1 Cup Buttermilk, 2 Eggs
    whisking smoked cornbread batter
  • Next, whisk in 7 Tbsp of the melted butter, leaving 1 Tbsp set aside.
    8 Tbsp Salted Butter
    whisking wet ingredients of smoked cornbread batter
  • 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
    pouring sour cream into smoked cornbread batter

Butter the Cast Iron Skillet

  • Once the cast iron skillet is preheated at or above the temperature of the smoker, take the 1 Tbsp of melted butter you set aside and brush it all over the bottom and sides of the skillet.
    8 Tbsp Salted Butter
    about to pour melted butter in cast iron skillet on pellet grill smoker
  • 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.
    basting butter on cast iron skillet to grease

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.
    pouring smoked cornbread batter into preheated 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.
    cornbread batter in skillet getting ready to smoke on smoker
  • 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.
    smoked cornbread in a smoker

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.
    smoked cornbread in a cast iron skillet
  • 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.
    smoked cornbread slice with butter and honey drizzled
  • Serve optionally with butter and honey and enjoy!
    Butter and Honey
    smoked slice of cornbread on a plate

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal
Keyword bbq, Camp Chef, cast iron skillet, cornbread in a smoker, cornbread in electric smoker, cornbread on a grill, cornbread pellet grill, grilled cornbread, Masterbuilt, masterbuilt smoked cornbread, pellet grill, pellet grill smoked cornbread, Pit Boss, pit boss cornbread, skillet cornbread, smoked cornbread, smoked side dishes, traeger, traeger cornbread
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