Embrace The Grill For More Flavorful Corn Bread

Corn bread is a comfort food that can be served sweet, savory, spicy, or anything in between. It is traditionally baked in an oven, but grilling cornbread takes the flavor to a whole other level. Grilling infuses the classic char and smoky notes to the corn bread and, once it's done, it can be inverted on grill racks for beautiful markings and additional flavor. 

To grill the corn bread, you will need to use a cast iron skillet and indirect heat for the cooking. The grill and the cast iron skillet need to be preheated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for a crispy crust. The skillet can preheat over direct heat but needs to be shifted to indirect heat before the batter is poured. For less crispy corn bread, the cooking temperature can be adjusted to 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The size of the cast iron skillet is also important as it will determine the density of the corn bread. For instance, a nine-inch pan will produce a more dense result than a 10-inch pan — plus it will take up less room on the grill. Cast iron corn bread usually takes around 30 minutes to cook and can be checked by inserting a toothpick in the center. If the toothpick comes out dry, the cornbread is done.

Charcoal vs. gas grills for cornbread

There are pros and cons when grilling on gas and charcoal grills, and each one will impart a different flavor to corn bread. Gas grills cook with a "cleaner" fuel, but don't produce the smokiness that charcoal does. For grilling corn bread, a gas grill has a distinct advantage in that it's easier to maintain a constant temperature. Fluctuating temperatures will negatively affect the batter and cause it to not rise, run, or even burn in spots.

If a gas grill is used, the burner that the cast iron is preheating on can be shut off and the lid can be closed to retain an even temperature. On a charcoal grill, the skillet must be moved to the coolest part of the grill to ensure it doesn't burn. A disadvantage to this is that, depending on the size of the grill, the lid may not be able to shut all the way because of the skillet's handle, which will make it harder to control the temperature. If this is an issue, simply place the charcoal on one side of the grill before lighting it, and grill the cornbread on the opposite side. Grilled corn bread is a nice addition to other grilled recipes including chicken, pork, or beef.