Whether team savory or sweet, cornbread is a firm favorite among many! Nothing compares to homemade cornbread, but what if you don’t have access to an oven? Would you have to settle for store-bought cornbread?
Cornbread is easy to make on the stovetop and microwave and can even be made on the grill! As the heat is not consistent across appliances, it is best to use a toothpick to make sure your bread is ready. If the inserted toothpick comes out clean, your bread is done.
While cornbread is mostly made in the oven, it is not the only way. There are several other ways to make cornbread. Even if you have an oven, baking cornbread in the oven takes time and uses a lot of electricity. Let’s explore a few other methods!
How to Make Cornbread Without an Oven
The two most popular methods for making cornbread without an oven are on the stovetop and in the microwave. Of all the recipes available online, we found these two to be the best:
Making Cornbread on the Stovetop
This recipe from Kenneth Click is so easy to follow and takes a fraction of the time, and tastes just like cornbread made in the oven! The serving size of this recipe is enough for two people.
What You Will Need:
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 ½ tablespoons milk
- ¼ “heaping cup” of cornmeal
- ¼ cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon butter
Pre-heat a medium-size non-stick pan on low heat. You can use a cast-iron skillet, but you may need to use more butter to grease it and prevent the batter from sticking to the skillet.
In a jug or medium bowl, whisk the egg with a fork. Add the oil and milk, and whisk all the wet ingredients until well combined.
Mix the dry ingredients (except the butter) together in a separate bowl. While Ken uses self-rising flour in his recipe, most recipes call for all-purpose flour, but any flour will work.
Add the dry ingredients slowly, to the wet ingredients, stirring to avoid clumps. The batter should be thick but slightly runny. Keep adding a teaspoon of milk until you get a good consistency. The batter should be runny enough to cover the pan when you pour it in.
By this time, the pan should be warm enough. To test, drop a few drops of water in the pan, and if it sizzles, it is hot enough. Add the butter, spreading it over the surface.
Once the butter has melted, which should only take a minute or two, pour the batter into the pan. Place the lid on the top of the pan and let it cook for 10 minutes. The lid prevents moisture from escaping and drying the bread, so improvise with aluminum foil if your pan does not have a lid.
After 10 minutes, flip the bread and cook for another 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the bread to cool for 2 to 3 minutes. How easy is that?!
To Make Cornbread in a Microwave
When the cornbread craving hits and you are low on time, what do you do? Use your microwave! This microwave cornbread recipe from Allrecipes takes between 2 to 5 minutes and is guaranteed to satisfy those cravings!
Two things to keep in mind with this recipe: Firstly, the texture of the bread will be slightly different from oven-baked cornbread. Secondly, it is not very sweet. Instead, it is plain, perfect for both savory and sweet dishes.
The secret to perfecting microwave cornbread is to use equal amounts of cornmeal and all-purpose flour.
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Mix all the ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl until smooth and free of clumps. Be careful not to overmix the batter as it makes the bread rubbery.
Place your batter in the microwave and heat it on high for 2 minutes. Cornbread will cook between 2 to 4 minutes in the microwave. As the power wattage of microwaves differs, it is best to test your bread after 2 minutes to avoid overcooking.
The simplest way to test if your cornbread is ready is to push a toothpick in the bread’s middle. The toothpick will come out clean when your bread is done. If not, cook for another minute and test it again.
Can You Make Cornbread in an Electric Skillet?
If you don’t like the texture of cornbread made in the microwave and you own an electric skillet, can you still enjoy homemade cornbread?
Yes, you can make cornbread in an electric skillet! You can use an electric skillet the same way you would use the stovetop. Any cornbread recipe suitable for the stovetop, like the one above, will work on an electric skillet. There is not much difference in method or results.
Other Methods of Making Cornbread Without an Oven
So you can make cornbread on the stovetop, in the microwave, and even use an electric skillet. Are there any other ways to make cornbread without an oven?
While air fryers have been around since 2005, it is only lately that everyone is talking about them. As you may have guessed, you can bake cornbread in an air fryer! Bake the cornbread as you would in your oven, following the baking guideline in your air fryer manual.
Another way to make cornbread is on the grill. Say hello to delicious camping meals! As with most food cooked over the fire, you will need to test as you cook. The toothpick method will work here too.
You will need a cast-iron skillet to bake your cornbread on the grill. As with stovetop cooking, your skillet needs to be warm and well-greased with butter.
Regulating the temperature can be tricky on the grill. Therefore, when baking cornbread on the grill, it is best the shove the charcoal to either side and put your cast iron skillet in the middle of the grill. Doing this will ensure even heating from both sides.
Although it is considered the traditional way of making cornbread, the oven is only one way of baking cornbread. A very time-consuming one at that!
There are plenty of ways to make cornbread at home without an oven and plenty more recipes to choose from! Even if you do have an oven, why not give one of these recipes a try? You may even prefer these methods over the usual oven method.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.