Cornbread is a southern staple that is delicious, reliable, and versatile, as it’s a perfect side dish for both savory and sweet meals.
Since it’s easy to bake at home, a lot of people end up preparing a large batch and have plenty of leftover cornbread.
Luckily, there are various methods that you can use to restore the cornbread to its original taste and texture, so keep on reading if you want to know how to reheat cornbread properly!
Does Cornbread Go Bad?
A freshly baked cornbread with no add-ins should maintain its original flavor and texture for about one to two days if you keep them at room temperature.
This is slightly shorter than other types of bread, which would typically last for up to 3 or 4 days at room temperature.
This means that cornbread goes stale within 1 or 2 days without proper cooling and will even show signs of moldy after 3 to 4 days depending on the weather where you live.
Luckily, you can store cornbread in various ways, whether in the fridge or in the freezer, both of which can extend the shelf beyond its original, but you’ll need to properly reheat the cornbread in order to enjoy its original taste and prevent it from becoming crumbly.
6 Methods to Reheat Cornbread
Nothing beats the taste of warm and moist cornbread, especially when it’s freshly baked. However, reheating cornbread to perfection can be a little tricky.
Luckily, there are a few reheating methods that will help you maintain the original taste and texture of the cornbread, so let’s see what each one of them has to offer:
1 – In the Oven
Reheating your cornbread in the oven is by far the ideal method if you want to retain the original taste as well as the moist and soft texture of cornbread.
However, it usually takes a bit longer than other methods on the list, so it’s ideal for perfectionists or if you’re reheating a large batch.
For this method, you can use anything from a small countertop oven to a fully-fledged oven to obtain great results.
You typically need to preheat the oven to a temperature similar to the one you use while baking cornbread, which is around 350 °F. This also helps in getting the best cornbread texture after reheating.
To prepare the cornbread, place the leftovers in any baking dish that is oven safe, then wrap it in aluminum foil to prevent the moisture from escaping while reheating.
This will also maintain its golden brown color and protect the bread from getting burnt in the oven.
Keep the bread in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes but make sure that you don’t leave it any longer so that it doesn’t dry out.
If your oven doesn’t have a fan, consider rotating the baking dish halfway through in order to evenly warm up the bread from all sides.
After taking the bread out of the oven, brush the top with some melted butter for the maximum taste and freshness, then give it around 5 to 10 minutes to cool down before eating.
2 – In the Microwave
Reheating cornbread in the microwave is one of the quickest methods to enjoy your cornbread, so it’s ideal if you have a small batch or if you’re in a hurry.
However, there are a few steps that you need to take in order to do it right and avoid cold spots while reheating.
If you’re only reheating a slice or two, the best course is to simply cover them in damp paper towels that you’ve previously moistened with a water spray bottle.
Turn on the microwave to the “reheating” or “medium low” setting, and let it go for around 15 to 20 seconds.
If the bread isn’t warm and spongy enough, give it another set of 15 seconds, but always limit each set to 20 seconds so that the slices don’t overheat and dry out.
If you have a large batch, simply place it in any microwave-safe container you have and cover it with a moist paper towel or with the container’s lid, but spray some water on the top first.
Put the container in the microwave, and set it to “reheat” or “medium low” for about a minute or two.
Even though it’s a large batch, you’ll still need to check the cornbread once every 20 to 30 seconds to make sure that it doesn’t dry out.
Once the cornbread is ready to go, brush it with some melted butter for improved taste and texture. However, this step is optional, so you can skip it if you’re in a hurry.
3 – In the Air Fryer
The air fryer is another great method to reheat your cornbread that strikes an excellent balance between retaining the texture and getting the job done in very little time, so it should be your go-to method if you have an air fryer.
However, you should know that air fryers will take a very long time to reheat cornbread that is drizzled with liquids, such as honey or syrup.
This is because the air fryer will end up heating the bread unevenly, and the liquid topping will end up burnt, so make sure that you use it for plain cornbread or ones with solid add-ins.
Start by preheating the air fryer to around 320 to 350 °F. Meanwhile, Place the cornbread in any air fryer safe container, then put it in the air fryer for around 4 to 7 minutes.
You can leave the cornbread for longer in the case of larger batches, but no longer than 12 to 15 minutes.
If the air fryer has a higher temperature limit, set it at 400 °F for 3 minutes to obtain great results.
However, you’ll need to keep it inside the powered-off air fryer for a few more minutes to warm up evenly.
Once it comes out, the crust should be slightly crispy, so you can enjoy it right away with or without butter brushing.
4 – On the Stove
If you want to reheat the cornbread without using any appliances, you can definitely use your stove, whether it’s gas or electric.
This one is actually a nice method if you want to continuously check the bread to prevent it from becoming too dry.
It’s also a relatively fast and easy method if you like the taste of fried cornbread, but you should avoid it if you want to maintain the original taste.
To reheat the cornbread on the stove, start by greasing up your pan with some butter or cooking spray, and allow them to warm up.
Once the pan is ready, add your cornbread and start frying it. Keep turning the cornbread on its sides so that it doesn’t dry up or burn, and take it off the stove when it is golden brown.
5 – In the Instant Pot
The instant pot is one of the superior methods to reheat all kinds of baked goodies while maintaining the original taste in relatively little time.
This is because instant pots rely heavily on pressurized steam to cook the food, so they take much less time in the process.
This prevents the cornbread and other baked stuff from going stale or drying out instantly like in some other methods.
To use this method, you’ll need to wrap the cornbread in aluminum foil to retain its moisture, and then put it in a heat-resistant container, which is a popular instant pot setup known as “pot in pot”.
Place the container inside the instant pot, and choose the “keep warm” or “slow cook” mode. The delicious cornbread should be moist and spongy within a few minutes!
6 – In the Toaster Oven
If you have a countertop toaster oven, you can use it to reheat your cornbread and maintain its original taste.
For this, you’ll first need to preheat the toaster oven to around 350 °F.
Meanwhile, cut the cornbread into slices or serving size pieces, and put them in an oven safe dish, then cover it with aluminum foil to protect the cornbread from burning or drying out.
Put the baking dish in the toaster oven, and give it around 10 minutes. Remember to rotate the baking dish to warm up the cornbread evenly.
How to Reheat Frozen Cornbread
Freezing cornbread is one of the best ways to preserve it for a very long time. In fact, if you’ve properly sealed the cornbread in an airtight container or a freezer bag, you should expect it to last anywhere between 3 to 4 months.
Not only that, but you can also reheat cornbread easily using any of the previously mentioned methods.
With that being said, it is important that you allow the frozen cornbread some time to thaw back to room temperature before reheating it.
This is because flash reheating while still frozen will absorb a lot of moisture, rendering the cornbread soggy and unenjoyable.
You can, however, use a microwave to thaw the cornbread quickly if it has a “defrosting” setting. In that case, put the cornbread in a container and leave it in the microwave until it thaws completely.
How to Soften Cornbread
Cornbread is remarkably delicious when it’s eaten fresh, but it quickly becomes stale and dry within a couple of days.
One of the easiest ways to soften cornbread is simply by wrapping the cornbread in a slightly damp paper towel and putting it in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds on medium heat.
You can also use the oven, but wrap the cornbread in a damp towel then a baking sheet, and leave it in the oven for 10 minutes.
How to Reheat Cornbread Dressing
The best way to reheat cornbread dressing is by using the oven. In this method, you’ll start by putting the dressing/stuffing into a baking sheet and covering it with aluminum foil.
After that, leave the covered baking sheet in a preheated oven at a temperature of 350 to 400 °F for about 25 to 30 minutes.
You can also reheat the cornbread dressing on a stovetop using a skillet, but this method is only suitable for those who like crispy bits.
With that said, you now know how to reheat cornbread in various methods to enjoy a warm and delicious treat!
As you can see, each method has its benefits, depending on what you’re looking for. If you want to maintain the cornbread’s best flavor and texture, you should go for the oven, especially if you have a large batch.
However, if you’re short on time and you’re looking for a reliable and quick alternative, you can use the microwave, but make sure that you follow the proper steps to maintain its texture and reheat it evenly.
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.