Easy Cracklin’ Cornbread has savory pieces of fried pork cracklings.
It’s crusty outside and moist inside.
Easy to make with simple ingredients.
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EDITOR’S NOTE (December 29, 2021): I posted this recipe for the first time on August 8, 2018. Today, I updated the tips to make them easier to understand. Also added nutrition facts.
DISCLAIMER (NOT SPONSORED): I have not been paid to endorse pictured products.
Delighted to share the ingredients I purchased and used to make this delicious recipe. All comments are my own.
THE MAIN INGREDIENT: PORK CRACKLINGS
My favorite Hormel pork cracklings are precooked before packaging.
However, I still fry them in vegetable oil until crispy before adding to cornbread batter.
Never add uncooked cracklings to cornbread batter.
They turn rubbery and taste bland in baked cornbread (my opinion).
REMOVE HARD EDGES FROM FRIED PORK
Fried pork fat has hard edges called meat skins.
In fact, they’re hard enough to damage teeth.
Remove the hard edges before adding to cornbread batter to protect teeth.
Only add soft fried pork pieces to cornbread batter.
Bitting hard cracklings can potentially crack or break teeth.
SEASONED VEGETABLE OIL
The vegetable oil turns golden brown and contains drippings left from the fried cracklings. All of that adds amazing flavor to the cornbread.
Plus, the oil thoroughly bakes bottom and side crusts (not soggy).
Cracklin’ Cornbread pairs very well with Smoky Collard Greens.
You’re invited to make some Easy Cracklin’ Cornbread Muffins.
If you prefer cracklings made with fresh pork fat back, check out my Cracklin’ Cornbread.
To obtain calories and nutritional information by weight, visit popular online nutritional calculator, myfitnesspal.com.
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Easy Cracklin' Cornbread
- 3/4 cup cracklings store-bought/pre-cooked
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 box (8.5 ounces) corn muffin mix
- 3 tablespoons self-rising white cornmeal mix
- 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Use an 8" skillet (thick cornbread) or a 9" (thin cornbread). Spread cracklings in a medium-sized skillet.
- Add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Stir until evenly coated. Add cracklings.
- Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes until vegetable oil and cracklings are golden brown. Do not leave stove while meat is cooking.
- Turn off heat. Sprinkle salt over cracklings. Stir well.
- Slightly crush tender cooked cracklings with heavy spatula or spoon. REMOVE hard skin to protect teeth. Only use the soft/tender pieces cracklings. Set aside.
- In medium-sized bowl, combine corn muffin mix, self-rising white corn meal mix, sugar (if using), egg, and buttermilk. Stir together until smooth. Small lumps okay.
- Use a large spoon to scoop fried cracklings from skillet. Leave 2 tablespoons seasoned vegetable oil in bottom of skillet.
- Stir together cornbread batter and fried cracklings until evenly combined. Set aside.
- Warm skillet with seasoned vegetable oil over low-medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. AVOID smoking hot.
- Pour in cornbread batter. Spread evenly around skillet with back of spoon.
- Reduce oven to 375 degrees. Bake 20-25 minutes OR until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.
- Serve hot.
21 thoughts on “Easy Cracklin’ Cornbread”
I love your recipes..
Hello. A couple questions,
1. After cooking the cracklings in vegetable oil, do I add the remaining juice to the corn bread batter? Wouldn’t that make it soggy?
2. I haven’t made this in at least 25 years. I recall vaguely from memory using bacon fat. Can I use bacon fat to grease my skillet for baking the cornbread? Will it also absorb and flavor the cornbread?
Hi Angela! Thank you for asking. You inspired me to update the recipe’s instructions.
1. Frying processed/precooked cracklings in vegetable oil will season it. Plus, the drippings will make it slightly thick. Pour cornbread batter into seasoned HOT vegetable oil. The baked cracklin’ cornbread will be full of flavor, but not oily. The bottom/side edges will be crusty and delicious!
2. Bacon fat is excellent! Fry bacon. Remove from skillet. Leave 3 tablespoons (remove extra) of bacon fat and small bits of bacon. Make sure bacon fat is HOT before pouring in cornbread batter. Baking in HOT bacon grease (or veggie oil) will thoroughly bake bottom crust and all edges. If oil is cool or cold, the cornbread WILL be greasy, soggy, gross.
Some cuts of bacon have LOTS of fat. After frying bacon, I pour grease into a heatproof container. Return 3 tablespoons of grease to skillet and warm until HOT. Add 3 tablespoons of leftover to cornbread batter, stir, pour in HOT skillet, bake. Refrigerate leftover grease for another use.
hi, my name is Tina, I have a question that I can not find the answer to , when I was young , my mother would cook cracklings , from the meat department ( now they only package HORMEL) , she cooked them in the oven, I remember eating them with salt…my mother , and father have both passed, I don’t know how she cooked it , when she put salt on them , (before or after cooking), or how long to keep them in the oven…do you know the method to do this?
Hi Tina! My local grocery store carries fresh cracklings and Hormel’s processed cracklings. Some online stores also carry fresh. Both are delish in my opinion. I always fry cracklings (fresh or processed) in veggie oil until crisp. Pat dry on paper towels. Season with salt. Sometimes, I’ll refrigerate until next day. To warm, I’ll scatter in one layer on ungreased cookie sheet, place in oven to heat them up. Never actually cooked in oven. I hope this helps. Merry Christmas!
I grew up where my father killed the hog. For a short answer I put them in the oven on broil low heat until they were crunchy. They burn fast.
Darlene, they do burn fast. MUST watch closely.
Love your recipe for cracklin cornbread. Have 2 questions: can I use my homemade cornbread recipe and add cooked cracklings to it and secondly I don’t have a skillet to bake it in, can I use my regular baking pan to bake my cracklin cornbread in?
Vee, you can add cooked cracklings to your homemade cornbread recipe. Regular baking pan will work. Make sure you add vegetable oil (or shortening) to pan and warm in preheated oven until oil is sizzling hot… BEFORE adding cornbread batter. Doing this will thoroughly bake bottom and side crusts. Enjoy!
This chef gave the SECRET to good cracklin’Cornbread. Fry those cracklins FIRST! This is the BEST I’ve eaten!!!
Hi Arneader! Thank you for the wonderful compliment. FRY FIRST is the key to making smack-a-licious cracklin’ cornbread.
Can cracklin cornbread be used to make stuffing?
Hi Deneen! Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Cracklin’ Cornbread can be used to make dressing in a pan. Just make sure the cracklings are thoroughly cooked and crispy BEFORE adding to the mixture.
I have tried making crackin cornbread numerous times, but always come up with rubbery cracklins every time. Even when I have cooked fresh. I used to get cracklin cornbread from a local bar-b-q restaurant and never got a rubbery cracklin. What is the secret to have non rubbery cracklins?
Hi Darrell! I always fry the cracklings until they’re crisp. Drain on paper towels BEFORE adding to cornbread batter. They are slightly crisp and tender in the baked cornbread. Always delicious! I’ve tried adding “fresh/uncooked” cracklings to cornbread batter. They always come out rubbery. NOT tasty at all. I hope this helps. Thanks for visiting and please come again. Happy Thanksgiving!
Hi! Thank you for teaching me about cracklins! My husband said the other day, quote: “I want some cracklin cornbread before I die!” Well, I finally found the cracklins at the store and started pursuing a great recipe! Your tips about frying the cracklins are very helpful! Looking forward to whipping this all together before my husband dies, hopefully!!! LOL Thanks for taking the time to explain your tips!
Can’t find crackling can I use salt pork or fried beacon instead? This brings back soooo many delish memories. My southern mom would make with fresh killed pig. MMMM GOOOOD.
Hi Sandra! Salt pork is better than fried bacon in my opinion. To make salt pork work in this recipe, cut thin slices. Fry until crispy/golden brown. Soft fried pork will turn soggy/chewy in baked cornbread. Crisp fried is best. Drain fried slices and allow to cool. Crumble into the cornbread batter before baking as instructed. Enjoy!
Hi!! My name is Kent, I live in Illinois/Saint Louis and was just wondering, where do you get your cracklings? I don’t think I’ve ever seen any around here.
Is there a place where I can have them shipped, or can I use a
Hi Kent! Thank you for visiting my blog. I buy cracklings from a local grocery store that carries the brand: Royal Quality Meats Foods located in Pell City, Alabama.
CONTACT: Royal Quality Meats (www.royalfoodscompany.com). Location: 1904 16th Ave S, Pell City, 35128-2200, AL PHONE: (205) 884-1040. I also like the Hormel brand pictured on this page.
Please let me know if I may be of further assistance.