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Cracklin' Cornbread

Cracklin' Cornbread is a savory southern classic filled with fried pieces of pork cracklings. Easy to make. Pairs well with collard greens. Recipe and photography by Beverly Davis for CornbreadMillionaire.com.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Appetizer, Bread, Cornbread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crackling cornbread
Servings: 6 servings



  • 5 thick slices cured salt pork fat
  • 1/2 cup water for boiling
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying

Homemade White Cornbread

  • 1 cup self-rising white cornmeal mix
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour, sifted See recipe notes for all-purpose flour.
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • TIP: Add 1/4 cup corn muffin mix for extra flavor and thickness.



  • Place all ingredients on the kitchen counter. Use an 8" skillet (thick cornbread) OR a 9" skillet (thin cornbread). Cornbread will be baked in the same skillet in which cracklings are fried.
  • Place 5 slices of cold pork fat back strips in preferred sized cast iron skillet or other cookware. Cover with water.
  • To decrease salt, simmer over low-medium heat for 5 minutes. Drain water before frying. To remove all salt, cover with 1 cup of water. Boil 20-25 minutes over low heat. Drain the cloudy water before frying.
  • Leave meat in skillet over low-medium heat. Meat will produce a little fat (also called lard). Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  • Fry until light golden brown on both sides (3-4 minutes each side). WARNING: Place a lid over skillet as a shield of protection from popping HOT fat.
  • Turn off heat. Drain cracklings on paper towels. To protect teeth, remove hard edges (aka meat skins). Crumble soft cracklings. Set aside. Leave drippings in skillet.
  • Make the cornbread (recipe below).

Homemade White Cornbread

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In medium sized bowl, combine cornmeal mix, flour, sugar (if using), eggs, and buttermilk. Stir until smooth. Small lumps okay. Set aside.
  • Over medium heat, heat skillet with drippings until hot. Pour in cornbread batter. Sprinkle top with crumbled cracklings.
  • Reduce oven to 375. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and cornbread is golden brown.
  • Serve hot.


How to substitute 1 cup of all-purpose flour for 1 cup of self-rising flour... INGREDIENTS 1 cup of all-purpose flour 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt INSTRUCTIONS Sift together in a medium sized bowl.  Use 1/2 cup for this recipe.  Store remainder in a zippered bag.  Refrigerate until ready to use.