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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Curiosity about the cornbread "skillet"

I was wondering about the cornbread wedge pan, also called a cornbread skillet, or divided skillet.

I wondered, since it's called a SKILLET, is it meant to be used for making cornbread on the stovetop?

Normally for baking, you need heat from the top and bottom, which requires a preheated lid.

I've heard of baking pizzas on the stovetop with a covered skillet, which I'd like to try.

Then again, there's a hole in the middle of the pan. Does that act like a convection cone?

Based on my research, the hole in the middle has no purpose; It's strictly decorative. In fact, the first cornbread wedge pans did not have that hole.

Someone suggested the hole might be to prevent the tips from scorching, but that's not the case.

It sure does render the pan useless for anything except baking, for sure!

Although "baking" is not restricted to cornbread, but for any type of quick breads*.

*Quick breads does not mean bread that bakes quickly. It means breads made from baking powder instead of yeast.

This pan was invented in the late 1800's by a cast iron foundry employee who liked his cornbread with crispy edges.

In fact, that's why I use this pan to bake brownies; I like brownies with crispy edges.

Another advantage was, you didn't have to slice the cornbread yourself and risk crumbling.

Also, no, this "skillet" is not meant for the stovetop. It's indeed used in the oven.

It's called a "skillet" because that's what people used to bake cornbread back then. They didn't have pyrex baking pans!

To bake cornbread on the stove, you need a preheated lid. Otherwise it'll be burnt on the bottom and raw on the top.

Here's the "basic cornbread" recipe from the Lodge website.

My only objection is, mayonnaise? In cornbread? Yuck! Olive oil mayo might be OK.


  1. I love my Cornbread Skillet and have used it off and on for about 15 years.

    Thanks for some insight on the pan :)

  2. The Wagner and Griswold Society website forum is rich with info on the history of different pieces.

    I also read something about, those cornstick pans became popular during the depression when cornmeal was affordable for most people.