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Recipe For Hot Water Cornbread, a beloved Southern classic, is a simple yet delightful dish with a rich history and a unique texture that sets it apart from traditional cornbread. This quick and easy recipe, passed down through generations, is a testament to the ingenuity of Southern cooks during challenging times. With just a handful of ingredients, including cornmeal, boiling water, and a touch of salt, hot water cornbread transforms into crispy, golden patties with a soft, melt-in-your-mouth center.


In this article, we will take you on a journey through the world of hot water cornbread, sharing the secrets to perfecting this Southern gem. From its humble origins to variations that suit your taste, we’ll explore it all. So, if you’re ready to experience a slice of Southern comfort and tradition, join us as we delve into the art of making hot water cornbread.

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To make hot water cornbread, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil


  1. Start by preheating a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and allow it to heat up.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal and salt.
  3. Carefully pour the boiling water over the cornmeal mixture, stirring constantly to create a thick batter.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Using a spoon, scoop out a portion of the cornmeal batter and drop it into the hot oil. Flatten it slightly with the back of the spoon to form a small, round patty.
  2. Fry the cornbread patty on each side until it’s golden brown, usually taking about 2-3 minutes per side.
  3. Place the fried cornbread on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.


Hot water cornbread is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your preferences. Here are a few variations to consider:

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  • Add finely chopped onions or green onions to the batter for extra flavor.
  • Spice it up with some cayenne pepper or paprika for a kick of heat.
  • Mix in some shredded cheese for a cheesy twist.

Serving Suggestions

Hot water cornbread is a versatile dish that pairs perfectly with a range of Southern classics. Serve it alongside fried chicken for a comforting and indulgent meal. For a healthier option, pair it with collard greens or black-eyed peas. To satisfy your sweet tooth, drizzle hot water cornbread with honey or molasses. The possibilities are endless, making it a delightful addition to any Southern-inspired feast.


Tips for Success

  • Use boiling water to ensure the cornbread patty cooks quickly and forms a crispy crust.
  • Maintain the oil at the right temperature to prevent the cornbread from getting too greasy.
  • Experiment with different variations to find your favorite flavor.

Nutritional Value

While hot water cornbread is a flavorful Southern treat, it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes due to its relatively high calorie and fat content. The exact nutritional value can vary based on ingredients and preparation. Generally, a typical serving contains approximately 180-200 calories, with 8-10 grams of fat. However, the true values may vary, so it’s advisable to check specific product labels for accurate nutritional information.


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History and Tradition

Hot water cornbread has deep roots in Southern cuisine and culture. Born out of necessity during tough times, this humble dish reflects the resourcefulness of Southern cooks. Families have cherished and passed down their hot water cornbread recipes through generations, making it a symbol of comfort and tradition. Its enduring popularity and connection to the Southern way of life make it a beloved staple at family gatherings, and it continues to be a cherished part of the region’s culinary heritage.


Hot Water Cornbread vs. Regular Cornbread

Hot water cornbread and regular cornbread are distinct variations. Unlike sweet, crumbly regular cornbread, hot water cornbread boasts a unique texture—crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. The key difference lies in the preparation, as hot water cornbread uses boiling water to create its distinct texture, while traditional cornbread relies on baking. Both have their place in Southern cuisine, offering diverse flavors and textures to suit different palates and occasions.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs

What is the origin of hot water cornbread?

Hot water cornbread has its roots in Southern cuisine, where it was developed as a simple yet satisfying dish.

Can I make hot water cornbread without a skillet?

While a skillet is the traditional choice, you can use any heavy-bottomed frying pan.

What are the best dishes to pair with hot water cornbread?

Hot water cornbread complements fried chicken, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and other Southern classics.

Is hot water cornbread gluten-free?

Yes, hot water cornbread is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.

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