First the gritty taste is the type of corn meal you purchased. Just purchase a fine milled corn meal. BUT you can make corn bread from Cream of Wheat. Yes corn bread can be made with other ingredients other than corn meal.
My grandmother could not eat corn meal because of an allergy so her doctor gave her the idea of cream of wheat use it just like corn meal in the recipe. It is lighter and taste pretty much the same.
Doctors also give this recipe to people suffering with any type of polyps in their colon as they are not suppose to have small seeds, nuts and also corn meal because it causes severe pain.
Of course being southern my grandmother only made corn bread in a cast iron skillet. She would add butter and touch of oil to grease the skillet put it in the oven or on top of the stove to get it screaming hot before pouring in the batter & baking it. That is how you achieve that really crunchy beautiful crust. The oven must be preheated well before making corn bread never put into a cold or warm oven because it will taste sort of raw tasting.
I actually hate corn bread. I was born and have lived my entire life in the south. I also hate ice tea sweet or not and will not eat fried chicken especially on the bone. I will eat boneless baked fried chicken in the oven. I also hate pecan pie, red velvet cake, coconut cream pie and southern cheap beer. I guess not everyone in the south is southern. lol But I can make corn bread like my grandmother for others in the family as well all other southern foods I don't eat!
I think I was suppose to be born some other place like France, Italy, England...Arizona, California, oh no a beautiful warm island that's it, an island. I love fresh raw fruits and vegetables. That's it an island.
Happy corn bread baking. P.S. the cream of wheat is lower in calories I think and it will never be gritty. You can use half corn meal and half cream of wheat for a lighter corn bread.