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I would really like to make a cornbread recipe, but I don't have a cast iron skillet. Could I bake it in an enameled cast iron Dutch oven without the lid and get a good result? If not, could a muffin tin (not cast iron) work instead? Thank you for any tips! I've never made cornbread before.

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Yes and no.

Corn bread doesn't necessarily require cast iron. With the style that does require cast iron, an enameled pan shouldn't be used.

There are two styles of cornbread, northern style and southern style.

Southern style is cooked in a cast iron pan. The pan is preheated with oil in the oven until very hot. The batter is then poured in and the bread baked.

This style of cornbread is oilier, crispy on the edges, and typically less sweet.


Even though this style is made in cast iron, you shouldn't make it in an enameled Dutch oven because the preheating step gets too hot and could ruin your pan. https://www.lodgemfg.com/use-and-care/enameled-cast-iron-use-and-care.asp

Northern style cornbread is fluffier and often sweeter. The batter is poured into a cold pan and baked.

As there is no preheating step, you can use any pan for this style, including your enameled pan.

  • Thank you! This is very helpful. My enameled cast iron Dutch oven is from Le Creuset. I'll have to check if it's okay to heat that empty. I hope that it is because I've done it many times. Now I'm nervous. If it is safe, do you think a different brand other than Lodge (Le Creuset) may work for southern style? – luckynumber3.com Feb 29 '16 at 1:44
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    I don't imagine those two brands would be that different. If you can preheat it without damaging it, I imagine it would make cornbread just fine. – Sobachatina Feb 29 '16 at 2:24
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    Enamel should be fine to preheat, it's what the inside of your oven is painted with. We really should only be talking about 375 to 425 F right? Even the plastic knobs are rated safe for up to 500F. My concern would be the high sides interfering with air flow above the bread. It might not brown on top as quickly and mislead you to over baking. – Escoce Apr 7 '16 at 15:31
  • The lodge website does indeed say don't heat it while empty, but I can't possibly understand why. Maybe if you introduce cold food to a preheated pan it may crack the Porcelain, but I think that's a stretch. – Escoce Apr 7 '16 at 15:35
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    Honestly though. Le cruesset are expensive, and maybe you think bare cast iron is expensive too. Well it's not. Go pick up a size 8 lodge brand cast iron skillet from Walmart. It'll cost $20 to $29 and it's a worthy small investment. – Escoce Apr 7 '16 at 15:38

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