Big Mamma’s Hot Water Cornbread
(A Southern Favorite)

It Doesn't Get More "Back Home In The South" Than This!

by Karen Ekstrom

You Will Thank Me After Your First Bite!

 By Terry Fitts



1 cup of corn meal

2 tablespoons of butter (mashed into the cornmeal)

½ teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 egg

(* 2 cups of Crisco to fry in)



Mix all the ingredients (except Crisco) together in a bowl.

Boil 2 cups of water in the microwave.

Add in boiling water. Very Slowly. Stirring constantly. Until you get the cornmeal to where it forms into a firm ball and stays together. (Do not over water – but add enough water that you do not have a powdery residue left in the bowl. – You need to be able to scoop a handful out and pat it into a patty, and it must hold together.)

Heat 2 cups of Crisco in an iron skillet – to approximately 325 degrees on the stove. (Grease should be sizzling.)

Place approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons of cornmeal into your hands and press into a patty.

Place carefully into grease and cook until golden brown on both sides.



Take out of the grease. Place on plate covered with paper towels, so excess grease can drain.

Serve And Taste The Splendor!

Helpful Hints…

* Keep the heat consistent.

* Use a cast iron skillet. It heats more evenly and consistently.

* If you don’t have a cooking thermometer to test the temperature, put a drop of  water into the grease. If the grease bubbles it is hot enough.

And… Peach Cobbler goes great with Fried Chicken!

Check it out!

And…  here is the link to Terry Fitt’s Southern Fried Chicken Recipe!  World’s Best Southern Fried Chicken

World’s Best Southern Fried Chicken

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Lecretia Akines September 25, 2017 - 9:49 pm

Delicious recipe! I substituted the egg with a vegan egg replacer & added a Lil bit of flour. My family was eating it by itself before they got there dinner plates!

Karen Ekstrom September 25, 2017 - 10:04 pm

So glad your family enjoyed the cornbread! It’s a family favorite!

Let'sCook&Eat November 29, 2018 - 11:00 am

Your recipe is so good.!!! I have made it without the egg, but tried it with the egg using your recipe.. .. I really liked the texture on inside .. and the outside good and crisp.. Yummy! Loved it ❤️

Edith Walsh April 15, 2019 - 7:14 pm

This was my first time making this recipe and it was a little shaky at first but I got the hang of it and they turned out really well ????. I had some with honey and butter. I’m going to make this recipe again and again. Thanks for sharing it☺️.

Deguello September 7, 2019 - 7:15 pm

I put a couple of tablespoons of floor in my mix also. We like Aunt Jemima white corn meal instead of yellow and no butter in the mix. Because the mix is so hot, I do not put it in my hands, but take one spoon full and scrape it into the fat with another spoon, which makes the patty very spiky and crunchy. Nothing better than hot water cornbread and dried beans or black eyed peas.

Karen Ekstrom September 7, 2019 - 9:01 pm

Sounds good! Thanks for passing along your tips! And, you’re right! There is nothing better than hot water cornbread and beans or black-eyed peas!

John Prevost January 6, 2020 - 8:19 am

Thank You

Karen Ekstrom January 6, 2020 - 6:13 pm

Any time!

Les Brigance October 15, 2020 - 9:00 pm

My Mom used to make me this but I never got the recipe. So Thank You Very Much!

Karen Ekstrom October 15, 2020 - 9:16 pm

So glad you found this! Enjoy!

LaTonya Terry July 31, 2021 - 12:52 pm

Going to try this tomorrow for dinner

Shakin’bakin February 20, 2022 - 12:59 pm

My great grandma used to make me hot water corn bread with beans and collard greens. Simple, inexpensive but when it all is done right it’s perfect! She had all of her recipes in her head too and try as I might mine never came out as good as hers. I’ll give yours a try tonight! Seems very similar to hers.

Jon August 14, 2022 - 5:25 pm

I thought, Jon. Time to up your game. So I made glazed carrots, herb chicken, red bean and rice.
I stuck to your recipe. I found I was lucky to use 1/8 of a cup of boiling water. It took 2 attempts before I figured that out. Placed them in the cast iron skillet. Then the question occurred to me. Is there a minimum length of time or is it just tell brown on each side? I used a tooth pick to see if it was like a cake. Nope. So is just brown on each side enough?

Karen Ekstrom August 14, 2022 - 10:03 pm

Hi Jon, Way to up your game. Just flatten them and place them in the skillet. Assuming your Crisco is hot enough, and you have flattened your cornbread, browning them on each side should cook your cornbread all the way through. Try it. You will be impressed with your cornbread and your new skills!


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