Campfire Skillet Cornbread

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An easy cornbread recipe that cooks up in a cast iron skillet over your campfire. Perfect with a bowl of chili on your next camping trip!

Cornbread in a cast iron skillet with a piece cut out
Chili and cornbread are like the yin and yang of campfire cooking. One dark and spicy, the other light and fluffy. The two are integrally linked like opposite sides of the same coin. But while simmering a pot of chili over a campfire seems pretty straightforward, baking a loaf of cornbread using only an open flame sounds a little more daunting. Nevertheless, it can be done, and, if you ask us, must be done to achieve harmony and balance in your meal.

When it comes to campfire baking, the secret is heat control. Cornbread is a quick bread by nature and only needs a short while to fully cook. However, too much heat and you’ll scorch the bottom, not enough heat and you’ll be waiting around for days or left with a wet, doughy middle. Ideally speaking, you’re looking for the section of your fire that could be roughly be called medium-low on a stovetop burner.

The other secret is heat retention. If you’re lucky enough to have a lid for your cast iron pan (or a dutch oven lid that also fits your skillet), we highly suggest you use it. But for everyone else, aluminum foil is probably going to be your best bet. Cover the top and crimp the edges to keep it in place. Even something as thin as foil can trap the rising steam inside the pan and allow the cornbread to cook from the top down.

This recipe is designed to avoid flipping the bread midway through. To achieve this, the batter has to be relatively thin in order to cook all the way through on a unidirectional heat source. It won’t be the big fluffy loaf your grandma used to make, but this version eliminates the need for any high stakes spatula work over an open fire. Just set the pan in position, cover it, and remove it.

The cornbread we cooked here was done in a 10” cast iron pan. If the pan you’re using is smaller or larger, you’ll want to appropriately scale the recipe to match. When poured into the pan and spread evenly, the batter should be roughly 1 inch thick.

Ingredients for campfire corn bread laid out on the table
Michael adding cornmeal to a pot
Michael mixing dry ingredients for cornbread
Michael cracking an egg into a pot
Michael pouring cornbread batter into a cast iron skillet
Cast-iron skillet cornbread topped with foil cooking on a campfire
Cast iron skillet cornbread cooking on a campfire

Cast iron skillet cornbread with a piece cut out

Campfire Skillet Cornbread

This quick and easy cast iron cornbread can be made right over your campfire.
Author: Fresh Off The Grid
4.57 from 44 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
8 slices


  • 1 cup cornmeal, medium grind
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk, (if using dry powdered milk: 3 tbsp powder + 1 cup water)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ tablespoon oil, (we used coconut oil and loved it)


  • In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt to combine.
  • Add the milk, egg, and honey to the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork until fully incorporated.
  • Over your campfire, heat the oil in your cast iron skillet. Swirl to coat the bottom (be sure to use something to protect you from the heat - the skillet will get very hot!). Pour the batter into the skillet, ensuring that it is in an even layer. Cover the skillet with foil, crimping the foil around the edges, or cover with a lid.
  • Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, then move off the head and let the bread rest (still covered) for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Cut into slices and enjoy with a big bowl of chili!

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 127kcal
*Nutrition is an estimate based on information provided by a third-party nutrition calculator
Side Dish

Cast iron skillet cornbread with a piece cut out

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  1. This is great camp cornbread! I grew up in the South, where cornbread is an art form sort of like our grits and while this “aint like Momma fixed it,” it’s top notch good with polenta. Very forgiving, too. I made a mistake and used too much polenta, then when I realized what I had done I just added more flour. Served at a camp gathering of over 30 people, it was a huge hit. Next time I’m on the hook for three skillets! Thanks very much!

  2. This looks really good, and I’m looking forward to trying it this weekend 🙂

    BTW, your “print” link is a bit messed up – the only thing that shows is the “t” and it was very hard to find! Just wanted to let you know 🙂

    1. Hi, if you switch to the desktop site instead of mobile view, you will be able to read all of it. If you ever run across this again on different pages, just switch to desktop site. You’ll need to zoom in. I hope this helps.

  3. anybody ever try this with gluten-free flour? I’m thinking of trying it with Bob’s 1 to 1. I’ll post back!

    1. Deb Bialozynski says:

      I just made it tonight for the first time ever with Gluten-Free Flour & Gluten Free Corn Meal; both Bob’s Red Mill. I wasn’t sure the Corn Bread would rise or if I’d have one big pancake~but it did turn out nice in the cast iron skillet!! I will make it again~very easy!!5 stars

  4. Too much salt. Use half as much.

  5. I made it on the stove (our oven is broken, hence looking for a skilet recipe). It turned out perfect in my opinion. Cooked just right, nice and fluffy. My boyfriend wanted me to add sugar next time but since we did in fact have iy with chili, I thought it was the perfect amount of sweetness.

    If you follow the recipe on the stove it’s no problem! I will definitely make it again.5 stars

  6. Deb Bialozynski says:

    Searched for a skillet Corn Bread that I could make on our stove since my oven was broke. I figured if it worked on a campfire stove it should work on my stove! Made it tonight to go my new chilli recipe and used Gluten-Free Flour & Gluten Free Corn Meal; both Bob’s Red Mill. I wasn’t sure the Corn Bread would rise (or if I’d have one big pancake)~but it did! Will make this again and enjoyed that it was quick & easy!!!5 stars

  7. Cristina Coro says:

    First time making corn bread on a campfire (but not in a cast iron skillet). Pretty tasty. Important to try to center the skillet on the fire as one side of my cornbread got a bit over cooked. We were sharing the grate with the Chile Mac recipe so there wasn’t quite enough room. Also used a small size (7-9″) skillet. This cornbread rises! Stuck to the foil a bit. Also may have left it on a bit longer than needed because I had never made and when I checked a couple of times the batter looked a bit raw. Will leave on for less time and will repeat for sure!4 stars

  8. I made chili in my insta pot for the first time, 19 minutes, wow! So, I figured I’d try making a quick cornbread to go with it but, my oven is broken. 🙁
    So, I found this recipe and I followed it exactly with the exception of adding 2 TBL of sugar. I made in a non stick pan on an induction cook top. The bottom burned, but that was my fault. Once I cut the burned bit off I was left with a really delicious, moist cornbread! My family loved it and it was a great counterpoint to the slightly spicy chili.
    Thank you you so much for this easy, delicious recipe. Next time I may try adding in some jalapeno & cheddar. ????5 stars

  9. Ola beverly says:

    Really good…the way i like it; however, i left out a couple of items. I dont like egg or any sweetness in my cornbread. Very easy to do. Thanks for ur recipe!5 stars