Nashville Hoecakes with Pitmaster Pat Martin


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On Play Me a Recipe, your favorite cooks will walk you through their most treasured recipes, offering all the insider tips, stories, and tricks you won't get from a written recipe—and you'll be right alongside them, every step of the way.

On this episode, Pitmaster Pat Martin talks about the quintessential hoecake and some of the principles of barbecue.

If you're cooking along, here's the recipe we're making today. Go ahead and grab the ingredients below


10 to 12 hoecakes (1 or 2 per person)

  • 2 1/2 cups medium-ground white cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 cups whole buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup lard or bacon grease, melted, plus more for cooking
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted for brushing
  1. Prepare a medium-high grill (4 to 5 seconds using the Hand Test)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, pepper, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk to combine. Wile whisking, add the warm pork fat to the egg/buttermilk mixture slowly to prevent the egg mixture from cooking. Add the buttermilk mixture to the cornmeal mixture and use a whisk to stir until smooth but do not overmix. It should have the same consistency as pancake batter.
  4. Set a cast-iron skillet on the grill and let it heat up for a few minutes. Brush the skillet with a 1 teaspoon of the lard and heat until it looks shiny. Working in batches, scoop 1/3 cup batter into the pan for each hoecake and cook, without moving, until the batter starts to slightly lift around the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the hoecakes, brush the tops with the melted butter and cook until bottom is golden brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Place the cooked hoecakes on a platter and cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.
  5. Repeat until all the batter is cooked. Serve immediately; hoecakes will dry out if you try to rewarm them.

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