Appalachian Food

Fried Corn

I rarely make fried corn, but I have good memories of it from childhood. My Mamaw used to make it. She’d let me stand in a chair at the stove and watch her stir the corn as it cooked.

I’d guess the dish started back in the days when corn wasn’t as sweet as what most folks eat today.

Fried Corn

  • About 6 ears of corn or more or less depending on the amount you need for your family
  • bacon grease
  • sugar to taste (its really not necessary if you’re using sweet corn)
  • water

Cut corn off cob and fry in bacon grease. Add a little water to pan to keep the corn from sticking and add the sugar if you’re using it. Cook corn while stirring for about 10 minutes or till done.


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  • Reply
    Brenda Melahn
    March 18, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    LOVE fried corn — even my city slicker husband (from Chicago) has me fixed fried corn several times a summer. I fix ours the same as my Mother did and you do!

  • Reply
    William J. Boone
    January 19, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    Well, you’ve gone and triggered more blessed memories. Mom-Mom fried corn often in summer time. Pop-pop planted several rows of corn three or four times in his garden spaced out in about ten day intervals. He only liked white corn, so it was Stoll’s Evergreen until Silver Queen came along. She canned dozens of quart jars of corn. She topped each jar with half a tomato saying the acid kept the corn white and prevented it spoiling. She fried corn in her big cast iron skillet, about a dozen roastin’ears at a time, kernels cut off and the corn milk scraped from the cobs, in a stick of Blue Bonnet margarine. salt and pepper. At first, the corn just sat and bubbled as the water boiled off. When it stopped bubbling, she scraped up the caramelized brown off the bottom of the skillet and mixed it up into the corn. After about 4 more scrapings and mixings, it was done. Corn nirvana. I fry some every year, only I use butter, not margarine . I hope you’ll try this method this summer. After it stops bubbling, turn the heat down to medium and don’t let it go more then 2 or 3 minutes between scrapings.

  • Reply
    Phil Latimer
    August 22, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    I noticed you used the term Mamaw. I have neighbors here in northwestern South Carolina that say Memaw, referring to the grandmother in the family.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    August 5, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Tipper wish I had some old field corn like Hickory cane pulled in the roaster stage boy was it good fry it and cream style it with a little flour butter and milk this would make your tongue slap your brains out Man I loved it. My Miss Julie was a good old mountain cook never topped her cooking yet close but not mastered it as yet. That old wood cook stove maybe had a lot to do with it (slow and easy) now Microwave quick with and easy. Truman will cut his eyes with disapproval but I glance at my watch and grin. He doesn’t say nothing but you can sure read his mind. Thanks for remind me to recall my Miss Julie cooking fried field corn Yummy

  • Reply
    August 5, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    J like home made cream corn.
    Have shuck lot of corn and scraped the tops of the kernels off cob and ran the knife down the corn cob to get the cream from the corm.
    made a pan of home made biscuit’s and good old sliced home grown tomatoes slice and big onions along with other goodies for a meal.
    best eating with green beans fresh cooked and chicken and dressing.
    Love all your recipes. they do this also in Alabama.good food down your all’s way.
    have never heard of the bread tho you mentioned.

  • Reply
    L C BARN
    August 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    We still have fried corn just about each week, when the corn crop is plentiful and available. When the corn crop comes IN, we are over whyelded with corn. Fried corn is not only GOOD, but when the crop is in, its plentiful.

  • Reply
    August 5, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Mama would cut the kernels off the leftover corn-on-the-cob and fry it in butter in the cast iron frying pan, but she didn’t add sugar. It was so good. I can taste it now.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    August 5, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Miss Cindy, “Gritter” or as I’ve always heard it called “Gritty Bread” in the old days required a “Gratter” which was usually a homemade sheet of metal which had been penetrated with a nail . Fresh corn was grated and added to Cornbread Batter then baked as usual. I had relatives who loved it but I never really liked it as obviously my parents didn’t either because Mom never made it so I had only tried it at my cousins when I spent the night with them.

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      August 5, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      I make cornbread like that now. I don’t grated the corn but I take a real sharp paring knife and split the rows of kernels before I cut it off the cob. I don’t put flour in my cornbread. I put finely chopped onion and shredded cheese in it instead.

  • Reply
    August 5, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Oh I do like fried corn, so good with a fair amount of pepper too…..I remember sitting out side with granny under a good shade tree, shuckin a bunch of corn. She’d have a big dish pan and a sharp knife to cut it off the cob, then rake down the whole cob to extract all that milky goodness. She put up some to freeze, then she’d cook a big skillet full .

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 5, 2019 at 10:44 am

    If I ever had fried corn I never knew it. Like Pinnacle Creek, I can’t figure why I would not have.

    About the gritted bread, it is made with kernels that are just hard enough to grate (grit) on a homemade grater but not hard enough to mill on stones. The center of the kernel (the germ) is still somewhat moist.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 5, 2019 at 10:25 am

    I am my family now. I cook for my kids but only stuff that will keep a while. They never come when they say they will. “Will you be mad if I wait til tomorrow to come to see you?” “No, I used to it, just come when you can.” Anyway one ear of corn is enough for me. I like fresh corn fried in bacon grease or butter. No sugar please! Maybe a little shredded cheddar added right at the end. Yummy!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2019 at 8:48 am

    It’s been many years since I had fried corn. I recall that Mom thickened the remaining water in the skillet with a bit of flour. Maybe she was making creamed corn and I didn’t know what it was called at the time.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    August 5, 2019 at 8:42 am

    I’ve had fried corn but more fried pickled corn. I like to eat a little bit of pickled corn that is not fried or heated up to get the live probiotics.
    We went to a sister church yesterday and had dinner on the grounds. Someone brought fresh cream corn and by the time I got to it the corn was almost gone. It was delicious.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 5, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Back before Sweet Corn was invented, Daddy use to gather Hickory Cane or what we called Hog Corn and put it on the porch and we’d all do the shucking. This got everyone to participate and waiting on those Roast Nears to boil was a real treat. Mama would have a big pot on to put the Corn in soon as it was cleaned and ready. Those silks were sometimes a pain to get cleaned, but it didn’t matter, they went down too. After we had our fill of corn, Daddy would have one of us boys to go to the Spring and get a Watermellon that had been in there for a couple of days, cooling. ( We didn’t have a Refrigerator and wouldn’t have till I was in High School.)

    Those were good times and after Daddy made sure everyone got a slice of mellon, we’d put the watermellon on the Banister around the porch, where we would spit the seeds out to see who could spit ’em the fatherest. Like Don said about Jim, John won cause he “was the Windyest.” …Ken

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 5, 2019 at 7:33 am

    I remember fried corn. I thought it was ok but liked creamed corn better, probably because it was usually sweeter. The corn now is much sweeter than it was when I was a kid.
    Corn was really a mainstay in country diets. It was the cooked corn, then corn meal for bread, and grits for hot cereal. There was also something called gritter bread but I don’t recall exactly what it is.
    And last but not least, dare I mention the once popular beverage made from corn!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2019 at 6:01 am

    I have not eaten fried corn which is unusual in that our family managed to find a way to fry just about everything. We did try fried pickled corn cut from the cob. Mom and others in her family made the most delicious creamed corn from fresh corn. The canned cream corn in my estimation is a poor substitute. Creamed or fried its all tasty.

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