Fall is upon us. I saw the Pumpkin Spice Latte advertisements and somewhere in the world, the leaves are changing. Ugg boots just increased in price and scarves are getting pulled out from the back of the closet. I decided that if fall is upon us, then I needed some cornbread and chili, but what is the best brand?
What’s The Gluten-Free Skeptic?
If you’re new to this part of the internet, here’s a rundown: The Gluten-Free (GF) Skeptic is a series on this blog where we put GF mixes, foods, recipes, and more to the test. Gone are the days where you’ll sink $5 into a mix only to throw it out after the first bite. What makes this whole ordeal unique is that I’m a gluten-eater. My boyfriend Derek is very gluten intolerant and we switched to a GF lifestyle recently. I got fed up with GF brands deciding that “well it’s GF,” was a good reason to make me pay a premium price for utter crud. So, I’m here to help any other new (or long-term) gluten-avoiders navigate the GF world of lies and deceit and actually find good products that won’t break the bank. With every product I test I try a gluten version as well to make sure I didn’t forget what gluten tastes like and to provide accurate results. This one’s a doozy, so let’s get into it.
How They are Ranked:
Alright, lady’s and gents here’s the tea, this test was hard. There were a couple brands that I actually had to spit out they were that bad, and honestly, I kinda don’t like cornbread as much as I use to (kinda like getting food poisoning and never looking at that food the same way again).
I will give our rankings and comments for all contestants below each brand. Not all categories count towards the final score because it is based on preference (like sweetness or corniness, some people like it sweet, some like it corny). This will allow you to better identify a brand that may suit your individual cornbread needs, but will not affect ranking based on our judge’s personal preferences. I recommend reading through the comments and scores and finding one that sounds best to you (not just going with what we ranked #1). Below is an explanation of the scoring:
Overall Flavor: This is pretty self-explanatory, but is the overall flavor pleasant? This is scored out of 10 points, a full 10 points meaning ‘very pleasant/tasty’.
Texture: This measures the texture as a whole but not graininess (see below). This is scored out of 10 points, a full 10 points meaning ‘very good texture/enjoyable’.
Corniness: This doesn’t affect final score, but how much of a corn flavor is there? This is scored out of 10 points, a full 10 points meaning ‘I am basically eating actual corn right now’.
Sweetness: This doesn’t affect the final score, but how sweet is it for cornbread? This is scored out of 10 points, a full 10 points meaning ‘very sweet/overly so’.
Moistness: How moist is it? This is scored out of 10 points, a full 10 points meaning ‘very moist’.
Does it Cornbread: How much does this remind you of a cornbread? This is scored out of 10 points, a full 10 points meaning ‘this is the most cornbread-y cornbread I have ever had’.
Price: This tests whether the taste is worth the price. The price is ranked 1-8, 8 being given to the cheapest mix and 1 to the most expensive.
Graininess: This tests specifically the graininess that tends to come with GF products. This is scored out of 10 points, a full 10 points meaning ‘this is not grainy at all’.
Would Buy Again: Would we buy this again to fulfill our cornbread needs (the real test)? This is scored out of 10 points, a full 10 points meaning ‘I would absolutely buy this again, without a second thought’.
Comments: This is where we write first impressions and any comments stated during the tasting. This helps to justify and explain the above scores and helps you better understand which brand may fit your cornbread needs best.
Here is our final scores, comments, and overall places beginning with the worse.
Last Place 8th: Bob’s Red Mill
Overall Flavor: 2/10
Does it Cornbread: 0.5/10
Would Buy Again: 0.5/10
Comments: “Not a lot of flavor, kind of tastes like dirt, kind of like a healthy peanut butter a little bit, and then kind of like dirt.”
“It has the texture of soda bread and is very dry.”
“The main taste is just a whole lot of flour, not very flavorful at all.”
7th Place: Hodgson Mill
Overall Flavor: 0.5/10
Does it Cornbread: 0.5/10
Would Buy Again: 0/10
Comments: “Very bland. Tastes like baking soda and very very faintly of corn.”
“Kind of tastes like nothing, you really have to look for a flavor.”
“Could go in the trash and I wouldn’t care.”
“I don’t even think chili could fix this one. I feel like I’m eating a sponge with some type of cleaner on it, just plain bad.”
6th Place: Simple Truth
Overall Flavor: 2.5/10
Does it Cornbread: 1.5/10
Would Buy Again: 1.5/10
Comments: “It tastes kinda like blueberries like you could put blueberries in it and it would make a great muffin.”
“Very sweet, it’s definitely not cornbread, but you could make this a muffin or something.”
“A bit of corniness if you look for it but not a lot. This one tastes like cake but in a weird way. Probably because it has corn in it.”
“Reminds me of a muffin – just a nondescript muffin, think if you put blueberries in here it would be pretty good.”
“I like this one, it’s just not cornbread.”
5th Place: Glutino
Overall Flavor: 1/10
Does it Cornbread: 2/10
Would Buy Again: 1/10
Comments: “Tastes like a lumpy cream of wheat.”
“There’s no sweetness and no flavor or depth and it’s mostly just lumpy.”
“It separated while baking and you can see that there is a stream of egg in it.”
“Like lumpy cream of wheat.”
“When you don’t mix grits in slowly and you get those little balls, it has that texture.”
“Has a very weird flavor.”
“Feels oily in my mouth, taste a lot like oil too.”
4th Place: Krusteaz
Overall Flavor: 2.5/10
Does it Cornbread: 3/10
Would Buy Again: 1.5/10
Comments: This one was liked by some, and hated by others, so kind of a toss-up.
“It tastes like raw corn.”
“There’s a taste that I don’t like.”
“Tastes like fresh corn but not in a good way, I don’t like at all.”
“I literally had to spit that out it was so bad.”
“Has a good texture.”
“I like this one actually.”
“Not as sweet as others.”
“Cornmeal is finer in this one – blends in better.”
3rd Place: King Arthur Flour
Overall Flavor: 5/10
Does it Cornbread: 4/10
Price: 1/10 (most expensive mix)
Would Buy Again: 3.5/10
Comments: “Most in the middle cornbread here.”
“It’s not bad, a little dry, a little cakey, kinda meh.”
“Would taste good with other things, but by itself just kind of blah”
“Not bad, not great, just is.”
“The flavor is similar to Glutino but a bit cornier and better texture.”
“Nothing notable about this one.”
2nd Place: Firenza
Overall Flavor: 4/10
Does it Cornbread: 5/10
Would Buy Again: 7/10
Comments: “Very moist and soft.”
“No noticeable cornmeal texture.”
“Has the texture of a moist cake but not in a bad way, and not as corny as others.”
“I wish that it had more of a cornbread texture but its not bad.”
“Tastes like cake, could put icing on this and tell me it’s a vanilla cake and I’d believe you.”
“Spongier like a cake, lighter not as dense, doesn’t taste at all like corn.”
1st Place: Pamela’s
Overall Flavor: 7/10
Does it Cornbread: 7/10
Price: 2/10 (second most expensive)
Would Buy Again: 9/10 (would definitely buy again)
Comments: “Tastes good!”
“Tastes like grits, not too sweet, the cornmeal is a little too large though.”
“Still some crunchy corn bits.”
“Really sweet, tastes like grits.”
“Pieces of cornmeal are noticeable and a little too crunchy.”
“This is the first one I’ve actually liked.”
“One of the better ones.”
So, there you have it. Unlike the Best Gluten-Free Brownie Mixes, RANKED, cornbread can be messed up pretty bad. Honestly, I would only recommend the top three. The rest were pretty unpalatable and not very good (however, there was some debate on the 4th place cornbread). Let me know in the comments below what mixes I should try next!
Here are the latest GF Skeptics: