Do you know the secret to the best cornbread?
I am not a very good cook, but this is the one thing I've got down (like a good Southern girl ;-).
First, it's made in a cast iron skillet. Preferably one with lots of years of cooking on it.
Second, put the skillet in the oven while the oven preheats. Pull it out when the oven is ready (with a mitt, of course!) and put a big pat of butter in it and swirl it around to cover the pan. If you really want to go for it, also throw in some coarse salt - it makes for a little salty crunch on top and helps it pop out of the pan.
Then pour in your mix. To be honest, I use the recipe on the House Autry cornmeal bag and it turns out delicious every time.
You know you're successful when you pull it out of the oven and flip over the skillet to find it drops right out onto the plate with a beautiful brown crust.