How to Cook Perfect Grits: A Southern Classic

Grits might just be the most comforting, easiest dish. Taking less than 30 minutes to make, they will have you feeling cozy and all warm in no time.

Grits Definition: What Are Grits?

They are Southern soul food staples that are the ultimate creamy comfort food.

And I don’t mean the movie true grit on the true grit pullover that is trending on the web.  I’m talking about real Southern Grits.

True grits are grains made from ground corn or hominy. When cooked, they have a porridge-like uniformity.

These  cornmeal are ground up dried corn kernels (e.g. coarse cornmeal) made soft in liquid.

They are thus naturally gluten-free. You can find both white and yellow; depending on the corn variation (both are healthy and enjoyable!).

They are popular foods in the Southern portion of the United States.

Southern grits are some of the creamiest, dreamiest corn meal on earth.

Made from stone-ground type and slow-cooked to perfection, they’re finished with a generous pile of butter, cheese, and dense cream.

The result is somewhat toothsome that rival the richest risotto-and are even easier to make.

What Are Grits Made Of? – Corn Grits

The word come from the Middle English word “gyrt”.

It is the outer bran of any whole grain. The whole grain found in grits is corn.

Native Americans were the first to grind up the kernels into corn food and make porridge considered the first pot of grits.

The next early settlers would make the  traditional dishes by taking the corn, turning it into hominy and then removing the corn and grinding.

Types of Grits

Before you put your head down to consume this delicious Southern dish,, it’s good you know the type to choose from.

  1. Stone-ground

This is the less-processed old-fashioned type made from whole dried corn that has been coarsely ground between two stones of a grist mill.

  1. Quick or Regular

These two are more processed compared with the first one. The only change between them is in its granulation.

Quick grits are finely ground and can be prepared in just 5 minutes while regular grits are medium grind and cooks in 10 minutes.

  1. Instant

Similar to instant oatmeal, this type are quickly cooked with boiling water.

But the disadvantage is they are not as flavorful likened to those mentioned above.

  1. Hominy

Hominy is made from corn kernels that have been soaked in a solution that softens and removes its outer hulls and germs.

They are then, dried and ground.

Grits Versus Polenta: Are They The Same? 

There’s a thin line that separates them. Both are made from corn (But from two different types of corn); ground corn to be exact.

Of course, there’s also difference in the taste and texture .

The actual difference between the two hinges on where you are from or where you live.

Italian “grits” is known as polenta and vice versa (or you could say Southern “polenta” is known as grits)

Grits Recipe: How to Make Grits from Scratch

The best recipe requires just good-quality coarse cornmeal, water, milk, salt and a bit of time.

These polenta are downright perfect. So grab a pot and get to cooking.


  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 cups of milk
  • Salt
  • 1 cup grits or polenta (not instant)
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Firstly, add water, milk, and salt to a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Secondly, gradually whisk in the ground corn , until you have added the whole thing in the pot, a little at a time. Keep stirring with a whisk to prevent any lumps.
  3. Thirdly, remove sauce-pan from heat while trying to get rid of lumps – if necessary.
  4. After that, reduce heat and cook at a bare simmer, stirring often, until water is fully absorbed and thickened. This will take about 15 minutes.
  5. Lastly, remove from heat; then, add butter and cheese, stirring with a whisk until cheese melts.


  • To achieve a creamy texture, use grits water ratio; 6 cups of liquid to 1 cup of grits.
  • It may seem like way too much liquid at first, but the cornmeal will absorb all.
  • Above all, feel free to splash in more milk as needed while cooking if it start to look thick-they should be creamy and swirl easily.

This recipe is called Anytime Grits for a reason.

This is because they are meant to be paired with protein favorites like bacon, eggs, pork, shrimp, or chicken to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


Calories: 639 kcal | Carbohydrates: 33 g | Protein: 37 g | Fat: 38 g | Saturated Fat: 20 g | Cholesterol: 384 mg | Sodium: 1634 mg | Potassium: 275 mg | Vitamin A: 1045 IU | Vitamin C: 7.8 mg | Calcium: 400 mg | Iron: 3.3 mg

Photo Credit:

delicious stone-ground grits
delicious stone-ground grits

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