Nixtamal (Hominy)

Important: Do not use aluminum cookware in the nixtamalization process. All utensils and vessels should be non-reactive. That means ceramic or steel for vessels, and plastic, wood or steel for stirring utensils. Rinse any spilled pickling lime or splashed limewater with plenty of water.


  • 1 Cup whole-grain corn
  • 4 Cups water
  • 4 tsp. pickling lime

Note that the volume of the corn will increase slightly, so take care that it doesn't displace the water and spill. I maxed out at 8 cups of water in our 6 quart crockpot.


  • Crock pot
  • Small steel pot
  • Non-reactive stirring spoon
  • Footed Colander


  • Combine 3 cups of water with 1 cup of corn in the crock pot. Set on low for 8 hours.
  • Boil 1 cup of water in the small steel pot. When the water reaches a boil, pitch in the lime.
  • When the lime is dissolved, reduce heat and carefully pour the limewater into the crock pot. Stir the contents of the crock pot well until the contents are well blended.
  • Let crock pot cook on low for 8 hours. A stir or two helps. The hominy is done when the kernels have become uniformly soft.
  • Carefully drain the liquid in the crock pot into the sink, retaining the hominy in the pot. Rinse the hominy several times with cool water. This can take three rinses or more.
  • On the final rinse, rub the kernels together in the water, loosening the remainder of the dissolved pericarp coating the kernels.
  • Dump the hominy into the colander, and rinse the hominy one last time. The water running out of the bottom of the colander should be clear.
  • Let the colander drain thoroughly.

Your hominy is ready to use! It can be refrigerated for several days, or frozen for a few months. You now have hominy ready to be sauteed, or put into pozole, or milled into masa for tortillas or tamales! Enjoy!