Simple Stone-Ground Coarse Grits
After quite a bit of thought, I decided to add some edits.
The proportions for cooking grits that almost always gives you perfect stone-ground grits is 4 parts liquid to 1 part dry grits. Be sure to put about 1 teaspoon of salt per dry cup of grits in the mixture when you start. This proportion will work whether it is on the stovetop or the crock pot or whatever. You can add more salt and any other stuff (cheese, butter, etc.) at the finish. I stir the grits into the cold liquid as I have the stove burner on high. Optional step: I lower the heat here to "wash the grits" (see the video for this step). You can bring the mixture to a boil once, but for the most part a low cooking temperature is ideal (coupled with a good bit of time). Grits do like to be stirred, but you don't have to go crazy. You're just stirring to keep the grits from sticking (they will almost certainly stick some) or burning. Grits are done when their texture is soft. This can take up to an hour or more on the stovetop. A thoroughly done pot of grits will have an al dente plumpness that transforms into a soft texture while you chew, while also retaining a whole-grain texture.
Sometimes it can be easy to overcomplicate things.
Truth be told, I can cook up a good pot of grits without even measuring. They aren't a starch like rice (a grain that doesn't like to be disturbed while it is cooking and requires fairly precise measurement). You're just using heat and water to hydrate the grits until they're nice and soft.
Over many pots of grits (and some criticisms) later, I'm just solid on the 4 parts liquid to 1 part grits. Once in a blue moon, you might end up with soupy grits, or a pot of grits cooked with heavy cream may need some loosening up. I confess I feel like someone familiar with cooking will get the idea, but I'm selling grits online to anyone, so who can say that everyone will get it?
At any rate, besides the quirky step of holding back the final quarter of liquid, the information below is good. With the caveat above, please read on if you desire.
This recipe works well with any mill's coarse grits, but please note the following:
- Cooking times vary because of coarseness of grind and corn variety. Coarse grits take time to cook.
- People have varying tastes in regards to how done they like their grits (I like mine completely soft).
- When the grits are the softness and texture you like, there is no need to continue cooking them. Butter and maybe salt them and eat!
- One-half cup of water or stock can be exchanged for approximately a half cup of heavy cream, milk, etc., added in thirds during cooking.
- Makes around 3 cups. Can be halved, doubled or tripled easily.
- Time: Up to an Hour. Yes, an hour. Please don't stir the grits every minute of that hour.
- 1 Cup of Stone Ground Coarse Grits
- 4 Cups of water or stock and/or milk, cream, etc. (keep some extra for later, hot liquid works best)
- 1 tsp. salt
- Heavy-bottomed pot
- Stiff whisk or wooden spoon
- Tea Strainer
- Combine 1 cup of grits with 4 cups of water, stock, or a combination in a pot.
- On high heat, stir the mixture a minute or so with a wooden spoon or whisk. Reduce heat to a simmer.
- Using a fine tea strainer, strain any floating particles off of the top while slightly tilting the cooking pot. Take care not to scoop up the grits in the bottom of the pot! Add 1 tsp. of salt per dry cup of grits (adjusted to personal taste).
- Return to high heat, continue stirring. Once the grits boil, reduce heat to low and stir every few minutes, taking care to loosen the stuck grits at the bottom of the pot. Don't rush and burn the grits on the bottom!
- Cook grits uncovered at a low-medium temp until they soften. If grits “firm up” before they soften, slowly add some water or stock or milk. Keeping a pot of hot water or stock simmering on the stove is very helpful. Hot liquid is best but not essential if you are using milk or cream. If the grits start to bubble and splatter (an often painful situation) the pot can be covered, but watch the heat level.
- Finish with salt, butter, and liberal amounts of cheese if desired (and whatever else you like in your grits--the list is practically endless!).
You can peruse our stone-ground USDA certified organic grits here.