Bowl of grits with melting butter and crushed red pepper on wooden table.
For Perfect Grits, Mind The Temperature
By Wendy Gould
The history of grits goes back to 8700 B.C.E. as a traditional Native American dish made from ground corn and reconstituted with water, milk, or a combination of the two that results in a porridge-like breakfast. Making grits is fairly straightforward, but if you find yourself unable to get the silky and creamy desired results, take a closer look at the heat you’re using.
Grits get their smooth, thick consistency when the starch granules gelatinize by swelling and absorbing liquid during a slow, moist cooking process, and once the granules reach the right temperature, they’ll burst to release starch into the liquid. Avoid using high heat as the corn granules will be forced into quickly converting their starch, resulting in runny grits.
For creamy, smooth grits, bring your water, milk, or stock to a boil, add the grits, and turn the heat down to medium-low while stirring constantly. If your grits still aren’t coming out the way you’d like, try adding more or less liquid next time you cook them, and be sure to leave them to rest or “set” for about 10 minutes after taking them off the heat.