How To Make the Best Grits Ever
Easy ways to take your grits from dull to delicious.
The best pot of grits starts with good-quality stone-ground grits, of course. But that’s not all it takes. You’ve got to cook them properly too. Here are three small ways to upgrade the flavor and texture of grits however you like to eat them—in a scoopable Shrimp and Grits Casserole, rich with Cheddar cheese, or as a creamy base for barbecued brisket. These tips also apply whether you are preparing them in a slow cooker or on the stove top.
Instead of cooking grits in plain water, use a mixture of water and heavy cream (or half-and-half, buttermilk, or whole milk) for the creamiest, tastiest results. You can decide what ratio of water to dairy you prefer—we like using half dairy and half water. When the grits are done cooking, stir in a bit more heavy cream, cheese if you are using it, and, of course, pats of butter to taste.
Don’t season your grits only when you’re about to eat them. Much like making pasta, you need to add salt to the cooking liquid. Add the salt before you whisk in the grits to make sure the grits are flavored through and through as they cook. Then, taste the cooked grits and add more salt if necessary.
Here’s a small step that most people skip, but it’s what sets apart restaurant-quality grits from ordinary ones. Once you add the grits to the liquid, use a small spoon or a mesh strainer to remove the bits of husk that float to the top. These little pieces of debris are tough and will not soften as the grits cook, which can ruin their otherwise smooth and tender texture.