Everything You Need to Know About Grits

Unless you are a southern chef, you may be a little confused about the varieties of grits. What is the difference between quick and instant grits, anyway? In this article, we examine the differences between types of grits to help you find the right kind for you.

Regular Grits

Regular Grits are medium-ground grits that cook in ten minutes. They are processed so that they last long on the shelf.

Regular grits have more of a traditional texture and flavor than quick and instant grits do due to their larger grind. These grits may be for those who can spare some extra time and want a quality flavor but want a better shelf-life and a cheaper option than more expensive stone-ground grits.

Quick Grits

Quick grits are fine ground grits that cook faster than regular grits- about 5 minutes. Their fine grind allows them to cook faster. Like regular grits, they are processed so that they have a long shelf life.

Quick Grits are a good option for those who want the convenience of instant grits and a flavor more similar to traditional grits.

Instant Grits

Instant grits are fine ground grits that are pre-cooked and dehydrated before packaging. They can be prepared in under two minutes by microwaving them with hot water or by adding boiling water to the grits.

Although they are the most convenient option, instant grits are less flavorful than other grits. If you’re in a hurry or in need of a quick fix, these grits might be for you. But if quality and flavor are what you prefer, in the words of Mr. Tipton from My Cousin Vinny, “No self-respecting southerner uses instant grits.”

Hominy Grits

Hominy grits are a form of course-ground grits. Hominy grits’ naturally creamy, soft texture is due a process called nixtamalization. Before the corn is ground, the kernels are treated with lye, or sodium hydroxide, to make a product called hominy. This process originated with Native Americans, who would soak their corn overnight in a mixture of lime or ashes. Yes, that’s right-ashes! Both the modern lye method and the lime or ash are an alkaline solution, which breaks down the hull of the corn and softens the kernels. After soaking, the hominy is rinsed to remove the hulls, dried, and coarsely ground to make grits.

This process not only makes grits softer and creamier; it also makes the corn more nutritious. Niacin, or vitamin B3, is released during the process, making the corn easier to digest. Niacin has been shown to reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart attacks.

These grits may be a good option for those who want a healthier option and are willing to spend a bit more time cooking.

Stone Ground

Stone Ground grits are coarsely ground grits made from whole dried kernels, including the germ. They are ground the traditional method using a grist mill, which is why these grits are considered “artisanal”. Stone-ground grits can take anywhere from 20-60 minutes to cook.

Stone-ground grits have a more pleasing texture and rich, creamy flavor. Much like whole grain bread, because the germ is ground with the endosperm, these grits are healthier than other forms of grits. They are also less processed, so they are more perishable.

These flavorful grits are for those who want the real deal and are willing to spend a bit more. Be prepared to spend more time on these grits- they are more suitable for holidays or barbeques than your average breakfast.

Professor Torbert’s Orange Corn

Still unsure of which grits to use? Professor Torbert’s medium-grind grits are a tasty, healthy, and affordable option. Torbert’s orange corn gives the grits a creamy, nutty, rich flavor that you won’t find in other regular grits, while only taking ten minutes to make.

Orange corn is full of carotenoids, which gives the corn its vibrant orange color. Carotenoids have been shown to enhance your immune system and eye health. Feel good about what you eat by choosing Professor Torbert’s!