How to Cook Grits in Your Pressure Cooker

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Photo: Lynne Ann Mitchell, Shutterstock
Photo: Lynne Ann Mitchell, Shutterstock

I will never understand people who don’t like eating grits, but I do understand people who don’t like making grits. Like preparing risotto and polenta, the process usually involves a good bit of stirring, and I simply hate standing still in front of a stove. The good news is you can cook grits in your pressure cooker. You’ll still have to subject yourself to some stirring, but far less of it — I’m talking three minutes, max.

Similar to the way A.A. Newton makes her pressure cooker polenta, the success of pressure cooker grits lies in a small amount of stirring beforehand, but it is a very small amount. Simply agitate the corn bits by boiling and whisking, then use the IP’s “Porridge” function to finish them off. Boiling and whisking the grits before you close the appliance ensures they are moving when you do, and that will keep them from clumping together or sticking to the bottom during cooking.

There’s no need to soak the grits first — pressure cooking softens them right up — which means you can have them on the table in about 40 minutes without having to plan ahead even a little bit. Your total active prep time is roughly five minutes, which is a good amount of minutes to be active. This very morning I got my IP going, then took a shower and made coffee; the grits finished cooking just as I was pouring my first cup.

Pressuer Cooker Grits

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of grits
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 large pinches of salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Add the grits and the water to the pressure cooker insert, give them a stir, then let them sit undisturbed for a minute. Take the insert out of the appliance, tilt it slightly, and skim off an floaty bits (chaff and hulls) with a small sieve or fine tea strainer. Return the insert to the pressure cooker and add two large pinches of salt.

Press the “Sauté” button and adjust to “More” using the “Adjust” button (or equivalent settings on your cooker). Let the grits come to a boil, stirring fairly frequently with a metal whisk and scraping the bottom to make sure not a single grit settles and sticks. Once the grits start to boil, maintain your whisking for a minute more, until they’re continuing to bubble and plop even when you’re not actively stirring them. Close the pressure cooker, press the “Porridge” button, and adjust to “More” using the “Adjust” button.

Once the cooking time has elapsed, let the pressure release entirely on its own, or wait at least 10 minutes before manually releasing (if you’re in a hurry). The grits will seem quite loose at first, but they will thicken as they cool. Add the butter, taste, and add salt and pepper (or more butter) if needed.

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