3 Best Ways To Thicken Grits

There is nothing more comforting on a cold winter night or early morning than the taste of grits.

The downside to grits is that they are sometimes runny or don’t cook properly. Would that mean that they should be thrown out? Not at all!

But, how do you even thicken grits? There are several simple ways to thicken grits. If the consistency is too runny, reduce the temperature, or add an egg to the mixture, for example.

In summary, if you are pissed off by your watery porridge, brace yourself because it will become perfect thick and creamy in no time. 

We will show you how to thicken grits that are runny with different ways to do so.

How to Cook Grits

In order to cook your grits well and ensure they turn out perfectly, you must follow the right recipe.

The following steps will make sure you are following the same technique if it is your first time cooking this dish, or even your third time, for that matter:

  • Take a pan with 4 cups of hot water and bring it up to a boil. 
  • Add in ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 cup of milk.
  • To avoid sticking, add cornmeal slowly.
  • Stir in one cup of grits in the pan while it cooks.
  • Stir well until the mixture has properly thickened. 
  • Reduce the pan’s heat to low. 
  • Cover the grits with the lid.
  • Continually cook for 20 minutes to reach a thick consistency. 

It may seem straightforward to cook grits, but you may end up making them a bit runny. No worries! You can find a solution here. 

Why Do Grits Get Too Runny?

While preparing your grits, be on the lookout for a few common issues!

Using Too Much Water

You might want to revisit the amount of water you’ve added in the beginning of the process if you find your grits are soft but still too watery.

To properly cook the grits, you need enough water, but you should watch the amount. In the recipe, water should be measured out using a measuring cup. 

You should also avoid using too little water. Consequently, you are likely to have uncooked breakfast food if you make this mistake. 

Overcooking Grits at a High Temperature

If you overcook your grits in an attempt to make them faster, you might accidentally overcook the grits. Your grits will then turn out super thin and runny. 

The grits should be cooked on medium heat for a consistent porridge. Make sure to simmer the mixture patiently while stirring. 

You will end up with much better grits with this method than putting overcooked grits in. 

Not Allowing the Porridge to Settle

The grits may end up becoming watery if you consume them right after you turn off the flame.

To achieve the desired level of thickness, grits should be fully set up for 10 minutes after making them. 

Unless an emergency exists, let your porridge thicken naturally if you have time to eat before heading out to work. Don’t wait too long; it will not be a waste of time. 

How to Thicken Already Cooked Runny Grits

No matter how hard you try, if your grits are still soupy, don’t worry. Everyone makes mistakes in the kitchen sometimes. In order to bounce back, here are a few methods you can try. 

Grits can be transformed into a dish of yummy delight by following these great suggestions. 

Recook Your Grits

For grits that may need some additional time to cook, try this method.

  • Reheat your cooked grits over medium heat.
  • As soon as the mixture becomes hot enough for bubbles to form, keep stirring it.
  • Pour boiling water into the pan and allow it to evaporate slowly to ensure a thick consistency. You will need to wait for 20 to 30 minutes, so be patient. 
  • To taste the grits after they have cooled down, you should let them sit for a few minutes in a bowl. 

Add an Egg

Try this method to thicken the mixture if you are not allergic to eggs. 

  • Use a bowl of medium size. 
  • In the bowl, beat an egg. 
  • The paste should be well-beaten after you’ve beaten it well. 
  • Temper the egg by adding hot, runny grits to it and stirring constantly.
  • Once the paste is creamy, keep mixing. Verify that there are no unsightly scrambled egg pieces in it.
  • You can then add the remaining mixture to the pot once you’re satisfied with the results.
  • Pour the heated porridge over the egg and allow it to simmer for a few minutes.
  • Once the grits have reached the desired thickness, remove them from the heat. Enjoy!

The grits will thicken faster with this method than any other. 

Remove Excess Water

The grits may still be too runny even after cooking them for 30 minutes straight. If this is the case, strain all the excess water out. Here’s how:

  • You can use a mesh strainer and a coffee paper filter.
  • Measure some grits from the liquid mixture using a measuring cup.
  • It is very important to use caution when handling the cooked grits because they will be pretty hot.
  • After scooping out the grit, pour it through a filter over a sink.
  • Water should be allowed to pass through paper filter. 
  • With a spatula, scrape out any grits that have settled in the strainer.
  • Continually stir until you reach the thickness you desire. 

The method isn’t difficult, but you’ll need the right filter to make it work. Additionally, take care when straining water with a cheesecloth because the cleanup will be difficult afterwards. 

What to Avoid When Thickening the Grits

Here, we went over a few tried-and-true methods of thickening grits.

Nevertheless, we wanted to point out some frequent errors people make when trying to thicken their porridge in this next section.

Adding Additional Grits

In addition to more grits, some water might also be necessary to achieve the desired thickness of your runny mixture. You may waste your precious time and end up with a bigger problem if you do that. 

When it has been cooked enough to thicken the porridge, is it still runny? Even when more raw grits are added, the excess water in the pan may be reduced, but the results won’t be satisfactory. 

If you add uncooked items, there won’t be enough time for them to become softer, and you could end up with crunchy grits over your soft ones. 

Mixing Cornstarch

Gritts are not thickened with cornstarch, but rather their taste is enhanced. When cornstarch is added to runny porridge, it often intensifies its bland flavor rather than thickening it. 

Cornstarch, then, is not the right thickener for soupy grits. 

Related Questions

Now that we’ve covered some effective methods of thickening grits and some of the most common grits problems, let’s tackle a few more questions about this recipe.

What is the right thickness for grits?

The perfect grit thickness cannot be measured with a single standard. Individual preference determines this. 

The majority of people, however, like their grits thick enough to enjoy them with a spoon, and with little excess moisture. 

Do grits cook well with milk or water?

The best part about grits is that you can mix them with nearly anything for a versatile breakfast. Compared to water, these oat-like treats are thicker and creamier when made with milk. 

As a backup, you can always cook grits in a pot with water and milk. Porridge can be cooked quickly and smoothly with a balanced combination of both. 

Can you enjoy grits with any topping?

When you make grits in their purest form, you’ll enjoy them at their best. As long as you enjoy adding flavor to your dish, you are free to do so. 

The combination of well-cooked grits and banana slices is delicious. A few drops of maple syrup or honey can be poured on your thick porridge and the addition of sweetness will create a wonderful balance. 

When the mixture is cooking, cheese can be added to make savory grits. It’s easy to find a dish to please everyone’s palate, and there are endless options for this dish.

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