Grits have the unfortunate honour of being perpetually compared to and confused with porridge. Perhaps it’s the ingredients used or the appearance but grits are also confused with polenta by those who are unfamiliar with them. While there are similarities between the two there certainly are huge differences that can easily distinguish the two. Fortunately, one thing that grits do share with porridge is how easy they are to reheat for even the most modest of kitchens. You have a choice of three really easy methods to reheat grits. You can reheat them on the stovetop, in the microwave and even in the oven.
Grits are a mixture similar to a porridge that is made from maizemeal, cornmeal or hominy. Hominy is corn that is specially treated in a process called nixtamalisation. The corn is boiled with an alkali agent then left to soak. After the draining and washing of the boiled grain, we get hominy which is then ground and dried. The mixture is usually thick. Where grits differ greatly from porridge is that grits are more often flavoured with savoury ingredients including shrimp, bacon, chives and mushrooms. Grits originate from the South of the United States of America though similar dishes have been found on the African continent and grits are thought to be an adaptation of these recipes.
How to Reheat Grits On The Stove
When reheating grits there are a few things that you want to watch for. Grits are very thick and you might want to add a little moisture to them to get the best results when reheating. When reheating on the stovetop you also want to watch for them burning at the bottom of the pot. Sounds a lot like porridge doesn’t it? Place your grits in a saucepan or pot. You can add moisture by adding a little milk, water or broth. Your choice of liquid will be informed by the flavouring of the grits and what you intend to eat them with though water is applicable regardless of the flavouring. Start with heat low, at 2 or 3 on a 6 heat burner. Remember to stir continuously as you heat the grits. You may notice the grits start to get thick or lumpy. If this happens take it as a signal to add more of your chosen liquid. When stirring your grits just remember to stir to the bottom of the pot to prevent your grits from sticking to the bottom and burning. Avoid the temptation to use higher heat as this will likely burn your grits. In a matter of minutes, your grits are ready to eat. While this is touted as the best method it is both fast and of course time-consuming because you have to stand in front of the stove the entire time.
How to Reheat Grits In The Microwave
The foodies may not be pleased with the idea of microwave reheating but it is the fastest and easiest method. Add to that how time comes at a premium for most people and there really should be no arguments about whether or not to reheat grits in the microwave. Those against microwave heating cite the microwave’s dehydrating effect and it’s a spotty record with heating things through and through. However, there are two easy tips to follow to eliminate these problems. Place a single serving of grits in a microwave-safe container. Just as in the stovetop method add a bit of milk, broth or water. And stir into the grits. Now microwave the grits for 30 seconds on the medium heat setting, 5 or 6 on a 10 setting microwave. After the 30 seconds take the grits out and stir them thoroughly. You may have to add some extra liquid at this point as you stir depending on the consistency you desire. Place the grits back in the microwave and heat again for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Stir them through when done. If your grits are not warm enough it is always wiser to heat them to a higher temperature then cool them to eating temperature.
How to Reheat Grits In The Oven
Reheating grits in the oven is neither the fastest nor the easiest method. The only case where reheating grits in the oven is perhaps the best idea is when you are reheating a large amount of grits. Meant to serve many people as opposed to the single or small servings we have been focused on in the other methods. You will need an oven-safe dish with a lid or cover to make this method work for you. Place the grits in the oven-safe dish. Add your choice of liquid just as in the other methods making sure you consider the liquid requirements. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Cover the oven dish with the grits and mixed in liquid and place in the oven. Heat for 8 to 10 minutes then open the oven dish and add more liquid. Stir it in thoroughly. Here’s the thing, grits can dry out very quickly so you will need to check the consistency of your grits more than once during the process. Your grits will need another 5 to 10 minutes to heat through and through and stirring will help them to do this evenly. Once the grits have heated you may want to leave the dish covered in the oven with the oven off especially if you’re not eating them immediately.
You can serve your grits heated in any of these methods with your favourite combination foods whether sweet or savoury. The stovetop is the favoured method for flavour though time-intensive. The microwave is best if you’re on the run. The oven method will serve you best if you’re reheating many servings at once.