Grits are a creamy, buttery, southern staple. Good for breakfast or dinner, this dish is made from dried corn and can be cooked with liquid to create its creamy consistency.
In addition to being a tasty treat, grits also have several health benefits. Grits are high in iron and include vitamin B and other vitamins and minerals. In addition, they are packed with antioxidants and can combat anemia.
If you purchased a box of grits a few months ago, to be forgotten at the back of your pantry, you may find yourself wondering now if they are still good to eat.
Now this is the bottom line: Like many other dry foods, grits have a long shelf life. If stored properly, you can expect dried grits to last for up to a year. However, they can go bad, so it is important to check for any signs of spoilage.
Shelf Life Of Grits
Not only are grits tasty, but they also will stay good for a long time. Most packaging of grits will include a “best by” date. As with most of these dates, this is more a recommendation than a definitive expiration. Past this date, the grits may begin to lose quality or flavor but are likely still perfectly safe to consume.
Stored in ideal conditions, most packages of grits will be good for at least a year at room temperature. Its shelf life can be extended by freezing. Once frozen, grits will last for several years, even up to 5.
Once prepared, grits will not stay good for very long. They should be refrigerated, but even then, prepared grits will only last for a few days. Though they may be fine to eat once refrigerated, they will become solidified and change in consistency.
As with all foods, you will want to ensure the grits seem normal before using them.
Proper Storage Of Grits
Storing grits is very similar to storing cornmeal or other dried ingredients. Grits should be stored at room temperature, in a cool, dry, and dark place. A pantry is ideal, as it will meet all of these conditions.
The container of grits should be kept away from any sources of moisture or heat, as this will develop condensation and cause the grits to go bad sooner.
Keep in mind, the cabinets next to and above stoves and ovens will get warm and can develop condensation. Grits should not be kept in these locations, as exposure to moisture will cause them to rapidly spoil and clump.
Once the package of grits has been opened, it should be tightly sealed after each use. If its original packaging is not re-sealable, you may want to transfer it to a sealable plastic bag or an airtight container. This will protect it from sources of moisture or pests. If storing in a plastic bag, any excess air should be squeezed out before sealing.
To prolong the life of your grits, it can be frozen. Before doing so, ensure it is in an airtight container or bag to prevent freezer burn.
If you have already mixed up a batch of grits and want to preserve any extra, they should be cooled completely first. Then, add them to an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to a few days.
Have These Grits Gone Bad?
Though grits do have a very long shelf life, they can still go bad. Even when stored properly, they will begin to degrade in quality over time.
If exposed to moisture, grits can change in consistency and even develop mold. In this case, they should absolutely be thrown out.
In most cases, if the grits have been stored properly, it likely will not have many visible signs of spoilage. Often, it will just begin to go stale or lose its flavor. In these circumstances, it may become more difficult to bake with and may not be as palatable to eat.
Grits often do naturally have traces of oil, so they can go rancid. You should check to see if there are any changes in scent or flavor before using it. If it smells or tastes sour, it should be discarded.
Keep In Mind: Because of the germ in corn, grits naturally have a variety of colorful grains, ranging from white to yellow to even grey or black specks. Even if you see some variety of colors in the grains, this does not necessarily mean the grits have gone bad.
- Grits have a relatively long shelf life and are similar to other dry foods.
- Grits can last for up to a year at room temperature. When frozen, they can last for up to 5 years.
- Grits should be stored in a cool, dark location, away from sources of heat or moisture.
- Grits will degrade in quality and can also go rancid. You should check for any signs of spoilage before use.
Grits are a great addition to your kitchen for a quick, delicious meal. Ensuring proper storage, you will ensure you can use your grits are good for up to a year.