• 2 cups coarsely ground corn grits (good-quality such as Jimmy Red, yellow, or white corn grits from Anson Mills or a local grist mill)
  • 6 cups water, preferably filtered
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, or more to taste


  1. Take 1/2 cup of the coarsely ground grits and put them in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Pulse them a few times until they are finely ground. Mix the finely ground grits with the coarsely ground grits in a bowl or a heavy-bottomed pot.
  2. Cover the grits with water by about 2 inches, using as much of the 6 cups as necessary. Reserve any remaining water. Stir the grits, let them settle, then skim off any hulls that rise to the top. Cover container with plastic wrap and let grits soak overnight at room temperature.
  3. The next day, add any reserved water to the grits and soaking water. Bring to a boil over high heat in a heavy-bottomed pot, stirring constantly. The mixture will become creamy and begin to thicken.
  4. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the bay leaves. Reduce heat to low and slow simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring constantly, until grits are tender and very creamy. Discard bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve each portion in an individual bowl with a dollop of butter.

Tips and Techniques

Soaking grits overnight gives them a head start to creaminess. And it also shortens the cooking time somewhat.