Basic Pressure Cooker Grits

August 04, 2016

Cooking Grits in a Pressure Cooker

Cooking grits with steam and pressure saves time and trims away most of the watchful stirring and tending. Because pressure cookers are really good at tenderizing, this method is just the ticket for smooth and creamy stone ground grits. While you can cook grits directly in the cooker, it's for certain you'll end up with a layer stuck to the bottom. That's why we recommend setting a heatproof bowl or pan in the cooker on a wire rack or trivet.

Tips for Setting Up

• If your pressure cooker doesn't have a trivet, use an upturned wire cooling rack. Or make a circle of canning jar lids. Or make a coil out of tightly squeezed aluminum foil.

• If the bowl insert doesn't leave a lot of finger room, make a sling-style lifter out of aluminum foil folded into thirds lengthwise. Roll under the ends of the lifter so they don't fall into the grits or cover the vent hole.

Setup for cooking grits in a pressure cooker: a trivet, a foil lifter, and a heat proof bowl

Pressure Cooker Methods

We offer two methods for making pressure cooker grits. Both take about 35 minutes, almost half the time of stovetop grits.

Method One is easiest. Combine the ingredients, set the timer, and leave it alone. The grits retain a bit of toothsome texture. It takes a few minutes for the grits to smooth out and thicken once they're done.

Method Two turns out super-smooth, perfect grits. By parboiling them first on the stovetop, the grits become suspended in their cooking liquid so they don't sink to the bottom while locked inside the pressure cooker. That extra step ensures tender-to-the-core grits. Method Two is ideal when making desserts like our Molasses-Ginger Grits Pudding or Heirloom Grits-Pecan Pie.

Makes 3 cups  | Cooking time: About 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • Method One: 3 cups cold water or other cooking liquid
    Method Two: 3½ cups cold water or other cooking liquid
  • 1 cup Barkley’s Mill Stone Ground Heirloom Grits
  • ¼–½ teaspoon salt
  • 1–2 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • Water for the pressure cooker

Method One

Place a trivet or rack in the pressure cooker. Fill the bottom with about 1 inch of water, or the amount required for your cooker. Set a heatproof bowl into the cooker. The bowl should clear the sides by at least ½ inch.

Pour the water or cooking liquid into the bowl. Add the salt, if using, and sprinkle in the grits. If you wish to do so, stir to loosen the hulls and chaff, wait a few seconds, then skim the surface. (For information about chaff and different cooking liquids check out Grits Basics: 5 Tips to Make Perfect Stone Ground Grits.) 

Lock on the pressure cooker lid and bring it to full pressure over high heat. Adjust temperature to maintain even pressure and cook the grits for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally—about 10 minutes—before opening the pressure cooker.

Remove the lid. Use a whisk to combine the water on top with the ayer of grits on the bottom. It might take 1 or 2 minutes of intermittent stirring to smooth out the grits. If the grits seem thin, let them sit for 10 or 15 minutes

Method Two

Place a trivet or rack in the pressure cooker. Fill the bottom with about 1 inch of water, or the amount required for your cooker. Set a heatproof bowl in the cooker. The bowl should clear the sides by at least ½ inch.

In a medium size saucepan, combine the cold water or cooking liquid with the grits. Add the salt, if using. If you wish to do so, stir to loosen the hulls and chaff, wait a few seconds, then skim the surface. (To learn chaff and get cooking tips, check out Grits Basics: 5 Tips to Make Perfect Stone Ground Grits.) 

Turn the heat to high and stir the grits frequently as they come to a boil—6 to 7 minutes. Lower the heat until the mixture is at a steady simmer. Stir constantly until the grits become fully suspended in the cooking liquid—about 3 minutes. The mixture will resemble very thick soup.

Transfer the grits to the bowl inside the pressure cooker, taking care that it doesn't splash. Lock the lid in place. Turn the heat to high and bring the cooker to full pressure, then lower the heat to maintain steady pressure for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait for the pressure to come down naturally before removing the lid—usually about 10 minutes. Stir the grits to even out the texture. Add the butter, if using, and adjust seasoning.

basic-pressure-cooker-grits-steaming-in-bowl

Pressure Cooker Bonus—Keeping Grits Warm

You can keep grits warm in a pressure cooker for up to an hour. After releasing the pressure and opening the cooker, leave the container of grits inside, resting the lid loosely on top (do not lock it). Turn the burner on low and check the water level from time to time.





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Basic Stovetop Grits
Basic Stovetop Grits

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