How to Cook Grits in the Electric Pressure Cooker

Few things are as quintessentially Southern as a big bowl of grits.

Vertical image of a white bowl full of creamy grits with a spoon in front of a kitchen appliance, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

As a Midwestern gal, I didn’t grow up eating them, though I really wish I had. As soon as my Southern roommate made them for me in college for the first time, I was absolutely hooked.

Whether they are loaded up with plenty of cheese for a savory take, made simply with a bit of butter and seasoning, or even taken in a sweeter direction with a shot of maple syrup, you can enjoy them at any time of day.

Seriously, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it’s always a fantastic time to bust out the grits.

Vertical image of a bowl of creamy cornmeal with a spoon inserted into it on top of a white towel.

For a long time, I made them at home on the stovetop. But this felt like it took forever, and I can’t tell you how many batches I had to throw out because I either walked away from the stove for too long, or I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the time.

Now, with the magic of my handy Instant Pot, they come out the right way every time I make them.

I can’t tell you what a huge relief that is! No more fussing over the pot on the stove. Instead, I can just sit back and relax, or whip up the accompaniments that I need without having yet another item to worry about at the same time.

Next up, I’ll share some of my top tips, and then we’ll get into the easy cooking method. Here’s what’s ahead:

Make Sure You Buy the Right Type

If you buy instant or hominy instead of traditional stone ground cornmeal grits, the cook time will be much different.

As long as you have the right type on hand, you can use the simple method that we’ve described here to make them, with delicious results.

Seasoning Suggestions

For serving up this creamy recipe, I like to turn to a selection of simple and straightforward seasoning options.

Vertical image of a black bowl full of creamy cornmeal topped with seasoned shrimp on a white towel.

Here are some of my personal favorites for you and your family to try that will really make them stand out:

Make them nice and cheesy by stirring in 1/2 cup of your favorite type of shredded cheese. Use one that melts easily like cheddar, gouda, gruyere, or fontina.

If you want them to be even more decadent (and who wouldn’t?), use heavy cream or half and half in place of the milk. This adds extra richness to the mixture.

Check your spice rack, and change up the seasonings to go with whatever you’re cooking.

Vertical image of a white bowl full of creamy grits with a spoon in front of a kitchen appliance.

Serving them with shrimp? Add some Creole or Cajun seasoning.

Use them as a base for broiled or grilled fish with fresh herbs, or braised short ribs.

Serve with your favorite breakfast foods like eggs, toast, biscuits, and bacon.

Make them sweet for breakfast by skipping the garlic powder and black pepper. Instead, stir in maple syrup to taste before serving.

Or finally, stir in some chopped crispy bacon, shredded cheese, and your choice of seasonings to make them your own.

How to Cook Grits in the Electric Pressure Cooker

Cooking this versatile ingredient via this foolproof method guarantees creamy and smooth results every single time, without having to tend to a pot on the stovetop.

Step 1 – Measure Ingredients

Horizontal image of seasonings, milk, cornmeal, and water in glass bowls on a wooden surface.

To start, gather your ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup stone ground grits
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more to taste

Measure them out as listed.

Step 2 – Pressure Cook

Horizontal image of water and yellow granules in a pot.

Stir together the water, cornmeal, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in the insert of the electric pressure cooker.

Seal the lid. Set to Manual and cook on High pressure for 10 minutes.

Horizontal image of thick cornmeal in a pot.

Let the pressure naturally release completely. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3 – Finish and Serve

Open the lid and stir well, breaking up any clumps with the back of a spoon.

Horizontal image of a white bowl full of creamy cornmeal on a napkin on a wooden table.

Stir in the milk and butter until the butter is melted and everything is well-incorporated.

If they’re too thick, you can add more milk about one tablespoon at a time, until they reach your desired consistency.

Taste and season with more salt, pepper, and/or butter, as desired. Serve with your choice of mix-ins and toppings.

Are Grits and Polenta the Same Thing?

Any time you look at the packaging in the store, you might see some varieties labeled with the phrase “also known as polenta.”

Horizontal image of a black bowl full of grits topped with seasoned shrimp, on top of a white towel.

To give you a quick rundown, at the end of the day, grits and polenta are both made from stone ground cornmeal. The main difference is in the type of corn that’s used.

You can read more about the differences between the two in our article.

What time of day do you like to enjoy a big bowlful the most – breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Tell us in the comments below!

Wondering how to make the most of your electric pressure cooker? Here are some more ways to use this helpful countertop appliance:

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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