Southern Grits and World Peace


We love our grits. Creamy, hot, soothing, and delicious with cheese, bacon, or a simple stirring in of butter and sugar, Grits have been and continue to be the south’s ultimate comfort food.

Apparently many Southerners also see it as a dish which can actuallly bring out world peace! The Post and Courier, the oldest newspaper in the south, once declared “An inexpensive, simple, and thoroughly digestible food, grits should be made popular throughout the world. Given enough of it, the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight about. A man full of grits is a man of peace.”

I consider myself fortunate to be able to get real stone ground grits where I live.
These are ground at Fall’s Mill in Tennessee (Pictured at right). Its a lovely place to visit! I love taking the kids there to watch the water wheel and see the grinding taking place. There are also beautiful picnic areas if you are ever near Belvidere, Tennessee!


Measure desired amount of grits into bowl.
Add some water and stir.
This causes the light bran to float to the top.
Once that happens, pour off the water, allowing the bran to go with it.
Note: sometimes I skip this step. I’m a rebel that way!
Place grits in saucepot.
Add water.
The secret to ultimately creamy grits is to add more water than your directions call for and don’t try to cook them too fast.
For these, my directions called for 2 cups water but I added 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 of a cup.
Add salt
And butter or margarine
Bring to a boil and then lower heat.
Simmer on low heat, covered, until grits are done, about twenty five to thirty minutes.
Serve however you like them best! Some folks like to stir in cheese, others crumble up bacon in them. I like mine with butter and splenda!
Southern Grits
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 cup Grits
  • 2½ Cups water
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
  1. If using stone ground grits, place them in a bowl and cover with water, stir.
  2. Pour off water and light bran which has floated to the top.
  3. Place grits in sauce pot. Add water, salt, and margarine.
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
  5. Cook, covered, for twenty to thirty minutes or until done.


Thank you for reading Southern Plate!


Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Christy's email list and receive all her new posts directly in your inbox


  1. Kira says

    Hi Christy! Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes! I LOVE your site, bought your cookbook, and look forward to trying more of your recipes! I am actually in Charleston, and get the Post and Courier newspaper. Thanks for mentioning it!!!

  2. Southern Plate says

    Hey Kira! Thank you so much!!! How cool that I happened upon that quote from your paper!!! You are so sweet, I appreciate you reading and commenting!!!!

    Kimberly I’m sorry :(. I can’t get them easily. There are very few places around here that sell Falls Mill’s grits but I am always sure to pick some up when I happen upon them or get someone to grab me some if they are going that way!!


  3. Crys says

    My girls and I love grits, but like most things before I stumbled upon your blog, I really didn’t know how to cook them the right way. Mine have never turned out tasting much better than paste. I love your posts. I had never been much of a cook before, but now that my family actually enjoys my food (thanks a great deal to your site) I actually like cooking.

  4. Merrie says

    Grits are the ultimate comfort food! It is hard to find good grits outside the south. It is hard to find them to be able to cook them. Thank you for making sure that people know how to cook them!

  5. kingsqueen says

    I have to admit that I’ve only ever made instant grits. My husband loves them, and so does my 2 year old. I like them with some butter and sugar, but I never even tried them until about a year or two ago!

  6. dragonsue says

    Hi Christy,
    I live in the UK, and I just love your recipes, I’ve tried three since I found you four days ago!
    I’d never had Grits until I visited Florida a few years back. To be honest, we ordered them in a restaurant, and they were awful, hard, lumpy and tasted like raw potato! I’m sure they aren’t supposed to taste like that! Just wish I could get the grits here in the UK to try and make them properly myself!
    Thanks for all your obvious hard work!

  7. Su says

    Christy, do you have to constantly stir your grits to prevent it from lumping or sticking to the pan? I always eat polenta, which is similar to grits, it’s cornmeal, and I can’t make it without stirring constantly until it’s cooked.
    Do your grits clump up if you leave it standing too long, because polenta does that so you really have to cook and eat straightaway if you want it to retain the creamy texture.

  8. Southern Plate says

    Wow, whoda thunk it? Folks love grits about as much as I do! For those of you who haven’t tried them before, they don’t taste anything like corn, despite the fact that they are a corn product. Its really very much like cream of wheat or the like, only better! ~grins~

    Bill LOL I hope you’ve had them with butter and sugar by now!

    Myella Yes, but I bet y’all have some AMAZING things in Australia that we don’t have here! I just love learning about other food cultures!

    Crys Oh you are so very sweet, oh my thank you so much!!! I don’t even know what to say to your kind comments…thank you!! If you ever have any questions or special requests you just give me a holler!

    Merrie Amen!! You know, even in north Alabama it is very difficult to find anything other than instant. Just not the same!

    Diane Ain’t that the truth!!

    Kingsqueen You always have the prettiest profile pic! If you like instant grits, see if you can’t keep your eye open for some old fashioned ones, they’ll knock your socks off!

    Snozzberries Hehe Don’t be scared! If you can eat oatmeal and like it, grits are even better! Honest! Just remember, slow and low, slow and low, that’s how you cook ‘em!

    Stephanie Oh thank you! That’s actually a fire king bowl, one from my fire king collection! I really love that bowl!

    Laura We’ll have to get together for a grits morning soon! I wish they served grits at Starbucks…

    Rachel You sound like you are living right!!!

    Dragonsue You just need to head over to Alabama in the future and let me cook them for ya! They are creamy and smooth, nothing at all like a raw potato in flavor. I bet you had instant, you poor thing! They are just nothing like real stone ground grits. You are so very kind! Thank you so much! It amazes me that I have folks from halfway around the world who read this!! WOW! I am hoping to make it to your neck of the woods one of these days!

    Sue What I do is get it just to a boil and then turn the heat down as low as it will go, on my stovetop that is a “1”. Then I cover it and let them cook very slowly until the water is absorbed. They always come out smooth and creamy that way. After they get to room temperature, though, they start to lump up, but you’ve got plenty of time to eat them before that happens! You have to go ahead and eat it, though, just like you said you do with Polenta. Have you tried making polenta with a little extra liquid? Just curious.
    It works like a charm on grits, I wonder if it would do the same for polenta since they are so very similar.
    Thank you so much for trying recipes and commenting!
    I hope y’all have a wonderful week this week! I’ll be back tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel!
    I’m a little behind today on emailing out my printer friendly recipes from last week so y’all will get those tomorrow after I get back from taking my daughter to preschool.

    I love y’all!

  9. Su says

    Thanks for the tip Christy. Yep I do put in extra liquid, much more than you are recommended to use. If I followed the directions as to how much liquid to use, I think it would end up hard as a brick! haha
    I actually just went and bought some more polenta today after leaving work, so next time I eat it I’ll see if I can leave it to simmer.

  10. wannaquilt1 says

    I hope this wasn’t posted twice – but my aunt and uncle lived in Montgomery and then Selma Alabama. When my aunt died, I was given all of her grange cookbooks and your website reminds me of her. They’re the best!!
    Beth in PA

  11. kathleen says

    Grits are my daughter’s favorite – and tho we’re in Mid-TN, I did not know about Falls Mill – we’ll be making a field trip soon!
    Quaker sells a slow-cook (non-instant?)grits that’s good – I can get them in Kroger/Publix/WalMart in Murfreesboro, TN. Just ask at the customer service at your store. Sometimes they don’t carry an item because they don’t realize there’s a want for it.

  12. lindabelle says

    I like my grits with butter and sugar and for breakfast. I remember when I was growing up I spent a summer in Florida with friends and after spending a day fishing they came home to make dinner from their catch. Totally unbeknown to me a ‘famous’ meal in Florida is fish and grits. Grits just don’t seem like it was made to accompany grits for dinner.

  13. Anonymous says

    I never had grits until I moved to Texas and started working at Denny’s Restaurant. Now I love grits and am happy to have recipe for it. I love putting many different things on top. Thanks so much!!

    Rosemary Mahoney

  14. Gene from FL says

    As a ole southerner from LA (Lower Alabama) grits were served just about every morning for breakfast, usually with some form of eggs,meat & homemade biscuits! We would NEVER think about adding sugar to grits! just butter or cheese. Also, to most southerners, having cheese grits with your fish is a “must-have”. All small/local restaurants serve cheese grits as a side for fried fish. Have had to always stir my grits while they were cooking to avoid lumping..nothing worse than to bite into a lump of grits…yuck! One of the best comfort foods of the South!

  15. Cindy says


    Wisdom from South of the Mason-Dixon Line

    What Are Grits?
    Nobody knows. Some folks believe grits are grown on bushes and are harvested by midgets by shaking the bushes after spreading sheets around them. Many people feel that grits are made from ground up bits of white corn.

    These are obviously lies spread by Communists and terrorists. Nothing as good as Grits can be made from corn. The most recent research suggests that the mysterious Manna that God rained down upon the Israelites during their time in the Sinai Desert was most likely Grits. Critics disagree, stating that there is no record of biscuits, butter, salt, and red eye gravy raining down from the sky, and that God would not punish his people by forcing them to eat Grits without these key ingredients.

    How Grits are Formed.
    Grits are formed deep underground under intense heat and pressure. It takes over 1,000 years to form a single Grit. Most of the world’s grit mines are in Mississippi and Alabama, and are guarded day and night by armed guards and pit bull dogs. Harvesting the Grit is a dangerous occupation, and many Grit miners lose their lives each year so that Grits can continue to be served morning after morning for breakfast (not that having Grits for lunch and dinner is out of the question).

    Yankees have attempted to create synthetic Grits. They call it Cream of Wheat. As far as we can tell, the key ingredients of Cream of Wheat are Elmer’s Glue and shredded Styrofoam. These synthetic grits have also been shown to cause nausea, and may leave you unable to have children.

    Historical Grits
    As we mentioned earlier, the first known mention of Grits was by the Ancient Israelites in the Sinai Desert. After that, Grits were not heard from for another 1,000 years. Experts feel that Grits were used during this time only during secret religious ceremonies and were kept from the public due to their rarity.

    The next mention of Grits was found amidst the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii in a woman’s personal diary. The woman’s name was Herculaneum Jemimaneus (Aunt Jemima to her friends).

    The 10 Commandments of Grits
    I. Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits.
    II. Thou shalt not eat thy Grits with a spoon or knife.
    III. Thou shalt not eat Cream of Wheat and call it Grits, for this is blasphemy.
    IV. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s Grits.
    V. Thou shalt use only salt, butter, and red-eye gravy as toppings for thy Grits.
    VI. Thou shalt not eat Instant Grits.
    VII. Thou shalt not put ketchup on thy Grits.
    VIII. Thou shalt not put margarine on thy Grits.
    IX. Thou shalt not eat toast with thy Grits, only biscuits made from scratch.
    X. Thou shalt eat grits on the Sabbath for this is manna from heaven.

    How to Eat Grits
    Immediately after removing your grits from the stove top, add a generous portion of butter or red eye gravy. (WARNING: Do NOT use low-fat butter.) The butter should cause the Grits to turn a wondrous shade of yellow. (Hold a banana or a yellow rain slicker next to your Grits; if the colors match, you have the correct amount of butter.)

    In lieu of butter, pour a generous helping of red eye gravy on your grits. Be sure to pour enough to have some left for sopping up with your biscuits. Never, ever substitute canned or store bought biscuits for the real thing because they cause cancer, rotten teeth and impotence.

    Next, add salt. (NOTICE: The correct ration of Grit to Salt is 10:1. Therefore, for every 10 grits, you should have 1 grain of salt.)

    Now, begin eating your grits. Always use a fork, never a spoon, to eat Grits. Your grits should be thick enough so they do not run through the tines of the fork.

    The correct beverage to serve with Grits is black coffee. DO NOT use cream or, heaven forbid, Skim Milk.) Your grits should never be eaten in a bowl because Yankees will think it’s Cream of Wheat.

    May the lord bless these grits,
    May no Yankee ever get the recipe,
    May I eat grits every day while living,
    And may I die while eating grits.

    • Iris says

      I’m in tears this is so funny. I’m a 6th generation Florida cracker and a true southern belle, a real steel magnolia. Bless you for making my late night reading such a deep hearted pleasure. I just hear music reading such a well written declaration. And grits will simply HAVE to be a part of my day tomorrow. Bless you , again, for the pleasure.

  16. Patrick says

    I worked with a older lady from northern Alabama many many years ago. She taught me to add an egg into the grits a few minutes before they are done. I add the egg and scramble it up with a wire whisk. The grits turn out oh so creamy that way. I have no idea why, but they do!

  17. Ellen says

    I have to agree – the ONLY way to serve grits is with lots of butter and plenty of black pepper!! My brother and his family live in Nicaragua and cannot get grits there, so anyone who comes down to visit automatically brings grits! BTW, I also have a fire king leaf shaped bowl. My mama had it as long as I can remember and it was passed down from her to me and will some day be passed down to my daughter.

  18. Peggy says

    I discovered GRITS in Rhode Island. (Who knew) I had heard of them, but never tried them.The waiter was from the South & he told me to have eggs with.them. I loved them… I am from Vermont. Later we took a vacation in Tennessee& the Carolinas. I had them almost everyday. I cook them myself now. I love to make a big pot , put them in a loaf pan to get cold. Slice them &fry them in a little bacon grease.. So good!!!!!!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *