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The Secret To Perfectly Cooked Grits Lies In Your Trusted Rice Cooker

rice cooker and spoon
rice cooker and spoon - New Africa/Shutterstock

Grits are an American Southern tradition that have been consumed over breakfast and dinner tables alike for generations. But, the secret to perfectly cooking them may have its origins in Asia, instead.

Rice cookers have become an increasingly popular method for preparing grits for a variety of reasons. For one, they're about as hands-off as cooking can get, gently cooking the grits without chefs needing to worry about constantly stirring or accidentally burning them. They also produce a consistent texture time after time and are perfect for preparing large batches for group dining or meal prep.

The trick is as simple as adding your grits, water, milk, or broth with any other flavorings like butter or cheese to the rice cooker's pot and turning it on. If your model has multiple cooking modes, set it for the standard, white rice setting. The time will vary depending on the brand of rice cooker, though most take somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes. Resist the temptation to open it and stir, as that can release critical moisture, cause the internal temperature to drop, and increase your cooking time.

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Slow And Steady Wins The Grits Race

bowl of buttered grits with biscuit
bowl of buttered grits with biscuit - Lynne Mitchell/Getty Images

As delicious as the finished product may look, make sure to observe the grits rule you should never break, which is allowing them a few minutes to "set up" or thicken as they cool. However, removing any leftovers from the rice cooker when everyone's been served is generally suggested, as the residual heat in the cooker can make the grits overly dry and clumpy.

Like any cooking technique, there can be some drawbacks to using the rice cooker method. Using the stovetop can often be faster, sometimes significantly. Rice cookers also don't allow much control over the texture of your grits, putting you at risk of ending up with grits that are too soupy or too chunky. Some trial and error will be required for newbies to find the proper proportion of grits to liquid.

Whether you enjoy your grits plain or love loading them up with butter, cheese, herbs, or even proteins like shrimp or bacon, there's no doubt a simple rice cooker can transform the way you prepare this comfort food staple.

Read the original article on Mashed.