Do Grits Go Bad? How Long Does Grits Last? (2023)

Grits are a thick and smooth porridge made from cornmeal meal popular in the American South. But do grits go bad?

Do Grits Go Bad? How Long Does Grits Last? (1)

Quick Answer

Grits go bad depending on how they’re made as microwave grits can last two to five years past the expiration date. Stone grits can last a year past the expiration date and grits that have been prepared can last two to five days. When grits go bad, they get moldy, have an off smell, and they won’t taste normal.


  • 1 Quick Answer
  • 2 Do Grits Go Bad? How Long Does Grits Last?
    • 2.1 How Long Does Grits Last Outside?
    • 2.2 How Long Do Grits Last in the Fridge?
    • 2.3 How Long Do Grits Last in the Freezer
  • 3 How To Tell If Grits Has Gone Bad
  • 4 How to Store Grits?
  • 5 Can You Freeze Grits? How?
  • 6 How to Thaw Grits?
  • 7 Frequently Asked Questions About Grits’s Shelf Life
  • 8 Wrap Up

But why do they go bad? What happens if you eat bad grits? Where is the best place to put grits? Answers to those questions and more shall be revealed below.

Do Grits Go Bad? How Long Does Grits Last?

Grits do go bad eventually and depending on the preparation, and how you store certain grits affect their shelf life as well.

How Long Does Grits Last Outside?

Microwave grits left outside won’t last very long due to temperature change. Since premade grits have milk in them, they’ll probably only last a few hours after being left out.

Stone-ground grits shouldn’t go bad as fast since they’re in a bag, but will still go bad within a month if it’s not refrigerated.

(Video) What Are Black Specks in Grits How To Store Grits Long Term Food Storage

As for already cooked grits, expect it to only last about 2 hours or left out in the open. Bacteria will build on the grits as it gets colder, making it ideal to refrigerate it.

When left outside of a proper storage area, grits can go bad faster than usual. There are multiple places in the kitchen to put them in to prevent grits from going bad as fast.

How Long Do Grits Last in the Fridge?

Microwave grits aren’t supposed to go in the refrigerator since they need to be somewhere dry and cool.

In the refrigerator, stone-ground grits should stay in good shape for about 3 months.

Prepared grits will last in the refrigerator for two to five days. It is, however, the best place to put them despite them solidifying when refrigerated.

So instant grits and prepared grits can be preserved in the refrigerator. It’s not the longest-lasting place for all grits but there is a better option.

How Long Do Grits Last in the Freezer

Instant grits are not recommended for freezing as they need to be away from all moisture. They should only be frozen in certain circumstances when they have to be.

Stone-ground grits, on the other hand, can be properly frozen lasting indefinitely when frozen.

Cooked grits aren’t recommended for freezing as a primary storage method, but if you do, only do it for a month to three at a time.

(Video) Cooking Grits | Wash Yo' Grits | Breakfast Time

The freezer isn’t the best option for microwaved or cooked grits, but it can make stone grits last as long as you need them to.

How To Tell If Grits Has Gone Bad

When grits go bad, there will be signs that you can pick up on by using your senses. Although grits can be eaten beyond their expiration date, there are three main signs that your grits are bad and need to be replaced.

Mold: Mold growing on the grits is a prime tell-tale sign that your grits need to be disposed of. Mold appears on food like grits that have gone bad when it has come into contact with too much moisture. Mold will also occur when the liquid has been taken from other ingredients of the grits and when it expires.

Smell: An off aroma is another sign of bad grits distinguishing itself from normal grits. This isn’t the case for all grits that go bad, since grits sometimes have a mild smell if any at all. This sign shouldn’t be ignored so if it smells bad then it is bad.

Taste: Sensing and off-taste might be harder to tell if the grits are mixed with other foods. If the grits by themselves do not have their mild taste as usual or they taste bad in general, then it has gone bad and belongs in the trash.

How to Store Grits?

When you aren’t using grits, they need to be put away somewhere safe where they won’t be exposed to anything that’ll make them go bad. As far as that goes, there’s a couple of options for storage.

Refrigerator: The refrigerator is the best option for storing cooked grits that will be saved as leftovers. The refrigerator should be put at below 40°F and in tight containers.

Pantry:As for instant grits or stone-ground grits, the pantry will provide an environment that is cool and dark enough to protect it from wetness or insect that could invade them.

Can You Freeze Grits? How?

If you need your grits to last as long as possible, then the freezer would be the best option for storage. It is important to note that instant grits shouldn’t be put in the freezer and the other grits have certain methods for freezing.

(Video) Southern Cheese Grits with Freshly Milled Corn | Old Fashioned Cheese Grits |

Container: To keep your grits safe from excessive amounts of moisture and to keep them contained. Make sure you close the container properly so it stays as cold as possible and doesn’t get everywhere.

Stone Ground Grits: Due to how perishable they are, stone-ground grits last the longest in the freezer out of all of the grits. Stone-ground grits can even last in the freezer for more than 6 months if taken care of.

Cooked Grits: Although it has been highly recommended to put prepared grits in the refrigerator, they can last in the freezer for a few weeks. One thing you must do is to let the cooked grits at room temperature before you freeze them.

How to Thaw Grits?

When they come out of the freezer, they will need to be reheated for consumption. There are three ways you can heat it to enjoy it.

Stovetop: On the top of your stove, grits can be unthawed and cooked in a matter of about 5 or so minutes.

Just stir accordingly and you can enjoy your unthawed grits in the best way possible.

Oven: It is not a popular method, but the oven can be used to reheat grits in a container.

Remember to add water or milk depending on how you like them and stir to enjoy them the proper way.

Microwave: If you want a quicker solution to unthawing your grits, then the microwave can just do the trick.

(Video) DO THIS ONE STEP! How to make Creamy Grits. Doing this will change the game. Creamy Breakfast Grits!

With a little water poured in and stirring, if it isn’t prepared in a minute then you can repeat the process until it isn’t lost anymore.

Frequently Asked Questions About Grits’s Shelf Life

How to Prevent Insects in Grits

Insects like weevils get inside of stone or sometimes instant grits when they go bad, left out, or sometimes, they were already there. One way you can prevent weevils in your grits by cleaning down the area with vinegar.

Making sure your grits are stored away properly is another way to prevent bugs in your grits. If there are already insects in your grits, then putting them in the freezer is the ideal way to kill them.

Why Do Instant Grits Last Longer Than Stone Grits

If you’ve noticed a trend, instant grits tend to last longer than cooked grits and stone-ground grits. Even outside of the freezer, they last one to four years longer than them making one wonder why.

For starters, instant grits have already been cooked and have been dehydrated for microwavable usage. With that and the fact that they are finely grounded, this would make instant grits last for years of possible use.

Wrap Up

Different types of grits need different kinds of treatment to keep them fresh longer. So long as you put them where they need to be and keep them sealed, then you should be able to enjoy an essential meal for months on end.


Can you eat grits past the expiration date? ›

Shelf life: When properly stored, instant grits will last 2-5 years past a “best by” date while stone ground grits will last up to 1 year past a “best by” date.

How can you tell if grits have gone bad? ›

Dry grits last for about a year, the smell will change as they begin to go bad. Do not eat it if it develops an odor or tastes different than usual. You can tell if prepared grits are going bad when the liquid has considerably separated from the other ingredients.

Do grains really expire? ›

The shelf life of a grain largely depends on the type you purchase and how you store it. Most grains will remain fresh for 6 months, with some having a shelf life of over a year when kept properly. While different grains have different requirements for storage, most grains are best kept in a cool, dry and dark place.

What are the little black specks in grits? ›

The black/dark specks you see in your grits are the particles of germ that are left in the product. The germ of the corn kernel is naturally darker in color and it is absolutely normal to see grey/black/dark flecks throughout your corn grits.

What do bugs look like in grits? ›

What Are Black Specks in Grits How To Store Grits Long Term Food ...

What are these bugs in my grits? ›

If you notice little brown bugs in your flour, cereal, grain or rice, those are called weevils. Weevils look like little grains of rice, but they're brown and they move. On their own.

Are grits good for you? ›

Grits are loaded with iron, which helps guard against the development of iron deficiency anemia, which is more common in older people. They also have a large amount of folate, the lack of which can produce vitamin deficiency anemia.

What is the only food that doesn't expire? ›

HoneyHoney is the only food that actually lasts forever and never spoils. We can thank nature for the whole process of making and procuring honey. It is made using the nectar of the flowers which mixes with the enzymes extracted by the bees.

How long can you use after expiration date? ›

You can eat food after the sell-by date. For example, dairy products are good for 1 week after the sell-by date. Eggs are safe for 3 to 5 weeks after the sell-by date.

Are grits good for long term storage? ›

The shelf life of grits is so long that you can even forget when you bought them. They can stay fresh for up to five years when kept under good conditions.
How Long Do Grits Last?
Instant grits2-5 yearsTwo years after the printed date
Stone-ground gritsUp to 1 yearOne year after printed dates

Do you have to wash grits? ›

Cooking Grits | Wash Yo' Grits | Breakfast Time - YouTube

What are grits made of? ›

Grits are made from ground corn, typically from less sweet, starchy varieties often referred to as dent corn. Grits can be made from either yellow or white corn and are often labeled accordingly.

What are the tiny black bugs in my flour? ›

What is a Weevil? A weevil is a small beetle that feeds on foods like flour, grain, rice, cereal, nuts, and beans. Unlike other pantry pests that strictly eat food, weevils lay eggs inside the food. These eggs then hatch, and the larvae eat the remainder of the food until they are fully grown.

What are the black specks in my cornbread? ›

The black specks are simply naturally dark pieces of the pericarp (skin) of the corn, where the tip of the kernel attaches to the cob. The color of the specks will vary by crop and year. They are the same as those commonly seen in hard taco shells, corn or tortilla chips, cornmeal, and natural whole corn products.

Do uncooked grits need to be refrigerated? ›

Proper Storage Of Grits

Storing grits is very similar to storing cornmeal or other dried ingredients. Grits should be stored at room temperature, in a cool, dry, and dark place. A pantry is ideal, as it will meet all of these conditions.

Why is there maggots in my rice? ›

While rice maggots are not actual maggots because they are not fly larvae, they look similar enough, so that we will call them maggots. They are most likely the larva of the Indianmeal moth, a common pest that lays its eggs on rice.

What happens if you eat food with fly eggs on it? ›

Intestinal myiasis occurs when fly eggs or larvae previously deposited in food are ingested and survive in the gastrointestinal tract. Some infested patients have been asymptomatic; others have had abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea (2,3). Many fly species are capable of producing intestinal myiasis.

Should I throw out flour with weevils? ›

First, you must toss any flour that still has the bugs crawling through it, according to Grove. After that, thoroughly clean your pantry. Then, it's on to prevention. Once the bugs are gone, you can take two simple steps to prevent their return to your flour or other bags of grain, such as rice.

Do grits raise your blood sugar? ›

Since grits are made from corn, they're high in carbs and can raise blood sugar.

Which is healthier grits or oatmeal? ›

Oatmeal is healthier than grits due to its higher percentage of protein, fiber, B vitamins and minerals.

Can diabetics eat grits? ›

Plain grits are low in sugar, making them ideal for dieters and people with diabetes. Their sugar content may increase, depending on the ingredients used, however. Yellow corn grits, for example, provide the following nutrients per serving (half a cup): 76 calories.

Can you store grits long term? ›

First is the pantry, which is where most people store grits. And this choice is perfect for instant grits. When it comes to stone-ground grits, and especially those that use the whole kernel, the freezer is the best choice for long term storage.

Why do my grits taste bitter? ›

Grits that have not been cooked correctly can taste bitter and unpleasant. Adding small amounts of water to the mix and constant stirring till you get the desired consistency is the key to preparing the perfect bowl of grits.

Can dogs eat grits? ›

The main ingredient in grits is corn, which is a dog-safe food. Dogs can typically consume small quantities of plain grits without risking their health—no more than a tablespoon per day for a medium-size dog.

Can you store uncooked grits in the fridge? ›

Keep the dried grits in an air-tight container free of any sort of moisture. Store this container in the driest section of your refrigerator, far from the crisper drawer if possible. In the best conditions, your dry grits can last for up to three years in the refrigerator.

What are these bugs in my grits? ›

If you notice little brown bugs in your flour, cereal, grain or rice, those are called weevils. Weevils look like little grains of rice, but they're brown and they move. On their own.

How long do Quaker grits last? ›

Grits have a relatively long shelf life and are similar to other dry foods. Grits can last for up to a year at room temperature. When frozen, they can last for up to 5 years. Grits should be stored in a cool, dark location, away from sources of heat or moisture.

Are grits good for you? ›

Grits are loaded with iron, which helps guard against the development of iron deficiency anemia, which is more common in older people. They also have a large amount of folate, the lack of which can produce vitamin deficiency anemia.

Do you wash grits before cooking? ›

Cooking Grits | Wash Yo' Grits | Breakfast Time - YouTube

What is the secret to good grits? ›

The key to cooking old-fashioned grits is going low and slow—use a low heat so the grits simmer and slowly release their starches, which creates a decadent, silky texture. Whisking constantly during the first couple of minutes, and frequently throughout the rest of the cooking process, will prevent lumps from forming.

Why do my grits turn watery? ›

Too much hot water can leave your grits runny. It's better to cook grits slowly over medium-low heat than to crank up your stovetop, since high heat doesn't allow grits to bond and thicken as well.

Can a dog eat a banana? ›

Yes, dogs can eat bananas. In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They're high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as a treat, not part of your dog's main diet.

Is cheese bad for a dog? ›

While cheese can be safe to feed to your dog, there are some things to remember. Cheese is high in fat, and feeding too much to your dog regularly can cause weight gain and lead to obesity. Even more problematic, it could lead to pancreatitis, a serious and potentially fatal illness in dogs.

Can a dog eat scrambled eggs? ›

Eggs should be cooked before given to a dog. Cook or boil eggs plain without oil, butter, salt, seasoning, spices, or other additives. It doesn't matter how your dog likes their eggs — sunny side up, scrambled, or hard boiled — as long as they are cooked.

Are grits better with milk or water? ›

No matter which variety, yellow or white, the beauty of grits is their versatility and ability to take on most flavors paired with them, although they are always best when cooked with milk instead of water. The flavor and consistency difference is truly amazing.

What are grits made of? ›

Grits are made from ground corn, typically from less sweet, starchy varieties often referred to as dent corn. Grits can be made from either yellow or white corn and are often labeled accordingly.

Can uncooked grits be frozen? ›

You can freeze both cooked grits and uncooked grits, making it a great ingredient to stock up on! Cooked grits will last for up to 2-3 months in the freezer, whilst uncooked grits can last years.


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