Do Grits Go Bad? The Answer That May Surprise You – Storage, Shelf Life and Signs Of Spoilage

Do Grits Go Bad?: Grits are a popular oatmeal-type meal in the United States Southern Region. They’re created from dried, crushed corn (Maize) that’s been boiled in various liquids, such as water, milk, or broth until the mixture reaches a thick, creamy, porridge-like consistency.

In this article, we have provided you with everything about grits like their shelf life, signs that tell if grits have gone bad, and storage practices for your knowledge. Without any further delay continue to read the further sections.

Do Grits Go Bad

Types of Grits

Do you prefer instant or stone-ground grits? Grits are a wholesome dinner in any case. Grits are formed from boiling corn. Many people enjoy this food because it is simple to prepare. Stone-ground grits, on the other hand, can take some time because they contain entire grains and nutrients. Below are some of the different types of grits that people commonly consume.

  • Stone-ground: These are prepared by roughly grinding entire, dried maize kernels in a mill. This variety is more difficult to acquire in supermarkets because it has a short shelf life and takes 30-60 minutes to cook on the stove.
  • Hominy: These are created from corn kernels that have been steeped in an alkali solution in order to soften the stiff pericarp (outer shell or hull). The pericarp is rinsed and removed before the maize kernels are further processed to make hominy.
  • Quick and Consistent: These types are processed to extend their shelf life by removing the pericarp and germ (nutrient-rich embryo). Regular variants are medium ground, whilst rapid versions are fine ground.
  • Instant: Both have been used in this precooked, dehydrated form.

How Long Do Grits Last?

Grits have such a long shelf life that you might forget when you bought them. When stored properly, they can remain fresh for up to five years. However, how long your grits will last is primarily determined by how properly they are stored. The variety of your grits is also a factor in their shelf life.

Type of Grits Kitchen Freezer
Stone Ground Grits 1 Year Very long time (indefinite)
Instant Grits 2-5 Years
Cooked 5-7 Days In (Refrigerator)

How long do grits last

Instant Grits vs Cooked Grits

When compared to instant grits, which can last for aeons while still fresh, stone-ground grits expire quickly. When compared to quick grits, the nutritious value of stone-ground grits is higher and superior. When stored in the pantry, instant grits can keep between 2 and 5 years, whereas stone-ground grits can survive up to a year.

Cooked grits, like all cooked foods, must be refrigerated since they spoil quickly. They can, however, be stored in the fridge for up to one week. However, we doubt you’d want to keep cooked meals in the fridge for that long. Always pay attention to the best before date printed on the grits container because it is at this time that you will receive the best service.

Do Grits Go Bad After The Expiration Date?

Grits are one of the most resilient foods in human history. They can be stored in the pantry for up to 5 years and still be in good condition. There are no dangers in eating grits that have passed their best before date. Grits, like any other factory-made product, will have a best-before date printed on the package.

The best-before date, however, does not indicate that the grits have expired. If the package is properly maintained in a dark and dry location, it will be in good condition. As long as the grits are in good condition, you can eat them even years after the indicated dates.

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Signs That Grits Have Gone Bad

When you follow the best grit storage practices, you will undoubtedly get the best value for the longest period feasible. However, if you are careless and store your grits improperly, they can deteriorate quickly. Grits that have gone bad would be simple to spot. Here are some basic guidelines to help you identify if your grits have expired.

1. Mold Development: If you detect mold forming on your grits, you should remove it as soon as possible. Mold forming on any item in the pantry or refrigerator indicates deterioration. While some molds are not dangerous to your health, some create toxins that are. Avoid grits that have mold on them at all costs. Molds are formed when water and moisture come into contact with grits.

2. Odour Modification: When grits sit in the pantry for an extended period of time, the fresh and delicious perfume transforms into an unpleasant odor. We’re sure you wouldn’t want to make a sauce in your home with items that smelled bad. If you notice a weird odor coming from your fridge or pantry, it may be time to get rid of the grits.

3. Changes in Taste and Color: The alterations could be caused by storing the grits for an extended period of time or exposing them to unfavorable environments. In any case, you should get rid of these grits as quickly as feasible.

Tips To Store Grits

Below are some of the tips that can help you to store grits in a proper manner.

  • After opening the grits package, it should be firmly sealed after each usage. If the original packing cannot be resealed, transfer it to a sealable plastic bag or an airtight container. This will protect it from moisture and bugs. If keeping in a plastic bag, press out any excess air before sealing.
  • Moisture in the air tends to condense inside packages when temperatures change from cool to warm and vice versa.
  • Remember that the cabinets close to and above burners and ovens will grow hot and may generate condensation. Therefore choose a place that is moisture free.
  • Instant grits should be stored in a cold, dark, and dry location that is not subject to temperature changes. Mold can grow in this wetness, and your grits may spoil.
  • If you anticipate you may need cooked grits to keep longer than a week, it is preferable to freeze them

How Long Do Dry Grits Last in the Refrigerator?

If you have opened your package of uncooked grits and are unable to reseal it, refrigerating them is totally okay, but unnecessary. After using, store prepared grits in the refrigerator at or below 40°F. Grits should be stored in airtight containers to keep moisture and other pollutants out. Furthermore, in order to avoid cross-contamination, always use clean utensils while serving grits.

Because dried grits can be stored in the pantry for up to a year or longer, refrigerating them will not significantly prolong their shelf-life. The controlled temperatures and humidity of a refrigerator, on the other hand, can be good for providing a more stable storage environment for your grits.

If you want to store your grits in the refrigerator, it is critical to keep them as dry as possible, because if these dried maize bits absorb enough water, bacteria and fungi will begin to grow and spoil them prematurely. To explore more about various types of articles similar to this you can visit our Grains Page and clarify all your concerns in terms of spoilage signs, shelf life, and more.

Do Grits Go Bad

Can Grits Be Stored In The Freezer?

As dry grits do not require any special storage conditions other than being kept away from moisture and insects, freezing them is both unnecessary and inadvisable, as the freezer environment may cause moisture to condense in the grit’s container once they begin to thaw.

Cooked grits, on the other hand, are an ideal option for freezing because they are almost a slurry that will withstand the effects of freezing rather well. Because stone ground grits are perishable, they should be kept in the freezer.

Ingredients that Decrease the Shelf Life of Grits

The overall shelf-life of a meal having more than one component, as is the case with most kept foodstuffs, is just that of the quickest expiring ingredient. This is frequently owing to the expired item releasing enzymes or bacteria into the other ingredients nearby, thus “infecting” them.

Poultry products, dairy products, and fresh fruit all have a substantially shorter shelf-life than cooked grits and will significantly reduce the total shelf-life of the grits. To avoid this decrease in shelf life, store the various grit toppings separately from each other and just combine them when ready to consume.

FAQs on Can Grits Go Bad

1. How can you tell if grits have gone bad?

When the liquid has separated significantly from the other ingredients, you can tell if the prepared grits are going bad. Because of the moisture, it will quickly mold and become dangerous to consume once prepared.

2. Can you use expired grits?

If the package is properly maintained in a dark and dry location, it will be in good condition. You can safely consume the grits even years after the printed dates if they are in good condition and do not show any of the indicators of ruined grits outlined in the preceding article.

3. What are the black specks in grits?

The black/dark specks in your grits are germ particles that have been left in the product. The germ of the corn kernel is naturally deeper in color, therefore grey/black/dark flecks in your corn grits are very normal.


Grits, like other dry foods, have a relatively long shelf life. They can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. They can be frozen for up to 5 years. Further, Grits should be stored in a cold, dark place away from heat and moisture. They lose quality with time and might become rancid. Before using, inspect for signs of deterioration. Stay tuned to our site to get instant updates on Can Granola Go Bad and Is It Ok To Eat Expired Cereal and a lot more.

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