Do Grits Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

Do Grits Go Bad How Long Does It Last
Image: Lucky Belly

Do you love your grits instant or stone-ground? Either way, grits is a fantastic meal. Grits are made of boiled corn. The meal is popular among many people because it is effortless to make. However, stone-ground grits can take some time because they contain whole grains and nutrients.

Do Grits Go Bad?

Do Grits Go Bad
Image: Lucky Belly

If you have a significant amount of grits in your kitchen, you’re probably wondering whether they expire, right? We’ve got your back. Through this article we will highlight everything you need to know about grits. So, do grits go bad? The answer to this question is yes; grits do expire just like any other corn-made food.

However, the shelf life of grits is quite long. Uncooked grits can last up to five years in the pantry under typical conditions. The shelf life, however, depends on the storage methods you use. Additionally, the variety of the grits also determines how long they last. For instance, instant grits last longer than the stone-ground.

How Long Do Grits Last?

How Long Do Grits Last
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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. However, how long your grits will last mainly depends on how well you store them. Also, the variety of your grits is a consideration in their shelf life.

Stone-ground grits expire quickly compared to instant grits, which can last for ages while still fresh. However, the nutrient value of stone-ground grits is higher and better when compared to that of instant grits. Instant grits last between 2-5 years when kept in the pantry, while stone-ground grits stay fresh up to one year under similar conditions.

Cooked grits, just like any other cooked foods, must be refrigerated because they go bad quite fast. However, they can last up to a maximum of one week in the fridge. But, we doubt whether you would want to keep cooked meals in the fridge for that long. Always be keen on the best before date labeled on the grits package because it is within this period that you get the best service.

Pantry

Fridge

Instant grits

2-5 years Two years after the printed date
Stone-ground grits Up to 1 year

One year after printed dates

3 Tips to Tell if Grits Have Gone Bad

3 Tips to Tell if Grits Have Gone Bad
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When you practice the best storage procedures for your grits, you will, without a doubt, get the best value for the longest time possible. However, if you lax and expose your grits to poor storage, they will definitely go bad within a short period.

You would not love that to happen, right? Why not then be keen on your storage trends and extend the period that your grits stay fresh? All in all, it would be easy to identify grits that have gone bad. We will provide some simple tips here that will help you determine if your grits have expired.

Mold formation

Whenever you notice mold growing on your grits, you should get rid of them with an immediate effect. Molds growing on any foodstuff in the pantry or the fridge indicate spoilage.

Though some molds are harmless, others produce toxins that are harmful to your health. Always be keen to avoid grits that have mold on them. The molds are caused by water and moisture coming into contact with the grits.

Change in odor

When grits stay in the pantry for a long time, the fresh and sweet aroma begins to change into an awful smell. We bet you would not want to prepare a sauce in your kitchen with ingredients that smell awful. When you detect a strange smell from your fridge or pantry, it could indicate that it is high time you got rid of the grits.

Taste and color change

Have you ever prepared your grit but then note a strange appearance or taste that is different from your usual? Did you still eat the grits? Taste and color change denotes spoilage. The changes could result from storing the grits for too long or exposing them to unpleasant conditions. Either way, you should get rid of such grits as soon as possible.

5 Tips to Store Grits

We had earlier mentioned that how you store your grits is quite an essential factor that determines how long they will stay fresh. If you keep the grits well, you will definitely get the best of service.

However, exposing the grits to severe conditions like water and moisture lowers their shelf life, and you may end up getting disappointed. We will highlight here some tips that you need to observe when storing your grits to maximize their shelf life and quality;

  • When storing your grits in the pantry, always ensure that you keep them in a cool, dark, and dry place. The place should be away from moisture and water sources that are likely to attract mold formation on the grits. Further, the pantry should be clean and free from insects that might cause damage to the grits packages exposing them to oxidation.
  • It would help if you stored your grits in a temperature-regulated room where temperature changes do not happen very frequently. Such a place would be in a pantry or kitchen shelf that is away from heat sources.

Consequently, excessive heat is likely to hasten the grits’ spoilage process, which you would not love to happen. When temperature changes from cool to warm, the moisture from the air lessens in the stored packages. The moisture lessening allows mold formation on the grits leading to their spoilage.

  • It would be best if you also were keen on how you store your grits in the pantry. Always ensure that the grits are kept in an airtight container that does not allow air to come into contact with the grits. Alternatively, if you don’t have an airtight container, you can use a resealable bag to lock away the grits’ moisture.
  • You can also freeze the grits, especially the stone-ground ones, because they do not last long. Freezing grits helps them maintain their nutritional flavor and profile for an extended period. However, if you don’t have a freezer, you can store them in the pantry and focus on using them before their printed best before dates.
  • Never keep cooked grits in the pantry, as they will not last long. Cooked grits should be preserved in a refrigerator. Keep the leftovers at room temperature to cool, then place them in an airtight container before placing them in the fridge. Always remember to keep the temperature below 40 degrees and clean the container thoroughly to avoid cross-contamination.

The Risk of Consuming Expired Grits

The Risk of Consuming Expired Grits
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Grits are among the most durable foods in history. They can last up to 5 years in the pantry and still be in their best state. There are no risks associated with consuming grits that have passed their best before date. Like any other food made in the factory, grits will have a best before label on the package.

However, the best before date does not mean that the grits have expired. Provided the package is stored well in a dark and dry area, it will definitely be in a good state. You can safely consume the grits even years after the printed dates as long as they are in excellent form.

Nevertheless, the grits might not be safe for consumption when they have been in the pantry for long and have visible changes. For instance, mold development on the grits is quite dangerous and could lead to food poisoning.

Though some molds are useful in some foods, others are pretty dangerous and could cause stomach altercations. Also, cooked grits that have been stored in the fridge for a long time could have suffered cross-contamination and could lead to complications. While it may not be very dangerous to consume expired grits, the risks involved are not worth trying. We always advise you to get rid of grits whenever you notice signs of spoilage.

Can You Freeze Grits?

Yes, you can conveniently freeze grits to extend their shelf life. However, it is not very essential because grits last quite a long time on their own. You can freeze either cooked or raw grits. Either way, the steps are just simple and straightforward. Cooked grits expire after a concise term, hence the need to freeze them. We will highlight the simple steps you need to follow when freezing your grits below;

  • When freezing cooked grits, always give them time to cool under room temperature. Also, you can increase the cooling speed by increasing the surface area of the food in the container if you are in a hurry. However, please don’t leave the cooked grits for too long under room temperature because they will start expiring.
  • Once cooled, put the leftovers in an airtight container and spray the bottom with a non-stick spray for ease of removing the container when frozen.
  • When you have sprayed the container and sealed it, top it with cheese and cover the dish with a foil before placing it in the freezer.

Summary

Grits are a great breakfast meal for many people. They are loved for their quick preparation that makes it a convenient quick meal. Most people love stocking them in bulk, thus the obvious question of whether the grits expire or not. Under good storage conditions, grits should last for quite some time.

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