Pressure Cooker Grits

UPDATE: I have posted a totally revamped Pressure Cooker grits recipe right here.


Yeah, I know that’s what some people in certain parts of the country might accuse me of being for saying that I have been looking for a fast way to make grits.

When I first got my pressure cooker, one thing I was really excited about was the thought of making grits without standing over a sputtering cauldron of cornmeal and stirring for two hours. Sure, grits are great but who has that kind of time these days?
I don’t even know how I acquired my fondness for grits. I did grow up in the Detroit suburbs in Michigan, where there was a strong southern cooking influence, but with a less radical view of cooking grits.

Others might say, if you want to make grits faster use the quick or instant grits. There is one main reason I don’t use those, they suck.

Nothing can match the creaminess and texture of authentic stone ground grits.
I use Anson Mills grits, which I believe are the best, or at least the best available to me. The directions say to cook for one to two hours. My mission if I choose to accept it: cut this time to 30 minutes or less.

My first attempt at pressure cooker grits resulted in tasty grits, but a good deal of them were stuck to the bottom of the pot, making cleaning the cooker a herculean task (thanks, Sweetie). Subsequently, I have been cooking in a stainless steel bowl or a non-perforated steamer insert. This eliminates the sticking problem entirely, leaving every tasty grit for eating.

As an aside, there don’t seem to be such inserts made specifically for Kuhn Rikon, so I ordered one made for Fissler pressure cookers. Going by the measurements on the website for The Fissler Store, it seemed there may be a chance that the insert would be too large, but upon arrival I immediately carried it to my cooker and lowered it in, relieved to find that it fit perfectly.

So, my recipe for pressure cooker grits is one cup of Anson Mills grits and two and a half cups water and a tablespoon or two of butter. (Yes, I use water. I know, this is my second strike, but trust me, they come out perfectly creamy without milk and coming up, you will see that by no means do I skimp on the fat).
Bring the pressure up to 15 psi (high pressure), turn down the heat to maintain pressure for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the pressure come down naturally. Open the lid and pour into a bowl. If you use a one-handled insert as I do, be sure to steady the pan with one hand (protected with pot holder or mitt of course) while lifting with the other. I won’t go into why I thought to include this tip.

This is where the fat comes in – stir in a cup or so of shredded cheese (I like to use sharp cheddar, but use whatever you like. One time I didn’t have much cheese on hand so I stirred in a little heavy cream, which was also tasty.

I like to serve on a plate topped with sauteed kale (I have used other greens as well) a couple slices of bacon criss-crossed on top, and on the tippy-top an over-easy egg. I make this for dinner, but for those who find it unacceptable to have bacon and eggs for dinner, I am sure it would be great for breakfast or brunch as well.