Here's how to keep grits from getting lumpy

Grits are a seemingly easy meal to cook. Seriously — who can mess up boiling water and mixing in some grits? If you raised your hand, though, you are not alone. Even the most seasoned home cook can struggle with this dish. 

Grits, while closely associated with the South, can trace their American roots to the Native Americans who would grind up grains and eat them. The grits we eat today are made from hominy or stone-ground corn (via The Spruce Eats). While most of us grew up eating them for breakfast, this food has made the jump from our breakfast nook to our dinner tables in the form of the ever-popular shrimp and grits and even on to dessert trays with the likes of grits pie and buttered grits cookies.

But getting this dish right can be a challenge. A bowl of grits — really good grits — should be creamy and free of lumps. We get that you can hide mistakes by piling on the butter and cheese, and while we aren't against butter or cheese, we've combed the internet to find the tips and tricks to get the creamiest, no-lump grits you can possibly imagine.

Patience, love, and endurance are key to lump-free grits

The first tip to no-lump grits is to remember that just like Rome wasn't built in a day, grits do not cook in just a few minutes. You must be patient and attentive when cooking this dish. Once you've brought your water to a boil and added your grits, whisk the two ingredients together, turn the heat to medium-low, and then whisk some more. 

In fact, just plan on whisking for a while. This dish is a true labor of love, and your arm is going to feel that love when you are finished cooking it. Continuous whisking, though, is the key to preventing those nasty lumps. Moreover, grits need to simmer. They can't be rushed. The hot water is going to allow the grits to slowly release all those starches that bring about the dish's delectable creaminess (via Kenya Rae). 

Bon Appetit explains, "Grits don't get mushy like grains, just creamier." Translation: Don't be afraid to cook them a little longer, but be prepared to whisk a little longer. It's also recommended that you use a 6 to 1 liquid to grits ratio when cooking this dish. And if you are feeling adventurous, you can also stir in cream near the end of the cooking process. This will make the dish even creamier.