Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The recipe asks for one 16 oz. package of precooked polenta, but I only have yellow corn grits (uncooked, from Bob's Red Mill - also labeled as polenta). How much do I cook for it to be equivalent?

share|improve this question
    
Is the recipe looking for the fairly firm kind, maybe to slice or crumble? –  Jefromi Jul 26 '13 at 20:50
    
Is this "precooked polenta" a meal... that is instant polenta that doesn't require long cooking; or is it a ready-to-eat product of some kind? –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 26 '13 at 21:03
    
@SAJ14SAJ I'm fairly certain it's ready-to-eat, the kind of thing you get with an image search for "precooked polenta" (I've seen it in plenty of stores): foodpractice.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/DSC_6256.jpg –  Jefromi Jul 26 '13 at 21:13
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Corn grits are not the best possible substitute for polenta:

  • Polenta is the Italian name for corn meal
  • Instant polenta is basically polenta that has been cooked, then dried and ground; it is precooked, and and pre-gelatinized, and so does not require long cooking
  • Precooked polenta is available, in a tube or tub, which is literally a prepared, cooked polenta.
  • Grits are a ground corn product, where the corn has been treated with lye (it is made from hominy)

A better substitute for uncooked polenta would be plain corn meal (1:1); for precooked polenta would be cornmeal that has been cooked into a thick porridge (1:1).

If you do substitute hominy type grits for plain polenta, your result will be somewhat different, but you can try 1:1, by volume or weight, either way.

Update: evidently some processors label their product "Grits" as well as "Traditional Italian Polenta". While I cannot endorese misusing the word grits, in this case, then, they are the same product so it isn't really a substitution, and 1:1 is the proper use.

share|improve this answer
    
There are plenty of grits available that aren't made from hominy. I think the OP's are one of them: bobsredmill.com/corn-grits_polenta.html (but I've seen this kind of labeling from even generic store brands). –  Jefromi Jul 26 '13 at 21:15
    
@SAJ14SAJ The corner of the label says "traditional italian polenta. The middle of the label says "Polenta. Corn Grits." And the back has a recipe for "Basic Italian Polenta." –  MarkE Jul 26 '13 at 21:15
    
@jefromi If that is the case... wow. It would consider it poor labelling since the hominy thing is essential to what grits are. –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 26 '13 at 21:16
1  
You would cook the grits (polenta), and substitute the cooked products 1:1. –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 26 '13 at 21:24
1  
@jefromi Cooked polenta can range from a thin gruel to a quite substantial slab that can be sliced and even fried; it isn't possible to really answer that, definitively. By volume, 3:1 (water to polenta) would be fairly thick; 4:1 is common. –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 26 '13 at 21:30
show 4 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.