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?

  • Is the recipe looking for the fairly firm kind, maybe to slice or crumble? – Cascabel 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 – Cascabel Jul 26 '13 at 21:13

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.

  • 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). – Cascabel 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
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    You would cook the grits (polenta), and substitute the cooked products 1:1. – SAJ14SAJ Jul 26 '13 at 21:24
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    @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

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