Whether you are trying to keep kitchen pests at bay or create an easy dish to make ahead of time, freezing grits is a practical solution. Freeze dry, uncooked grits to prevent weevils from hatching during long-term storage, and freeze side dishes and entrees for a quick meal in a rush.
Freezing Uncooked Grits
Freeze uncooked grits that will not be eaten within three months from the time of purchase. Weevils, which are insects present in egg form in most dry grains, can be killed easily through extended freezer storage. If you purchase grits in bulk or eat a box slowly, freeze the dry grits in an airtight container for up to 30 days to prevent the eggs from hatching. Once frozen, the grits can be stored in air-tight packaging in a cool pantry for up to one year from the original time of purchase.
Using Frozen Grits
Grits that have been frozen will not clump if stored properly in a moisture-tight container. Always ensure that you store dry frozen goods in containers with a moisture barrier to prevent damage. When removing the container from the freezer, allow grits to come to room temperature before opening it so that the moisture produced from the container sweating is not introduced into the grits. Previously frozen grits may be used in recipes just like those that haven't been frozen.
Freezing Cooked Grits
Many cooked grits dishes can be frozen for a filling side or main dish. Cheesy grits and other savory combinations such as shrimp and cheese grits freeze particularly well. Spray a cooking pan with non-stick cooking spray, spread the cooked grits into the pan, and top with cheese. Cover the dish with foil and allow to cool before labeling and freezing. Store cooked grits dishes for up to 1 month for the best quality.
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Frozen Cooked Grits Tips
Thaw a cooked grits dish overnight in the refrigerator the day before you plan on eating it. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the grits, covered, until heated through to at least 165 F. For individual portions, freeze the grits in a muffin tin or other similar pan, remove the frozen grits once solid and individually wrap and label the portions. Return to freezer, storing each individually wrapped portion in a large freezer-safe zippered bag to prevent freezer burn.