How Long Do Grits Last?

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You have a pack of grits in your pantry and want to know how long it will last or whether it is safe for consumption. If you want to know about this, you are at the right place.

Instant grits

So how long do Grits last? Here is a short and crisp answer. 

At room temperature, instant grits last 2-5 years, stone ground grits for one year, and cooked grits for 5-7 days. In the freezer, stone ground grits can stay unless they are affected by bacteria.

It is a popular Southern dish made from ground corn and can be enjoyed as a sweet or savory dish. Grits are easy to make and have some impressive nutritional benefits, too. They are high in B vitamins, such as niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and folate.

In this article, you learn about the shelf life of grits, how to store them, and the signs of spoilage. So scroll down and learn about some facts!

How Long Do Grits Last? 

The shelf life of grits is longer. Remember one thing: the shelf mostly depends on packaging and storage methods. 

Instant Grits2-5 yearsNot Recommended
Stone Ground GritsOne yearIndefinite
Cooked Grits5-7 daysNot Recommended

As you see from the table, grits kept in the pantry, especially the instant grits, last a little longer. Instant grits survive the most in the pantry, 2-5 years. 

However, the refrigeration process mainly preserves the flavor of stone ground grits and does not stop it from going rancid.

It is better to have the grits cooked in 5-7 days.

You can store Stone ground grits in the freezer, and instant grits are in cool, dark, and dry environments.

Of course, all foods last for a shorter period if they are not stored properly. It does, however, have a best-before or use-by date, just like many other food and beverage products.  

Can Grits Be Used Past Its Expiration Date? 

The consumption of grits after their best-before date poses no risks. The package will have a best-before date printed, just like any other manufactured good.

The best date does not mean that the food is expired. You may safely eat your food for a limited time after the best-by date or use-by date. The best-before date in the package doesn’t mean grits are expired. You can consume it even after years considering it should be in excellent form.

However, if there is a visible change, it is not good to consume it and may lead to food poisoning. If mold develops on the grits, it’s time to discard it.

Can You Freeze Grits?

Freezing can extend the shelf life of grits. You can freeze grits. I think it is better to freeze cooked grits as it has less shelf life, whereas the raw ones already have a long shelf life.

Note: If you leave the cooked grits at room temperature for too long, they will start to expire.

The moisture in the air tends to condense inside the packages when items undergo temperature changes from cool to warm and vice versa. Your grits may spoil because of its moisture allowing mold to grow.

How To Tell If Grits Have Gone Bad? 

There is little chance of grits getting bad. They become bad if they are not stored in proper conditions or do not have appropriate packaging.

1. Appearance

By looking at the grits, you can tell whether they can eat. You should not eat them if they start developing black specs. 

At all costs, stay away from grits that have mold on them. If you see any mold in the package due to the contact with water, It is better to discard it and get a new packet of grits.

2. Color 

If you don’t understand by looking at the appearance, then see the color of the grits. If you store grits for too long and see color changes, it is past their prime, and it’s time to trash them.

3. Smell

After an extended period of being stored in the pantry, grits lose their pleasant aroma and start to smell unpleasant. If you cooked grits and it has changed in terms of smell and taste, throw it out. If you eat, it may lead to food poisoning.

How To Store Grits Properly

To increase its shelf life, you simply need to store it somewhere cool or dry. Let’s dive in and learn how to keep it.

1. At Room Temperature

You can store grits effortlessly in your pantry. As we know, grits are very reliable food and have a long shelf life. Keeping grits in a pantry is a safe option for the instant and stone ground grits. 

You need to store grits in a cold, dark, and dry location that is not subject to temperature changes. In this humidity, mold may grow, and the food may become stale.

2. In The Refrigerator

If you are unable to reseal grits, then use the refrigerator. The temperature needed to store it is below 40°F. You can store it in airtight containers to keep the moisture and other pollutants out.

In a refrigerator, it is hard to keep them dry as possible as it absorbs enough water; bacteria and fungi will begin to grow and spoil them prematurely. 


It is all about how long it lasts. This article helps you to get all your answers. Storing in the pantry is an excellent option to extend its shelf life. Freeze them properly to keep them safe from bacterial attacks. 

Till then, happy cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you use expired grits?

You can safely consume the grits even years after the printed dates if they are in good condition.

How long do grits last after the expiration date?

Instant grits will last 2-5 years past a “best by” date, and stone ground grits will last up to 1 year past a “best by” date.

 What are the black specks in grits?

The black/dark specks in your grits are germ particles in the product. If it starts growing after some time, it may be dangerous.

How long do grits last after opening?

Cooked grits can only last up to 5-7 days, so it’s better to eat them as they are.

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