How to Cook Cracked Hominy: Maíz Trillado

Raw Cracked Hominy Corn

Wikimedia Commons 

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Soaking: 8 hrs
Total: 9 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
32 Calories
2g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 32
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 292mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 2mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Hominy corn is dried corn that has been treated with an alkaline solution to remove the hull and germ. This ancient process, called nixtamalization, makes the corn easier to grind and use for cooking. It also gives the corn the delicious earthy flavor that you taste in tamales and homemade tortillas. And it makes the corn more digestible and therefore more nutritious.

Dried hominy corn can be cooked whole, can be ground into cornmeal (hominy grits), or can be ground more coarsely into cracked hominy corn, known in Spanish as maíz trillado. Cracked hominy corn is available in the U.S. in many grocery stores—some brands offer both yellow and white varieties—but is easy to cook on the stovetop or, even easier, in the slow cooker. We present both methods for you to choose the one that's more available to you.

Hominy makes delicious breakfast when served as porridge with butter and syrup, but also a fantastic savory side dish when cooked in broth. The cooked corn can be ground in the food processor to make homemade masa, which can be used to prepare tamales, arepas, empanadas, and pupusas. It will keep well for up to one week in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave. If you're preparing hominy for a savory preparation, use any broth of your liking for cooking it, but omit the addition of salt as commercially produced broths are usually high in sodium. Alternatively, use a low-sodium broth and add a dash of salt to the cooking liquid. Soaking the corn overnight is recommended.

Ingredients

  • 1 16-ounces package dried hominy, white or yellow

  • 5 to 6 cups water, or broth

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons butter

Steps to Make It

Stove Top Method

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the corn in a large pot or bowl and cover with an inch of water. Soak overnight. You can skip this step, but the corn will take longer to cook.

  3. Drain the corn and place it in a large stockpot. Add 5 cups of water and salt (or just the broth) and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

  4. Cover and simmer over low heat until corn is tender, about 1 hour, or longer if it was not pre-soaked. Check the corn often and add more water if needed.

  5. Once corn is cooked, stir in the butter, if using, and serve it warm as a porridge or as a savory side dish seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. If you are planning to use it to make masa for arepas or empanadas, remove the lid and let the corn cool in the pot to allow some moisture to evaporate as it cools. 

  6. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Method 

  1. Place the cracked corn in the slow cooker. Add 5 cups of water and salt or just broth.  Cook on low setting for 4 to 5 hours until the corn is tender.  

  2. Once corn is cooked, stir in the butter, if using, and serve it warm as a porridge or as a savory side dish. If you are planning to use it to make masa for arepas or empanadas, remove the lid and let the corn cool in the pot to allow some moisture to evaporate as it cools. 

  3. Enjoy!

Can I Use an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker?

If you have an instant pot or pressure cooker simply:

  • Soak the hominy overnight.
  • Add two cups of water per each cup of soaked hominy. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of hominy.
  • Cook on high for 40 minutes in the instant pot or 35-40 minutes in a regular pressure cooker on the stove.
  • Release the pressure once the time has passed and wait to open the pot until all the pressure comes down on its own.

What is Nixtamalization?

Nixtamalization is a process in which dry corn or other grains are cooked in an alkaline solution of water and calcium hydroxide, known as food-grade lime. Once cooked and soft, the grains are drained and rinsed, and the hard exterior removed. Lastly, the grains are milled to make a dough, used to make tamales, tortillas, or arepas, amongst many other corn-based dishes that are beloved by the varied Hispanic cuisines.

By following this method, the corn becomes more nutritious as many vitamins and minerals become more available, and also safer to eat, as many mycotoxins are killed during the cooking process.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Schaarschmidt S, Fauhl-Hassek C. Mycotoxins during the processes of nixtamalization and tortilla productionToxins (Basel). 2019;11(4). DOI: 10.3390/toxins11040227