Coarse Grits in the Crock Pot

Crock Pot Grits

“AN HOUR?!” is a refrain I often hear from potential customers when asked about how to cook coarse ground grits. I hide my inner exasperation, and solider on, extolling the virtues of the product, and the flavorful rewards of patience. But I agree. An hour is a long time, even if there are plenty of other dishes to cook with the meal. I find myself offering up a bag of quick grits or polenta in an effort to salvage the sale. But there is nothing quite like the texture of coarse stone-ground grits. They're just the "real deal,” for the honest Southern experience that is grits. The only problem: the cooking time for coarse grits hearkens to a time when households had dedicated cooks that could take the time to cook the grits over a low heat to the point of “done-ness,” where the largest particles give way at the first chew in a manner not unlike pasta.

This time commitment is a big deal (and often a deal breaker), but there is another way that is much easier- even if it paradoxically takes a great deal longer than an hour. It is the crock pot, or the slow cooker. With about five minutes of total work, you can enjoy a big pot of coarse ground grits for any meal!

The cooking technique is made easier by the slow cooker's low heat. The metal pot against a heating element or gas flame is too hot to leave unattended for more than five minutes on even the lowest stove top setting. But the electric heating element of a slow cooker is tempered by the thick ceramic cooking vessel, proving a low, consistent heat over may hours that will render the big grits particles supple and satisfyingly soft. And the recipe also work for quick grits and polenta, with varying cooking times.

To give it a whirl, follow the link to the recipe!