slow-cooker creamy southern grits

I did a lot of cooking this weekend. After all of this with my dad’s health, all of this stress and tension piling on, the cooking finally felt right again. I can’t really explain it, but it felt like I got my groove back. It felt so wonderful to be in the kitchen again, chopping and stirring and cleaning up after myself. And yes, I am one of those people. I clean as I go, and I enjoyed every last minute of it. Every one.

One of the things I made was a pumpkin bread pudding. The sauce I made to go with it broke, but I didn’t care much. The bread pudding was great without the sauce. I plan to share the recipe with you, but I can’t share it yet. I will soon – maybe later this week – but there is something else that takes priority. Something more important.


Creamy, luscious, and perfectly-salted grits.

The type of grits that, when you taste a warm spoonful on your tongue, closing your lips completely around the spoon, you immediately and involuntarily close your eyes and emit a soft sound, almost like a purr, from somewhere deep inside. You can’t help it, that sound. It just comes.

If you know me, you know I have a thing for grits. Shrimp with grits. Grits with corn and tomatoes and bacon. Grits topped with barbecue pork or beef. Grits with manchego cheese.

You get the picture. Grits rock.

The culinary trend for all things Southern has made me very happy of late. It means I can generally find grits on restaurant menus – whether for breakfast or dinner. Sometimes the bowl of grits has an orange hue indicating contamination by cheddar cheese, but I’ve learned to ask about the cheddar before ordering.

I made these grits in the slow cooker, a method that eliminates the constant stirring that my usual creamy grits recipe calls for. Actually, I made a couple of batches in the slow cooker this weekend, just to get the texture of the grits right. I was aiming for creamy, without a hint of graininess. This method, using a bain marie technique, turned out to be just the trick.

The pumpkin bread pudding recipe will come later. Today, grits take priority.

Yield: 4 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Slow Cooker Creamy Southern Grits

Usually, creamy stone-ground grits -- not the quick cooking kind, mind you -- require standing at the stove top and stirring, for up to an hour. This recipe eliminates the need for that, while satisfying your craving for the best grits, ever. They really don't even need butter, but you can add it, for looks, if you wish.

Note: You will need a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker.


1 cup stone-ground grits (not quick cooking)
2 cups water
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt


In a 4-cup glass measuring cup (or similar size bowl), stir together grits, water, milk, cream, and salt. Carefully place the glass bowl/measuring cup (with the grits mixture in it) in a slow cooker, and add enough cold water to the slow cooker to come about half-way up the outside of the glass measuring cup which holds the oats mixture.

Cook on low setting for about 8 hours or overnight. Remove slow cooker lid and stir grits well to break up any lumps.

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24 Responses to “slow-cooker creamy southern grits”

  1. 1
    Paula — November 7, 2011 @ 8:07 pm

    I’ve never had grits. I’m 56 years old. This post makes me think that my life has been missing something wonderful for many, many years.

  2. 2
    Kathryn — November 8, 2011 @ 4:33 am

    That does look like a big bowl of deliciousness and so comforting especially at this time of year.

    I’m so glad you’re back in the kitchen!

  3. 3
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — November 8, 2011 @ 7:16 am

    Cooking can be so cathartic. Glad to see you back in the kitchen, darling! And these grits… well, it makes me wish I lived in a place where one ate them more.

  4. 4
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — November 8, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    Comfort in a bowl. These look perfect!

  5. 5
    margaret — November 8, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

    I think that I now have a reason to buy a slow cooker. Grits are my ultimate comfort food. Thanks!

  6. 6
    Macaroni Mama — November 8, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

    I agree. Grits seem like a comfort food.

  7. 7
    Dina — November 8, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

    i love creamy grits đŸ™‚

  8. 8
    Nutmeg Nanny — November 9, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    These look awesome! I’m a huge grits girl. My Kentucky born grandma would always make them…yum!

  9. 9
    Chris — November 13, 2011 @ 11:08 am

    Stone ground coarse grits are the best thing ever, who needs polenta? Never thought of making them this way, rather a genius idea.

    I like grits topped with smoked pork and a fried egg and a dash of hot vinegar sauce. Think I might have to have that for lunch.

  10. 10
    Lucy — November 15, 2011 @ 10:47 am

    What a novel idea–I’m of the standing-over-the-stove-stirring family, but I think I’ll have to try this method. I so love grits. Southern comfort food!

  11. 11
    Cheryl Balara — November 15, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

    These grits are DELICIOUS!!! So creamy, hearty tasting and I haven’t even added butter, salt or any pork topping. This is my first time cooking “real” grits, usually I cook the quick grits. These are so much better. Plus with the crockpot method; Very easy! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    ps. I think I’ll set this up Christmas eve. It will be a wonderful Christmas present to myself.

  12. Pingback: looking back, looking forward, and a cocktail recipe: the st. honoré 75 | The Merry Gourmet

  13. 12
    Kathy Vaught — August 13, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    Can’t wait to try this method. I am not sure how much water to add from “add enough cold water to come about half-way up the outside of the glass measuring cup which holds the oats mixture” – is that 2 cups?

    • 12.1
      Merry-Jennifer — August 13, 2012 @ 8:43 am

      Kathy – It really depends on the size of your slow cooker, so I can’t give you an exact measurement. Pour a cup or two in, then see where the water level comes (remember, you’re not pouring it IN the oats). Add more if needed.

  14. 13
    cottonlily — October 17, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    I read the recipe twice but want to make sure I got this! You place the glass bowl/cup with the grits mixture in the crock pot? You do not pour the grits directly into the crock? I didn’t get that until I read the reply to Kathy. I can’t wait to try this! I agree the slow cook grits are the best; we just never get them because of time constraints.

    • 13.1
      Merry-Jennifer — October 17, 2012 @ 10:23 am

      Yes, put the grits in the glass bowl, NOT directly in the slow cooker. I’ll try to make this more clear in the recipe itself.

  15. 14
    Natalie — November 29, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

    This is similar to how I do Steel Cut Oats. Can’t wait to try these grits!

  16. 15
    Susan — January 18, 2013 @ 6:48 pm

    Hello- Great site. I am looking to make Grits this weekend for a dinner party. Would love to know which recipe you recommend for Grits – the slow cooker one or the one with shrimp and sausage that is made on the stove top. I prefe to use the slow cooker (sounds easier) but also seems a bit bizarre to put the ingredients in a glass bowl and then into the slow cooker. Am I reading this right?? Thank you very much. Susan

  17. 16
    patsy — January 30, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

    Grits are corn not oats!

  18. 17
    Phil — February 12, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    I have used this method for Steel Cut Oats, as well. If you are reading this in the morning and wanted to go home at lunch to set it up, but just don’t want to eat at 8pm you can just put the cooker on high and do it for 4-6 hours. I generally just use 3 cups of whole milk to 1 cup Stone Ground Coarse Grits, which makes a thicker consistency, then chill and slice and sautee and top with Shrimp Creole….really hard recipe to mess up no matter what liquid you use. I do caution not to salt too much beforehand, though.

  19. 18
    Jamey — August 10, 2013 @ 9:48 am

    So it confuses me. Do I then take out the measuring cup. Seems like a dumb question but … Need this tomorrow night for our back to school teacher breakfast on Monday morning. Hope u have time to answer. Thx

  20. 19
    Donna — September 9, 2013 @ 11:52 am

    My husband loves grits. I bought Bob’s Red Mill Grits/Polenta and made the slow cooker recipe twice now for him. They turn out perfect.

  21. 20
    Kevin Sr. — November 10, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

    I eat grits every where I go for breakfast and some times at home, after making them this way this will be my go to recipe, I dehydrate my own fruits and vegetables and added some of my dried apples with sugar and cinnamon and this was the best I have had any where

    • 20.1
      Merry-Jennifer — November 11, 2013 @ 8:23 am

      Oh, I’m so glad! Thanks so much for your comment, Kevin.

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