Makes 3 cups | Cooking times: HIGH—4 hours; LOW—7 to 8 hours
Combine the water, grits, and salt in a 1½- to 3-quart slow cooker. (Use a larger cooker for larger batches.) Stir to loosen hulls and chaff, wait a minute, then skim the surface. (Find out about chaff and using different cooking liquids at Grits Basics: 5 Tips to Make Perfect Stone Ground Grits.)
Cover the crock pot and cook on HIGH for 4 hours, stirring every 45 minutes or so. Alternately, cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours, no stirring needed.
When the grits are done, turn the crock pot to the WARM setting to keep them warm and ready-to-serve for an hour or more. If there is no warm setting, turn the pot on and off of the low setting in 20 to 30 minute intervals.
Crock Pot Cheese Grits: Start with a 50/50 blend of water and milk for the cooking liquid. Once the grits are ready, and about 10 to 20 minutes before you want to serve them, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or half-and-half. Add ½ to 1 cup of cheese and stir until it's melted and the grits are smooth and creamy. You can use any cheese, or any combination of cheeses, that strikes your fancy.
Special Seasonings: Improvise away! Add garlic or onion powder, Cajun seasoning, hot pepper sauce, or fresh herbs like sage, thyme, or parsley.
Inspired Ingredients: The sky's the limit. For breakfast or brunch, add cooked bacon, ham, or sausage. Veggies like scallions, tomato, corn, mushrooms, or roasted peppers really kick up the flavor.