If there is one recipe that could convince you to get your own stovetop smoker, this would be it. These smoked shrimp and cheddar grits are so delicious, you’re going to actually be angry when you taste it. This dish will make you MAD because you’ve never had anything so delicious. I maybe shouldn’t talk it up this much, but this is one of the best recipes I’ve ever come up with and the process of smoking the shrimp is quick and so totally worth it.
This is one of those recipes where, while you’re eating it you just keep saying “this is so good… omg this is so good… THIS IS SOOO GOOD”!
The stovetop smoker equipment I use in my kitchen is the Nordic Ware 365 Kettle Smoker . There are other brands of stovetop smokers, but this is the one I prefer and my stovetop smoker recipes are written with this particular model in mind. However, you can use these recipes and adapt them to whichever stovetop smoker you like!
You can use whatever cajun seasoning you like. I used Good ol’ McCormick cajun seasoning, and got great results, but if you have something else you like- go for it! You can look for cajun seasoning in your spice aisle at the grocery store.
For the grits, you are going to want to get anything but instant grits. They can be “quick” or they can be regular. I love to use Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits, but if you can’t find that just make sure you don’t get instant.
Last, a nice good, sharp cheddar will make a difference in the taste of your grits. I recommend getting a block of sharp cheddar and using a grater to shred it yourself. Those big bags of shredded cheese you find at the store have other things like corn starch in them to keep it from sticking and you don’t want that. I used DiBruno Brothers sharp cheddar, but you can use any good quality sharp cheddar!
Smoked Shrimp and Cheddar Grits
- Nordic Ware 365 Kettle Smoker
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup corn grits *not instant
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar I used DiBruno's
- 8 slabs bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 lb 1 lb shelled and deveined large shrimp *you can save the shells to make stock!*
- several good shakes cajun seasoning
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 3 Tbsp Flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 scallions, chopped white and green parts. 3 for the shrimp and 1 for garnish
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 good shakes Hot sauce I like Tabasco for this
For the Grits
- In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil.
- Whisk in the grits and cook over moderately high heat, stirring until there's no more lumps.
- Stir periodically until thickened and the grains are tender. Regular grits will take up to 45 minutes. Quick grits will be about 4-5.
- Add the milk, butter and cheese and gently stir. Cover and remove from heat.
For the Shrimp
- In your Stovetop Smoker, add about 2 Tbsp hickory chips (or wood chip of your choice) to the center of the bottom.
- Line the drip tray with foil and place into the smoker.
- In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with a few solid shakes of the cajun seasoning. The shrimp should be evenly coated (don't go too overboard here).
- Put the shrimp on top of the cooking tray and smoke for about 8 minutes or until the shrimp are nice and pink (no longer translucent).
- Meanwhile a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy.
- Transfer cooked bacon to paper towel-lined plate.
- Pour out all but about 4 tablespoons of bacon fat in the skillet and re-heat.
- When the shrimp is cooked, add the garlic, parsley, scallions, paprika, Worcestershire, Tabasco to the bacon grease in your skillet. Stir on medium-low heat for just about a minute or two (don't burn your garlic).
- Add the shrimp and toss. (The shrimp is already cooked so this step should be brief).
- Crumble the bacon into smaller pieces if you so desire…
- Spoon the cheesy grits into 4 shallow bowls and then top with a quarter of each of the shrimp.
- Garnish with bacon and reserved scallions.
If you make this smoked shrimp and cheddar grits recipe, let me know what you think! Also, if you share on social media use #thephillykitchen so I can see!