Smoked shrimp and grits a great choice when you want to mix the menu up a bit. Not that anyone ever gets tried of doing briskets or meats but it never hurts to partake in some southern comfort food. The great part about this smoked shrimp and grits recipe is its pretty simple, easy to throw together and get on the smoker.
Smoked Shrimp and Grits Prep
With this smoked shrimp and grits recipe, I used 2 chunks of pecan wood and 1 chunk of cherry wood. For starters you will want to buy some grits, I went with Quaker Oats. Do not buy the instant ones (or anything that cooks in 5 minutes or less. Usually referred to as instant), go with the ones that take 15-20 minutes, regardless of brand. Having the longer cook time is important to so we can ensure the grits get some smoke on them.
Before we start cooking the grits we are going to cook up some bacon. I used about 1/2 lb. of bacon for this recipe. Once cooled we are then going to chop and add to the top of the shrimp and grits later on. Cook that up in a pan and save the bacon grease, we are going to use that later. Once done, put if off to the side. After the bacon cools down you can chop it up into small pieces. After you have that completed, or somewhere along the way chop up some scallions and place those off to the side as well. You will add that as a garnish.
Once the bacon is complete, you can move onto the shrimp and grits. Let’s start with the shrimp. Use a small foil tray or even a cast iron pan. I usually go with the foil, its just a slightly faster clean up, especially if we are eating outside. Take your foil pan and add the shrimp, I used about 2 lbs. I used the two pound bag of medium shrimp but you could certainly do a lesser weight of large shrimp if you wanted. Size of the shrimp is up to you.
Disclosure, on my end, the younger kids love shrimp so I just assume they are going to dive into the shrimp and skip the grits, you may not need this much shrimp. This recipe fed 5 adults and 3 kids. I then coated the shrimp with some Old Bay. Go to taste but I did 2 teaspoons. Once the shrimp was coated with the Old Bay I took the bacon grease and poured it into the tray. You may need to warm the grease back up so it is liquid and can be poured into the tray.
I also added in a 1/2 cup of lemon juice. I then took a half of stick of butter and sliced it up and placed it on the shrimp throughout the tray. Once you have that done, you can throw it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes while you work on the grits.
Now you are going to start the grits in a pot on the stove top. Now in most cases the directions on the grits will call for using water. We are not going with the water because we are going to want to get some more flavor on the grits. Grits, by their nature, do not have a ton of natural flavor. By substituting the water with milk and some chicken broth we get some more flavor in the grits. Add that added flavor, plus the smoky shrimp and this meal is awesome! Follow the container directions as far as portions but you are going to substitute the water in the following manner:
- 1/4 of the required water you will replace with milk.
- 1/2 of the required water you will replace with chicken broth and use immediately.
The remaining 1/4 portion will be chicken broth but you will hold off the to side for now. You will start cooking the girts in the pot, to the directions, usually over medium heat, while making the substitutions listed above. After about 10-15 minutes, you are going to pull the grits and transfer to a foil pan. Once in the pan you will add the remaining 1/4 portion chicken broth to the pan, stir the broth into the grits and put the pan on the smoker.
Just to to give some perspective on how to break down the substitutions, if the recipe is calling for 1 cup of water, we are going to replace that with 1/4 cup of milk and 3/4 cup of chicken broth. When its all said and done, it does not have be exact except that you are at least substituting a cup of water for a cup of broth and milk, or whatever the appropriate conversion is based on the package instructions.
Smoking Our Smoked Shrimp and Grits
Now for the smoker, you will want the smoker at 225° and I used 2 chucks of pecan and one chunk of cherry, all on my WSM. Once you are up to temp on this you are going to place both the grits and the shrimp on at the same time. The goal now is to cook the shrimp until they are cooked through.
You will have to open the smoker every 15 minutes or so and stir them up a bit in their tray just to ensure they are getting the liquid and staying moist, if not stirred the shrimp on top may dry out. It will also help ensure all the shrimp is getting some smoke on it as well.
You will do the same with the grits, stirring occasionally, except they will get pulled once the majority of the broth has been absorbed. In this case, they should be pulled around the same time, I pulled the grits a few minutes before the shrimp but both were on for about 35 minutes.
Once you have the smoked shrimp and grits pulled, get those grits in a bowl, add the shrimp and top it off with some bacon and scallions. You can also add some cheese. I did not do it on this recipe but there is nothing wrong with some cheesy grits. Some smoked cheddar cheese was in the plan but I forgot!
If you are looking for a side dish to pair with the smoked shrimp and grits, try out our smoked cornbread. You can get this recipe here.
I hope you enjoy this smoked shrimp and grits recipe! Enjoy and keep that smoke rolling!
We always appreciate some comments, reviews, stars and social media shares. If you are looking for some other recipes take a look at these below:
- Chicken Broth
- 1/2 lb bacon
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp of Old Bay
- 1/2 stick of butter
- Cook the bacon and set to the side, crumble once cooled
- Cut the scallions and set to the side
- Follow the directions on the grits container. Substitute water for milk, for additional flavor.
- Prepare shrimp in a foil tray, Add Old Bay to the shrimp. Add the the bacon grease to the shrimp. Then add lemon juice and butter. Place in refrigerator when done.
- Cook grits for about 10 minutes and pull off stove top and transfer to foil tray.
- Add additional chicken broth to the tray and stir in.
- Place both grits and shrimp on smoker at 225 for about 35 minutes, stirring or once the broth has been absorbed into the grits and the shrimp is cooked through.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 1080mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 15g