Dinner Diaries

Fire Grits!

Fire Grits!

By Tim H. Martin

Just the right amount of heat in this devilishly creamy dish


• 1 cup quick grits

• 2 cups half-and-half

• 2 cups chicken stock

• 2 (10 oz.) cans original RO*TEL diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained

• 3/4 cup cubed process cheese (Velveeta)

• 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

• Kosher salt, to taste


Cook grits in the chicken stock and half-and-half for the length of time suggested on the grits container, usually 5-7 minutes.

As the grits begin to thicken, they are going to start to splatter. Add the RO*TEL at this point, lower the heat, and they will calm down a bit. Stir constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon, and I highly recommend wearing an oven mitt as protection.

Now add the cheeses and salt, continuing to stir until the cheese has completely melted.

Note: You'll find Fire Grits to be the perfect accompaniment to fish fries, low boils and seafood dinners — and yes — shrimp and grits, too.

Print The Recipe!

Who Made the Fire Grits?

– By Tim H. Martin

This recipe with the catchy name originated back in the 1990s when my wife signed me up to bring cheese grits to a church brunch. Being somewhat of a deviant by nature, I initially decided to surprise her, along with my Baptist friends, by creating a creamy variation of cheese grits containing a strong amount of spice.

But after making several experimental batches that burned my mouth, I had a sudden change of heart and chose not to light up my brethren. Instead, I’d somehow stumbled upon the above recipe, which turned out to be the perfect combination of rich, cheesy goodness and just the right amount of pleasant warmth. 

On Sunday morning, I brought my covered dish inside the Fellowship Hall and even made a small sign to place on the table. It read FIRE GRITS and had a little devil scribbled on it, just for kicks.

To my amazement, my pot of bohemian goodness was gobbled up so quickly, not many of the congregation got a taste. I overheard several church members asking, “Who made those Fire Grits?” “Yeah, who brought the Fire Grits?” I took this as high praise and a good indication that my recipe was actually pretty darn good.

Later, I stepped forward, graciously jotting down the recipe on napkins and handing them out to those who’d inquired — even a few little old ladies. Good thing for them I didn’t bring my first version of the recipe which contained Cayenne pepper, hot sauce, RO*TEL and jalapenos. It might’ve taken a fire extinguisher to put them out!

Years later, when Buckmasters staffers held a big fish fry, I brought Fire Grits to the party, and again, the requests poured in. So many, in fact, that I sent out a company email with the recipe attached.

Fire Grits have become my go-to side dish for parties because they’re fast, easy and awesome. If you decide to bring them to a function, it’s a nice gesture to go ahead and bring several copies of the recipe to hand out. You’re going to need them!

Copyright 2022 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd