Advent Day 3: Crockpot Grinders

This is the perfect meal to fix then go Christmas shopping, errand running, or galavanting- it will be ready when you are!

Growing up in New Jersey we called Subs Hoagies. After moving from Boston to NJ in the first grade, I had no idea what a Hoagie even was. I was introduced to the Hoagie when my school had announced that next Friday would be Hoagie Day and posted little signs of bears all over the school that read “Hoagie Day Friday.” I thought we were going to eat bears. I was a bit apprehensive to say the least. But when Friday rolled around I was relieved to find out that a Hoagie was simply a submarine sandwich, yum! So I grew up calling them Hoagies and if I wanted one heated then it became a Grinder.


This Grinder starts out with a round loaf of Italian Bread which is then sliced to make 6 sandwiches, but not all the way through the bottom.


In assembly line fashion, make 6 piles of cheese, lunch meat, and onions and pepper rings to fit down in your bread slices. Be sure the pepper rings are drained well to prevent a soggy sandwich. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning like basil and oregano. I used Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset.


Fold each bundle of cheese and meat in half and tuck down between every other slice of bread. Seal very well in two layers of heavy foil.


Place a small aluminum pan, over turned on the bottom of the crockpot so that the Grinders do not sit directly on the bottom. You can use balls of foil as well. Add 1/4 cup of water to the crockpot. Place Grinder on top of pan or balls of foil and cover. Cook on low for 4 hours.


When cooking is complete, carefully remove from crockpot, unwrap, and slice through each sandwich to separate from each other. Be careful it will be very hot. Drizzle the inside of each sandwich with a little olive oil if you would like. Makes 6 sandwiches. The center two are quite large and need to be cut in half. Feeds our family of five perfectly!


Here is a close up of my daughter’s Grinder, she did not want onions and peppers, silly girl.

Note- We did have one small, 1 square inch soggy area, probably from not draining the peppers well. We also felt the sandwich could have gone another two hours as it showed no burnt or gummy areas. Man, we could have stayed out shopping another 2 hours!

Crockpot Grinders
one round loaf Artisan Italian Bread
18 slices provolone
18 slices Mortadella
18 slices sweet or hot Capicola
18 slices Genoa Salami
sweet pepper rings
thin onion slices
olive oil
oregano and basil
Large 6 quart oval crockpot

Slice bread 13 times, almost all the way through but leaving 1/2 inch space at the bottom. Layer three slices of cheese and top with 3 slices each of Mortadella, Capicola, and Salami. Top with pepper rings and onions. Sprinkle with Italian Seasonings and repeat 5 times. Fold each bundle in half and tuck down between every other slice of bread to create 6 sandwiches. The sandwich may have “arched” its back, gently push down and wrap tightly in one then a second piece of heavy foil. Place in crockpot on top of a small aluminum foil pan or balls of foil, do not touch bottom of pan. Pour in 1/4 cup of water (I never like to have a “dry” crockpot, it just seemed to make sense to me to have a little water in there), it does nothing for the sandwich since it is wrapped up so tightly in foil. Cover and cook on low for 2-4 hours. To serve cut each sandwich apart, drizzle the insides lightly with olive oil, and enjoy. Makes six sandwiches with the center two being quite generous in size.

Note- you may not need all the meat and cheese as the sandwiches on the ends are a bit smaller and will not hold as much.

Another BRK Crockpot Favorite- Italian Sausage Cacciatore

Come back tomorrow for Day 4.

4 Comments

  1. poppy
    Posted September 7, 2014 at 2:32 AM | Permalink

    I have been making these periodically for a couple of years after first seeing your blog. My family LOVES them. I am making some tomorrow and I am going to try the sandwich slices because I always find myself struggling with separating them. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  2. CATHLEEN LAGOW
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    THE ABOVE RECIPE LOOKS GREAT AND EASY….AND YES, AS A FELLOW PINNER, DID FOLLOW YOU….UNFORTUNETLY AS A PINTEREST BOARDER AND I HAVE 58,000+ FOLLOWERS WOULD LOVE TO PIN THIS TO MY BOARD TO SHARE AND BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING…YOU DON’T HAVE ANY SHARE PIN SPOT AND I HAVE SCROLLED THRU “ALL YOUR BOARDS” AND STILL DIDN’T FIND IT….VERY DISAPPOINTED::::((((((((

  3. Susan Gray
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    Have used your recipe several times to scrumptious reviews. Sometimes I cooked it I the Crockpot and other times ust in the oven. A no fail winner! Thanks☺

  4. Julia
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    These are amazing! I add a hot relish called Wickels between the meats, before folding and stuffing into the bread. My family lives them,including “the one” who doesn’t like Italian meats. Thank you for this, glad it’s still on pinterest.

7 Trackbacks

  1. […] Crockpot Grinders […]

  2. […] [recipe here] […]

  3. […] Slower Cooker Sandwich […]

  4. […] Slice a bread loaf 4/5 the way through, add your meat and other fillings, and seal between two layers of aluminum foil. Place a pan at the bottom of the slow cooker so the sandwiches don’t touch the bottom. Add a 1/4 cup of water and set on low for four hours. More directions available here. […]

  5. […] Slice a bread loaf, but only 4/5 of the way through. Add your fillings. Seal between two layers of tin foil. Place a pan at the bottom of the slow cooker so the sandwiches don't touch the bottom. Add a 1/4 of a cup of water and set on low for four hours. Find more instructions here. […]

  6. […] I didn’t think it was possible either. See this Article to learn how to make it […]

  7. By 6 Sandwiches You Can Make in a Crockpot on March 16, 2016 at 11:21 PM

    […] recipes call for cooking the filling separately, then assembling the sandwich. Not so with this grinder recipe from Big Red Kitchen, where you put together the sandwiches first, then wrap them in foil and stick […]

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