How Long Should You Cook Shrimp
According to the USDA, shrimp should be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 145°F, but we have to confess that we never actually check the temperature of our shrimp with a thermometer. Instead, we rely on visual cues: If the shrimp is pink and pearly looking, firm to the touch and just slightly translucent in the center, its done.
Should Grilled Shrimp Be On Skewers
You can if youd like! You can thread your shrimp onto skewers before you grill it, which in theory makes it easier to turn. But Alex and I also find that it tends to spin on skewers, making it harder to manage on the grill. It also takes some time to thread it onto skewers, and wooden skewers need to be soaked first so they dont burn.
If youd like a shrimp skewers recipe, head to our Grilled Shrimp Skewers recipe for more info. But we prefer skipping the skewers, since its quicker and easier!
How To Cook Shrimp Kabobs: Two Ways
I love making these shrimp kebabs all year-round! Although, when the weather is nice, I will often opt for my outdoor grill. Once the shrimp has marinated, thread them on skewers. From there, you can grill them one of two ways:
- Outdoor Gas Grill. Heat the grill to high, then lower the heat until it reaches somewhere between 275 and 325 degrees F. Carefully and lightly oil the grates, then arrange the shrimp skewers on the grates. Close the lid and cook the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn them over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes with the lid closed. In my experience, this method produces super juicy grilled shrimp!
- Indoor Griddle or Cast Iron Skillet. Heat a dry griddle over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp skewers and cook on one side about 3 or 4 minutes. Turn shrimp over and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
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Tips For Shrimp Kabob:
- For an option that you can reuse, try metal skewers ;instead of wooden skewers. They are so handy if you make kabobs a lot like we do. Plus, you dont need to soak them.
- ;I like to use;grilling tongs;to easily flip the shrimp skewers over. This is so handy and will help to prevent burning your hand. Another option to try that you might like are these;grilling mitts.
- Veggies- Substitute or add vegetables based on what your family likes. Sometimes, I will make a few skewers with just veggies. They are so good with the marinate and you can easily adapt each skewer for friends and family tastes.
Getting Shrimp Ready For The Grill
Thaw shrimp just before cooking. Its best to buy shrimp frozen, since their texture deteriorates quite quickly once thawed. The best way to do this is to put them in a colander and run cold water over them until thawed.
Devein or notits up to you. A lot of shrimp is sold already deveined, either deliberately or because the vein often comes out naturally when the heads are removed. The vein wont hurt you, but its sometimes unsightly and a bit gritty. If you want to devein your shrimp, try my easy method below.
Make your own easy-peel shrimp. If the shrimp havent already been slit down the back for faster peeling, you can do it yourself after theyre thawed. Hold a shrimp between your thumb and forefinger at the top of the shrimp and use kitchen shears to snip down the spine, stopping at the tail. At this point, you can easily remove the vein by picking it up in the middle and pulling it out with the tip of the shears or a paring knife.
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Why Youll Love This Recipe
Make Ahead And Storage Tips
- To Store. Grilled shrimp is best enjoyed the day it is made but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I like to use the leftovers on top of salad or tossed with pasta.
- To Make Ahead. You can multiply this seasoning blend by as many times as you like, then store it in a jar. For each pound of shrimp, use 1 tablespoon, plus 1/2 teaspoon.
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Grilling Tips For Shrimp:
- Use jumbo, extra large or large shrimp. The larger size can withstand the high heat and longer cooking time on the grill.
- Frozen shrimp: If you are using frozen shrimp, be sure to thaw before seasoning or marinating. To do so, fill a large bowl with cold water. Place frozen shrimp in a plastic bag and seal tightly. Submerge the bag in cold water. You can place a plate on top to make sure it remains fully submerged. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes or until shrimp are fully thawed.
- Soak wooden skewers for at least 20 minutes. This prevents them from going up into flames.
- Preheat the grill before cooking. This ensures the grill is up to temperature and prevents overcooking the shrimp.
Grilled Shrimp Skewer Recipe
- Preheat grill to 375ºF. Prepare wooden skewers by soaking in water.
- Place shrimp in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
- Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and lemon zest. Toss to coat all of the shrimp.
- Thread each shrimp onto the skewers, placing up to 5 shrimp on each skewer. Leave a little space between each shrimp.
- Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side turning once, until the shrimp have turned pink. Remove from the grill and enjoy!
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How Long Should I Marinate My Shrimp
Because I talk a lot about shrimp and share a variety of recipes, I sometimes get asked how long to marinate shrimp.
The answer is, it depends.
If you are using a liquid marinade that has some acidic components like lime, lemon, or even orange, you want around 30 minutes. The acid in these will actually start to cook the shrimp ceviche-style if you leave it too long.
For a marinade that doesnt have acidic components, an hour or so works well. An example of this is an olive oil marinade with herbs. If it is a dry rub , you can give it some time while the grill heats up and then toss it on to cook. It doesnt need the time to marinade like liquid marinades.
I hope you enjoy the grilled shrimp kabobs with your friends and family!
Using A Grill Pan On Stovetop:
- Preheat a pan over medium heat with a bit of oil. Then add as many skewers as you can.
- Brush the skewers with the glaze, then cook until the bottom of the shrimp is just starting to turn pink, then carefully flip them.
- Cook until the skewers have completely turned pink and opaque this entire process should only take a few minutes.
Press the shrimp kabobs lightly with a spatula to get grill-pan marks on the shrimp.
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How To Cook Shrimp On The Grill
- Prepare the skewers: First, pre-soak your wooden skewers in cold water for 30 minutes. Otherwise, you can use reusable metal skewers . I prefer flat metal skewers, which keep the shrimp from rotating, too.
If you dont plan on using skewers, you can cook them in a well-oiled grilling basket or use a silicone grill mat.
- Prepare the grill: Preheat your grill to medium heat and lightly oil the surface.
- Thread the shrimp: Thread around 5-7 shrimp per skewer. I like to do this right through the center twice this keeps them securely in place.
- How to grill shrimp skewers: Place the skewers on your BBQ and quickly brush them with half the lemon garlic glaze . Cover and grill for 2-3 minutes. Then flip the skewers, brush with the remaining glaze, cover, and grill for 2 more minutes until they are no longer transparent. Then theyre ready to enjoy!
If you want the charred skewer marks, then you can press on them with a spatula. Do this at the end of the cooking process but be careful not to overcook the shrimp. As soon as the grey color is gone, the shrimp are ready!
Grilled Shrimp Is A Great Appetizer Or Main Course Just Change Your Skewer Size
If you like grilled shrimp, youre gonna love this recipe for Margarita Grilled Shrimp Skewers! We make this recipe with smaller appetizer-sized skewers, larger meal-sized skewers, and without any skewers at all every method is a winner!
Here are a few more grilled seafood recipes Im loving right now:; Blake makes an awesome Sweet and Smoky Grilled Salmon. This Grilled Chipotle-Orange Salmon has also been a favorite around here, and its so pretty! Also check out these Grilled Lobster Tails with Sriracha Butter and my;5-Pepper Bloody Mary with Grilled Jalapeño Shrimp!
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What Youll Need To Make Grilled Shrimp Skewers
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In addition to these tools, youll need a handful of ingredients, many of which might be in your spice cabinet already.
- ShrimpIm partial to Gulf shrimp. However, you can use whatever you can get your hands on. Larger shrimp are simple because you wont have as many to skewer, but smaller ones work, too.
- Salted butteryou can substitute it with olive oil or avocado oil if you dont eat dairy.
- Limeboth the zest and juice. You can serve a quartered lime with the grilled shrimp.
- Garlic powder
- Sea saltI use fine sea salt in this recipe. You can also use kosher salt.
- Black pepper
This is an easy blackening seasoning for the shrimp. If you would rather use a pre-made blackening seasoning, use 4 teaspoons of that in place of the spices above.
You can also add in a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes if you like heat in your grilled shrimp seasoning, though we didnt find this necessary!
Juicy Perfectly Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Shrimp is a bit of a treat for my family, so when it is grilling season and these grilled shrimp skewers appear on the table, they disappear in what seems like seconds. As much as I love shrimp made with other cooking methods like shrimp ceviche, Thai shrimp curry, and shrimp stir-fry the simplicity of this easy shrimp skewer recipes is one of my absolute favorites.
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Variations On This Spicy Grilled Shrimp Recipe:
- Blackened Lemon Grilled Shrimp: Swap out the lime for lemon and use the same amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest.
- TexMex Grilled Shrimp: Swap out the homemade blackening seasoning with the same amount of Homemade Taco Seasoning. Leave the lime zest and juice. Garnish with cilantro.
Ingredients In Grilled Shrimp Marinade
- Shrimp: Start with fresh or frozen and thawed, raw shrimp. This recipe will work with any size shrimp, but I choose the 21-25 count size for mine. If your shrimp are larger or smaller than that, just adjust the cook time a minute or two. Dont buy pre-cooked shrimp for this recipe, as well be doing the cooking ourselves. If you want to know how to easily cook shrimp for shrimp cocktail, see this post showing how to poach shrimp. Youll never want to buy pre-cooked shrimp again after seeing how easy it is.
- Olive Oil: Our shrimp marinade for grilling starts with olive oil for flavor and moisture. A little oil keeps the shrimp juicy! You can substitute avocado oil or vegetable oil if thats what you have on hand.;
- Lemon Juice: This citrus juice will tenderize the shrimp as well as add a bright, fresh flavor.
- Salt and Pepper: Shrimp doesnt come seasoned! Salt and pepper is all we need to enhance the natural flavor of the shrimp.
- Parsley: Roughly chopped fresh parsley adds a bright green color for contrast and also gives a bright flavor to the grilled shrimp.
- Garlic: Youll need three cloves of garlic, minced finely, for this recipe . I prefer to mince my own, but you can use prepared minced garlic if you prefer. Garlic is our main flavor note in this recipe, so dont skimp for this shrimp!
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How Do I Know My Shrimp Kebabs Are Ready
I shared this before with my Greek shrimp recipe, but it applies no matter how you cook your shrimp.
Shrimp is cooked when itâs turned from grey and flabby to opaque pink with a bright red tail. And as far as texture, cooked shrimp should be slightly firm in texture with enough crunch with your bite
Ingredients For Grilled Shrimp Skewers
- Shrimp: Youll want to peel and devein the shrimp if theyre not already, and also thaw them in the fridge overnight if theyre frozen.
- Lemon juice: A burst of tangy citrus is delicious with seafood, particularly shrimp! I add lemon to the marinade, and also like to squeeze some extra lemon juice over the shrimp before eating them.
- Herbs: I used a mixture of fresh garlic, basil, and rosemary, with dried thyme, and oregano. They have an extremely refreshing flavor, that balances perfectly with the lemon and shrimp. I also chop and sprinkle fresh parsley and cilantro over the shrimp before serving just to give the shrimp skewers an extra fresh boost.
- Seasoning: Smoked paprika adds a little color and smokiness, salt and black pepper bring all flavors together.
- Butter: Right before serving, I brush melted butter over these grilled shrimp skewers. It takes the taste to a whole new level and makes the shrimp irresistible!
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How To Grill Shrimp Just Right
First, make sure to thaw your shrimp the night before in the fridge. But if you forgot to do so, dont worry. Just run the frozen shrimp under cold water for 5-10 minutes in a colander. When theyre completely thawed, gently pat them dry with a paper towel. Then lets get grilling!
Which Shrimp Should I Use
Medium/Large/Extra Large shrimp will be easier to skewer. I do not recommend using small shrimp for this recipe.;
To make this recipe go quicker use shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined.;
Tails can be left on or taken off according to your preference. Tails were left on for the images just for presentation purposes. I personally tend to remove the tails prior to cooking so that itâs easier to eat.;
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This is a lovely marinade for shrimp, thanks for sharing itI made it this morning as part of a Valentines brunch for my husband with a crab cake and a Bloody Mary It was so good Iâm thinking of reserving a lil bit of the marinade to use it to deglaze the pan after I pan fry the shrimp.To serve, lay shrimp on thin sliced and toasted french bread drizzle with the pan sauce, yum!
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Our Test Kitchen Crew Offers This Fast And Tasty Fix For Shellfish Lovers
Looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal? Consider grilled shrimp. This lean protein source works with almost any flavor, marinates in no time at all and cooks up in a flash. Whats more, the tiny crustaceans are perfect as an appetizer, in salad or pasta;or on a bed of quinoa.
Of course, turning all those tiny shrimp with tongs can get tedious. Thats why our Test Kitchen experts advocate seasoning shrimp in a simple marinade and then skewering them.
Have you ever wondered what the deal is with shrimp sizing? Theyre available in jumbo, large, medium and small, and although these terms are frequently used on packaging, shrimp are officially sized per pound. A good rule of thumb: The fewer shrimp per pound, the larger the individual shrimp. Refer to the chart below for more detailed descriptions of each size category.
|Fewer than 10 per pound|
|U15||Fewer than 15 per pound|
|41-50 per pound||Small|
Our favorite size for grilling is large . Theyre big enough to not fall through the grill grates, yet small enough to be tender and juicy.
To Peel or Not to Peel
I always start by buying shell-on shrimp, even if Im going to peel them myself. Theyre less expensive, and I find that they taste better. Plus, I get to keep the shells to make seafood stock.
Sometimes the tails are left on peeled shrimp. This is a matter of preferenceit gives the shrimp a nicer appearance, but it can make them a bit messier to eat.
Skewers: Metal or Wooden?