Planning to host a game day gathering with friends? Or, looking for quick and easy weeknight meal for the family? Nothing could be simpler than serving grilled shrimp as an appetizer, the main course, or even a quick side. Best of all, you can have grilled shrimp ready in less than 10 minutes. Learning how to grill shrimp is simple. With such a variety of seasonings that pair well with shrimp, it’s a great way to incorporate seafood into your diet.
Raw shrimp is the best choice, but frozen shrimp works just fine since it freezes well and maintains flavor and texture. You just need to thaw before grilling. Make sure your shrimp is fresh, even if it has been frozen. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it is safe to eat thawed shrimp if they have translucent and shiny flesh with a light saltwater smell.
Large and jumbo shrimp are the perfect size for the grill. Smaller shrimp tend to dry out quickly. Buy shrimp by the per pound count. Large shrimp, often labeled 16/20, means there are roughly 16-20 shrimp per pound. Shell-on shrimp are also preferable to peeled, as the shell will help protect the meat and retain juices while cooking.
Drizzle shrimp with olive oil or melted butter before adding herbs and spices. Coating them with fat before grilling helps impart the seasoning flavor and locks in moisture. There are no shortage of herbs and spices that can be used for seasoning shrimp. Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder and chili powder are all great options to choose from.
Preheat grill for medium heat. While the grill is heating, pat shrimp dry and season as desired. You can toss shrimp onto the grate, use a grill basket, or use skewers. Grill baskets and skewers eliminate the risk of shrimp falling beneath the grate and makes it easier to turn shrimp while cooking. Allow shrimp to cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side until they are slightly pink with opaque flesh.
Now that you know all about how to grill shrimp, it’s time to fire up the grill! Try out one of our recipes below and wow your friends and family at the next gathering.
Pellet Grilled Shrimp Chipotle
1 pound uncooked, deveined shrimp
Soak bamboo skewers in a pan of water for about 30 minutes, which will keep them from burning.
Coat with shrimp with the chipotle rub.
Use two of the skewers and push the shrimp onto them. When you use two skewers, you can flip the kabob (or shashlik) without them rotating on the skewer. You don’t have to separate them, as on shrimp, two adjacent ones will hold them in place.
Brush the kabobs with GMG chipotle sauce and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
Set your grill to about 330° and cook these for about eight minutes per side. Do not overcook, as they will turn out fairly tough if you do. Perfectly grilled shrimp will have slightly pink flesh on the outside and white, not translucent, meat on the inside.
Planked Lemon Pepper Shrimp
2 pounds peeled, deveined, tail-on shrimp, (13–15 per pound)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Meat Church Lemon Pepper
2 cedar planks, submerged in water for 30 minutes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
Key West Dipping Sauce:
1 ½ cups orange marmalade (with the orange peel included)
¾ cup mayonnaise
½ cup stone ground or Creole mustard
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
3 tablespoons key lime juice
¼ teaspoon Meat Church Lemon Pepper
Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Set up for direct cooking (grilling directly over the flames).
Mix olive oil and 1½ tablespoons of the lemon pepper in a small mixing bowl. Add shrimp and toss until evenly coated with the mixture. Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons of lemon pepper and toss again.
Remove cedar planks from the water and pat dry with a paper towel. Using tongs, transfer the planks to your grill and let them “cook” for 2 minutes. Flip and repeat. Remove from grill.
Line the shrimp up on the planks. Try to stand the shrimp up (a small slice down the back/semi-butterflied helps) as best you can. Carefully place the planks on the grill and cook for 6 minutes.
While your shrimp cooks, stir the butter and garlic together in small bowl. When the 6 minutes are up, baste the shrimp with the garlic butter. After another 6 minutes, remove the shrimp-filled planks from the grill and serve alongside the Key West Sauce.
Key West Sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate and serve cold. Sauce can be made up to four days in advance.
Shrimp Scampi Skewers
1 pound raw large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on or off)
3 lemons, sliced into thin half-moons (or wedges)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
Garlic Parsley Butter:
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, loosely packed
Prepare the Garlic Parsley Butter: Heat butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until melted. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the white wine, stir to combine. Remove from heat and stir in chopped fresh parsley. Use within 15 minutes, or re-heat on the stove or microwave for an additional minute before serving.
Prepare the Skewers: Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Thread the shrimp and sliced lemons onto skewers. Sprinkle evenly with salt, black pepper and crushed red peppers. Place on the grill for 3–4 minutes per side until the shrimp are pink and no longer opaque. Remove shrimp from the grill and brush liberally with the parsley butter and squeeze the lemons over the shrimp. Serve immediately.
Grilled Shrimp Wrapped Prosciutto
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon paprika
1–2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 teaspoon salt (kosher or sea)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1–2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 14-inch sprigs of fresh rosemary, soaked in cold water to cover about 30 minutes
12 ounces jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
2–3 ounces of prosciutto
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, optional
Combine olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk or stir together. Add shrimp, toss and let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes. At the same time, soak your rosemary sprigs.
Hold rosemary sprigs and strip 3/4 of the leaves off the bottom so you have room to skewer the shrimp. Drain off marinade and discard. Skewer the shrimp through tail and top, about five per skewer. It will depend on the size shrimp you have.
Slice prosciutto into long thin strips about an inch or two wide and wrap them around the shrimp. They probably won’t wrap or look perfect, but don’t worry about it. They’ll taste great.
Grill shrimp skewers on a hot, clean grill about 5–6 minutes total, depending on the size of your shrimp and how hot your grill is. When they start to turn pink, turn the skewers. When done, serve drizzled with a little olive oil.