Grilled shrimp is a wonderful way to add seafood to your cookout.
I mean, what's a better way to devour shrimp than the kind that has been cooked over hot flames of a grill? From Cajun grilled shrimp to lemon pepper shrimp, the choices are really endless. However, the secret to perfectly easy grilled shrimp begins with the preparations.
From selecting shrimp to skewering and seasoning. The actual grilling part is straightforward and remarkably fast. But before we dive into the seven best tasting bbq shrimp recipes, here at Fire Food Chef we want to walk you through the essential steps to giving you great barbecued shrimp every time.
Let’s get started!
Up Your BBQ Grilled Shrimp Game
While it would appear as simple as tossing your shrimp on the grill, there are a few barbecue tips that will help you make them even better.
Choosing the Right Shrimp
When shopping for shrimp, you will find a variety of shrimp, ranging in size from extra small to gigantic. Large and jumbo shrimp are the most common and generally inexpensive.
For safety as well as flavor reasons, don't refreeze shrimp that's been thawed out. This also includes shrimp that has been displayed on ice in the grocer's case, which was most likely previously frozen.
Checking the Freshness
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it’s extremely important that you buy fresh shrimp. Even frozen shrimp masked as 'fresh' may not be so fresh after all.
So how do you know if they are fresh? Shrimp that are fresh will have a light saltwater smell. Any potent or bad odors, especially the smell of rotten eggs, indicates that they need to be thrown away. Also, avoid shrimp that smell like chlorine or gasoline. If you want to learn more about the basics of food safety before you fire up your next BBQ click here.
Prepping Shrimp for the Grill
Shell or no shell? Vein or no vein?
These are the two great debates when cooking shrimp. The main advantage of whole shrimp is that you get to enjoy all of the crustacean's flavor and the shell will also safeguard the shrimp from drying out on the grill. However, depending on the kind of shrimp you get, they may already be deveined and shelled.
That said without the shell and vein, shrimp are more comfortable to skewer, and if you're going to season them with a marinade, the absence of the shell will allow the extra flavors to get inside the shrimp.
With those two crucial steps out of the way, we can now move to the fun part, seasoning! For simple flavors, you can coat your shrimp in olive oil, flavored butter, or barbecue sauce. These can be brushed on while the shrimps are on the grill.
You can also add a wide range of herbs and spices to create a custom marinade. For example, garlic and paprika will create a spicier shrimp and work great with melted butter. Lemon juice with cilantro, basil and garlic marinade gives shrimp a tangy, herbal taste.
Skewering the Shrimp
Just tossing your individual shrimp onto the grate works. However, skewers tend to make the job easier. They also eliminate the risk of a shrimp falling beneath the grate. Not to mention that you can flip a skewer faster than individual shrimp.
TIP: If you're using wooden skewers, it's best to soak them to prevent the wood from burning and eliminating any chance of you or your guest eating splinters. For metal skewers, a small amount of cooking spray will make getting the shrimp on and off easier.
3 Different Ways to Skewer Shrimp:
TIP: Whichever method you choose to skewer your shrimp, don't crowd your shrimp. Leave a little space between each so that can cook evenly.
The final step to delicious grilled shrimp is to avoid high heat at all costs. High heat cooks the shrimp too fast, and you run the risk of overcooked, rubbery shrimp.
Once you get the perfect temperature, set your skewered shrimp on the grate, so they are not crowded. For raw shrimp, you'll notice that they are thoroughly cooked once the entire body turns a different color (usually from gray to pink) and it has a pearly, opaque appearance.
TIP: This should take around 5 minutes, and you'll want to flip them halfway through.
On the other hand, if you're grilling precooked shrimp, they should only take 30 seconds to a 1 minute on each side. Since you can't tell by color as they are already cooked, you'll have to use your best judgment.
TIP: In total, the shrimp should not be on the grill for longer than 2 minutes.
GRILLING SHRIMP FOR THE CAMPSITE
With summer always comes camping trips! However, when we think of camping food, lavish meals like spicy grilled shrimp tacos don't usually come to mind. The great news is that it's totally possible to spice up your next campfire meal with a twist - check out our best flat top grills for grilling a variety of shrimp dishes on the go.
So now that we've gone through the essential steps to get great barbecued shrimp every time, we can dive into these 7 mouth-watering shrimp bbq recipes that are big on flavor and guaranteed to please any crowd!
1. Grilled Garlic Lemon Shrimp
This grilled shrimp skewer recipe consists of shrimp marinated in garlic, lemon and herbs, then threaded onto sticks and cooked to perfection.
Here’s what you need:
- To begin, Place the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic in a resealable plastic bag
- Seal and shake to combine
- Add your shrimp to the bag and seal tight
- Now toss it around to coat the marinade evenly
- Marinate for at least 15 minutes, or you can even go up to a couple of hours
- (Note: You don't want to marinate for longer than that, as the acid in the lemon juice will start to cook the shrimp)
- Thread the shrimp onto skewers
- Heat a grill over medium-high heat
- Now the best part, place the skewers on your fired up grill
- Cook for 2-3 min on all sides or until shrimp is pink/opaque
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges
2. Spicy Coconut and Lime Grilled Shrimp
Whether you serve this easy and simple grilled shrimp recipe as an appetizer or as your entree, this is one bbq shrimp dish that will go in your "go-to" cookout file.
What you’ll need:
If you're going to be using wooden skewers, soak them for about 30 minutes.
- To begin let us mix the sliced jalapeños, lime zest, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, coconut milk, olive oil, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and 3/4 of the fresh basil in a large bowl - mix well.
- Add the shrimp to the marinade (mix really well) and let it marinate at room temperature for at least half an hour.
- Using two skewers, add about three shrimp to each skewer. As we mentioned earlier, using two skewers makes it easier to turn your shrimp, which can be a little frustrating.
- TIP: If you only use one skewer, the shrimp sometimes tend to move around as you are trying to turn them
- Wait for your grill to get down to medium heat. To test this, you should be able to hold your hand over the grate for four seconds.
- Now, cook the shrimp until they are well browned on each side and completely opaque.
- Don't overcook the shrimp or they will be tough!
- Garnish with the rest of the basil
3. Grilled Garlic Butter Shrimp
In this mouth-watering recipe, the shrimp first marinate in a mixture of butter, olive oil, garlic, white wine, and herbs. After grilling, they are then drizzled with the remaining sauce. This gives it a double dosage of delicious garlic-butter flavor.
What you’ll need:
- Gather the ingredients.
- Now you want to place shrimp in a large bowl
- In a separate bowl, combine the remainder of ingredients to make the sauce
- Take half of your sauce mixture and pour it onto the shrimp
- Now you want to toss to coat and cover
- Place in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes
- And for the exciting part, preheat grill to medium heat
- Arrange shrimp onto skewers
- Again, do not overcrowd your shrimp
- Place skewers onto grill and cook
- Remember not to overcook!
- Heat the remaining sauce in a pan
- Arrange your grilled skewered shrimp on a platter and either drizzle heated sauce over the top or better yet, serve the warm sauce on the side
- Garnish with extra chopped basil or parsley
4. grilled garlic marinated shrimp
What you’ll need:
- In a big container, start by whisking together all ingredients except for the shrimp.
- Now you want to add shrimp to the marinade
- Gently toss to coat the shrimp
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour.
- Now you can preheat the grill on a medium heat
- Thread your marinated shrimp onto the skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head
- Lightly oil grill grate
- Cook shrimp on a preheated grill until cooked through and opaque
5. Creamy Grilled Shrimp Tacos
It's almost hard to talk about these shrimp tacos, without our mouths beginning to water.
- Heat barbecue to medium-high heat.
- Toss the shrimp with 1 Tbsp of oil and thread onto skewers
- Grill until shrimp are cooked
- Remove from skewers and set aside.
- You'll want to heat the remaining oil in large skillet on medium heat.
- Add onions; cook and stir 5 min.
- Add shrimp and Cooking Crème; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. Or until heated through
- Spoon the shrimps onto the tortillas and top off with remaining ingredients
6. Calypso Shrimp with Grapefruit Salad
This Caribbean-flavoured dish features sweet grapefruit, avocado and watercress with succulent marinated grilled shrimp.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Calypso Shrimp
- Pulse together the onions, habanero, thyme, grapefruit zest, salt, sugar, allspice, cumin and pepper in a food processor.
- Now drizzle in some oil to form a paste.
- After you've made the paste, you'll want to coat the shrimp with paste and let it marinate for 20 minutes
- Grill shrimp over a medium-high grill, turning once until cooked through, about 5 minutes; keep warm.
- Divide shrimp among four plates
- Spoon grapefruit mixture over the top and place watercress mixture on top to serve.
- Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
- Start by whisking together the grapefruit zest, juice, oil, and lime
- Season with some salt and pepper
- Toss the grapefruit and avocado with 1 Tbsp of the dressing
- Toss the remaining dressing with watercress, cilantro, mint and cashews
7. Barbecue jumbo shrimp stuffed with crab meat
It's an absolute seafood barbecue feast with this crab meat-stuffed jumbo shrimp recipe!
Here’s what you need:
- Mix ingredients and then stuff into split shrimp. BBQ on indirect heat at 350f until cooked
- Add some lemon slices and sprinkle with fresh parsley!
That’s A Wrap!
If you are a big shrimp fan, then you are sure to love these recipes as much as we do.
Grilled shrimp is by far such a wonderful way to add seafood to your cookout and it's the perfect way to show off your grilling skills.
And you or your guests shouldn't feel guilty about consuming it either. Shrimp is quite low in calories and doesn't contain any carbs.
Best of all, shrimp is one of the easiest and quickest foods to grill, making it the perfect seafood option to your summer cookout.