Grilling Tips for Shrimp

It's important to follow some basic grilling tips for shrimp if you want to make the perfect barbecue meal. Shrimp is the most popular seafood on the market today. It makes perfect sense that we like to toss these delicate critters on the menu when we're getting ready for a little bit of outdoor grilling.

Grilling Tips for Shrimp
Never refreeze thawed shrimp once you bring them home from the grocery store or fish market, and never allow thawed shrimp to sit in your refrigerator for more than two days.

Because fish and crustaceans tend to have a smell that can be associated with the types of food they feed on, you may detect a fishy odor or the medicinal smell of iodine that may linger even after cooking. To remove the iodine odor, soak shrimp for ten minutes in a quart of cold water with a tablespoon or two of baking soda. The baking soda should draw out most of the iodine smell. Drain and rinse several times in cold water and then pat dry before grilling.

Grilling Tips: Heat Source, Spices, Sauces and Marinades
When grilling shrimp, it's important to remember that this is a small piece of protein. Shrimp cook quickly over an open flame, and shrimp that have not been grilled correctly will be rubbery, burned and/or dried out and quite tasteless. To prevent this from happening, make sure you grill like a pro.

Shrimp changes color from grey to orange when done. As soon as it changes color, remove the shrimp from the heat.

Heat Source
When grilling shrimp, maintain a constant medium heat. If the grill is too hot, the shrimp will scorch and burn. The shrimp may not cook through if the temperature is lower than medium heat.

Shrimp can be grilled inside a piece of aluminum foil, parchment paper or inside a grilling basket, but are best when skewered and tossed directly onto the grill.

As long as the shrimp have been cooked properly, deveining is not necessary. For visual appeal, deveining is encouraged. To devein a shrimp, use a small sharp knife and split the shrimp down the back. Use the point of the blade to remove the vein.

Spicing Things Up
Shrimp can be grilled without oils or spices or it can be loaded with special ingredients-the choice is based on personal preference. Keep in mind that although butter is great on shrimp, it's also a good way to burn the shrimp long before they're done cooking.  Instead, mix the spices you plan on using with the shrimp with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Once the spices and oil have been allowed to sit for about ten minutes, rub each shrimp with the mixture, making sure to get plenty of spices and oil into the slit made earlier when deveining the shrimp. Once the shrimp have been coated, skewer them twice-once near each end so that the natural curl of the shrimp remains-and place them on the grill for about three minutes on each side or until they change to a nice peachy-orange color.

Drizzle butter over the shrimp on the severing plate or serve with ramekin bowls filled with melted rosemary butter.
Sauces and Marinades
Shrimp have tough skin. Few marinades will penetrate this skin. You can puncture the skin in several places and then marinade, but it's best to simply grill the shrimp in oil and a few spices and then add sauce or marinade to the shrimp afterwards. Puncturing the skin may cause the shrimp to dry out.

One marinade that seems to work well is to soak a pound of shrimp in one quart of water, two tablespoons sea salt, two tablespoons brown sugar, one minced clove and a little bit of crushed red pepper. Marinate the shrimp for about an hour. Drain and rinse well before grilling.

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