Grilled Shrimp – Fresh Off the Grid

Cooking shrimp on the grill recipes

Brimming with flavor, these grilled shrimp are incredibly easy to prepare and cook in virtually no time. They’re perfect for an appetizer or main course the next time you turn on the grill!

Grilled shrimp on a plate

One of the fastest things you can cook over a campfire or grill is shrimp! Once the skewers heat up, it only takes a couple of minutes before they’re ready. But getting grilled shrimp that are well-charred and full of flavor requires a bit of prep work.

Below we share our simple seafood marinade. Not only will this marinade give your grilled shrimp a ton of flavor, but it will also help them develop that browning exterior faster. We also share our tips on what kind of shrimp to get and how to prick them best. With a little prep work, the step of grilling will feel like a breeze.

So let’s jump in and you’ll have those shrimp on the grill in no time!

<img src="" alt="Hands holding a plate

of grilled shrimp” />Best shrimp

for grilling

We recommend buying large, frozen shrimp

with the shell on


Frozen or “fresh”: Almost all shrimp are quickly frozen at sea shortly after being caught and sent frozen to market. The “fresh” shrimp you see at the local fish counter and the frozen shrimp that have been thawed for display. It is better that you choose the time when to thaw the shrimp, so buy frozen.

Check the bag for freeze burns (large chunks of ice), which may indicate that the package was partially thawed or mishandled during packaging.

Size matters: When grilling shrimp, the larger the better, as they won’t cook too quickly. Unfortunately, shrimp size is not regulated. Words like Grande, Jumbo and Colossal do not have a specific definition.

Deveined, shell laid, tail laid. This is a fairly common shrimp preparation combination, which is sometimes labeled as “EZ Peel”. We consider this to be the best compromise for most camping and backyard barbecue applications. These shrimp will have very good taste and texture, while reducing some of the tedious deveining work. You’ll still have to remove the shells yourself, but it’s worth the effort.

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Ingredients for roasting shrimpIngredients

Shrimp: Frozen, as large as possible, deveined, shelled, glued (EZ Peel). Make sure they are completely thawed before marinating.

Sugar: Add a little sugar to the marinade to help encourage the outer browning.

Lemon juice: A little sour can really make every bite stand out with flavor! Just don’t marinate too much, because the acid will eventually start altering the texture of the shrimp (we’re making grilled shrimp here, not ceviche!).

Old Bay

: There is no condiment as intrinsically linked to the taste of seafood as Old Bay.

Chopped garlic, parsley and butter

: For the final mix, a little chopped parsley and butter will give your shrimp an extra mile!

Step by step (simplified


  1. Thaw, marinate and soak the shrimp for 1-2 hours
  2. Chop the garlic and parsley and place it in a large bowl with butter
  3. Skewer the shrimp
  4. Roast over high heat, 2 total (flip halfway)
  5. Mix in bowlserve
Shrimp peeled in a food storage containerDefrost

and remove shells

Before marinating, shrimp should be completely thawed. If you transport them in a refrigerator, this could happen naturally. If they are still a little frosty, the best way to thaw them completely is to place them in a large bowl of water and let them soak for about 10 minutes.

Once they’ve finished thawing, you’ll want to remove the shell, but leave the tail on.

While the peel can act as a heat buffer while grilling (which is good), it prevents the marinade from penetrating the shrimp (which isn’t as good). It also puts the outer charcoal in the shell, not in the meat. That’s why we like to remove and discard the shells before starting the marinade.

Shrimp shells smell a bit fishy, so we recommend putting them in a zippered disposable bag, otherwise your trash can will have an aroma.

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Marinating shrimp in a food storage container

Build the


The marinade is super simple so you can easily make it on site. Simply combine olive oil, some lemon juice, sugar, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder and pepper.

Old Bay season contains a decent amount of salt. So if you are using Old Bay, no additional salt will be needed. But if you’re not using Old Bay and substituting it with something like paprika, then you’ll want to add about 1 teaspoon of salt per 1 pound of shrimp.

Mix the shrimp in the marinade and then return to the refrigerator to cool for about 1 hour. Do not marinate for more than 2 hours, or the shrimp will begin to deteriorate due to the acidity of the lemon juice.

Shrimp on skewers

The best way to prick shrimp

The best way to string shrimp

is to pack them firmly on the skewer. This not only prevents them from rolling, but also reduces the exposed surface area and thus slows down the cooking process. Packing shrimp tightly together on a skewer will help prevent you from overcooking them.

We prefer to use flat metal skewers because they are reusable, do not catch fire and prevent shrimp from rolling.

You can also use round bamboo skewers, although it is advisable to soak them in water for 10 minutes before use. With round skewers, we like to pass two through a single shrimp to prevent them from rolling.

<img src="" alt=

“Grilled shrimp” />


shrimp with high direct heat

You want to hit the shrimp hard and fast with high and direct heat. They will cook in less than 2 minutes, making it a race to develop a good outside charcoal as quickly as possible.

  • For grills (charcoal, propane, etc.), you’ll want to preheat with the lid facing down so that the metal grill gets very hot. Then open the lid and cook the shrimp over high heat with the lid facing up.
  • For campfires, build a warm bed of coals or coals and drop the grill as low as possible.
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We like to let the shrimp lengthen a little on the first side, about 1 minute and a half, then flip for another 30 seconds. If you are cooking over very high heat, this will be a long time.

If you can’t develop much coal in that time, that’s fine! It is better to pull the shrimp in time, and then leave them longer to chase the charcoal. Coarse, tender shrimp without charcoal are much better than gummy shrimp overcooked with a charcoal.

<img src="" alt="Shrimp

in a bowl with butter and herbs” />The final throw


difference between good and extraordinary grilled shrimp is to give them a final throw in a large bowl with some fresh herbs and melted butter. Not only does the herb butter coating add a ton of flavor and visual appeal to your shrimp, but it also helps prevent shrimp from drying out.

Try about 2 tablespoons of very soft or melted butter (shrimp directly from the grill will melt the butter). As for fresh herbs, try chopped parsley, cilantro or basil.

A plate full of grilled shrimp

Tips for

making grilled shrimp

  • You can pre-make the marinade at home in a mason’s jar, but don’t add it to the shrimp until it’s about 1-2 hours before mealtime.
  • Larger shrimp are better for grilling because they will take longer to cook fully, giving you plenty of time to develop some browning outside.
  • Use double skewers

  • or flat metal skewers to make it easier to move
  • shrimp over the fire. Crush the shrimp

  • firmly together on the skewers to slow down the internal cooking rate
  • .

  • Roast the shrimp quickly over high heat. You want to quickly develop an outer charcoal before the inside of the shrimp overcooks and becomes hard and rubbery.
Grilled shrimp on a plate

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