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Will Dickey

Don’t let burgers and hot dogs have all the fun! These grilled shrimp skewers deserve a place at your next backyard barbecue. 

Do you peel shrimp before grilling?

It can go either way! Some people think that leaving the shell on allows the shrimp to retain its moisture when cooking, while others believe it’s difficult for a marinade to infuse the shrimp with flavor if the shell is on. We like to peel the shells before grilling to allow for a quicker, more impactful marinade, plus they’re a little easier to eat this way. Just be sure to pull the skewers from the grill as soon as the shrimp are cooked so they don’t dry out.

Do you need to devein shrimp?

This is based on personal preference. It is safe to eat the vein, but many prefer to cut a small slit along the back curve of the shrimp and remove it before grilling. Sometimes, the vein does contain some grit, which can have an unpleasant texture, but other times it’s barely noticeable (and certainly saves some prep time to leave it in!)

What’s the best way to season shrimp?

Shrimp are delicate and have wonderful natural flavor. Its best to season them simply and lightly—like with our combination of citrus, garlic and fresh herbs. You can also use a dried spice mix, like cajun seasoning, if you like things spicy, or brush them with honey or BBQ sauce for something a bit sweeter.

How long does it take shrimp to grill?

Shrimp are small and take very little time to cook. It all depends on the size of the shrimp that you use: Small to medium shrimp may only need 1 to 2 minutes per side, but large or jumbo shrimp may need 2 to 3 minutes per side. It’s quick either way, so don’t walk away from the grill! You’ll know the shrimp are cooked when they firm up, curl into a loose “C” shape, and turn uniformly pink and opaque in color.

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Zest and juice of 1 lemon


olive oil 

ground black pepper


crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Sea salt, chopped parsley and lemon wedges, for serving

  1. Peel the shells and tails from the shrimp and cut out the vein (if you like).
  2. Combine the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Add the cleaned shrimp and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes. 
  3. If using wooden skewers, place 12 skewers (about 12 inches long) in a 9-inch by 13-inch dish filled with water. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Oil the grill grates well.
  4. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and thread 4 or 5 pieces on each skewer. Place the skewers in the grill pan or on the grill over direct heat. Cook until the shrimp is bright pink all over and opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat. Garnish with sea salt, parsley, and lemon wedges and serve immediately. 

If you don’t feel like threading the shrimp on skewers, you can also grill them loose in a grill basket (on an outdoor grill) or sear them indoors in a grill pan or cast iron skillet.

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