There's nothing like the smell of Grilled Shrimp Skewers on the Barbecue. A quick and easy meal or appetizer. And, what says summer more than lighting up the barbecue and making grilled seafood, grilled steak or grilled vegetables?
Lightly dressed with a tangy marinade these grilled shrimp skewers will be on and off the grill in 10 minutes, more or less. And best of all, these babies are Whole30 compatible. Want to learn more about Whole30? Read up on Whole30 in my series about the program. Everything you need to know all in one place.
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Tips and Tricks
If you are making this as a meal and using one package of shrimp which is usually about 340 g, it will likely serve two people. As an appetizer, it will likely serve 4 to 6 adults.
You want to buy a bag that will have at least a 20 count of shrimp and have at least 19 to 20 shrimp.
You may need more than one bag if you are making this for more than two people and serving this as part of a main dish.
Prepping & Tools You will Need
If you have bought frozen shrimp, you will need to thaw them out. It's best to thaw them out in the fridge 24 hours before you are ready to use them.
Once they are thawed out you will need to peel and devein them, if they still have the shell on. Peeling them is a breeze, just pull the legs and remove the shell. The shell will come off easy.
You will also want to remove the tail. I always find the best way to do this is to kind of snap it on either side and then pull. This works better if they are slightly frozen.
If you want to be environmentally friendly you can use metal skewers. Metal skewers don't require any prep work when using them and they are great because you can wash them after use and store and use them again.
If you don't have metal skewers, you can use disposable wooden skewers. In fact, I prefer to use wooden ones because once you are done with them you can toss them out. Ultimately, they are more convenient. At the end of the day it's your choice.
I learned this trick recently about preventing wooden skewers from burning when they are on the grill that I'll share with you. If you soak them for at least 30 minutes before placing them on the grill the moisture will prevent them from burning.
I soaked my skewers this last time I made the grilled shrimp and I found that the grilled shrimp weren't so dry either. The soaked skewers prevented flare ups and the shrimp were juicy and flavorful.
Ingredients for a Shrimp Marinade
For a marinade you usually need something tart and and oil. For the grilled shrimp marinade I used the following ingredients:
Want to add something else? Not a problem make these your own by adding any number of the ingredients that follow in the next section.
Once you have your marinade ready, you will want to place the shrimp on the skewers, piercing them on the top and bottom of their body making a C shape. You'll want to feed all of the shrimp the same way (for esthetics), but if you don't that's ok too!
Once you have all the skewers loaded up, place the skewers in a shallow dish. To marinate the shrimp, I used a clear baby spinach container. I then poured the marinade over the shrimp skewers and minced the clove of garlic over them and used a basting brush to rub the marinade and garlic all over the shrimp.
Let the shrimp and marinade stand for about 30 minutes before popping them on the grill.
Reflection: Cooking is like science, you need to experiment with different combinations to come up with the perfect result (for you). But, don't worry if it's not perfect. Pat yourself on the back for trying, you deserve it! Just try and figure out what you did wrong and do it different next time.
How to Make it Different
Here are some ideas on how to make grilled shrimp different. Use any one or all of the ingredients below to make these grilled shrimp your own:
- dill: instead of using parsley, sub in dill. Dill always goes well with seafood. Dried dill or fresh dill works well
- hot pepper: hot pepper or chili flakes are always a great way to make these grilled shrimp skewers unique. Not everyone like spicy foods, but if you do, this is one you can add
- rice vinegar: if you don't have balsamic white vinegar, you can sub in rice vinegar or another vinegar that is lightly colored
- vegetables: add vegetables like peppers, mushrooms or anything else and alternate one shrimp and a piece of vegetable.
Did I miss something? Go ahead and add it if you like the taste to make these your own recipe.
How Long to Grill Shrimp on the Barbecue
I warmed up the barbecue and once hot, I lowered the temperature to medium-low. Once you put the shrimp on a heated grill it should take no more than 5 minutes on each side.
You want the shrimp to turn bright orange, and you want to avoid grill marks. Grill marks are better for steak not grilled shrimp!
You can use tongs to gently flip the skewers to the other side.
This is the trick to knowing when them grilled shrimp are done: keep an eye on the thickest part of the back of the shrimp. It's usually at the top of the shrimp opposite to the tail. This is the area where they vein used to be but now is removed. When the middle front part of the shrimp turns from translucent to opaque, the shrimp should be done.
Make sure that both sides of the shrimp are opaque and no longer translucent. This is how you know it's ready and cooked through.
Perfect Side Dishes
Some side dishes you might want to consider for these grilled shrimp skewers are a spinach salad, roasted brussel sprouts or some fluffy white rice.
If you have leftovers, these babies will store well in a microwave safe container for 2 to 3 days. You can also store them in the freezer for later. When you are ready to consume them, just take thaw them out in the fridge overnight and warm up in the microwave or in a pan.
Note that the storage guidelines provided on this page and site are estimates from personal experiences. We are all adults and as an adult you are responsible to ensure that the food you eat is safe to eat. Since, I'm not a food safety expert, you are responsible to review your local guidelines on food storage prior to storing any food left-overs.
- Not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
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How to Make Grilled Shrimp
- If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes.
- Peel your thawed shrimp and discard the shell and tail.
- Push the skewer through the top and bottom of the shrimp forming a C and push the shrimp to the top of the skewer.
- Repeat feeding the raw shrimp through the skewers and pushing them up until you have 3 to 4 shrimp on each skewer
- In a small bowl mix the oil and lemon juice together and place in a flat container where you can lay the shrimp skewers flat.
- Place the shrimp skewers in the container.
- Chop the garlic and sprinkle over the shrimp skewers. Using a basting brush rub the garlic and oil and lemon juice mixture over the shrimp.
- Let stand for 30 minutes
- Just before barbecuing them season with salt and pepper.
- Place on grill for 5 minutes each side. Once they are bright orange on both sides and the thickest part of the shrimp goes from translucent to opaque they are ready.
- Remove from grill and place on serving dish.
- Sprinkle parsley or dill for garnish.